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Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by kmatt87, Apr 21, 2012.
what exactly is it? where can i find it?
It is Diatomaceous Earth.
From Earth Works Health - "Mined from the purest of deposits from prehistoric freshwater lakebeds.
Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth consists of finely milled silica shells of
ancient microscopic freshwater plants called diatoms. Of 600 deposits in
the US- only 4 rate in purity by FDA standards to label as "Food Grade".
Examples of Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth Uses for Pets & People:
Flea control, human health benefits, organic pest control, kill bed bugs,
pet food health supplement, cat litter odor control & whiter teeth!"
Most people here, me included, use it as a dust in our coop to help prevent bugs, mite, lice, etc from getting to the birds. Many also dust their birds with it. The chickens can also eat it which may help / prevent worms.
If you get some you want to get the food grade DE, there is a similar product used for swimming pools, but it is not guaranteed safe for consumption.
I am sure more people will chime in, many use it, I just wanted to give a brief description. I recommend it! We have already seen great results in our dog run and calf barn with the reduction of the amount of flies and smell of the barn.
Forgot to add you can usually find it at your feed store or online. TSC also carries it, but I found it much cheaper @ the feed store, 12.00 for a 50 pound bag.
DE is Diatomaceous Earth,
Diatomaceous Earth is 80 to 90% silica, with 2 to 4% alumina and 0.5 to 2% iron oxide.
Silica /Silicon Dioxide --- Silicon Dioxide is most commonly found in nature as Sand. Over 90% of the Earth's crust is composed of silica minerals, making silicon the second most abundant element in the earth's crust (about 28% by mass) after oxygen
Alumina/ Aluminium Oxide --- Aluminium Oxide is used in making production of Aluminium Metal.
Iron Oxide --- Iron Oxide is a fancy name for Rust.
So what this breaks down to is that Diatomaceous Earth is just Sand, Aluminium and Rust.
DE is good as works good as a absorbent product and it is ok as a livestock dust but Diatomaceous Earth has no affect on internal pests.
Here is a quote from Dr. Christine King
"One of the most commonly used ingredients in these natural dewormers is diatomaceous earth or
diatomite. Diatomaceous earth is a naturally occurring, soft, chalky rock that, when crushed,
yields a fine, light-grey powder. It consists of fossilized remains of tiny hard-shelled algae called
diatoms. Owing to their high content of crystalline silica, diatomite is mildly abrasive.
In fact, that is the mechanism by which diatomite is purported to kill intestinal parasites. It is
believed that the abrasive micro-surfaces of the diatomite cut the outer membranes of the
parasites like thousands of tiny blades. But I question that premise. Industrial-grade diatomite
has a high silica content and is used as a mild abrasive. However, food-grade diatomite has a
much lower content of crystalline silica, so it is minimally abrasive.
And even if the abrasion theory is valid, then what does this stuff do to the delicate lining of
the digestive tract? While I could not find even one scientific study which validates the use of
diatomite against internal parasites in horses or other livestock, my search did turn up several
articles documenting the health risks of chronic exposure to diatomite. When inhaled, it causes
inflammation of the airways and, with chronic exposure, even some fibrosis (scarring).
Even more concerning was a study which showed that chronic oral intake of diatomite can
damage the intestinal lining, altering its absorptive properties and making it more permeable to
potentially harmful substances. So, it seems to me that the practice of using diatomaceous earth
as a daily dewormer for horses is either useless but harmless or useful but harmful, depending on
the grade of diatomite used.''
Conveniently, I also find it helps to keep the litter dry...