Food grade DE for horses

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by coloradochick, Feb 29, 2008.

  1. coloradochick

    coloradochick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Just curious if DE would be helpful to mix with our horses Beet Pulp Mash or sprinkle aroung the pen?
     
  2. miss_thenorth

    miss_thenorth Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 28, 2007
    SW Ont, Canada
    In summer, it is a recommended product for insect control around horses. Dust them with it and it will help keep the flies and mosquitos away, and sprinkle it in barn area. don't think it would be entirely useful this time of year
     
  3. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Some believe DE in the feed helps against internal worms in some kinds of domestic animals. Research trials have found no effect however. It is probably harmless, though, as long as used in reasonable amounts and not inhaled.

    Sprinkled around a horse pen it isn't going to do much, really.



    Pat
     
  4. miss_thenorth

    miss_thenorth Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 28, 2007
    SW Ont, Canada
    "Sprinkled around a horse pen it isn't going to do much, really."

    I meant in the summer to keep down bugs--this would work--no?
     
  5. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Quote:(edited to add: are you sure you are not thinking of something else maybe, as I cannot recall actually ever seeing it recommended *for horses* as such, not to say that someone somewhere may not have said that of course)

    Er, really? DE is not a repellent so it is not going to keep anything *away* as such.

    The most it could do is if flies get a bunch of DE on them when landing on a DE-dusted horse they may die sooner than they would otherwise.

    However a) I am skeptical it's going to stay on the horse very long (regular ol' dust doesn't, except way down at skin level where it'd be really hard to get the DE to), and b) even if it kills every fly that lands on the horse, which it won't, generally if you have a fly problem there is an oversupply of fresh flies in line to take their place. (That is why *chemical* fly sprays applied to horses don't do much to reduce total fly populations, in fact; their main effect is just as repellents to keep flies from wanting to land).

    And sprinkled on the ground, which would take a huge amount of DE anyhow, it will primarily be killing beneficial insects, not flies or mosquitos, since flies and mosquitos don't spend much time on the ground, fly larvae develop in manure (not dirt), and mosquito larvae develop in the water (where DE will definitely do zero good).

    I really dunno about this, although of course unless you're dusting it up their nostrils and eyes it probably won't *hurt* to fling it all around either, if you wish to.

    Pat
     
    Last edited: Feb 29, 2008
  6. ksacres

    ksacres At Your Service

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    Quote:(edited to add: are you sure you are not thinking of something else maybe, as I cannot recall actually ever seeing it recommended *for horses* as such, not to say that someone somewhere may not have said that of course)

    Er, really? DE is not a repellent so it is not going to keep anything *away* as such.

    The most it could do is if flies get a bunch of DE on them when landing on a DE-dusted horse they may die sooner than they would otherwise.

    However a) I am skeptical it's going to stay on the horse very long (regular ol' dust doesn't, except way down at skin level where it'd be really hard to get the DE to), and b) even if it kills every fly that lands on the horse, which it won't, generally if you have a fly problem there is an oversupply of fresh flies in line to take their place. (That is why *chemical* fly sprays applied to horses don't do much to reduce total fly populations, in fact; their main effect is just as repellents to keep flies from wanting to land).

    And sprinkled on the ground, which would take a huge amount of DE anyhow, it will primarily be killing beneficial insects, not flies or mosquitos, since flies and mosquitos don't spend much time on the ground, fly larvae develop in manure (not dirt), and mosquito larvae develop in the water (where DE will definitely do zero good).

    I really dunno about this, although of course unless you're dusting it up their nostrils and eyes it probably won't *hurt* to fling it all around either, if you wish to.

    Pat

    Well put, Pat.
     
  7. coloradochick

    coloradochick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks. And I did mean to say in the spring/summertime. I just wasn't sure if they ate it if it would act like it does with the chickens. And sprinkling it on them if it would do something to those nasty flies. Speaking of that, do you know a good fly repellant? We were told last summer to mix dawn dish soap with white vinegar and water. It did absolutely ZERO to ward away the flies.
     
  8. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    The best flysprays I know are the pyrethrin or permethrin commercial ones. Personally I strongly prefer the water-based shorter-acting ones without as many additives and UV-stabilizers (Bronco, or Kentucky uh Somethingorother) rather than the super heavy duty ones like Ultrashield etc.

    The reason is thatmy horses quite often a) sweat b) roll in the dust a lot, c) get rained on and occasionally even d) get washed down after a ride <g>, which mostly gets rid of flyspray even if it's the heavy duty Ultrashield type stuff. Thus I really DO have to spray them almost every day during the worst of the fly season. If I am doing that (and IMHO all the flysprays work just about equally for the first 12-24 hrs) I would rather use the stuff with fewer extra fancy chemicals and a lower pricetag.

    If (as seems likely since you'r asking about DE) you do not want to use commercial flysprays, although please remember that pyrethrin is a botanical product, you are going to ahve to resign yourself to more flies on your horses. Some people think adding apple cider vinegar (the 'real' kind, not the pasturized filtered stuff from the grocery store) and/or garlic will help. There is good evidence that large amounts of garlic fed over large amounts of time can cause anemia in susceptible horses however so be careful if your fly season is long.

    There are homemade fly spray recipes on the web but IME most do not work very well. My experience with 'herbal' commercial flysprays has not been much better, frankly, sorry.

    Mesh 'turnout' style fly sheets, the very heavy duty ones not the flimsy drapey scrims, do help considerably, as do fly masks. I heartily recommend 'em, especially if you are reluctant to use chemical flysprays. You can buy 'fly predators' which some people find will reduce their fly populations somewhat, BUT you have to stick to a strict schedule and buy them ALL SEASON, and if there are other horse or cow farms within a mile or so, it is probably pointless.

    The 'stinky' type fly traps do some good, if you put out enough of 'em, correctly sited, and not somewhere that they'll drive you nuts with the stench.

    Good luck,

    Pat
     
  9. coloradochick

    coloradochick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks Pat you're a great help. I think we'll try the mesh turnouts and the masks this spring. And the Pyrethin too.

    Cara
     
  10. GwenFarms

    GwenFarms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    There is a good food additive for flies, I can't remember the name of it, but a friend used it last year with great success. I think he ordered it from Jeffers.

    We use skin so soft from Avon as a natural fly repellant when we're riding. You can mix a little baby oil with it to make it even more sticky.

    There is another thread going on the predators forum about DE and there is some info out there that DE is toxic to bees, so be careful with it.
     

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