D.E. for sandbox...

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by jinxschuh, Jun 9, 2011.

  1. jinxschuh

    jinxschuh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I bought a small bag of DE for the sandbox I'm building from a local feed store and then some of the threads I'm seeing on here talks about 'food grade' DE... what is the difference and does it matter that much when it is for a sandbox and not around their food? I'm sure they will eat some of the bigger grains/small rocks in the sand for grit, is that why 'food grade' is important? Is regular DE okay?

    Also, how much would you use in a sandbox, would you use it at the bottom of the sand, the top of the sand, mix it in with the whole depth of the sand?

    Thanks!!
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2011
  2. ninabeast

    ninabeast Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My understanding is that non-food-grade DE, such as that used for swimming pools, is poisonous. I wouldn't use it; you have no guarantee that they won't ingest any. The food-grade DE is more expensive and harder to find. They just got it in at my local Agway.
     
  3. flnatv

    flnatv Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That is my understanding as well... when they say food grade it is even edible for humans.

    I have seen some people use Stall-Dri in their coops... contains DE... might be cheaper for the coop.

    I use the DE and feed it to my dogs, cats, etc... not willing to try it myself at this point [​IMG]

    I am going to try the Stall-Dri as I also have horses... just haven't bought any yet.
     
  4. aggie9296

    aggie9296 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Pool filter or similar DE is supposed to be chemically treated and makes it toxic for ingestion. If you put it into their sand box, they will eat it.

    Food grade DE is used in various foods for insect control and it edible by humans and animals. Some people believe it even helps prevent internal, as well as external parasites. I use it and it does cut down on flies.

    I have also tasted it and it has a dirt and flour-like taste.
     
  5. FlipFlopFarmer

    FlipFlopFarmer Chillin' With My Peeps

    i read at least a good 25 articles on DE before i purchased it. in addition to chemicals, the pool kind has silica, which i think is the most toxic additive. I am not a DE expert, and i live in a rural area, which makes shipping almost impossible to avoid, but i was put off enough by the caution in the articles against non food grade DE. also, i read the back of the stall moisture absorbers offered in most feed stores for horses and it warns against consumption by animals. I use DE in my coops and under my rabbit cages and in my garden and i mix a little with water now and again and paint it on my roosts.
     
  6. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

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    I use the DE and feed it to my dogs, cats, etc

    There is no benefit to feeding DE to any animal (or human)

    the pool kind has silica, which i think is the most toxic additive

    ALL DE is mostly Silica, and it is NOT "toxic", nor is it an "additive".
    In fact, DE is about 90% pure Silica

    It's a mechanical insecticide that kills by cutting and dehydrating insects, which is why it won't work when wet
    Silica is an inert element.
    The danger comes from inhaling the particles which irritate the lungs

    Pool filter or similar DE is supposed to be chemically treated and makes it toxic for ingestion

    It is NOT chemically treated.
    It is HEATED to a high temperature (calcined), which changes the crystalline structure, causing it to be more irritating to the lungs


    I have also tasted it and it has a dirt and flour-like taste

    It IS "dirt". Silica is the most common element in the Earth's crust, and is most often found in the form of sand

    Don't believe all the hype you read on the sites trying to sell it.

    It's not nearly as effective as they will lead you to believe, and most people who use it don't really KNOW or understand anything about it

    Trust the science and not the salesmen​
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2011
  7. Bossroo

    Bossroo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Gosh ! I have used the pool grade DE to treat my 30+ head of horses ( 1 tablespoonful in their grain / day ) for fly maggot ( DE then deposited in the poop piles) as well as internal parasite control for over 30 years. It does the cut and dice on the pests which then die of dehydration. My chickens, ducks and turkeys also get it. Never lost a one to lung issues yet and I am still alive and kicking. Hardly a fly to be seen and fecal tests for the horses show no to just rarely a few worm eggs obtained from outside mares that come in for breeding.
     
  8. jinxschuh

    jinxschuh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:There is no benefit to feeding DE to any animal (or human)

    the pool kind has silica, which i think is the most toxic additive

    ALL DE is mostly Silica, and it is NOT "toxic", nor is it an "additive".
    In fact, DE is about 90% pure Silica

    It's a mechanical insecticide that kills by cutting and dehydrating insects, which is why it won't work when wet
    Silica is an inert element.
    The danger comes from inhaling the particles which irritate the lungs

    Pool filter or similar DE is supposed to be chemically treated and makes it toxic for ingestion

    It is NOT chemically treated.
    It is HEATED to a high temperature (calcined), which changes the crystalline structure, causing it to be more irritating to the lungs


    I have also tasted it and it has a dirt and flour-like taste

    It IS "dirt". Silica is the most common element in the Earth's crust, and is most often found in the form of sand

    Don't believe all the hype you read on the sites trying to sell it.

    It's not nearly as effective as they will lead you to believe, and most people who use it don't really KNOW or understand anything about it

    Trust the science and not the salesmen​

    Thanks Bear!! My husband has the same understanding as you are describing, I posted this message before I was able to IM with him about the subject. The DE I got from the feed store was in the gardening section along with other pesticides (natural and chemical) and plant grower, seedling starter food and what not. He said 'Food grade' is meant for 'human consumption' but that is because it goes through additional cleaning processes (maybe that is the heating thing you described above). So I'm going to wear a mask when I mix it in the sand box and keep the chicks at a good distance while I do it so it won't be floaty. Sounds like I really don't need it at all though. I just kept coming across it in all the 'sandbox' threads and thought it would be best. I had never heard of it before reading the sandbox posts here. The thing is, don't chickens like eating bugs? So if the DE is killing the bugs in their sandbox they'd be missing out on the extra proteins, wouldnÂ’t' you think? As long as there isn't mites, lice or other blood sucking insects that will latch onto them I really couldn't grasp the concept of using it to keep the bugs out of sandboxes... Maybe I will just keep it in the garage and not use it at all unless I start having problems somewhere, whether in the chicken run/sandbox or the garden/flower beds....

    Thanks again!!​
     
  9. Lisa Wood

    Lisa Wood Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am a newbie. Never heard of Food Grade DE till now. However, the online articles i have read off BYC.com says it is inactive when wet? I have probably read six articles on this site that says yo mix with water snd paint coop with it. There are even the proper amounts for water and DE mixture to paint on coop, roosts, etc. Putting my ten first ever chicks into their first ever coop is making me obsess about this issue.
    I am also confused as to how they get beneficial bugs in thier diets from foraging around the yard, if we are afraid of fleas ( I am!) And we are spreading DE all around to kill unwanted fleas. It is also killing everything else with sn echo- skeleton. Yes?
    I watch this awesome crazy lady on You Tube called "Becky's Homestead, and she says to worm three times year and she has the recipe of how much FGDE to mix into their food to worm them. Another question. No echoskeletons in the gut?
    So, as usual, with new animals i do not like to know nothing and then have horrid surprises later, so I research.
    However, every time i research i get opposite advise. I wonder what/where we can ask to get full definitive story?
    Lisa
     

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