Red Lake Earth (RLE)? or DE?


Aug 26, 2008
Georgetown, Minnesota
The gal that has the feed store is wondering if she should get the RLE instead of the DE. I've never heard of it and was wondering if anyone had used it or knows anything about it and what your experiences are with it. Apparently its a mix of DE and montmorillonite which I've never heard of. I guess what I'm questioning is the amount of magnesium and iron in it and whether too much minerals can be harmful to birds. You always hear polyvisol with NO iron so this kind of raised a red flag for me. Here's the info she included in her email:

This D.E> also contains Calcium Bentonite. and the benefits from this blend of essential minerals can only be found in Red Lake Earth.

RLE is a binary mineral containing both diatomaceous earth, a recognized natural insecticide and montmorillonite, a material shown to absorb mycotoxins. Both these materials independently and together are highly absorbent. RLE absorbs about 130% of its weight in moisture.
This is helpful in reducing caking in feeds during mixing and manufacturing.
RLE contains 36 micro and micro nutrients including calcium, magnesium and iron. These nutrients are essential in sustaining and improving animal health, productivity and growth rates.

Chickens Turkeys & Other Birds
You can use this producttopically for help in fly control and darkling beetles. Offer a tub filled with RLE for your birds to dust themselves.

When feeding to your birds, use at a rate of 2% per total feed per day. so if you are feeding 100 lbs per day you would use 2 lbs of RLE in/with the feed.

Using RLE will reduce fly population in barns, paddocks and coops because of the diatomaceous earth in the manure.

RLE can be used as a natural insecticide on agriculture crops.

RLE approved for use in all animal feeds at a rate up to 2 %
RLE is approved for use in Organic Production
RLE does not contain any antibiotics or harmful chemicals
RLE ingredients absorb mycotoxins
RLE will prevent and control scours in cattle
RLE can be used as a natural insecticide on agricultural crops
RLE may help with parasite control in horses, sheep, goats cattle


11 Years
Jun 20, 2009
Minneapolis, MN
There's been a lot of debate about DE (good vs. useless) and RLE on the threads. I had the same question about 6 months ago and found Dawn419's page very helpful:

I opted for the regular DE - mostly because I knew exactly what I was getting *and* I didn't want my hens to be rust colored (very scientific


Flock Mistress
12 Years
Apr 20, 2007
Ontario, Canada
I use Red Lake Earth b/c it is what I can get. I see no problem whatsoever using it topically.

I do not know whether I'd FEED it to them, I haven't really contemplated doing that, but if I were thinking about it, I would look at the analysis numbers and do the calculations and see whether it looked apt to provide a toxic amount of iron or magnesium in the diet.

GOod luck, have fun,



11 Years
Nov 15, 2008
I've never heard of RLE

I will say that I am a huge fan and believer of DE. I would assume that as long as you weren't feeding the RLE it should be fine?

G Wiz Ranch

11 Years
Jan 20, 2009
Lompoc, CA
The RLE can be added to feed, it is feed grade. I will occasionally dust a little over the food trough.

I use both. I use the RLE on the floors in the brooders, coops, nest boxes, broody coops and runs. I like it because it is easy to spread, kind of like sand and not very dusty. I also use DE. I use the DE directly on the the birds and a little in the nests. Because the DE around here is so expensive, I use it sparingly.

I don't know if either work, all I can say is that I have OVER 150 free range chickens and none of them have any bugs and none of them have died for "unknown" reasons or illness. I sell A LOT of pullets that are raised on the ground from 4 weeks till they sell around 15 weeks, and EVERYTIME I pick one up to box them up, I check for bugs and I have never found any or signs of them. The only other pesticide I use is on the coop when I clean them completely twice a year, I presure wash them and then I spray them with sevin and let it dry before I dust the coops with DE and then let the chickens back in.

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