Diatomaceous earth

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by KellyLarkin3, Nov 21, 2019.

  1. KellyLarkin3

    KellyLarkin3 In the Brooder

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    Is DE good for your chickens and is it truly safe to put in a dust Bath? I read different, that it is and that it isn’t.
     
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  2. Rose Quartz

    Rose Quartz Enabler

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    Safety of Diatomaceous Earth
    Food-grade diatomaceous earth is safe to consume. It passes through your digestive system unchanged and does not enter the bloodstream.

    However, you need to be very careful not to inhale diatomaceous earth.

    Doing so will irritate your lungs much like the inhalation of dust — but the silica makes it exceptionally harmful.

    Inhaling crystalline silica can cause inflammation and scarring of your lungs, known as silicosis.

    This condition, which occurs most commonly in miners, caused approximately 46,000 deaths in 2013 alone

    https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/what-is-diatomaceous-earth

    I wouldn't put it in a dust bath. But i know people do, and even recommend it to others.
     
  3. MandaH

    MandaH Songster

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    I do add it to mine, but not a lot. It did cut down on my lice issues and so far I haven't noticed any added issues with respiratory issues with my girls. However, it might be partially due to not having it be a large quantity in their dust bathe area
     
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  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    You're going to get the same mix of yes and no here.
    I say no...no sense in spreading something around that could damage their lungs with no gain. DE (likely) won't kill external parasites.
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2019
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

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    As Aart said, you will get different opinions. Some people think it's the greatest thing since peanut butter and sardines on rye with yellow mustard. Others don't like it at all. Some people believe in it so strongly they swallow some daily. If it is wet it is probably harmless given the way it works. Given the way it works I also think it is useless when wet but many people truly believe in it, wet or dry. Wet DE can dry out.

    I've read the OSHA requirements for working with food grade DE which is used dry. They involve respiratory protection. I'm not going to wear respiratory protection every time I walk into the coop or do something with my hens or provide respiratory protection for my hens so I don't use it.

    I really do not know how safe it is for chickens. They are not going to immediately fall over dead if they if they inhale some DE. The damage, if any, will occur over time and may not be fatal, just internally damaged.

    Aart I'm going to partially disagree on something. DE can reduce the numbers of mites or lice. It will not eliminate them but it will kill some. I would certainly not want to use it that thick. But then I don't want to use it at all.

    Some people may tell you that they use DE and have never had mites or lice. That doesn't prove anything about DE. I don't use DE and have never had mites or lice.

    I think it's a personal decision. If you decide you want to use it that's your business. But may I ask why you are thinking about adding it? We are kind of assuming it is for external parasites but that may not be the case.
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    :sick

    Oops, forgot my wiggle word!...fixed now.
     
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  7. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

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    I was thinking of you when I typed this. After our discussion the other day about stealing phrases from each other, I though you'd like to know this is all mine. You can use it if you wish.
     
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  8. KellyLarkin3

    KellyLarkin3 In the Brooder

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    thanks for the info, it really helped with my decision. No DE.
     
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  9. Folly's place

    Folly's place Crossing the Road

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    I'll add that it's open pit mined, and I doubt that the folks who mine it do well either.
    Mary
     

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