Diatomaceous Earth – Does It Work In The Coop?

Diatomaceous Earth – Does It Work In The Coop?

I have used Diatomaceous Earth for a while now. It has a tremendous capacity to absorb liquid as well as kill all the creepy, crawly buggies associated with chickens and poultry. This includes mites, lice, fleas… it even kills bed bugs! If you include it in their food, it also kills the parasites in their poo.

Kill those creepy, crawly bugs…

Diatomaceous (die-uh-toe-may-shus) Earth, isn’t really dirt and it’s not even colored like it. It is the broken up shells of diatoms, that lived ages ago and died in groups so massive that they can be mined now.

“DE”, as Diatomaceous Earth is abbreviated, can kill insects. It’s perfect for natural insect control. (Unfortunately, it kills good ones, like bees and ladybugs, too, so it’s use shouldn’t be indiscriminate.) It is 100% ecologically safe to the environment and non-poisonous to man and animal. 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.

When bugs come into contact with Diatomaceous Earth it chews them up like a blender, cutting right through their tough outer shells, and makes them DEAD.

No, it is not harmful to people. There is talk that it is bad to breath into your lungs, but the people who work in the manufacture of Diatomaceous Earth don’t seem to be at higher risk than anyone else. Lots of other mines and production jobs have a much higher rate of illness. Some people even eat Diatomaceous Earth on a regular basis to keep parasites out of their bodies.

Keep those floors dry and smelling good.

I like it especially for keeping the floors and bedding dry and sweet smelling. As I said… whenever I clean the coops or stalls, a sprinkle of Diatomaceous Earth goes down before the new bedding is replaced. If a water bucket is spilled, I rake back the bedding and sprinkle it on the spill. Where ever the chickens poo a lot, like under the perches or in corners where young birds sleep, the bedding starts getting wet and smells of ammonia. Just give it a good sprinkle of Diatomaceous Earth or better yet, remove it frequently.

If you’ve ever seen a chick with swollen, red and infected eyes, it’s a good bet that it’s come into contact with ammonia in the bedding, and it’s eyes and even possibly it’s lungs have gotten burned. That’s one hurting little bird. When you go about your coop chores every day, just bend over and take a sniff now and then. If you smell ammonia, get out the DE and give it a sprinkle or replace the bedding. Keep that bedding dry and clean.Your chickens will love you for it.

Hope this info helps keep your coop clean and your chickens happy.

This is a great article on Diatomaceous Earth. CLICK HERE.

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3 Responses to “Diatomaceous Earth – Does It Work In The Coop?”

  1. Jonathan says:

    Thanks for this write-up on DE with chickens.
    You can also feed it to the chicken by mixing it into some suitable chicken feed (gruel, corn grits, or whatever). It will keep them internally free of parasites. I know of folk who have done this the entire life of the chicken and their birds are still good layers after 7, 8, and even 9 years!!

  2. Sherry says:

    Can you give it to baby chicks also?

  3. Vic says:

    I’m not “Admin”, but yes you can give it to the young ones also!!!! I even feed some to my dogs to de-worm them! It works great. Since I live in the country areas of Fl, I get animals all around. Ex: Strays, Raccoons (cute, but TICKed off, if you know what I mean), Fox, Florida Panthers, etc. I use D.E. to help keep ticks, lice, and fleas under controll! and…you can easily spread some outside of your pin, to help keep bugs out. You can get D.E. at Home Depot, Lowes, Ace, anywhere you can get poisons really. If you can’t find any, look online. At places such as plant stores that have websites, and I bet you could look at your local DIY store’s website too. Sorry I didn’t mean to make this a lecture-online, but I just wanted to let y’all know! :D
    Vic recently posted..Poultrygeist at Gower’s Feed in Ranson, WV

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