diatomaceous dust or earth


11 Years
Mar 4, 2008
Tampa, FL
Are these the same thing. I have some diatom dust that I have used in the kennels made bt Natural Animal. Diatom Dust - Insect Powder Active ingredient: diatomaceous earth(including silicon dioxide, and other oxides and moisture)...100%.

If this is safe for the chicks, what is the process? Do you put it in there food of dust the chicks as a preventative?



12 Years
Feb 2, 2007
Manchester - England
Hi there - first thing to check is that the diatomaceous earth is food grade, if not then I would suggest not using it even in dust baths as there's a chance the chickens will still eat it. The food grade stuff is from a different source and is approved as a feed additive.

To control external parasites you can dust the birds directly, put it in their dust bath, line their coop with it, anything and everything - it has no known toxicity. I haven't had fantastic results with DE used in this way though but I do know that others have.

DE can also be used as a food addative (I'm just about to start a final year project on this very subject!) and it's thought to control intestinal parasites as well as give the birds a variety of minerals and generally boost their systems - at the very least it does them no harm, this much at least has been scientifically shown. There is precious little research done, hence my choice of project!

The absolute most important thing to make sure though is that it's food grade, if not then is a good chance it will be harmful to the chickens! If the bag says food grade then feed about 2% by weight in their feed. This won't help with external parasites though - for that use the dusting method.

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