Should I use DIATOMACEOUS EARTH ???

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by smsmichaela, May 5, 2015.

  1. smsmichaela

    smsmichaela Out Of The Brooder

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    I was at Tractor Supply yesterday, and I was talking with a lady there who recommended DE to keep mites, and other pests away from my chicks. She said to sprinkle it in their coop, and run and any dust bathing areas? I bought the Red Earth brand. Is it safe? It doesnt say it's food grade....what can you use instead of DE? My chicks are 4 1/2 weeks old and go out just during the day when it's warm.
     
  2. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

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    Welcome! DE is said to be effective in dust bathing areas to keep mites and lice at bay, but isn't effective as a treatment if you actually have parasites on the birds. Only 'food grade' DE is to be used, and it should be labelled as such. I don't use it here. Mary
     
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  3. smsmichaela

    smsmichaela Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks so much Mary! Just wondering why you chose not to use it, and where you live (if that is the reason you don't use it)?
     
  4. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

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    I'm not convinced that it's worth using. I've got asthma, and am very careful about dust issues. Breathing DE isn't something that will work for me, and maybe isn't so good for bird lungs either. If parasites arrive here, and they have, I treat as needed, rather than having DE around all the time. Mary
     
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  5. gjensen

    gjensen Overrun With Chickens

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    DE is useless for the birds. A waste of money, and effort. Don't buy into that internet myth.

    Good dusting material of any kind does help a bird shed mites.

    Just monitor them. I pick them off of the roost at night with a flashlight. If I find one, out all of the birds, I treat them all. If it was red mites I would treat everything, and re treat as necessary.

    The point is, make sure they do have dusting material (freed dirt is fine), and monitor them closely along the way.
     
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  6. VAsweetchicks

    VAsweetchicks Out Of The Brooder

    I have mixed wood ash or food grade de into their sand/dirt dusting area...and it keeps the little creepers at bay! If you begin to have an issue, you can pick up some sevin dust at tractor supply or home depot and dust their back ends and under their wings...just cover their faces when you do it...they'll shake themselves out and then repeat a week later...and one more week after that. It takes care of the creepers and the eggs they may lay on your chooks. It only takes a couple of minutes per chick and it works quite well![​IMG]
     
  7. smsmichaela

    smsmichaela Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you so much for the info.! It really helps! Just wondering how much DE do u pur in ur dust bath and for what size dust bath? Do u happen to have a picture? :)
     
  8. gjensen

    gjensen Overrun With Chickens

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    How have you come to the conclusion that DE keeps mites off of your birds, and makes your dust bath more effective than without it? What evidence is there?

    I am not trying to stir strife.

    DE does not help with mites. It just does not. Today it is an internet myth perpetuated by those that state it as if it's a fact. New people believe it, and repeat it, and it goes on and on. It is not helpful, and it is more likely that it is harmful.

    Dustbaths are good for birds, but it is not made better by adding DE.

    I do not care what people spend their money on. That is their business. I am only taken by it being perpetuated it as a fact when it is not. I bought into it for a time myself.
     
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  9. VAsweetchicks

    VAsweetchicks Out Of The Brooder

     
  10. smsmichaela

    smsmichaela Out Of The Brooder

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    ractSend to:

    I Found this and outher srudies that support the use of DE:

    Poult Sci. 2011 Jul;90(7):1416-26. doi: 10.3382/ps.2010-01256.

    Effect of diatomaceous earth on parasite load, egg production, and egg quality of free-range organic laying hens.

    Bennett DC1, Yee A, Rhee YJ, Cheng KM.

    Author information

    Abstract

    The effectiveness of diatomaceous earth (DE) as a treatment against parasites and to increase feed efficiency and egg production of organically raised free-range layer hens was evaluated in 2 breeds of commercial egg layers [Bovan Brown (BB) and Lowmann Brown (LB)] that differ in their resistance to internal parasitic infections. Half the hens of each breed were fed diets supplemented with DE (2%). Their internal parasite loads were assessed by biweekly fecal egg counts (FEC) and by postmortem examination of the gastrointestinal tract. Supplementing DE in diets of LB hens, the more parasite-resistant breed, did not significantly affect their FEC and adult parasite load. However, BB hens treated with dietary DE had significantly lower Capillaria FEC, slightly lower Eimeria FEC, fewer birds infected with Heterakis, and significantly lower Heterakis worm burden than control BB hens. Both BB and LB hens fed the diet containing DE were significantly heavier, laid more eggs, and consumed more feed than hens fed the control diet, but feed efficiency did not differ between the 2 dietary treatments. Additionally, BB hens consuming the DE diet laid larger eggs containing more albumen and yolk than hens consuming the control diet. In a subsequent experiment, the effectiveness of DE to treat a Northern fowl mite (Ornithonyssus sylviarum) infestation was tested. Relative to controls, both breeds of hens that were dusted with DE had reduced number of mites. The results of this study indicate the DE has the potential to be an effective treatment to help control parasites and improve production of organically raised, free-range layer hens.

      

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