killer diatamaceous earth

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by genabeana, Apr 21, 2009.

  1. genabeana

    genabeana Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 19, 2009
    Hendersonville, TN
    I've been using food grade DE in my coop to keep things dryer and also have added it to the feed. Everything I've read says that breathing this stuff will KILL you! I've used a mask, but am sure that I've probably breathed some in by now (they've been outside in the coop for 2 weeks). So far me and the chicks are still alive.

    Is this stuff just a deadly non-necessity?
     
  2. Chickenmaven

    Chickenmaven Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 6, 2009
    Michigan
    I started using it - CAREFULLY- as I have has breathing issues in the past. I have discontinued using it after I read an argument in a poultry magazine, that if it is bad for people, it is bad for chickens. Makes sense. I will deal with any pest issues as they present themselves.
     
  3. preppy*hippie*chick

    preppy*hippie*chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It isn't bad to eat, but it's bad to breathe.
     
  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    First, make sure that what you're reading pertains to *food grade* DE. The non food grade stuff is pretty well documented to be bad for you (it will not kill you instantly but can cause serious lung disorders).

    Second, you should try not to breathe unreasonable amounts of ANY dust (road dust, construction dust, etc), and food grade DE would be included there.

    Third, however, it is definitely a "non necessity". There are other and I would argue much better ways to keep your bedding dry, and it is still kind of a big question mark (from an evidence-based point of view, as opposed to some peoples' personal beliefs) whether feeding it really does anything to prevent worms. It does seem to do some good as a miticide when applied directly to chickens' skins when they have mites/lice.

    Summary: personally I do not think it should be dusted about with gay abandon in hopes of solving all sorts of things; I do think it has some value for some particular situations; and assuming it is labelled honestly it is neither highly dangerous nor completely 100% harmless.

    Do more reading, consider what the alternatives are, make up your own mind. Avoid bandwagons [​IMG]

    JMHO,

    Pat
     
  5. Chicken Fruit

    Chicken Fruit Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 25, 2009
    Echo Homestead
    Its basically like tiny broken pieces of glass... thats how it kills pests, they ingest it and it rips their insides apart.

    Do you really want to eat or breathe that yourself? Or feed it to live stock?

    I wouldnt.
     
  6. junebug7334

    junebug7334 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    ya, I have a 50 lb. bag of it and really don't use it that much. Just don't feel right about it.
     
  7. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Ontario, Canada
    Quote:Not really.

    thats how it kills pests, they ingest it and it rips their insides apart.

    No. I am not aware of it being actually understood how exactly it kills invertebrates (which it indubitably does) but AFAIK the usual, and probably mainly correct, hypothesis is that it scratches thru the waxy cuticle layer on their exoskeletons and they "raisin up" from water loss, dying primarily of desiccation.

    You are ALREADY EATING food-grade DE, you know. Why do you think it is called 'food grade'? It is added to stored grain products, e.g. wheat in silos, which are then processed into your food. Look on ingredients lists of foods that contain flour etc... not infrequently they list "silicon dioxide" as one of the last-mentioned ingredients. That, my friend, is food grade DE.

    Pat​
     
  8. genabeana

    genabeana Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 19, 2009
    Hendersonville, TN
    OK, I think I'll keep my 50 lb bag in storage. Better safe than sorry!
     
  9. Godsgrl

    Godsgrl Ostrich wrangler

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    at the zoo usually
    Kind of. It only works on insects though. People and animals are too "wet" for it to harm us like it does an insect. We are like 90% water or something. That is how it was explained to me anyway.
     
  10. lovemychix

    lovemychix Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:That must have been the one I read. Backyard Poultry recent issue. I haven't used it and was thinking about it until I read that. I think I'll stick with my natural Poultry protector I get at Orscheln. [​IMG]
     

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