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Diatomaceous Earth (DE)

Discussion in 'Natural and Organic Husbandry' started by Cricket, Jan 6, 2013.

  1. Jan 6, 2013
    Cricket

    Cricket Ridin' The Range

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    Note that the following is from a manufacturer/distributor of DE.

    Food grade Diatomaceous Earth is the fossilized remains of microscopic shells created by one celled plants called diatoms.
    Diatomaceous earth is made available for human consumption in other parts of the world such as Europe and China but the FDA in the United States has not approved its use for human consumption only animal consumption.

    Diatomaceous earth is completely harmless to warm blooded animals, but it is also highly lethal to any creature that has an exoskeleton. DE is a natural desiccant which means it dries out or dehydrates. As diatomaceous earth travels through the digestive tract it will slowly come in contact with these small invaders and they will eventually succumb to the effects of the fine powder.

    How do I properly use Diatomaceous Earth?
    If you want to make a dietary supplement to keep your animals healthy it is important to remember that the amount of Food Grade DE mixed into the dry weight of the food is not to exceed 2%. Although Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth is non-toxic it is never a good idea to feed your animals too much of anything. The 2% of Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth is typically more than enough to take care of any problems you may have, and you will probably be just fine with less than that. For smaller house pets you might want to just add a teaspoon to their food, and for larger pets try using a table spoon. Always consult a veterinarian for your pets specific needs when you buy food grade diatomaceous earth. *

    Remember to only buy food grade diatomaceous earth and steer clear of the DE used in pool filters as it is processed DE and is toxic. Avoid diatomaceous earth that has any kind of additive in it because they can sometimes be toxic as well. Also because it is a very fine powder, inhaling too much of it can irritate the lungs and cause coughing. Diatomaceous Earth also may cause your skin to become dry if your skin is exposed to large amounts of it, but the typical consumer will not have to worry too much about that as you will rarely come in contact with enough to make a difference. It is recommended that while working with large amounts you use a mask and gloves as a precaution and use DE in well ventilated areas.
     
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  2. Jan 6, 2013
    Four Winds Ranch

    Four Winds Ranch Loving the herd life

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    Thanks for the info!:thumbsup
    I am getting into trying this route aswell, on some things!
     
  3. Jan 6, 2013
    pridegoethb4thefall

    pridegoethb4thefall Ridin' The Range

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    Ive always used DE food grade in my chicken coop and pen. It dries up poo like crazy! Any bad smells between clean outs disappears. I also sprinkle it all over their roosting bars and in the nesting sites where they lay eggs.

    Also, I put out a good amount into any dust bath spots I come across. Haven't put it in any feed though. I do hear good things.

    A bag lasts a long time, so I think its worth the money. I noticed flies tend to stay away from anything that has DE on it.

    I like it! :thumbsup
     
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  4. Jan 7, 2013
    Shelly May

    Shelly May Chillin' with the herd

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    I tried it with my sheep, I was not impressed, it was suppose to dry the passed larve up so they don't
    hatch into worms, I was told to mix 1 cup with 1 50lb bag of my mineral, So I went out and bought a brand
    new small cement mixer, put the 50lbs of mineral in and added 1 cup of Dem, Mixing process was great.
    Just wasn't happy with results, But we still use it on the chickens, I am happy with the results with the
    birds.
     
  5. Jan 7, 2013
    EllieMay

    EllieMay Loving the herd life

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    I like to sprinkle the DE where my chickens do their dust bathing.
    It's also great to sprinkle in the pens if you need to dry up the poo (or for bug control).
    :thumbsup
     
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  6. Jan 8, 2013
    Cricket

    Cricket Ridin' The Range

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  7. Jan 8, 2013
    Cricket

    Cricket Ridin' The Range

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    I wondered if it was safe to use for dust bathing, as you aren't supposed to inhale it.

    If you mix it with your minerals, it doesn't seem as though they'd be ingesting enough to help with fly control? I noticed a lot more flies this year because I kept my chickens from free ranging for a few months. (My husband bought his very own tomato plants and it wasn't going to end well if they all ended up chicken pecked!)
     
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  8. Jan 9, 2013
    OneFineAcre

    OneFineAcre Herd Master

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    DE is used in mills to mix with feed to prevent it from clumping.

    If you buy a pelleted feed I'm not sure if it is used since I do not use a pelleted feed. But local mills use it that actually grind corn, soybean, alflalfa, and add a "bit" of molasses for taste to an all stock type feed add it to prevent clumping.

    When I clean out my goat house or chicken coop, it's the first thing that goes down, before the pine shavings. I just need to clean them all more often.
     
  9. Jun 6, 2013
    floridaGirl13

    floridaGirl13 Exploring the pasture

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    DE is still new to me, we don't use it at present but after seeing that its a main ingredient in most equine fly repellant supplements I am very interested in trying it. I had only heard of it being used internally but now that I know I can use it for my chickens I may have to pick some up
     
  10. Jun 7, 2013
    bubba1358

    bubba1358 Ridin' The Range

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    It is. The inhalation warnings are really for long-term exposure. I doubt chickens would live long enough to be affected anyway.

    I've used it to treat fleas on my dogs. He had bad fleas last year. I coated him good, rubbing it up and down his coat, then sprinkled a lot all over his yard. So far, the fleas have not returned this year.

    I also feed it to my animals, and have never had a parasite problem. I mix it with oats and water for my sheep and donkey (they love it!), and just in the regular feed and/or kitchen scraps for my chickens.
     
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