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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: 8490
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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#69540 - 09/04/07 08:15 PM Re: DE Problems
Rogo16 Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 439
Loc: Arizona
Don't know about the geography, but Kreamer Feed in Kreamer, Pennsylvania carries food (codex) grade DE. 1-800-767-4537


=== 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've been around DE for 30 years. Thank you for letting me continue with it! -G-


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


Folks all over the U.S. and the world use DE.


Deworming is not as important to me but it's something I don't have to be concerned with. I feed DE so my critters don't get any sickness, diseases or conditions and neither do I. $23 for a 50 pound bag (some pay more, some less) is a lot less costly than a house full of supplements, prescriptions, over-the-counter stuff, vet bills and medical bills!
_________________________
Rogo

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#69541 - 09/05/07 12:15 AM Re: DE Problems
Anonymous
Unregistered


At what age do you start adding DE food grade to their food? And do you start with a smaller amount? I find I change their food often because they are always kicking their cedar chips into it or poop winds up in it, so I am often cleaning and changing their food. Is there a possibility that I could over dose them with it? Thanks, Suz

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#69542 - 09/05/07 05:16 AM Re: DE Problems
Speckled Hen Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 10/24/06
Posts: 534
Loc: Georgia
You can add it anytime at no more than 2% of the total. They can't technically overdose, but I would hesitate to add a huge amount; the 2% is good.

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#69543 - 09/05/07 05:28 AM Re: DE Problems
Upback Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 06/04/07
Posts: 457
Loc: Maine
Wow, what great information and food for thought.

I was always under the impression that DE does NOT work for things like roaches, beetles, and earwigs because the DE can't penetrate the exoskeleton of these insects. It sure dries up aphids in a hurry; and when the birds had mites last winter due to a Starling invasion (I think), it worked very quickly. So it must penetrate the softer bodied insects.

Here in Maine I don't have roaches in the coop. There are earwigs out there, but I wonder what is the problem with that as long as the feed bins are secure? I've never known a roach, beetle, slug, or earwig to suck blood or otherwise infest a chicken. They are after other things like grains, food scraps, or other decomposing matter. I am a big advocate of certain food scraps, so I rake the run once a week and compost any remaining material to eliminate bugs looking for rotting food.

Couldn't you just take the bedding out, put it in a pile, and let the chickens do the pest control in the coop and in the bedding pile for a day and then compost the old bedding and replace with fresh? In my mind you have a bunch of free, fresh protein running around the coop. Let the chickens do the work on the bugs (I doubt they eat slugs, though; I have ducks for that), and let them have plenty of access to dust bathing material. They will also take care of their own lice/mite problem. I fill the dust bathing holes in their run with pulverized lime and DE, and they keep themselves pest free. They also peck at it and eat it so possibly they do their own worming as well.

I spent a small part of my evening last night chasing chickens out of the raspberry patch while they were on their nightly hour or so free range time. I had put nice compost filled with worms and beetles on the patch; and the chickens really, really want to eat most small things that crawl. I see no reason that roaches would be any different. That's just my humble two cents worth.

Amy

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#69544 - 09/05/07 06:38 AM Re: DE Problems
Joachim Dippold Offline
Lord of the Fowl

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

Quote:
I doubt they eat slugs, though; I have ducks for that.
Be glad that they donīt!;-)

Slugs produce LOTS of slime/secret when dying. This is the reason for ducks to drown and wash the slugs prior to eating. Ducks that never learn to do that will choke on the slugs because their slime/secret is sticky and closes the eating tube.

Back on topic: Beagledog, I think DE works best if given REGULARLY. I think if one uses DE all the time, parasite populations wonīt explode in the first place.

Have you gotten rid of the worms yet? Itīs been 2 days now, and you should see a difference to the better already. Just interested. :-)

Best greetings,

Joachim

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#69545 - 09/05/07 06:45 AM Re: DE Problems
Joachim Dippold Offline
Lord of the Fowl

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

Quote:
I find I change their food often because they are always kicking their cedar chips into it or poop winds up in it,
Have you tried hanging feeders yet? Or put the feeder on top of something, so the birds canīt scratch dirt into the feeder. Just a tought.

Best greetings,

Joachim

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#69546 - 09/05/07 07:08 AM Re: DE Problems
Susie Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 1902
Loc: Arkansas
Joachim is right. Elevate the feeder and waterer to make it about chest-height, and you'll reduce this problem.

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#69547 - 09/05/07 08:24 AM Re: DE Problems
C. G. McCary Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 04/04/07
Posts: 613
Loc: Alabama
My original quote:

Quote:
Rogo is also in the arid, dry Southwest U.S. and not in the humid Eastern or Southeastern U.S.
Rogo's quote:

Quote:
Folks all over the U.S. and the world use DE.
I use DE. My point is that climates, pests, parasites, dangers, predators, etc., vary by region geographically. Different approaches may be needed for someone with chickens in hot, humid areas or some other environment.

Also, I have no experience with my chickens dealing with really cold weather as a lot of you must contend with each winter. It used to snow here in Alabama about once or twice each winter 20-25 years ago. Now, it has not snowed in over a decade. Call it what you want, global warming, whatever, but things are different.

As I have pointed out, I use DE. I envy the arid, southwestern U.S.. I envy colder climate areas (I guess the grass is always greener on the other side). No offense intended. No argument here.

Chris

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#69548 - 09/05/07 09:17 AM Re: DE Problems
Anonymous
Unregistered


Yes, I need to elevate; but being an ignorant first timer, I wound up with chicks that are different ages and sizes. My 3-week-old Silkies would never be able to eat or drink if I put it at the chest height of my 5-week-old RIR or barred Rocks. So in another few weeks when their sizes average out a little, I can get them up a little.

I have to laugh sometimes, my 6-day-old blue Cochin is as large as my 3-week-old Silkies and is getting larger by the hour I think. LOL Unfortunately, I didn't purchase ones that can be suspended. So I will have to set it on something. Any ideas of what won't allow it to slip off?

Thanks,

Suz

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#69549 - 09/05/07 09:49 AM Re: DE Problems
Joachim Dippold Offline
Lord of the Fowl

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

Quote:
Any ideas of what won't allow it to slip off?
Yep, use (old) rims. If the feeder is round it might fit just perfectly;-) Even if the feeder diameter is smaller than the diameter of the rim it cannot slip off but only move a little between the buldge of the rim. See what I mean?

Best greetings,

Joachim

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#69550 - 09/05/07 10:20 AM Re: DE Problems
Susie Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 1902
Loc: Arkansas
We usually stack ours on bricks and then later, concrete blocks. The only time they slip off is if they are empty, or close to empty, so it usually isn't a problem.

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#69551 - 09/05/07 12:56 PM Re: DE Problems
C. G. McCary Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 04/04/07
Posts: 613
Loc: Alabama
I stack my 3 gallon waterers on round concrete blocks; it takes four of them to get to a std chicken's back height. These blocks are what you would find at a Lowes or Home Depot to make a step path through a garden (each one round & about 18-20 inches in diameter). I find I only need to clean these about every 3 days or so. I put a little vinegar in the water and no algae blooms.

For the younger birds, I have placed bricks for them to step on to drink in a couple of places around each large waterer. I keep 1 - one gallon waterer lower (on two blocks). It is easier to clean and refill. I find it needs cleaning & refilling daily. Chris

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#69552 - 09/05/07 06:02 PM Re: DE Problems
Rogo16 Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 439
Loc: Arizona
Quote:
I envy the arid, Southwestern U.S. I envy colder climate areas.
I lived for a while in below zero temps. The birds did fine. I didn't! No envy from me about the colder climates!

It's not much of a drive to the northern part of my state for snow, ski lodges, etc. Just not for me.
_________________________
Rogo

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#69553 - 09/06/07 12:16 AM Re: DE Problems
Karen Offline
Flock Leader

Registered: 07/20/02
Posts: 308
Loc: California
I had a brain storm one day after having to change the bedding in the brooder box when those rambunctious older chicks knocked the water over spilling a quart of water. I used that sticky stuff that they use on the bottom of chair pads. Sorry I don't know what it’s called. It comes in a roll and is kind of rubbery.

Right now to raise the water and feed I'm using small crocks turned upside down as a base then a circle of the sticky stuff on the crock and the feeder or waterer on top of that.

Since doing this I haven't had any more spilt water or feed.

Karen
_________________________
Karen

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#69554 - 09/06/07 05:39 PM Re: DE Problems
Anonymous
Unregistered


I haven't seen any worms since the Wazine, but I'll hit them again in a week or so. Knowing now that this is not food grade DE, I'm still a bit troubled by why the stuff didn't work as advertised.

Oh well, I won't use this particular type near the birds again anyway. As far as the chickens eating the bugs, roaches are a particularly "wormy" bug. They pass disease and parasites more than most bugs, so I don't want the hens chowing on them constantly.

Thanks, everyone, for all the help.

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#69555 - 09/07/07 05:23 AM Re: DE Problems
Upback Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 06/04/07
Posts: 457
Loc: Maine
Yeah, you're right beagledogxxx. I've thought about that too because lots of the Japanese beetles that i feed my birds have been parasitized by either an Ichnumon wasp or a tachnid fly, they have little eggs on their heads. I wondered if i would pass this on to the chickens, but it's been three years of doing this and never a problem. Lots of parasites are very host specific. Some are not. Do you know for sure what type of worms the roaches have and if they would then be passed to parasitize your chickens? I just read a really interesting book about worms and parasites called Parasite Rex. I don't know anything about the effect of roaches on chickens, but I'm really curious about it now. It was just a thought - I just really like the idea of birds eating all kinds of bugs. After reading an article called something like Free Protein From the Sky, I've considered trying keeping meat scraps in a bucket to attract flies, covering the bucket for one week and then feeding fresh maggots. I like the idea but fear keeping up on it rigorously and hatching buckets of flies! Feeding maggots to chickens may sound gross to some, but i bet it would be just fine for them. Heck, they use them in some hospitals to clean up necrotic tissue and stimulate growth. If anyone out there has ever heard of or tried something like this I'd love to hear about it. Maybe I'll try it next summer...

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#69556 - 09/07/07 05:46 AM Re: DE Problems
Joachim Dippold Offline
Lord of the Fowl

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

Quote:
If anyone out there has ever heard of or tried something like this I'd love to hear about it.
Yep, we once bought a bag with tenthousands of Dendrobena (worms) to "breed" them as Winter food. They are easy to raise and as long as you keep the lights on they really wonīt crawl out of their box. No lid is needed, so thereīs lots of fresh air for the worms constantly. Well, one night I accidentally switched off the lights, and when we returned from work there were thousands of worms happily crawling on the floor! It was a long night collecting them all and placing them back in their box, believe me, you wonīt forget to keep the lights on twice...;-)

Well, to make a long story short: we have fed handsful of worms several times, but as they grew we got more and more "attached" to the little crawlers and decided to let them free in the garden...LOL! Softhearted me wanted them to at least enjoy a happy life in the garden instead of in a box before the chickens eat them.

So, it didnīt work for us, but I think raising Dendrobena as food is quite common. I have found several links concerning worms for food, so you will get all the info needed for breeding them online. Fischermen also should know how to breed worms and maggots, BTW.

Nightcrawlers also are a great source for protein, they are HUGE;-) There are lots of different worms in all sizes to fit every chicken, just look around a bit and youīll be pleased how many of them you can actually breed yourself.

Good Luck and best greetings,

Joachim

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#69557 - 09/07/07 06:52 AM Re: DE Problems
Upback Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 06/04/07
Posts: 457
Loc: Maine
Thanks Joachim! So that's what you meant by dendrobena, I had no idea. I still have to try the worm "charming" thing, too. Maybe a good activity for a rainy fall day. Last night we were out picking Tomato Horn Worms off the Brandywines and tossing those big juicy suckers in the pen. The chickens love them. It takes a bit of running, chasing and tearing them up before they can get them down, though. I started a new post about the worm thing since this is way off topic in regards to DE. Sorry Moderators and beagledogxxx!

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