Diatomaceous earth???

Chicks Galore3

Artistic Bird Nut
11 Years
Dec 16, 2011
Does anybody feed diatomaceous earth to you chickens? If you do, how does it help them and would you suggest it to someone to use? How much do you give them if you do??
Does anybody feed diatomaceous earth to you chickens? If you do, how does it help them and would you suggest it to someone to use? How much do you give them if you do??

Lots of debate on this one thing for sure there is a tremendous variety of minerals in it, calcium included.
2% by weight.

There are a million threads about it on here. Search and you will be able to read just about every pro and con you could imagine.
Diatomaceous earth is 80 to 90% silica, with 2 to 4% alumina and 0.5 to 2% iron oxide.
Over 90% of the Earth's crust is composed of silica minerals, making silicon the
second most abundant element in the earth's crust (about 28% by mass) after oxygen.

I dont use it, never saw what was so great about it.

I don't really feed it anymore (used to, but never saw any difference), but I do use the fool out of that stuff in my coop floor and bedding. I also sprinkle it on poop boards to keep poo from sticking.

Also when I have a hen go broody, I let her sit for about 3 days, then I sneak out at night and dust her and her nextbox with lots of DE. Every broody I've ever had used to get mites before I started doing this. I haven't had a problem with mites since.
There is no calcium in DE, and any "minerals" other than iron are really contaminants that don't belong there

See the post above for the ACTUAL components of DE.

There is no proven benefit to feeding it, and the only reason it even has a "Food Grade" rating is because it is used as an insecticide in grains.

It is SAFE to eat because it is totally inert, and passes through the body with no changes
I don't waste it in the feed. It is used in the horse and cattle world to keep feed from caking together in storage. I use DE in the litter to keep it dried out so I'm sure they're eating it but it isn't on purpose.
There is no proof it gets rid of intestinal worms when ingested as it only works well if its dry and their gut is always moist. It does seem to help externally though and I use it in the henhouse shavings, nest boxes and in their sand run to prevent lice an mites
The only think i know it does in the feed is kill grain bugs, so they don't ruin your food. It does kill lice, but don't stop an infestation because they shake it out of their feathers so easily. I think it's a great preventative for lice and mites, as long as you don't rely on it if you actually encounter problems. It actually did better at getting the fleas out of my cat, but only because i dusted all the carpets with it and didn't vacume for a while. When i tried to do it sans carpet dusting it didn't work at all. I did feed it to my hens to see if it would stop worms, but no they still got them. :( So for now chemicals are still a necessity.
These are old posts about worms/lice, and i believe some of these people tried the DE for it too.
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Do you use it on your hens?? I have show birds that need to have mites gone and feathers back by august for the county fair. They are SL wyandottes, RIR's, and barred rocks.

Thanks so much
I use it both in the dust bathing areas and the litter. Havent found a difference one way or the other, but it does wonders on snails that eat my hostas and lettuces in the garden. i like it better then using seven powder on the plants. Just dont like the idea of eating all the chemicals, alothough pretty much everthing from the grocery store is covered with them.

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