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Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by beatrixkiddo, Dec 22, 2010.
And what is it for and how do I use it? I did a search but came up empty handed. Thanks.
From Wikipedia -
"Diatomaceous earth consists of fossilized remains of diatoms, a type of hard-shelled algae. It is used as a filtration aid, as a mild abrasive, as a mechanical insecticide, as an absorbent for liquids, as cat litter, as an activator in blood clotting studies, and as a component of dynamite. As it is also heat-resistant, it can be used as a thermal insulator."
Use food grade for chickens. Sprinkle it on their food and in the coops. It helps keep flys and other bugs under control. It is similar to microscopic shards of glass that will cut the exoskeleton of a bug and so ultimately kills it. It is good for worms in chickens, too, but as a preventative, not as a treatment in and of itself. I dust the coop floor and poop boards every weekend. I also throw some in their favorite dust bath spots.
Again, use food grade. You can probably get it at your local feed store. You can order it on line but the shipping usually costs almost as much as the product!
It is diatomaceous earth. This is copied directly from wikipedia: Diatomaceous earth consists of fossilized remains of diatoms, a type of hard-shelled algae. It is used as a filtration aid, as a mild abrasive, as a mechanical insecticide, as an absorbent for liquids, as cat litter, as an activator in blood clotting studies, and as a component of dynamite. As it is also heat-resistant, it can be used as a thermal insulator.
Personally I use it as a natural dessicant. I mix it in with the pine shavings in the coop to help keep it dry and to dry up the chicken's fecees. It helps keep the smell down. I also use it as a feed through for my horses to help keep the flies down by drying up any fly eggs that are laid on their manure. Some people use it as a natural wormer but I have found that it does not work as a wormer. By the way, if you want to use it, make sure that you buy food grade. The non-food grade is for things like pool filters and should not be fed to animals. Hope this helps!
Diatomaceous Earth -
Diatomaceous Earth is primarily used for the control of external parasites, and as a wormer when using food grade DE. Diatomaceous (die-uh-toe-may-shus) Earth, isn't dirt or earth, not even colored like it. It consists of the broken up shells of tiny critters, called diatoms, that lived long ago and died in groups so massive that they can, today, be mined and bull-dozed. "DE", as diatomaceous earth is abbreviated, has the neat quality of killing insects. It's perfect for natural insect control. (Unfortunately, it kills good ones, like bees and ladybugs, too, so its use shouldn't be indiscriminate.) It is 100% ecologically safe to the environment and non-poisonous to man and beast. In fact, if you've eaten anything made with flour (like Bisquick), you've eaten DE. It's used in commercial grain storage as a means of natural, poison-free, insect control.
* Add 2% D.E. to your feed to reduce, or eliminate internal parasites and worms.
* You can dust your birds to help control external parasites like red mites, and lice. You will also need to spread this liberally on roosts, bedding areas, and dusting spots. Take care not to inhale the dust, as it can cause lung problems.
Now there is some disagreement on weather DE works as a wormier or not and I my self don't rely on DE as a sole worming agent.
I much rather use a product like Ivermectin as a wormier and a secondary agent for mites and lice.
I do use DE mixed with wood ash in the pens as a dust before I put bedding and or sand down.
In the nest boxes, I us a mixture of DE, Wood Ash and Sand at the bottom of the nest box along with Tobacco Stems as the nesting material.
The Sand I refer to is Builders Sand and is not Play Sand. Play Sand is much to fine and will just pack and cause a mess where Builders Sand is coarser and has less tendency to pack.
Tobacco Stems are used as a nesting material and has a benefit in that it helps keep down lice and feather mites.
I use the DE in and around the coup and spinkle it on their food (Always make sure it is food grade DE that you are using) I have even used the DE myself taking 1 tablespoon in a glass of water a day (It is just silica) I use it on the kitchen counters for ant control and around and in the coup for insect and mite control!
I sprinkle it on the feed as internal Parasite control! I am totally in favor of its uses in and around the chickens and other animals (I also sprinkle it in nest boxes and roost