Question about DE

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by tweetysvoice, Mar 4, 2012.

  1. tweetysvoice

    tweetysvoice Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 30, 2011
    Lawrence, KS
    My Coop
    I bought a jug of DE (food grade) from the TSC yesterday to keep on hand for my new chicks. They arrive in just a couple days and I was wondering about all the actual uses for them. I've read that some people spread it in the brooder and in the nests to keep pests out, but how do you go about feeding it to get rid of worms? Just sprinkle it on the chick starter? Also, should I automatically just give it to them, or should I wait and save it in case I see signs of worms?

    Thanks all!
  2. Tressa27884

    Tressa27884 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 27, 2011
    Cooper, Texas
    It goes in my nesting boxes, floor of the coop, and scattered around the run everytime I clean it. I don't sprinkle it on the food at all. The chickens will digest it simply by scratching and digging around for the food in the run, and from dust baths.
  3. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 31, 2008
    Grifton NC
    Quote: DE will kill some insects and absorb some moisture

    That pretty much covers all the proven uses
  4. Chris09

    Chris09 Circle (M) Ranch

    Jun 1, 2009
    Diatomaceous earth is 80 to 90% *silica, with 2 to 4% *alumina and 0.5 to 2% *iron oxide and like Bear Foot Farm said DE will kill some insects and absorb some moisture.
    But if one thinks about it even common table salt will kill some insects and absorb some moisture. So that's not saying much for DE.

    *Silica is most commonly found in nature as sand or quartz.
    *Alumina/ Aluminium oxide use is in the production of aliminium metal, as a filler in plastics, paint/ primers and it is widely used as a abrasive grain in sand blasti[FONT=Verdana, Arial, sans-serif]ng.[/FONT]
    *Iron Oxide is composed of iron and oxygen (rust)

    Here is a quote from Dr. Christine King on Diatomaceous Earth
    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: Mar 5, 2012

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