How to add DE

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by StarryEyzz, Apr 13, 2012.

  1. StarryEyzz

    StarryEyzz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 9, 2012
    Granite Falls, WA
    Do you guys just sprinkle DE into your chicks food when you feed them, or do you mix the ratios into a whole bag of feed at once???
  2. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 31, 2008
    Grifton NC
    Unless there are bugs in your feed, there is no reason to add DE.

    It's only proven uses are to kill insects and absorb liquids
  3. StarryEyzz

    StarryEyzz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 9, 2012
    Granite Falls, WA
    Hmmm, well it was suggested to me by a few people who have raised chickens. Thought I would ask here also, while I waited for an email response.

    Doesnt matter now, they found the fine dusting I put under their bedding and are eating some! [​IMG]
  4. Chris09

    Chris09 Circle (M) Ranch

    Jun 1, 2009
    There are a lot of sale pitches out there saying how good DE is and you'll find a few backyard chicken raiser that believe that it will control internal parasites but the truth is DE does nothing internally.

    Now lets look at what DE is;
    Diatomaceous earth is 80 to 90% silica, with 2 to 4% alumina and 0.5 to 2% iron oxide.
    Silica is commonly Sand
    Alumina is Aluminium
    Iron Oxide is commonly known as Rust
    Here is a quote from Dr. Christine King

    Diatomaceous earth
    "One of the most commonly used ingredients in these natural dewormers is diatomaceous earth or
    diatomite. Diatomaceous earth is a naturally occurring, soft, chalky rock that, when crushed,
    yields a fine, light-grey powder. It consists of fossilized remains of tiny hard-shelled algae called
    diatoms. Owing to their high content of crystalline silica, diatomite is mildly abrasive.
    In fact, that is the mechanism by which diatomite is purported to kill intestinal parasites. It is
    believed that the abrasive micro-surfaces of the diatomite cut the outer membranes of the
    parasites like thousands of tiny blades. But I question that premise. Industrial-grade diatomite
    has a high silica content and is used as a mild abrasive. However, food-grade diatomite has a
    much lower content of crystalline silica, so it is minimally abrasive.
    And even if the abrasion theory is valid, then what does this stuff do to the delicate lining of
    the digestive tract? While I could not find even one scientific study which validates the use of
    diatomite against internal parasites in horses or other livestock, my search did turn up several
    articles documenting the health risks of chronic exposure to diatomite. When inhaled, it causes
    inflammation of the airways and, with chronic exposure, even some fibrosis (scarring).
    Even more concerning was a study which showed that chronic oral intake of diatomite can
    damage the intestinal lining, altering its absorptive properties and making it more permeable to
    potentially harmful substances. So, it seems to me that the practice of using diatomaceous earth
    as a daily dewormer for horses is either useless but harmless or useful but harmful, depending on

    the grade of diatomite used.''

    Last edited: Apr 13, 2012
    2 people like this.
  5. galanie

    galanie Treat Dispenser No More

    Aug 20, 2010
    What he said. The way you describe them eating it, so long as it's food grade, it at least won't harm them. I too don't think it will do them any good, but at least there's no harm that I can see here. And it will keep down any moisture sprinkled around the coop so long as your climate isn't really humid.
  6. Irish6425

    Irish6425 Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 9, 2012
    Houston, TX
    Since putting DE in my chick's food the amount of flies in our backyard has dropped dramatically. Is it scientifically proven? Nope, I just know it works, not the why's or why nots.

    I don't have a specific amount I add, I just put enough in minimally coat some of the feed. I sttart with half of the feed so if i add too much DE I can always add more feed to balance it out.
  7. Chris09

    Chris09 Circle (M) Ranch

    Jun 1, 2009
    If I was to take a guess, I would say that since DE is good at absorbing liquids the DE is keeping you birds stool on the dry side and possibly even keeping your birds a little on the dehydrated side. Unless your putting DE on the ground also.


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