Tell me about diatomaceous earth...?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by allig8r, Sep 17, 2007.

  1. I have some. It says that it's oyster shell flour. Now... what are the many ways I can use this? I thought I got it to give the chicks in the trough that our coop has for calcium supplements. But then I thought I remembered that it controlled parasites or something. And then I read that it gets mixed into the feed...?

  2. countrygirl4513

    countrygirl4513 Songster

    Apr 14, 2007
    Portland TN
    do a search for DE on this forum. Theres lots of uses for it. But there are plenty of posts to read about it.
  3. schmoo

    schmoo Songster

    May 7, 2007
    West MI.

    Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth (DE) is the remains of microscopic one-celled plants (phytoplankton) called diatoms that lived in the oceans and lakes that once covered the western part of the US and other parts of the world. These deposits are mined from underwater beds or from ancient dried lake bottoms.

    Diatomaceous earth is mined, milled, and processed into a myriad of types for a large variety of uses. Filtering and filler are two main uses but diatomaceous earth also ends up in paints, cosmetics, drugs, chemical insecticides, etc. Because the milling produces different sized and shaped particles, it is important not to use the filtering type for agricultural purposes.

    Pool filter grade diatomaceous earth has been heat and chemically treated and will poison an animal or human who ingests it, so it is always of utmost importance to only obtain food grade diatomaceous earth to use in and around your household.

    Diatoms (DE) are the grass of the oceans and lakes. Just as grass is the staple food of earth animals. Diatoms (algae) are the food of the ocean or fresh water grazers. Magnified 7000x, diatomaceous earth looks like spiney honeycombs.

    INTERNAL PARASITE CONTROL: Food grade diatomaceous earth makes a very effective natural insecticide. The insecticidal quality of diatomaceous earth is due to the razor sharp edges of the diatom remains. When diatomaceous earth comes in contact with the insects, the sharp edges lacerate the bugs waxy exoskeleton and then the powdery diatomaceous earth absorbs the body fluids causing death from dehydration.

    Food grade diatomaceous earth has been used for many years as a natural wormer for livestock. Some believe diatomaceous earth scratches and dehydrates parasites. Some scientists believe that diatomaceous earth is a de-ionizer or de-energizer of worms or parasites. Regardless, people report definite control.

    Food grade diatomaceous earth works in a purely physical/mechanical manner, not ‘chemical’ and thus has no chemical toxicity. Best yet, parasites don’t build up a tolerance/immunity to its chemical reaction, so rotation of wormers unnecessary.

    *CLINICAL OBSERVATIONS OF FEEDING CODEX FOOD GRADE DIATOMACEOUS EARTH TO DOGS, O.C. Collins, DVM, Midland Animal Clinic And Hospital, Midland, TX:“In clinical observations of feeding dogs over 35 lbs. 1 tbsp./day and under 35 lbs. 1 tsp./day of DE, within seven days all ova disappeared from stools. DE controlled Ascardis (Toxacara canids), Hookworms (Anclyostoma caninum), and Whipworms (Trichuris vulipis).”

    *RESULTS ON FEEDING CODEX FOOD GRADE DIATOMACEOUS EARTH TO WALKING HORSE, L. Thomas, Trainer, L. Frank Roper Stables, Winter Garden, FL: “With horses fed approximately 5 oz. of DE mixed in the feed twice daily, the following results were observed: Stopped scours even on horses that had not responded to any other medications. Noticeable fly reduction. Horses showed an increase in appetites. Weight gain due to better feed conversion. Reduction in manure odor. Elimination of any internal parasites. Healthier appearance.

    Daily recommended food grade diatomaceous earth feeding rates:

    Kittens - 1/2 teaspoon
    Cats - 1 teaspoon
    Puppies - 1/2 to 1 tsp.
    Dogs under 35 lbs. - 1 teaspoon
    Dogs over 35 lbs. - 1 tablespoon
    Dogs over 100 lbs. - 2 tablespoons
    Cattle, Dairy Cows, & Hogs - 2% of dry feed ration
    Chickens - 5% in feed
    Goats & Sheep - 2% in grain
    Horses - 1/2 to 1 cup in daily ration
    *Humans - 1 heaping tablespoon daily

    Internal feeding of food grade diatomaceous earth also helps eliminate most internal worms, though possibly not all. It’s also excellent when fed daily to keep down fly loads, since food grade diatomaceous earth is eliminated from the body, exactly the way it went in, it helps reduce the manure odor and kills flies that come in contact with it.

    Mix in animal feed or grain and/or feed free choice.

    EXTERNAL APPLICATIONS FOR LIVESTOCK, BARNS, COOPS, KENNELS, & LITTER BOXES: Use DE throughout the barn, fowl coops, and pastures. When mucking the barn and coops, lightly, but thoroughly sprinkle diatomaceous earth absolutely everywhere! It keeps the barn “cleansed” and dry. In between barn mucking, sprinkle diatomaceous earth on wet spots to help dry them out and keep flies from laying eggs.

    Food grade diatomaceous earth is excellent in fowl coops – on the ground, in nesting/dusting boxes to prevent lice and mites. Sprinkle directly on fowl feathers to eliminate mites and lice that alrady exist. One application of diatomaceous earth has their feathers growing back quickly.

    Food grade diatomaceous earth applied to manure piles keeps fly loads down/eliminated.

    Dairy cow owners put food grade diatomaceous earth in burlap bags, so cows can rub against it and sprinkle themselves with DE, which helps to eliminate flies, that land on them, as well as lice and mites.

    Apply to moist kennel areas to reduce odors, dry the area, and prevent pest breeding.

    A small amount of food grade DE applied to livestock waterers keeps algae from growing on hot summer days.

    Food grade diatomaceous earth is great for compost piles, to prevent breeding pests and control odors.

    OUTDOOR BUGS AFFECTED BY DIATOMACEOUS EARTH: Ants, fire ants, caterpillars, cut worms, army worms, fleas, ticks, cockroaches, snails, spiders, termites, scorpions, silver fish, lice, mites, flies, centipedes, earwigs, slugs, aphids, Japanese beetles (grub stage), fruit flies, corn earworm, cucumber beetles, corn borer, sting bugs, squash vine borers, thrips, loopers, etc., etc.

    MINERALIZATION: Natural food grade diatomaceous earth contains 15 trace minerals: calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium, copper, zinc iron, phosphorous, selenium, etc. People note shinier coats, better overall health, better production, etc. in their animals who are fed food grade diatomaceous earth regularly.

    • Do NOT get diatomaceous earth in the eyes. DE is drying to the eyes, so do NOT put it out when you or your pets are down wind of it. DE is drying to your skin, hands, and feet, just as it can be to your pets.

    • NEVER use pool filter grade DE around animals. It can poison or kill them.

    • Remember, DE will kill beneficial insects as well, so use accordingly.

    You should be able to find it at a local feed store or on-line.
  4. Wooooooooooooooooow

    feeling dumb for not thinking to do a search... sorry! [​IMG]
  5. HowdyPete

    HowdyPete Hatching

    Jul 20, 2007
    I am a professional geologist licensed in California. My thesis was on diatomaceous earth. Diatoms are microscopic shells made of silica (silicon and oxygen). They have great void spaces for their size and extremely jagged edges. They have no calcium. They have no connection to oyster shells. They are inert and have no nutritional or caloric value, although as some posts have indicated, their sharp edges may lacerate parasites to death. The edges may also slice up a chicken's intestinal tract as it passes through. I would hesitate to sprinkle it where my chickens could peck and eat it.

    If you are looking for a calcium supplement, diatomaceous earth is not it.
  6. w8tn4fresheggs

    w8tn4fresheggs Songster

    Mar 24, 2007
    Hello there soulmate!

    I bought a 50 pound bag. I mix some in with their feed to keep odor and flies at bay. Also for preventive internal parasite control. I put it inside the henspa all around to be sure to keep any mites also out of the coop. It also helps dry out the poo, keep flies at bay and odor away. I have never had an odor yet.

    I have more flies in my turtle pen than I do the Henspa.
    What I did was get a empty pringles can, put holes in the top and fill with DE. I then squeeze and shots of DE come out to cover the inside of the coop. Just whatever amount you think will do. That is it.

    For me it has worked. I don't know if it has anything to do with it, but the girls shells are really hard. I will always have some on hand.

  7. allen wranch

    allen wranch Crowing

    Jan 11, 2007
    San Marcos, TX
    I will never use DE in my chicken's food again !

    I never had impacted crops until I started using DE. Ended up putting down one hen with a chronic impacted crop. Necropsy found no obstruction in the crop, in the proventriculus, in the gizzard nor in the intestines. There were no abnormalities in the intestines, except they were bone dry. Think about why your birds droppings are dryer using DE...

    No more DE, no more impacted crops.

    I do however, use it in the bedding and in my scratch. The scratch is thrown on the ground and any DE is gone with the wind.
  8. bigzio

    bigzio Crowing

    Jan 20, 2007
    My question is about the amount to feed chickens. Wormguard plus flax seed, is simply DE with flax seed. The directions with this is 1and 1/4 cups for every 50lbs of feed. This isn't even close to the amount that you recommend. 5% would be 2and 1/2 lbs, not 1 and 1/4 cups, what gives here, please explain.... thanks


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