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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
When is a good age, to put diatomaceous earth on the chickens? And would you use it like a light powder on them? It's food grade that I have so it won't hurt them right? I have two six week olds, one three month old, and a four month old. All silkies. Right now they are all inside but they are doing some scratching and head shaking sometimes. I wonder when the best time to apply the DE is? Thanks for you're help!
 

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I've never used the stuff on any of my flock. Personally I would never use it unless it was absolutely necessary. Is their a reason you are wanting to put it on your flock ? From what I understand its to get rid of lice and mites.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I just read to prevents bugs. They don't have bugs now, but I was reading it is a wonderful prevention. Please tell me why you would never use it? I only heard one side about how wonderful it is? Please explain. Thank you
 

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I personally dont buy into all the comercial products that claim to be great and wonderful. I see no need in buying and using stuff when its not needed. I prefer to let my flock to live as naturally as I can ( I dont buy oyster shells or grit either, my flock gets what they need from the ground and egg shells.). But then again I am not one to pamper my poultry , I have them for eggs and meat. I also have my flock free ranging on 2 acres.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you Apyl, it's always good to get another opinion. That's wonderful you have the room to let them free range! That would be wonderful! In my area I have LOADS of hawks, owls, black crows, I live close to a river bed and there are so many birds of pray! Of course I'll let them out of there run but I'd best keep a sharp eye out or someone would be willing to make a meal out of one! I guess I do pamper them. Mine are pets mostly. No meat birds and eggs are just a bonus. In fact they will be coming inside and out. I'm so afraid of predators I just bought a solar electric fence to wire up the run and house. I'm going to wire it tight. I get very attached to my animals. I guess I'm over protective! Can I ask a question? Do you vaccinate your flock? I've been reading on it and my husband was saying he doesn't like the idea of putting a live virus into the chickens so I haven't done it. What's your opinion on that? I really appreciate you taking the time to talk with me about this. Is vaccines more for large commercial flocks? Thank you again for your opinions! :)
 

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I have never heard of DE being used for chickens or directly on any animal. I have used it for my dog... spreading it in her sleeping/kennel area. It is basically a microscopic pile of knives - a sharp substance that will cut passing fleas to bits. It is too fine to do damage to say skin but I wouldn't use it in chickens because they eat everything and I can't imagine that'd be good for their intestines....
 

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It kills pests so I suppose in one way it could be considered a pesticide but it is not a chemical.

"Diatomacious Earth (often referred to as "DE") is an off white talc-like powder that is the fossilized remains of marine phytoplankton. When sprinkled on a bug that has an exoskeleton (such as bed bugs, ants or fleas) it gets caught between their little exoskeleton joints. As they move, the diatomaceous earth acts like razor blades and cuts them up."
 

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In my un-expert opinion, feel free to accept or reject

I've been using DE for several years now all around my chickens and garden and for the pets. As it has been said previously, DE is microscopic fossilized animals that have the effect of microscopic razor blades on animal pest. It is safe for humans, except you must avoid breathing it as it can cause problems to humans that experience pulmonary problems. As far as ingesting DE it is safe for humans and animals, in fact it is used as an anti-clumping agent in some flour. But I digress, for animals here's what I've found DE to be very useful for;

1. Ant dens, when sprinkled on the den the ants will be gone in less than a week. We don't have fire ants here, soI don't know how effective it is on fire ants.
2. I sprinkle DE around the coop and perches in the summer to control the fly population, especially helps between cleanings if the poop starts to attract flies.
3. Mixing DE with dry food for dogs, cats, chickens is very effective for controlling worms.
4. As previously said I this thread iris very good for controlling mites and fleas. Don't have a big tick problem here but I expect that it would equally effective for ticks,
 

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After I clean the coop (I make a vodka, orange peel, cinnamon infused cleaner) and clear out old shavings...I sprinkle food grade DE as the base layer, paying particular attention to the corners of the coop. I also read it is great for prevention of mites on Fresh Eggs Daily. I also take the ash from the fire place and mix some DE in it and they dust bathe in it. But...I probably should wear a mask when sprinkling it in the coop! :eek:
 

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Lissa said:
After I clean the coop (I make a vodka, orange peel, cinnamon infused cleaner) and clear out old shavings...I sprinkle food grade DE as the base layer, paying particular attention to the corners of the coop. I also read it is great for prevention of mites on Fresh Eggs Daily. I also take the ash from the fire place and mix some DE in it and they dust bathe in it. But...I probably should wear a mask when sprinkling it in the coop! :eek:
That is a great idea for the dust bath, I'm getting ash tomorrow and mixing it to put in the area where the flock likes to go for their dust bath
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks everyone! I purchased two large bags of food grade DE. I wanted some opinions before I used it. I've read how wonderful it is for killing pests. It's good to hear others are using it too. I'll be using in the coop and likely add to dust bath. This should help with the pests.
 

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I've been using it in the coop and in the dust bath. I use a flour sifter when applying to coop. Works great, no bugs, less flys, and the girls are happy. When I clean the 10x20 run out, I throw some down on the ground also, keeps the smell down.
Wish I knew about this stuff 25 years ago when I had my first flock.
 

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Thank you Apyl, it's always good to get another opinion. That's wonderful you have the room to let them free range! That would be wonderful! In my area I have LOADS of hawks, owls, black crows, I live close to a river bed and there are so many birds of pray! Of course I'll let them out of there run but I'd best keep a sharp eye out or someone would be willing to make a meal out of one! I guess I do pamper them. Mine are pets mostly. No meat birds and eggs are just a bonus. In fact they will be coming inside and out. I'm so afraid of predators I just bought a solar electric fence to wire up the run and house. I'm going to wire it tight. I get very attached to my animals. I guess I'm over protective! Can I ask a question? Do you vaccinate your flock? I've been reading on it and my husband was saying he doesn't like the idea of putting a live virus into the chickens so I haven't done it. What's your opinion on that? I really appreciate you taking the time to talk with me about this. Is vaccines more for large commercial flocks? Thank you again for your opinions! :)
No I dont vaccine my flock. We eat the eggs and meat and I would prefer it not be medicated. But again its a personal preference, its not just commercial. I started my flock with the intention of becoming self sustaining, so I prefer to keep it as simple as possible and as low cost as possible. I also live in an area with predators. I'm in the woods of Wisconsin. :) We have wolves, bears, coyotes, owls, eagles, hawks, cougars, fishers, ect.
 

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I'll have to give DE a try for our ant problem. I was thinking I would have to use a toxic chemical and I was worried how much would end up in the chooks
 

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I personally do not use any chemical things on my wee birds I have found keep the coup scrubbed down 2 times a week ans keep the poo cleaned up and give them a place for their dirt baths and you should have no problem .Again I have only 3 birds and we are in the city so I am very particulr on how my girls are raised . They have a very clean chicken area
 

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I scoop poop and change water twice daily too. Need to rebuild the inside of the coop to make room for the new hens in April. Cannot wait!
 

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After I clean the coop (I make a vodka, orange peel, cinnamon infused cleaner) and clear out old shavings...I sprinkle food grade DE as the base layer, paying particular attention to the corners of the coop. I also read it is great for prevention of mites on Fresh Eggs Daily. I also take the ash from the fire place and mix some DE in it and they dust bathe in it. But...I probably should wear a mask when sprinkling it in the coop! :eek:
A couple of questions for Lissa or anyone;
1. Why mix ash with DE? I have read that some use DE straight as a dust bath. Just reading.
2. Do you spread it on your eggs? For mites?
3. What's the Vodka do? Make you feel like everything is cleaner?:cool:
 

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Hi there, well, I was using vinegar to clean the coop and read this article about using vodka. http://fresh-eggs-daily.blogspot.com/2013/01/vodka-shaken-not-stirred-natural.html
It smells so good (and plus if I get tired and need a drink while cleaning the coop, I am set! haha) and it worked really well but I don't have a huge coop so for a bigger coop; it might get expensive. I don't like to use chemicals so I was just looking for alternatives.

Here is the article about mixing DE with ash for dust bathing. You don't have to mix DE with ash but I had some sitting in the fireplace and thought I would give it a try. http://fresh-eggs-daily.blogspot.com/search?q=DE+and+ash
 

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Hi All,
I use to buy DE, not for 3 years now. My thought was, since the chickens are taking a dust bath in it, all that DE dust is in the air for the chickens to inhale....your not suppose to inhale it right? Human, or chickens, or dogs. So, I always play pickup sticks in my yard, burn down the sticks into ashes then give the ashes to the chickens to roll around in. I have had no worms, bugs, mites, nor any other infestation to my chickens. If you have a fire place, give them the ashes to roll in, if not, make a stick pile then replace the ashes as needed. Ashes are free too.
 
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