Diatomaceous Earth?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by greenthumbmama, Jul 3, 2010.

  1. greenthumbmama

    greenthumbmama Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 15, 2009
    Idaho
    So I've been researching DE and I thought it would be a good thing to add to our coop for added pest control. I went to a feed and garden store in our area and they were out. The man in charge of that section of the store went off on me. He told me...and I quote...."Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth doesn't work for crap and I'm tired of people recommending it for their d**n chicken flocks!" He went on to tell me to use some kind of a pesticide powder, of which I won't use. I told him my flock is very healthy right now, I was wanting to use it for preventative measures. He laughed at me again and said my flock is probably NOT healthy because I let them free range in a protected section of our yard. I am wondering about all that he told me. I don't want to use chemical pesticides on my flock. I practice very good hygiene in our coop/run/chicken yard. I am very meticulous about checking my hens, keeping their area clean and so on. I don't know why this guy would go off on me. Should I listen to him? What are all your thoughts?

    I have used DE in my garden sparingly, with protective clothing and mask. I understand the respiratory risks and am very careful with it. This guy at the store told me it would make my chickens blind? Why would other chicken sites recommend using it if it would make them blind? I am sorta confused and any advice someone can offer.
     
  2. oldchickenlady

    oldchickenlady Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 9, 2010
    Cabot, AR
    What does he know? [​IMG] I would trust what I read on this site (tested by multiple people in every area of the country) way before I trusted what some guy that you don't know from Adam said. Now...having said that, what type of pest control are you wanting to use it for? DE works on soft bodied pests...grubs, maggots, etc. If I remember what I read in my Organic Gardening magazine correctly, DE is like a powdered form of fossil remains of diatoms (algae). I would definitely research this to see if it does actually work on whatever pest you are trying to eliminate. As far as pesticides are concerned...they are your chickens, if you don't want to use a pesticide on your chickens, then don't! As far as it making your chickens blind...maybe if you poured it into their eyes! Just use it sparingly and carefully (not on windy day). Do your research and then decide what is best for your chickens!
     
  3. K8tieCat

    K8tieCat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 15, 2007
    Northern California
    What a [email protected]$$.

    I use DE on EVERYTHING. In my animals' food, on the garden, in the run. I have NO parasite problems as result. Next time you see that guy, tell him you're using it on your kids to keep them free of parasite and see what he says. I've done that one too; it works.
     
  4. greenthumbmama

    greenthumbmama Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 15, 2009
    Idaho
    I found a message stream on here that talks about this very thing AFTER I posted this! [​IMG] I am just trying to be preventative. So far, my flock is doing fine and I just wanted to keep them that way. [​IMG]
     
  5. greenthumbmama

    greenthumbmama Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 15, 2009
    Idaho
    Quote:Haha! Thanks! I was really put off especially that he was using profanity in front of my kids. Oh well. I'm gonna go to a different store now. [​IMG]
     
  6. Nostalchic

    Nostalchic Chillin' With My Peeps

    This guy sounds like a real peach! I think we could safely advise you to ignore HIS advice, but I would suggest that you provide your chickens a place to snuggle down into some sand/DE outside your coop. This stuff is VERY dusty, easily airborn, and its effectiveness is due to it's sharp, piercing structure (on a very small scale, of course) but you don't want to inhale it, nor to have your chickens inhale it because it can damage lungs. I have a sandbox for my chickens, and put some in there and mix it up well - they love to get in there and fluff around in it, but they aren't always breathing it. Just a thought.
     
  7. greenthumbmama

    greenthumbmama Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 15, 2009
    Idaho
    My chickens made a "dust bath" hole for themselves in our chicken yard. They each take turns taking a "bath" in the dusty hole they made. Should I even bother with the DE if the dust is doing a well enough job? Perhaps I just need to leave well enough alone?
     
  8. Effervescent

    Effervescent New Egg

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    Apr 21, 2009
    Clear, AK
    Holy toledo! Forget the DE- report that joker to the store owner/manager! What's wrong with customer service these days??? ... sheesh!
    I agree with everyone else, listen to the people that actually have experience with it!
     
  9. eKo_birdies

    eKo_birdies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 11, 2010
    Northern Colorado
    Quote:you are referring to the non-food grade, crystalline structure. the FOOD-GRADE is of amorphous structure. there is a difference, and different brands of food grade DE have different percentages of the amount of crystalline DE in the composition of their product. (the brand I use - Perma-Guard - has less than 1/2 a percent of the crystalline type ,it is 99.5% of amorphous structure.)

    you also need to look at the percentage of silica in the product.
     
  10. HudsonValleyGirl

    HudsonValleyGirl Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 9, 2010
    When I change their bedding weekly I sprinkle some on top and in the corners and I put some on their roost. When they are forraging in the brush and wooded area, I make sure to sprinkle some on them and near their vent area.
     

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