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What is "food grad DE?"

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by katie4, May 12, 2011.

  1. katie4

    katie4 Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 19, 2011
    I'm new to chickens and I've read up on the basics.

    I read a thread about finding "food grade DE." Can you tell me what this is and its purpose?

  2. hickchick55

    hickchick55 Chillin' With My Peeps

    It is diatomaceous earth. Fossil flour. I found this website very helpful- www.earthworkshealth.com Although I did end up ordering it from Amazon to get free shipping. I use a flour sifter to spread in chicken shack and run, hoping to prevent mites and lice. My cat and I are also eating it.
  3. Donner

    Donner Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 19, 2010
    Issaquah, WA
    Crushed fossillized diatoms. Mostly Silicon Dioxide (Silica). Food grade is uncooked amorphous silica and not a silicosis hazard. Non-food grade like that used for pool filters has been cooked into crystallized Silica which is a silicosis hazard.

    It is a desiccant, and thus can kill small insects by drying them out. Completely harmless to ingest, but counter to some of the myths, it is not useful to ingest. I use it in my coop to dry out poop, and since dry poop does not smell as much as wet poop, it tends to reduce the smell in the coop.

    I get mine for $.99 a pound out of a bulk garbage can at my feed store, I expect a 50lb bag would be about $30. I saw a 2.5 lb bag at a vendor at a dog show for like $15, so don't get ripped off.
  4. GiddyMoon

    GiddyMoon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 14, 2011
    Tucson, AZ
    Completely harmless to ingest, but counter to some of the myths, it is not useful to ingest.

    This is not true. It is a very good dewormer. We have been using it on our cats for years and I know humans who work on ranches and take it themselves to help keep them from getting tape worms, etc.​

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