Can diatomaceous earth be used ON the ducks without hurting them?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by kitkatbahr, May 18, 2009.

  1. kitkatbahr

    kitkatbahr Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 25, 2009
    Merritt Island, FL
    Ok, I am just learning about diatomaceous earth and I was wondering if it can be used ON ducks, not just in their pen? From what I read it can be used on dogs and cats (food grade only, right?) but what about on the ducks themselves? I don't want to hurt them. Do I need to use it on ducks? Do they get critters on them like chickens do? Do they get fleas? My duck pen is part of my dog yard (it is actually a cornered off part of the dog fence where we let the dogs out to go potty. They can't get the ducks though, but fleas can go through the chain link fence). I saw two of my new ducks scratching at their heads today. It was pouring rain though, so I haven't tried to catch them and see if I see any fleas. But, I will tomorrow, when the sun is out and the duck pen isn't so mucky! I can just see myself falling on my butt chasing them!! LOL

    Also, I read it can be FED to dogs? It is supposed to help with internal parasites, which I assume would be worms that dogs are prone too. Can it be fed to cats too? Does it take care of tape worms, or just hooks, rounds, etc.?

    Thanks everyone. I appreciate any and all information.


    Edited to add: My dogs are on frontline, but I know that not ALL the fleas are gonna die, so there may be "some" in the yard. We haven't actually seen them or have any get on us, but I know it's possible.
    Last edited: May 18, 2009
  2. redhen

    redhen Kiss My Grits... Premium Member

    May 19, 2008
    Western MA
    good question! [​IMG]
  3. goosedragon

    goosedragon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 28, 2009
    Central NC
    Frankly I think DE is a waste of time applied extrenally. If you give ducks proper swim water they usually manage to stay critter free between floating them off and preening. This is JMO you are bound to get other answers.
  4. Rosecomb-Ryan

    Rosecomb-Ryan East Indie Crazed

    Apr 12, 2008
    Sacramento CA
    I agree...
  5. Wifezilla

    Wifezilla Positively Ducky

    Oct 2, 2008
    . I saw two of my new ducks scratching at their heads today.

    If they are young, this is very normal. They grow so fast I an sure it has to be itchy. They can get to the rest of the spots with their bills, but have to scratch their faces.​
    Last edited: May 18, 2009
  6. kitkatbahr

    kitkatbahr Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 25, 2009
    Merritt Island, FL
    Well, they are almost 5 months old. They are the ones in my avatar. They are Pekin mixes (mama was a jumbo pekin). Not sure what daddy was. The guy I got them from thought daddy was a Muscovey, but I don't think so, cause he described him as having a dark, greenish head but no caruncles. I posted pics of them when I got them and many people thought they were Swedish mixes. Two are "blue" and two are black, all four with the white chest.

    Anyway, I guess I will catch them tomorrow (they are still pretty skittish) and see if I see any critters on them.

  7. Nat chickenmama

    Nat chickenmama Just Hatched

    Sep 26, 2016
    Hi, what if your ducks think they are chickens and barely use the tub we have for them. We have a huge regular pool, baby pool and they only play in the cement mixing tub we fill with water. I'm glad they don't use the big pool but they haven't used the kiddie pool yet and they're a year old. Lol!
    Anyway, I'm looking to see if food grade DE will harm their oils? I suppose it doesn't matter since they don't swim ever. Anyway, I'm assuming DE should be fine since it is in the chicken coop that they insist on sleeping in and not their own coop. If anyone has any answers if DE is for sure ok. Thanks, Nat
  8. cheezenkwackers

    cheezenkwackers Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 28, 2016
    Memphis, TN
    Diatomaceous Earth is not a chemical but the shells of a microscopic sea organism The way I understand it is that shells are made of silicon dioxide, the same as glass, so it acts sort of like microscopic crushed glass. Insects and slugs who crawl through it get little cuts and dry out. It is often put in animal feed to prevent caking and has been used in our toothpaste so it isn't harmful if eaten. Still, I wouldn't want them to get it in their eyes or lungs. All this to say it is probably safe but I doubt necessary. I would just toss some lettuce or peas is the baby pool and try to get them swimming. [​IMG]

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