Azomite and DE are two completely separate things.
We use azomite for our sheep and goats as a mineral supplement. Our birds love it too. It is not much different than sweetlix minerals or putting out a mineral block. It has the same benefits. It has over 75 trace minerals that are lacking in our soil. Anyone who understands chemistry will understand how it works and why it is good for animals. In order for animals to assimilate certain vitamins and minerals, they need ALL of them. It also has other minerals such as silica which removes heavy deadly minerals. It is actually very much based on science and anyone who knows basic chemistry and how minerals work with each other will understand it.
We provide it free choice along with kelp, goat minerals and diamond v yeast for our sheep and goats. We use it in place of grit for our chickens as we feel it is the healthier choice. Yes, it is dirt but our animals eat it plain and we have noticed they are significantly heathier as a result. They do very good at judging what nutrients they need for themselves. Just for the record, minerals and dirt are the same thing! If you breakdown a soil sample, every particle is a mineral or nutrient. This is what a professional soil analysis does. All soil has health benefits to it if eaten plain. Many vitamins are even made from dirt. But here n the NW, due to heavy rainfall, we are sadly deficient in many of the important ones. The pacific NW is very deplete in selenium, magnesium, cobalt, copper and many other minerals and nutrients.
You know the only way to know for sure is to try it and see if it works for you before you judge it. If you can even find a local source that carries it, try it. Freight alone is sky-high. Whenever, we run out - our one goat with arthritis starts limping but is cured as soon as we give her azomite. She would not be alive without it. Our livestock vet now recommends it too. Our animals are just healthier overall. They become sick and start having other issues if we take them off of it for even a couple weeks. It is really important you don't just take them off of it, they will usually start having issues if you do. Speaking from experience here! Wean them off slowly. We also have almost zero parasites (copper kills internal parasites naturally, there are other minerals that do this too). They do sell a concentrated feed version in granulated form that we use. As for the warnings on the bags, you will find that on almost all gardening and feed products, so don't let tthat scare you. Anything that can be airborne when someone dumps a bag out has to have a warning label that we might get it in our eyes or breathe it in. It is rather annoying when people post judgement about something they have never even tried! That is not helpful to anyone.
Azomite is great in combination with other methods you are already practicing. For example, I give our sheep azomite with dolomite mag/calcium when they are nursing. During the summer, I give it to them along with extra selenium and vitamin E to help them deal with the heat. I also spread Azomite in certain areas of our pasture as part of our long-term soil restoration plan. I am fortunate to have a feed store that orders it for me so I have no freight charges.
A great resource is animal scientist and shepardess Pat Coleby who wrote "natural care of sheep." She is a proponent of bringing minerals to animals. You can can find more information on azomite in goat and sheep forums, The chicken world just simply hasn't caught onto it yet.
Edited by furryloo - 3/16/12 at 6:52pm