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#69530 - 09/02/07 03:49 PM DE Problems
Anonymous
Unregistered


I recently bought a 6-lb. bag of DE. St. Gabriel laboratories is the brand, and insect dust is the use it is meant for. Also listed as pet safe. Having read the countless benefits described by other chicken owners, I thought it would be perfect for my flock. I cleaned out the coop, dusted the floors and a portion of the walls, and then added new hay overtop thinking this would cure me of all insect pests, as it says on the bag. I also dusted the birds as they slept, and I added some to the feed. The coop cleaning process has been repeated twice now in the last month and a half.

Yesterday I'm standing by my coop watching my birds, and I see a bird pass a few roundworms. I have never witnessed my birds with worms. Puppies with worms, yes; chickens with worms, oh no! I stopped using the Wazine wormer because I thought the DE was supposed to do this. So I hit all the waterers with Wazine and proceeded to clean my coop again.

Under the straw in the coop were countless roaches, beetles, and other creepy crawlies; and by the time I was finished, I could feel creepy crawlies on me (poultry lice perhaps). These bugs were crawling around in the DE like it was nothing. Now I admit that the bedding was put down too thick, but that shouldn't matter if the DE was doing what it is supposed to be doing. The coop floor is wood also, not dirt.

So my question is, are not all brands of DE the same? I assumed that DE for insect control was the right one. It's not like I'm using the swimming pool filter type of DE. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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#69531 - 09/02/07 05:33 PM Re: DE Problems
Rogo16 Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 439
Loc: Arizona
No, not all DE is created equal.

I've never heard of that brand. From what I can make out on the bag, nowhere does it say FOOD CHEMICAL CODEX GRADE. It would if it were food grade DE and meant to be fed. I've found it kills any insect that lands on or crawls thru it except earthworms.

DE doesn't kill quickly like an insecticide. It can take from a few minutes to a couple of days, depending on the insects. The powder slits the outer skin and dehydrates the insects.

When the right amount of food (codex) grade DE is mixed into the feed daily, it deworms critters.

Does the bag list the ingredients? It should be 100% DE. No added ingredients. No inert ingredients.
_________________________
Rogo

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#69532 - 09/02/07 08:25 PM Re: DE Problems
C. G. McCary Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 04/04/07
Posts: 613
Loc: Alabama
beagledogxxx: If your chickens already have worms, DE is not going to get rid of them. You are going to have to use a dewormer.

DE is not the cure all, end-all. DE likely improves your chicken's digestion and nutrient uptake. This would aid their general health and vigor. Rogo is right, you need to use a food grade DE. I use in the feed:

http://www.biconet.com/pets/fossilShell.html

Rogo is also in the arid, dry Southwest U.S. and not in the humid Eastern or Southeastern U.S.

Parasites, worms (and their intermediate hosts), mosquitos and bugs of all sorts take on a different meaning in more hot & humid climates and are more difficult to keep in check. It is a completely different environment in humid, hot regions. SW cacti don't grow well here in Alabama either.

As Damerow points out in Storey's Guide to Raising Chickens, Deworming:
_________________________________________________/
QUOTE: "If you prefer to avoid drug use, sooner or later someone will tell you that the best way to keep chickens free of worms is to feed them diatamaceous earth- diatom fossils ground into an abrasive powder that shreds delicate bodies. I have never seen evidence that diatamaceous earth is an effective dewormer, and common sense tells me it couldn't be. When diatamaceous earth gets wet (as it would inside a chicken's digestive tract), it softens and loses its cutting edge. /The best way to control worms is to provide good sanitation and control intermediate hosts."
_____________________________________________/

I agree with Damerow about DE NOT being a "dewormer." However, she should have stopped right there and not added her common sense analysis because she is not a geologist. I disagree with her "common sense" analysis completely. Damerow must not know that diatoms make their shells out of quartz as I have discussed in a recent thread at its end [as well as general management of my free range birds]:

http://www.the-coop.org/cgi-bin/UBB/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=1;t=001711

and here:

http://www.the-coop.org/cgi-bin/UBB/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=12;t=003012

It takes a grain of quartz about 6 million years to dissolve. This is why most beaches which are located far from their eroding sources are made up almost entirely of white, quartz sand. Getting wet or a chicken's digestive process are not going to have ANY effect on a diatom shell's abrasive qualities. Wet DE that becomes crystallized becomes the very resistant rock called "chert."

In "The Chicken Health Handbook," Damerow states, QUOTE: "Controlling parasitic worms requires good management rather than constant medication . . . Good management involves these . . . measures:
(1) practice good sanitation; (2) eliminate intermediate hosts; (3) rotate the range of free range birds; (4) avoid mixing chickens of different ages and (5) don't raise turkeys with chickens."

Damerow also observes: QUOTE: "Under good management, worms and chickens become balanced in peaceful co-existence. Through gradual exposure, birds can develop resistance to most parasites. An overload is usually caused by disease or stress. . . A healthy chicken can tolerate a certain amount of parasitic invasion."

If your birds have poultry lice, this could be causing the stress making them vulnerable to the parasitic worms. I would treat for the mites dusting each bird with Poultry Dust or equivalent:

http://www.mcmurrayhatchery.com/product/insectrin_dust.html

This is available at my feed store. Follow the directions on the Poultry Dusts' label for treating infested birds. I use it preventably by mixing it in the dust baths of my chickens every few weeks or so.

There are two main groups of worms: round ones and flat ones. There are two subgroups of the round ones: roundworms & thorny-headed worms. You should treat your chickens with a wormer like piperazine or any other approved for round worms.

I am sorry this post is so long. I hope I didn't bore you. I hope this helps and clears up the DE question. CHRIS

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#69533 - 09/02/07 09:59 PM Re: DE Problems
CJR Online   content
Coop Master

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 8489
Loc: Montana
This sometimes escalates into debate. ....doesn't need to, as it really doesn't matter that much! And so we each must choose what we feel is best for our chickens. ......It will do no good to take sides or claim that our birds are worm free or external parasite free because of DE use.....many birds are equally free, without any DE or chemicals, either.
Being a Geology student years ago and working with diatomacious earth under microscope and working with the beautiful forms (like snowflakes--almost no two alike) also learned that wet, they are no longer "spikey" or have any secret power, ..and likewise if they are smeared into dust. It is just similar to any other dust. Sharp--no, no longer sharp. After going through the gizzard, they are both wet and wet/dust--no special action at all.
Almost any kind of dust will inhibit lice or mites, chemical ones work faster and yet really have no or just a little short term residual effect. Any dust must smother the mites and has no effect if dusted on the feathers--they live on the skin of the bird and any dust must smother the mite on contact. Most dusts are wasted by dusting all over the bird and unnecessarily spreading the active ingredient where it does no good, except contamination.

STILL, those who swear by DE should continue to use it, and some of us have healthy birds without using it, and don't seem to need to worm our birds anyway, won't bother with the expense. I would NEVER feed it to my birds--but yours may thrive with it. It certainly is not harmful!!!

It doesn't really matter, and we each should make our own decisions and that is always a good thing! DE or not DE, it like Marek's-- vaccination or NOT vaccination--we choose and decide and that is OKAY, nothing to argue about! We learn from each other, as well as from some "authorities" and STILL do what we think is best! Good luck, CJR

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#69534 - 09/03/07 12:36 AM Re: DE Problems
Joachim Dippold Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 02/28/06
Posts: 1823
Loc: Austria
Hello,

there are several kinds of worms in chickens:

http://msucares.com/poultry/diseases/disparas.htm

There is a better source with pics, but I donīt find it right now, sorry. I think it was "Mereks Online Health"-something or so, canīt remember. I even have posted the link here last year but canīt find it, Iīm a chaotoc guy!;-)

edit: hereīs another one with pics:

link: http://www.thepoultrysite.com/articles/439/treatment-of-intestinal-worms-in-broiler-breeders

Hope it helps nevertheless and best greetings,

Joachim

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#69535 - 09/03/07 02:38 AM Re: DE Problems
Rogo16 Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 439
Loc: Arizona
True, some will agree and some will disagree about the use of DE. Some won't even try it. Those of us around the world who use it won't be without it. I feed it for different reasons, but in the many years I've fed it daily to the large livestock and poultry I've seen no need to use any other products for deworming. The dogs no longer need a prescription drug from the vet when they eat a wild rabbit since there's no longer a tapeworm problem.

I still find it amazing what fossilized plants from the oceans and lakes can do, and I love the results!

Food (codex) grade DE magnified 7,000 times:

_________________________
Rogo

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#69536 - 09/03/07 05:24 AM Re: DE Problems
Anonymous
Unregistered


The ingredients are as follows: Silicon oxide-85%, other element oxides-10%, moisture-5%. Claims to kill roaches( it didn't), earwigs (it didn't), slugs, ants, silverfish, beetles (it didn't), fleas, centipedes, milipedes, carpet beetles, grasshoppers, crickets, etc. The only warnings on the bag are from inhalation and eye contact.

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#69537 - 09/03/07 06:16 AM Re: DE Problems
Speckled Hen Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 10/24/06
Posts: 534
Loc: Georgia
That is not food grade, that is pool filter grade. STOP using it around birds! It is dangerous for them to breathe. Food grade is something like only 1% silicon. What you have is NOT safe around pets-they breathe, don't they? So they would inhale it, right? Not safe at all around your birds, certainly not on them.
Here is a link to Custom Milling. They have reps in PA and maybe you can find one near you. They sell PermaGuard food grade DE and it's a good price.
Custom Millling

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#69538 - 09/03/07 02:02 PM Re: DE Problems
Anonymous
Unregistered


Wow! The bag even says PET APPROVED and recommends using it in their bedding. Thanks for the warning. It even says to use it in your house, on the door jams, window sills and along the base boards. I'll look up the right stuff.

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#69539 - 09/03/07 02:40 PM Re: DE Problems
Speckled Hen Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 10/24/06
Posts: 534
Loc: Georgia
They probably don't think we plan to actually DUST our pets/birds with it. It probably just means that it isn't actually poison, but if a dog or chicken gets a snootful of it, it sure would be considered inhaled.Also, I put food grade DE IN my feed to kills any bugs that may get into the bag, therefore my birds consume it. Sure wouldn't want them eating that other stuff!

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