chicks scratching and DE

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Marianne67410

Hatching
11 Years
Mar 6, 2008
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Some of my chicks are scratching like crazy at times, like they have fleas, mites or something! I can't see any crawlies, and have been changing the pine shavings daily since I first brought them home.
They are about 1 and 1-1/2 weeks old. Can I put DE in the shavings? I have some, but it's not listed as 'food grade'. Or are they too young for that?
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I added DE to my chicks bedding yesterday. I called randallburkey and asked if it was ok. They said its the safest option available
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In my experience, they sometimes scratch just because those new feathers growing in are itchy! Be careful dusting babies with DE. It's easy to overdo it; just a little on a cotton ball around the butt fluff and under the wings should do it if you really think they have mites, but they don't need to inhale anything like that at their age. Naturally it must be food grade DE, not pool filter DE. If it is not labeled as food grade, it isn't. Food grade is like 1% silicon, poison stuff is 85% silicon.
 
Thanks for your posts.
Speckledhen, I wondered if it might be just natural scratching. I got all the chicks at the same time from Orscheln's, but some were obviously a few days older than the others. And they are the ones doing the scratching. They don't scratch all the time, but when they do, they really get with it.
Again, I don't see any obvious crawlies on them, so I might just wait for the time being.

The DE that I have was purchased at a garden shop, Earthcare. I checked the label and it is 85% DE silcon. But isn't DE derived from sea algae or ground up sea eurchins or something natural? I thought this stuff was so safe that you could eat it in your bowl of cheerios.

Again, thanks for your comments.
Marianne
 

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