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Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by arwmommy, Apr 18, 2007.
Quote:That's a very good idea. I'll have to check and get some too.
I did say something to him about needing "food grade DE" and he laughed and said that was all you could get at a feed store, anyway!
I think we will just use it if we REALLY need it at some point in the future. But the thought of the chickens scratching it up into the air all the time makes me a bit nervous, especially with my two asthmatic kids.
Two of the local co-op guys looked at me like I was crazy LOL When I finnally found it as a third store the guy was like yeah thats great stuff LOL We've not had any problems with it so far. Crystal
I don't really see any problems arising from the use of DE externally, however its use internally scares me a bit. The sharp silica particles that cut mites seem as though they would also cut the important digestive parts on the intestinal wall. I could be completely wrong about this but I think that constant use of this product may affect nutrient absorption with time and especially in old age. The intestinal wall does regenerate but does not do so well in old age, and I feel as though this might speed up the process.This wouldn't be a problem if you don't keep older hens, but I have some really old girls and I wonder about the use of DE and its long-term effects.
I have researched food grade DE and the difference from other forms is that it has a lower silica content and lacks other chemicals that are found in pool-DE. This aside the product still contains silica, a know carcinogen. The way it causes cancer is through irritation rather than through cemical exposure so in this way it is safer for human consumption but it still worries me a bit since the birds could be negatively affected.
I could be wrong, so correct me if I am... i'm just interested in learning more.
What I've learned about food grade DE internally is that is "scrubs" the lining and CAN give animals better feed conversion. Think of it was cleaning your pipes- it is also thought that this is the way it helps the worming process--
I'll say that I give every single one of my pets DE internally and take it myself occasionally (I do better taking care of others than myself!).
It has done wonders for my aged dog that had food allergies and eating problems (vet could not "fix" it for over 10years, and DE did).
My cats have not needed to be wormed since I started the program (used to be at least 3-4 times a year).
My chickens are in good health and I don't use ANY chemicals (miticides, wormers, etc.)
Do your research, then do what YOU are comfortable with.
I'm personally very uneasy about giving wormers to my chickens and having to not eat the eggs for a given time. I'm much more comfortable with DE. That's ME.
You guys just scared the heck out of me. My son, who's 4, found the bag of DE in the outside storage room yesterday. No, we don't keep harmful substances where he can get to them, but I didn't give that stuff a second thought bc I read extensively on here that people sprinkle it in the coop, put it in the chickens' food, etc.
Anyway, he got a huge cupful of it out of the 50 lb bag (food grade, I guess since I got at a feed store) and put it in his toy dumptruck, then started coating his 'collected' rocks with it. (This was all in a 5 minute space of time while I was cleaning out the waterer!) I did make him stop and gave him a bath immediately, but didn't really freak out about it bc I know that some people even drink it.
Should I freak out?
I personally would not freak at all.
You might ask if he ate a bunch of it. It is known that if you eat it, one should slowly increase the amount of DE as it has a Detox effect...email me if you want to know more. I'll be happy to share what I have learned.
I did ask him if he ate any and he said no. He really is past the stage of putting stuff in his mouth. He's just a very tactile child and LOVED the feel of it. It does feel kinda cool.
I'm just hoping he didn't breathe a lot of the dust.
suburbanchick, he'll be ok... My daughter did the same exact thing when she was 5 and she gets asthma so bad she needs the nebulizer several times a year. She didn't have the tiniest bit of a reaction to it. We took her to the doctor immediately and he checked her over and gave her a clean bill of health. He told me just to monitor her for a few days to see if she was breathing heavier, but thought she would have had a reaction already if she was going to. She never did.
I think it's more hyped up then needs to be. My personal opinion is that it is FAR safer then chemicals. Think if it a pest killer he got into.
Just because the DE came from a feed store does not mean it is food grade. Check the bag before purchasing.
I get mine from an organic nursery. If you have any near you, you might check them out for the food grade DE.
I use DE in my pens, but I quit feeding it to my birds. It was too drying. I have had less impacted crops without it.