Hmm... Now I am concerned. I put the 6 week old chicks out in the coop on Sunday and mixed some DE in the shavings on the ground.. Bad idea then? I don't want to harm them :(
Food grade DE and chicks - Page 2
If you used it really sparingly it probably isn't going to hurt them and I wouldnt overly worry on it. It shouldn't cause any damage, but it may be uncomfortable on them if they get a lot on their skin or feet. If you rub a little on the back of your hand and let it sit, you'll see what I mean.
Something to consider, I use it for ant trails and slug control, a light sprinkling does nothing to control these pests. I have to use thick amounts to get the desired effect. You wouldn't want to try and use this to control lice or mites on chickens, if you have to use such quantities.
There are easier and more proven ways to rid birds of pests than de. (and less harsh on their skin)
On the good side though, it is safe enough that I don't worry about using it outside where the birds may come in contact with it. Yes it's drying and uncomfortable and I wouldn't recommend breathing the dust, but it won't kill them if they walk through my trails of it.