Can I use ONLY diatomaceous earth for my chickens' dust baths? Do I need to add in anything else?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by giaan, Mar 26, 2012.

  1. giaan

    giaan New Egg

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    Mar 26, 2012
    I have two four-week-old chicks and I'm a little new to this. I was worried about whether the particles will be harmful to the chicks when they inhale them.

    Can I use ONLY food-grade diatomaceous earth for my chickens' dust baths? Do I need to add in anything else?
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2012
  2. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

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    It needs to be Food Grade, and I wouldn't use it at all until they need it, since it CAN harm their lungs
     
  3. giaan

    giaan New Egg

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    Mar 26, 2012
    When do they need it?
     
  4. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

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    When they have mites or lice.
    Just a little bit mixed with other dirt is all it takes, or wait until they pick a dusting spot, and sprinkle some there.

    Just keep in mind it won't work at all if it's wet
     
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  5. drowe005

    drowe005 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This is a question that I was wondering about as well. I bought some of the diatomecious earth and gave that to my Chukars as a dust bath yesterday for the day, and then took it out. They seemed to enjoy it and got a nice coating on them. What should I mix with that to have a good dust bath? Preferably something I could buy at the store so I could have consistency in whatever is to be used. I just wanted to give them something they could enjoy and that would benefit them, but don't want to hurt them either.
     
  6. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    You could provide them with a sand dust bath area.

    The problem with DE in heavy doses is the silica wreaks havoc on lungs. That same silica is the drying agent that pulls moisture from larvae killing them, hence it's use in small quantities in coop bedding. DE is not a cure rather a preventative measure, using it wont guaranty your chickens never getting pests and when they do does not cure it merely stops next generation larvae from growing where the DE is used.
     
  7. Apyl

    Apyl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We live on a sand road, so I just dumped a 5 gallon bucket of sand in the pen. They fluff all up and kick the sand and everywhere and give themselves dust baths.
     
  8. giaan

    giaan New Egg

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    Mar 26, 2012
    Thanks for the Google doc! I use Red Lake Earth, so it's good to know that it's not harmful to the chickens. So I can just use it by itself and not need to add anything else in, right? :)
     
  9. 10thmuse

    10thmuse Out Of The Brooder

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    I put a bbit in their dust bowls, a bit in the nesting boxes, and a bit int he food...not to frequestly and not too much!

    -Kate
     

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