Diatomaceous earth

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by matmid2001, Mar 27, 2011.

  1. matmid2001

    matmid2001 New Egg

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    I had heard great things about food grade DE and using it with my chickens, unfortunately for me, it hasn't been the panacea that folks claimed it to be. I developed dry skin and painful sores on my hands, and my nose would start to bleed whenever I sneezed. I finally did the research that I should have done before hand, rather than relying on word of mouth from pseudo-experts. This is what I found:

    The absorbent qualities of diatomite can result in a significant drying of the hands if handled without gloves. The flux-calcined form contains a highly crystalline form of silica, resulting in sharp edges. The sharpness of this version of the material makes it dangerous to breathe and a dust mask is recommended when working with it.

    The type of hazard posed by inhalation depends on the form of the silica. Crystalline silica poses a serious inhalation hazard because it can cause silicosis. Amorphous silica can cause dusty lungs, but does not carry the same degree of risk as crystalline silica. Natural or dried diatomite generally contains very low percentages of crystalline silica. Diatomite produced for pool filters is treated with high heat (calcining) and a fluxing agent (soda ash), causing the formerly amorphous silicon dioxide to assume its crystalline form.

    The crystalline silica content of the dust's particulate is regulated in the United States by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and there are guidelines for the maximum amounts allowable in the product and in the air near the breathing zone of workers.


    Since I can't keep dust masks on my birds, this stuff has been banished to the garbage bin. Now me and my birds are doing much better.
     
  2. BrattishTaz

    BrattishTaz Roo Magnet

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    I also did my homework before purchasing DE. My conclusion is that it is safer than chemical treatments. DE is drying to the skin and wearing a mask is a good idea. I treat the coop while the birds are outside and brush it into the corners/cracks. They are not exposed to clouds of it. I prefer Manna Pro Poultry Protector for treating the actual birds. Food grade is often used internally to treat worms and is safe.

    This is true but food grade DE is not going to cause this unless you huff the whole bag.
    The type of hazard posed by inhalation depends on the form of the silica.Crystalline silica poses a serious inhalation hazard because it can cause silicosis.

    This is food grade DE.
    Natural or dried diatomite generally contains very low percentages of crystalline silica.

    This is pool grade and should never be used on or near animals.
    Diatomite produced for pool filters is treated with high heat (calcining) and a fluxing agent (soda ash), causing the formerly amorphous silicon dioxide to assume its crystalline form.

    I would be willing to bet that your nose bleeds are being caused by the drying effect of DE.

    Edited to add: [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2011
  3. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

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    DE is ineffective when it is wet until it dries. It is wet inside the chickens innards, therefore it's ineffective as a worm preventative and as a wormer.
     
  4. OregonChickenGal

    OregonChickenGal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:X2
     
  5. BrattishTaz

    BrattishTaz Roo Magnet

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    Last edited: Mar 27, 2011
  6. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

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    Quote:I have not used it for this purpose yet. I did read that is is effective for worming when fed to the infected animal over several weeks.

    This is one of the articles I found.
    http://www.vetinfo.com/using-diatomaceous-earth-to-worm-pets.html

    I'm glad you arnt using it as a wormer. It is ineffective as a wormer...ask any vet.
     
  7. panner123

    panner123 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 15, 2007
    Garden Valley, ca
    I may just be lucky or DE works, I don't know. What I do know is that NONE of my critters have had worms since I started using DE in their feed. I do have them tested for worms every year with negitve results. I rescued a dog a few years ago that was loaded with worms. The vet treated him and I have feed him DE ever since and no worms have returned. Each year has my grand daughter gets ready to entry her 4H animals in the fair, they are tested. So far none have had any problems with worms, lice or mites.

    But then I am one of those pseudo-experts that reads the directions on any product I use, before using it. Had the user done this they may have used gloves to keep it off the skin and used a mask to keep it out of their nose and throat.

    I not only feed it to my critters, I use it in the bedding, nest boxes, dusting area and spray it on the walls of the coops and barns. Each time I wash down the coops and barns, I replace the DE. At times I think it works to good, for it also kills any beneficial bugs that might be there.
     
  8. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

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  9. classicsredone

    classicsredone Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The real reason that DE is added to many livestock feeds is that it prevents infestations in the bags of feed. It really isn't effective once wet. There are some people that eat it, and I just can't understand why.
     
  10. BrattishTaz

    BrattishTaz Roo Magnet

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    I never said it definately worked for worms. I said it is USED by people to deworm and that I READ it was effective. I have not used it for this purpose so I can't say if it works or not. I will be checking with my vet to see what he thinks.

    I was addressing the comments of the OP who believes DE is harmful when used externally. My point on the worming was that DE can even be safe when ingested. Some of his quotes include warnings about pool grade rather than food grade DE. This is his thread, not mine.

    I will happily start a new thread when and if I get any additional info on DE use for worms. If it does not work then it doesn't. If it does, it will become another tool in our arsenal. It doesn't hurt to research.
     

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