1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

How Are You Using Diatomaceous Earth?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by ChefGigiGaggero, Feb 15, 2017.

  1. ChefGigiGaggero

    ChefGigiGaggero Just Hatched

    6
    1
    16
    Aug 21, 2016
    San Francisco Bay Area
    I'd love to hear how others are using this product. I use it in soil, dirt baths and coop, to keep pests populations down. I use food grade my 16 chickens are all organic, have never been treated with western medicine. All healthy. I deworm every 6 months w DE by applying a portion to their food. Is there anything else I should be using this product for?
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2017
  2. boskelli1571

    boskelli1571 Overrun With Chickens

    2,866
    383
    261
    Mar 7, 2011
    Finger Lakes, NY
    Hello and welcome [​IMG]...ok, I will start out by saying I do use DE for external parasites, both on the birds and their quarters. However, I use it sparingly and only dust when I have a problem.
    There are 2 camps with DE - I am in the first one. Like everything else it's good in moderation.
    Camp #2 say it's a dust therefore it's bad for the chicken respiratory system (yet many will still use poultry dust).[​IMG]I will say however, that DE is strip mined so it really isn't great for the environment....
     
  3. ChefGigiGaggero

    ChefGigiGaggero Just Hatched

    6
    1
    16
    Aug 21, 2016
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Hello, Thank you for your reply. This is good information to know. I use it once a quarter and have slacked a bit due to the rain and was feeling bad about that- but sounds like maybe its a good thing now. I raise bees too so really need to be careful. I don't want to use medicine or sprays on my birds. I was hoping this would be preventative. I have notices an uptake of flying things just recently and I thought it was cause I slacked on the last application. But I think its due to all the rain we have been having. UGH! This flock are a year old today, and worries about them getting bit but these weird pests flying around.
     
  4. boskelli1571

    boskelli1571 Overrun With Chickens

    2,866
    383
    261
    Mar 7, 2011
    Finger Lakes, NY
    I try to check about half my birds every month or so - if one has cooties, they all get dusted! Summer is the absolute worst time,I have built mine an inside dust bath. I fill it with peat moss, wood ashes and a liberal sprinkling of DE every so often. There is standing room only on hot summer days....[​IMG]
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Overrun With Chickens

    Hi, welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    I do not prefer to use DE.... for reasons stated already, but at least let me give you my take... [​IMG]

    In 5 years I haven't felt the need to treat for worms or parasites. All they do is dirt bathe. A lot of it has to do with conditions. Some parasite load is normal and the birds build a resistance to them. It only becomes a problem when there is an overgrowth of said parasite, cocci for example is always present with chickens but not always a problem. With proper pasture management or run management it is much less of an issue. Now, I have wild birds and animals in our yard on a regular basis and that is often where certain things will come from. So do not do extra stuff to attract other birds or animals. [​IMG] I also don't treat my dogs for fleas or ticks and my vet insists I must use something in this area. But at last visit said "nice flea control, no ticks. What do you use?" [​IMG]

    Yes, DE is a porous rock that has microscopic shards that are supposed to scratch the surface off of bugs which dehydrates and kills them. And this same DE floats into the air where when inhaled can only possibly do what? That's right, create those same perforations on the esophagus and inside the lungs of the chicken. And yourself for that matter. [​IMG] Not just when they are dirt bathing. But they carry around a nice layer of it and shake out every now and then, sending a nice poof into the air.

    DE as a wormer, I am sorry... is bogus. The composition of DE is 80 to 90% silica, with 2 to 4% alumina (attributed mostly to clay minerals) and 0.5 to 2% iron oxide.

    Silica is sand essentially. DE is a soft stone and very crumbly, you can break it with your fingers. So I figure by the time it goes through the crop and makes it to the intestines it is fairly disintegrated and rubbed smooth in the gizzard. [​IMG] Also have you read the ingredients on your feed bag? Many feeds include DE already and I go out of my way not to buy them. (Again the dust cloud when I pour it) I think if DE worked as a wormer that would be one huge marketing draw that feed companies would advertise heavily. So your good intentions likely had no effect on the worm load of your birds...

    I guess if I got to the point where it was my last resort... well, I would consider something else. [​IMG] I haven't actually researched wood ashes yet to see if they are effective or safe. Just like you presume the DE effective at worming because you don't have a problem, others may do the same for ash. So I will look into it in case it really is useful and I ever do have the need for it. [​IMG]

    The uptick in flying things might be seasonal or no DE may have an effect if it's keeping things dryer. Knock those weird flying things down and feed them to your birds! They are the ones that have to worry about being bit. [​IMG]

    Maybe consider using some Neem oil or something to that effect? I haven't tried that yet but it has been touted for its effectiveness in the garden at past control. I would probably find out if that was safe and try it if I need to.... hope I can remember it by then. [​IMG]

    Oh.... to keep pest population down in soil, I use chickens!! [​IMG]

    I would consider ditching the product instead of looking for other applications. But I do realize that what works for one person at one location might not work for another somewhere else. And that's what makes BYC a great community is all of us being able to share what does or doesn't work for us and why. [​IMG]

    One last word... on organics. It's nice and all, but even arsenic, lead, and dog poo are organic! [​IMG] Point being, just because it's organic doesn't make it good for you. Like wise there may be some thing that even though they aren't organic actually would be good for you. [​IMG]

    Oh and HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOUR FLOCK!!! [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    Hope I was helpful. Of course those are only my opinions and what works for me. [​IMG]
     
    3 people like this.
  6. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member

    56,740
    11,505
    751
    Jun 24, 2012
    My Coop
    @ChefGigiGaggero, welcome to BYC!
    You might want to think about having routine fecals done to check for worm eggs, and if you want to stay organic, there is an organic pesticide spray you can use.
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Overrun With Chickens

    Do you know what the name of the spray is?

    Fecals is a great suggestion, they are $15 at my vet. And I usually collect a small amount from several birds to include in the sample since I treat as a flock.
     
    1 person likes this.
  8. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member

    56,740
    11,505
    751
    Jun 24, 2012
    My Coop
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    32,737
    5,486
    556
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    I only use it stuffed into cracks and crevices of coop/nests as a 'make me feel better' preventative.
    I never put it anywhere it can be scratched up and become airborne...or anywhere it would get wet.
    IMO the only place it really works is in stored feed to kill grain mites.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by