Final year project! CHICKS!! (if you have DE info please read!)


12 Years
Feb 2, 2007
Manchester - England
Well I've been fretting and worrying about what to do for my final year project for months now! I wanted it to be something I have experience with and that interests me - I really couldn't think of an area that I could get a decent project out of with enough data and controlled enough environment (I'm used to working with wolves, snakes etc.) today we had to go discuss idea with supervisors and I still had no idea though started thinking more along the lines of hatching (wonder why! lol) and stuff.

Well when I got in for my appointment it suddenly hit me - something that I'm interested in, there's very little research and I know people (including myself) would be interested in the results of. My project title will be "The effect of diatomaceous earth as a feed addative on the behaviour and development of light sussex chicks" (the breed may change in the next few weeks as I try to find a freedom ranger type meat bird - we don't seem to have them over here though I have found a place on ebay that does Sasso cobb birds which matutre in 17 weeks so may do them. Though light sussex might be better as a recognised breed.

There are also a lot more light sussex eggs available on ebay so I think that might be the best way as I'll have to do quite a few groups to get enough data - especially since I'll be having a control and an experemental group going at the same time!

So what I'd like from you chickenny people is any links to information on Diatomaceous Earth, especially scientific articles or information from trusted sources, ie government, universities etc. or if you know of any studies that have been done using it as a food additive for other animals or even if you have experience using it yourself with your chicks or even in your own food! I would definitely like to speak to you! If there are enough people who use it then I'll get a proper questionnaire together for you to fill out if you don't mind.

I'm so excited! My supervisor seems really happy with this choice of project too! I can't wait to get started!
I am sorry that I can't help you with a source or information but this is something that I am very interested in. I can't wait until the results...Will you be able to keep us informed or will you wait until the end of your project?.. Dixie
I'll definitely post interim results here - I don't think I'd be able to keep it to myself! I'll probably be looking at feathering times, activity levels, presence of internal parasites, incidences of illness/disease (hopefully non in either group!) I want to do the amount of feed taken by weight but with the amount of mess that chicks make I'm not sure I can! Does anyone know of a spill proof chick crumb feeder? - I'll post that over in feeding time.

I'm looking for other ideas on what to look for as signs of health and development so please throw your ideas my way!
I'm trying to decide how long to do this experement for - it's been that long since I've had chicks I can't remember how fast they develop! can someone post pics of chicks at 4, 6 and 8 weeks please!

the DE expert and research knowledgable is DL Queen of links - this use to be a very hot topic - with a few sales people posting to push the product --but if you want info Dl is the gal --
Chick pics there are several posting with pics that you can pick and choose -

Yeah I know DE used to be a bit of a difficult subject to raise back at the ezboard, I thought things might have settled a bit. I also figured some accurate research into it would be good - if this project goes well I might do something similar but bigger for Masters or PHd - probably on free range layers if I can find a place with two or more identical chicken houses/fields with large numbers of chickens in.
I would love to see a comprehensive study of DE. I have only seen one scientific article posted and that was by Dlhunicorn (sp??). I will look to see if I can find it.
Thankyou - I've sent an e-mail off, hopefully hear back soon
If you're serious about doing this 'right', you may want to contemplate how you will try to infect your chicks with worms
, because if neither the experimental nor the control groups get worms all you would be doing is looking to see whether DE is short-term safe

Also, you really ought to have TWO control and TWO experimental groups going at once, because otherwise you cannot ascribe any differences that you find to DE as opposed to anything else that may coincidentally happen to differ between the two flocks. If you're going to the bother of doing it at all, do it so the data will mean something believable

Curious to see how it will come out,


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