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Is the Diatomaceous Earth making my chickens cough?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Queen Chika, Feb 18, 2009.

  1. Queen Chika

    Queen Chika Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 2, 2009
    Kiowa, CO
    I just had a hen that had lice, so I sprinkled Diatomaceous Earth around the coop and run, as well as a little on their backs. I also made a dust bath with it in a cat litter box. Now, I noticed a couple of them coughing last night. Should I get some Rx because it's a cold, or let them out of the coop and clean out the bedding to get rid of the DE, are they just coughing because it's irritating, not necessarily because they have colds or respiratory infections?
     
  2. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    Was the DE food grade? Non-food grade DE contains substances toxic to chickens.

    Did you mix it with another medium like sand, peat moss or earth?

    If not- yes you have probably exposed your birds to a concentration beyond their tolerance and you should remove it immediately and ventilate the coop well, and get them outside as much as possible.

    Others may disagree, but for lice I would use Sevin or Dri-Kill treatment. I use food-grade DE as a preventive in bedding, in the run, in cracks and crevices but I keep Dri-Kill on hand just in case. A safe amount of food-grade in sand baths and in bedding is approximately 5% by weight. It is also used at this concentration by some feed mills to protect feed from insect contamination should insect eggs be processed and hatch in the bags.
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2009
  3. Queen Chika

    Queen Chika Out Of The Brooder

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    39
    Jan 2, 2009
    Kiowa, CO
    It was food grade, and I did mix the dust bath with sand, however, I just spinkled it around the coop on their bedding. I will go out right now and remove everything, will the lice be gone by now? I did this on Sunday, so about 3 days ago.
     
  4. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    I can't vouch for the lice being gone- you can leave the DE in the bedding, but get your girls outside. You may still have lice, check and see. If so, be sure to wash up after and launder your coop clothes. You may need to purchase some Sevin or Dri-Kill at your local supplier.
     
  5. Queen Chika

    Queen Chika Out Of The Brooder

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    39
    Jan 2, 2009
    Kiowa, CO
    I haven't actually seen the pest on any of these gals, it was on a hen that had to be put down this weekend due to illness. Won't the DE kill whatever it is though? Also, if they are coughing, should I get some anit-biotics?
     
  6. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oh.

    You didn't see lice?

    But you lost a bird?

    Gosh that adds a lot more variables.
    I'm guessing that your birds are irritated by the amount of food-grade DE, but if you lost a bird to something else...

    I'm hoping some more experienced owners will chime in.

    Did you keep the body of the dead bird so you can examine it for cause?
    Any vets nearby who will do this? Or an experienced owner who might help?
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2009
  7. Queen Chika

    Queen Chika Out Of The Brooder

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    39
    Jan 2, 2009
    Kiowa, CO
    I didn't use the DE until after she had been removed from the coop, and she was, I believe, severly egg bound, that was her cause of death. So it may be she had the pests because of her already low immune system, I have not seen any on anyone else or in the coop, I used the DE just in case as a precaution. But now I have a few coughers, although no nasal discharge. So I am a little freakish because of just having lost one, I couldn't stand to lose another, I'm such a baby.
     
  8. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    Do you know what to do if you have another girl eggbound?

    Still, not a contagious situation, but the presence of lice concerns me. I'd leave the DE and if you see any nasal discharge or foaming eye get back on this thread asap, okay? I'm assuming that other than the present symptoms their activity is 'normal'?
     
  9. Queen Chika

    Queen Chika Out Of The Brooder

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    39
    Jan 2, 2009
    Kiowa, CO
    I got a little bit of info this weekend concerning the egg bound dilema, soak in warm water, possibly with vinegar?
    As far as the others go, everything looks normal other than a bit of coughing in two of the seven. I have them outside today, yesterday was like 40mph winds, so they were locked up in their coop all day, and last night was when I noticed it.

    BTW, thanks for all of your help and concern!
     
  10. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    You're most welcome and I've alerted sammi about your post, because she is so knowledgeable and experienced...so you may hear from her soon.

    Good luck with your girls, and I hope by the end of today they'll be far better...[​IMG]
     

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