Diatimacious Earth question

dee88

Chirping
9 Years
Jun 26, 2010
126
1
99
Texas
I went to Home Depot and bought some DE and it says on the bag to keep away from pets, etc. It kills bugs, etc. I've seen a lot of posts here saying that they use DE in their coops, even sprinkling some on their chickens for lice. (I think it was lice) Anyway, what can any of you tell me about DE and its uses in the coop, on chickens and anywhere around the house. What does "food grade" DE mean and is that different than the type I have that kills bugs, etc.
 

PunkinPeep

Songster
10 Years
Mar 31, 2009
3,642
70
229
SouthEast Texas
Yes, there are different grades of d.e. Please don't use the one you bought for the chicken coop. The food grade d.e. is processed a little differently, as i understand it, and it is safe for consumption by animals and humans. You might try your feed store; that's where i get mine. Be sure it's "food grade."
 

cfdf

Songster
9 Years
Apr 12, 2010
327
0
119
I buy mine at the feed store too and it is much cheaper there. The first time a bought DE it was in a shaker bottle for $14.99 and was maybe 1lb. I went to my feed store and bought 8lbs for $13.00. But, again, be sure to ask for food grade DE.
wink.png
 

secuono

Songster
May 29, 2010
1,832
18
204
Virginia
Food grade is safe for all animals, people even eat it.
Non food grade is dangerous to all animals and people, also bad if inhaled.
 

PunkinPeep

Songster
10 Years
Mar 31, 2009
3,642
70
229
SouthEast Texas
Quote:
None of it is safe to INHALE, and there's no benefit to eating it at all

Actually, a lot of people claim benefits from eating it, and no one has proven them wrong, so i don't think we can make that judgment. I'm not saying either side of that argument is correct; i'm just saying there isn't enough information out there to know for sure.
 

Bear Foot Farm

Crowing
11 Years
Mar 31, 2008
5,543
312
288
Grifton NC
Actually, a lot of people claim benefits from eating it, and no one has proven them wrong, so i don't think we can make that judgment. I'm not saying either side of that argument is correct; i'm just saying there isn't enough information out there to know for sure.

There's quite a bit of evidence proving them wrong.

One of the simplest ways to figure it out is to look closely at the SOURCE of the information,
You'll notice most of the sites singing the praises of DE are also trying to SELL you some

The sources who have done actual scientific studies tend to be Veterinarians and Universities

You can believe science or sales hype

http://eap.mcgill.ca/agrobio/ab370-04e.htm

http://www.sheepandgoat.com/articles/controlgoatparasites.html

Science and common sense say eating what is basically the same thing as sand isn't going to do you a lot of good

DE was discovered in the mid 1800's, so there IS quite a bit of both information and MISinformation, such as "claims" by people

Anecdotal evidence is pretty meaningless if the results can't be duplicated in a laboratory

DE is a mechanical insectide with limited effectiveness, and a drying agent
Other than that, it's just powdered rock​
 
Last edited:

geosheets

Songster
10 Years
Jun 8, 2009
692
7
131
Ohio
Quote:
The ones I found at Lowes and Home Depot also contain insecticides. Definitely do not use it near the chickens. The other one to stay away from is the pool filter DE.

As already mentioned, it must be labeled food grade to be safe to use.
 

Judy

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Feb 5, 2009
34,024
597
448
South Georgia
Here is one of three threads on DE, found under FAQ's: https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=3800

I
live in a rural area and can only get it online. I use it as a drying agent, to discourage lice/mites, and to help control odors. My large bag is over half full and I've had it about 3 years; it should be used sparingly because no one should inhale it. Actually you should wear a mask while handling it.
 

dee88

Chirping
9 Years
Jun 26, 2010
126
1
99
Texas
Thanks to everyone for the responses! I'm glad I asked. I'll go to my neighborhood feed store and buy "food" grade DE!
 

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