Diotamaceous earth - What are your opinions of it?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Sandstorm495, Nov 8, 2013.

  1. Sandstorm495

    Sandstorm495 Songster

    Dec 2, 2012
    Darwin, Australia
    I've heard from many members that Diotamaceous earth is good for chickens. But others say it's bad for them. What are your opinions of it? If you would use it, what would you use it for, and how?

  2. SidsMom

    SidsMom In the Brooder

    Jul 2, 2011
    I use food grade DE to dust my hens 3 or 4 times during the warmer months and I add some to their rations. for parasite control. They will not dust bath in it on their own but will if it is mixed with playground(clean) sand. You need to take care not to have them inhale or get in eyes. Overuse will dry out skin and can irritate respitory system which is far more sensitive in birds. It can control parasites but will not eliminate them. It is not a perfect solution but is better then the chemical alternatives unless you have a serious infestation. It's a serious infestation if it is noticable because most healthy birds show no signs, but if free ranging will almost always have a managable amount of parasites.

    Never use DE on a bird that does not appear healthy.

    Linda Hartwig
  3. loveourbirds

    loveourbirds Songster

    Mar 27, 2013
    waverly ohio
    i used to use it, trying to be closer to organic. i found it didnt do much good on fowl mites and lice (works great on ants). in chickens its worthless as a wormer. the only real benefit i can find is in small amounts it may aid in weight gain. several people spread it on the floor of their coops, swear by it, and wonder why their chickens have respiratory infections. there are studies that show it works, but after 10 days of application, as compared to 2 applications of 7 dust. i personally use ivomec pour on, and some 7 dust in the bedding, ivomec works best on mites, 7 dust for lice.


  4. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2008
    Jacksonville, Florida
    The best thing about DE is not buying it. Not buying it saves you money because it's hyped. Dont waste your time and money on it like I did years ago.
    1 person likes this.

  5. Mtn Laurel

    Mtn Laurel Songster

    May 18, 2012
    Northern Virginia
    My Coop
    I don't use it as I don't see a need for it. Chickens have been successfully raised since time began without DE and the benefits of it are sketchy while the potential health hazards in using it are real.

    Not to mention that I do deep litter in my coop and DE will kill all the tiny critters in the deep litter that are needed for it to break down properly. So, for me, using DE would be counter-productive.
  6. Jaxemae

    Jaxemae In the Brooder

    Apr 1, 2013
    This is the best article I have found for DE. http://www.richsoil.com/diatomaceous-earth.jsp I use it more for pest control in/around my coop then for the health of my birds but I use it in my house for myself (yep eat it) and my dogs (flea control). ONLY GET FOOD GRADE no matter what.

    I'll stick to the coop reason. I live in Pensacola, FL in the city limits but here is the kicker I have a wooded lot. That means bugs and lots of them. I went into my coop back during the summer in middle of the night (i forget why) and was shocked to see how invested the coop was. No wonder my girls didn't wanna go to bed at night! So after I clean the coop, I "powder" it down. This is usually in the early morning before work so the dust has a chance to settle before the girls go in for laying.

    I tried powdering them with it but didn't see a need as, Knock on wood, mites are one of the few bugs I don't have.

    DE is cheap and 100% natural! so I guess it all depends on what your trying to accomplish with it for it to work. Just remember it won't kill anything squishy! LOL but it will do the trick on some crunchy critters!
  7. BGMatt

    BGMatt Songster

    Feb 28, 2013
    Battle Ground, WA
    I've used it under the shavings to help bugs, odor and mites. Also helps keep things a bit drier here in the PNW on dirt floors. Used to feed it, then found studies that showed it was useless as a wormer so stopped doing that. So now it just gets used when coops are clean I sprinkle a decent coating on the ground before putting new shavings in. I put the birds elsewhere while doing so as to prevent them from inhaling a ton of it.
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2013

  8. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Crowing

    Mar 31, 2008
    Grifton NC
    Buy organic diatomaceous earth Food Grade Prices starting at $9.95

    Don't be gullible
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2013
    1 person likes this.
  9. I always put DE on my Cochins because poofy chickens need it. It prevents mites. I wouldn't say it's bad, just don't get it in the chicken's eyes.

  10. Katt66

    Katt66 Chirping

    Aug 10, 2013
    Barnesville, PA
    I just sprinkle a little of it under the bedding in the next boxes simply because it keeps the poop if there is any from sticking to the painted wood floors. Other than that, once in a while I'll throw a few scoops of it in the sand in the run. Did it today as a matter of fact...always while the girls are out of the coop and wandering the yard so they don't inhale the dust. When I was done they all sauntered back over and proceeded to spend the next few hours gleefully dust bathing.

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