Diatomaceous Earth - Who uses it and for what?

Seatrout00

Songster
7 Years
Oct 18, 2012
247
19
108
Melbourne Florida
I have recently discovered the wonders of DE for my dogs and cats, specifically for fleas and internally, for worming - I was wondering how many of you all used it and if you found it effective.

I read many folks suggesting worming our chickens once a month - and here in Florida, I'd say that would be year round as we have tons of parasites - especially raccoons spreading roundworms everywhere. What all do you recommend for worming and is DE effective as an internal wormer and in the coop - for mites?
 

OrganicFarmWife

Crowing
Oct 21, 2015
5,031
1,047
326
No where Nebraska
We use DE alot in our grains, during storage. It keeps the insect population low until we sell. If you do a search on the BYC site you will find multiple discussions about DE and it's use for birds. What I have mostly taken from everything I have read is: DE is a great preventative, but it doesn't cure an infestation.
I personally use it on the floor of my coop, I put straw over it. I also put a little in their dust bath (but some disagree with this, fearing the dust could compromise a chickens delicate respiratory system)
 

BeanHen

In the Brooder
5 Years
May 28, 2014
92
6
31
There's a link in my signature about using DE with chickens that's pretty helpful.
I use it (lightly) in the summer in the dustbathing areas and the coop, as well as in the water and food year-round. It sure seems to work well for repelling insects!
 

cafarmgirl

Crowing
10 Years
Mar 24, 2009
5,521
610
327
California, central valley
All I will say is that if you are going to try to use it as a worm preventative you would be wise to do very regular fecal checks. Many people, including me, have tried using DE for worms only to have their chickens get an overload of worms. DE does not work well when wet, the inside of a chickens guts are wet...
 

Ballerina Bird

Songster
5 Years
Aug 29, 2014
825
169
226
I think @OrganicFarmWife 's comment is very helpful and coincides with my experience. If you use it pretty consistently as a mite preventative, it seems to help, but once you have mites in there (which I did once when I got a little lazy and complacent about keeping up with the DE applications), you need other measures. I read as much info as I could about DE, and while I understand the concerns about respiratory health, I think a pesticide that is mechanical (physically slices bugs up) rather than systemic (gets into hormonal and other systems and messes around) is preferable. At least, to me. I should add, though, that I am speaking regarding mites and am not sure about worms. The Natural Chicken Keeping thread has a lot of conversation about whether or not to worm and non-chemical solutions.
 

Seatrout00

Songster
7 Years
Oct 18, 2012
247
19
108
Melbourne Florida
I have found DE working brilliantly for tapeworms in my cats, which is why I asked about chickens. Obviously, the inside of any animal's digestive track is wet and I find it works best to use a large dose so you smother the worms in the little sharp diatoms, however I am going to talk to my local feed store about regular worming medicine and see what they have to say.

To give a reference, I put about a teaspoon of DE in my cats' food each day, once a day and it has done wonders on the constant tapeworms that we have, due to fleas. Its nearly impossible to keep fleas off the animals permanently - even with Frontline, we still get a few and the cats seem to ingest them often enough to get a bout of tapeworms about once a year.
 

Sutremaine

Songster
5 Years
Aug 19, 2014
361
54
106
UK
All I will say is that if you are going to try to use it as a worm preventative you would be wise to do very regular fecal checks. Many people, including me, have tried using DE for worms only to have their chickens get an overload of worms. DE does not work well when wet, the inside of a chickens guts are wet...

The idea might to be to have the DE pass out along with the faeces and then slice the eggs up as the dropping dries out. I dunno, I don't get how it's supposed to work on worms but not on chicken guts. *shrug*
 

Seatrout00

Songster
7 Years
Oct 18, 2012
247
19
108
Melbourne Florida
If you put some of the DE powder in your hand, you'll see how smooth it is, and the insides of our intestinal walls (ours, our pets, chickens) is sturdy and strong enough that this tiny skeleton of a fossilized animal doesn't harm us, but delicate worms and protozoa and other parasites aren't so sturdy and get sliced up. Its not fool proof by any means, but I have found it doing wonders on my cats' constant tapeworm issues.

I mean, I will find ONE flea every few times I flea comb them, and yet still, they manage to find a flea that is infected with tapeworms while they are cleaning themselves - it was driving me insane until someone on another facebook group suggested DE and wow, did it work well - then we had a major infestation of sugar ants - and BAM, DE to the rescue with them! I am going to use it inside my coop for mites - I purchased a 20 pound bag of it on Amazon (food grade) so I will have plenty for some time to use - and figured I would put it in the chicken feed every now and then, or perhaps all the time, depending on what I learn about worming meds from my local feed store.
 

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