Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth

Dionna77

In the Brooder
Mar 1, 2015
31
1
26
Has any one used Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth on their chickens? Does it work? Does any one else have any other deworming products that might work but are more natural I want to stay as natural with my chickens as I can. Plus, does any one know when I should start deworming my chicks they are outside and they are now around month old now?

Also What can I use on my chicks that is natural to keep the fleas, ticks and any other bug that can cause them problems? I was hoping to use some kind of essential oil on them but I wasn't sure if they were old enough yet?

Love to here what people have to say.

-Dionna
 

Dionna77

In the Brooder
Mar 1, 2015
31
1
26
Ok I will what do you use I am so new to the chicken world and I am still learning I want to do what is best for my chickens. That is why I was trying to find out from people that have been raising chickens for a long time.


Thanks,
-Dionna
 

summer920

In the Brooder
May 7, 2015
17
3
41
Oh, I want in on this conversation!

I have done a lot of reading, and I can't figure out if DE is good or bad, to be honest. So many people love it, and then a lot of people say it's not good etc.

I hope those who have and are using it, and those who don't use it will chime in here with their reasons for or against, etc!
 

sideWing

Songster
6 Years
Apr 9, 2015
2,070
408
241
Utah
I use it in dust baths and on anything showing signs of fleas, tics, etc. I am VERY careful not to get it into the animals lungs or my lungs while I'm spreading it. I know some DE gets kicked up with a dustbath, but when it's in the dirt or at least in my kind of dirt the dust is minimal. I think it's better than putting some drug on them, but that's just my opinion. I would use a chemical or drug if I needed to. I have used it to get rid of mites from my rabbit and it worked wonders. The rabbit got mites from a dead bird in IFA hay.

What I don't know is if it's effective at all once it's wet. Some say yes, some say no. I have no idea if it's a dewormer or not because of that.
 
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AA Maple

Songster
6 Years
Apr 29, 2015
144
68
136
I've used a tea boiled out of pennyroyal sprayed around to de-mite some snakes in the past and it worked like a charm, by all accounts they're sensitive to chemicals and they didn't mind a bit. I used the same brew to chase some fleas off a cat as well.... she wasn't too thrilled about being misted with a spray bottle but the fleas vacated. Might be worth looking into for birds. It's an herb that smells a bit pepperminty.

We do keep diatomaceous earth here for filtering syrup and I'm told it's used to filter wine as well. There is supposedly a difference between what you'd get for a swimming pool filter and the "food grade". It's not expensive for the food grade so definitely don't mess around buying it from a pool store if you plan to experiment with it.
 

csaylorchickens

Songster
5 Years
Mar 8, 2015
919
82
166
California
My Coop
My Coop
I was just wondering about this as well. I heard it causes respiratory problems and if says on the package to wear a respirator when using it, that kinda makes me nervous.

Is there powder you can use for chickens like flea tick powder for cats and dogs?

What other measures can you do to reduce mites, fleas, and ticks in the run and coop.
 

Blooie

Team Spina Bifida
6 Years
Feb 25, 2014
17,197
32,576
827
Northwestern Wyoming
My Coop
My Coop
I started out thinking that DE was manna from Heaven for my chickens. Then I did a little more research. It doesn't take much to cause lung damage - those diatoms are sharp. That's what makes them effective against soft bodied insects.

I used to mix it with dirt in the dust bath. Then I happened to be out there one day when Gladys was being particularly enthusiastic during her turn. The dust from the dirt settled back down quickly. The dust from the DE, which was a slightly different color, didn't. It hung in the air long enough for me to notice it, then it settled down on every surface close to the dust bath bin, right along with the regular dust from the dirt. Now, there might not have been much DE in the dustbath, but how much does it take to pose a risk to my chickens from breathing that in while it hangs like that? Plus it seemed totally ridiculous to me to have to wear a bandanna over my mouth and nose to avoid breathing it in, but expect my chickens to live with it. I also put a thin layer of it down under the pine shavings I was using to start my deep litter. But the chickens scratch so much that the coop is always dusty. What's in that dust, besides dirt, pine shaving particles and feather dander? DE. Strike one.

Lots of people use it in with their deep litter. Makes me wonder - why? If it's going into the chickens' environment to kill bugs, then why put it in deep litter when you WANT the bugs to break down the poo and litter? You're killing off the best reason for using deep litter. And let's not forget that the chickens scratch it up into the air - the air they are breathing. Okay, strike 2.

Others claim it's an effective de-wormer. How can that be? The gizzard grinds food. The DE in their food enters that gizzard, where those sharp little points on the diatoms are also ground away. And not that much of the DE actually moves from the gizzard into the gut in enough quantity to make a difference. So how does a wet, no longer sharp product have any effect on internal parasites? Strike 3.

So three strikes and DE is out at Oleo Acres. I just can't justify the risks to me and to my chickens for what little benefit I see from it. Oh, there'll be folks posting after this one, informing me that I'm way off base and that DE is the best thing they've ever used for mites and lice. And they'll tell me that they have never had to de-worm chickens who get DE in with their food. I know....once I proclaimed DE's benefits to the mountaintops.

Look, bottom line is if you have chickens, eventually you may run into a parasite problem, either internal or external. Mites and lice come in with wild birds who might hang around your run or coop looking for little tidbits, or even for down and feathers during nesting season. Good housekeeping practices, strong, healthy birds, and keeping an eye out for problems before they turn into infestations is the best way to limit those pesky parasites. But even the best managed coops and the healthiest chickens can suddenly have parasitic flares. So you find out exactly what the parasite is, you treat the birds and their environments with approved products at the approved dosages for the correct amount of time, and you keep watch to make sure you were successful. There isn't always a "magic potion" to prevent everything.
 
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