Food grade DE and chicks

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by astylishgirl, Apr 30, 2009.

  1. astylishgirl

    astylishgirl Animal Lover Supreme

    Apr 27, 2009
    Beaumont, Texas

    Can you use food grade DE in a brooder? When I move my baby chicks to their larger brooder, I want to put pine shavings in it and also the DE.

    Can you use DE in horse stalls?

    I had never heard of the stuff until I got on here and it sounds really amazing!

  2. Chicken Woman

    Chicken Woman Incredible Egg

    Oct 16, 2008
    I use DE in my coop,nest boxes and add to chicken feed. When you store your feed if it has some DE it will not get bugs. I also put in dog and cats food for worming. I buy it in 50 lb bags.
    "Search" DE and there is tons of info on this site.
  3. djcomstock2002

    djcomstock2002 New Egg

    Nov 20, 2015
    How much DE do you use in the food, pine shavings, and the nesting boxes?
  4. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    It's terrible stuff to breathe, so I wouldn't put in the chick's bedding. It will kill grain mites in stored feed, but mine gets used up within a month, because it looses vitamin quality pretty fast. It won't worm your dogs or cats. Mary
  5. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

    Feb 25, 2014
    Northwestern Wyoming
    My Coop
    x2. I got on the DE bandwagon and touted its remarkable curative and preventative virtues to the rooftops when I started. Then one day I was out there spreading some on the coop floor and a light bulb went off. (Well, truth be told the light bulb had a little help from those voices against DE I couldn't seem to shake) I was wearing a cap and a bandanna over my face to put the DE down. Why? Because DE is a total lung irritant. I had to put the mask on because breathing it in caused me no end of respiratory discomfort. Now, I'm 5'6" and I was putting the DE on the floor. Imagine what the dust is doing to the delicate respiratory systems of my chickens, right there at floor level, waking through it and scratching in it. They dust bathe in the shavings as well, scattering it into the air again and again.

    I know it's very effective against soft bodied insects and parasites such as mites, but I also am using deep litter in my coop and run. To be effective, deep litter needs to be broken down by small insects, earthworms, etc. I was killing the very creatures I needed to break down the litter! My last holdout was adding a little to their food. DE consists of the sharp exo-skeltons of diatoms. What goes into the birds goes into the crops. What does the crop do? Grind up their food. The jury is still out on whether it remains effective once it gets wet....but the risks of having it around just aren't justified by the off chance that it might be effective in the intestines of the chickens where internal parasites live.

    The choice, of course, is up to you and I'm not trying to talk you out of doing what you think is best for your situation. I'm just providing you with the information that made me put the last of the DE I had to use where it could do some good and no real harm - in the garden where it could work against aphids and such and not pose a respiratory risk to my chickens..
  6. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 11, 2011
    I use DE very sparingly. In fact, I still have the same small container I bought not long after I first started keeping chickens! I put it under the nesting material in the nest boxes as a preventative. I always have lots of broodies, and mites can become a problem. They're not dust bathing in the nest boxes, so I figure they're having minimal contact with the DE. I deep litter as well, so I don't like using it on/under the bedding on the floor. If I have an infestation, I skip the DE and use poultry dust to take care of it as quickly as possible.
  7. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    I skip the DE and use permethrin as needed. Mary
  8. Matt M

    Matt M Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 16, 2016
    Can you use DE with chicks.
  9. mimsy

    mimsy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 9, 2012
    DE kills bugs by drying them out. If you ate DE it would not be dry and therefore I don't see how it would kill bugs.

    As far as safety with chicks, if you mean sprinkling it in their bedding I wouldn't have de come in direct contact with the them. I do use it for any ant trails I see and in the summer I will use it around potted plants to help keep slugs at bay. But I'm almost always barefoot and have stepped in it, I can tell you if it sits on your skin it just sucks the moisture from it. It's not comfortable and I can't imagine that getting it all over chicks could possibly be healthy.
  10. Matt M

    Matt M Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 16, 2016

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