As a backyard chicken keeper, you’re likely always on the lookout for natural and effective ways to keep your flock healthy and pest-free. One such option that has gained popularity in recent years is diatomaceous earth for chickens.
In this blog post, we will explore the benefits of using diatomaceous earth for chickens, including its natural pest control properties and health benefits.
You may also want to read about the best chicken coop bedding. Make sure to provide your chickens with the best care.
What is Diatomaceous Earth?
Diatomaceous earth is a natural, sedimentary rock formed from the fossilized remains of diatoms, which are microscopic algae. DE is made up of sharp-edged, microscopic particles that have abrasive properties, making it effective in various applications, including pest control and health supplements for animals.
DE is available in two forms: food grade and industrial grade. Food grade diatomaceous earth is safe for consumption by animals and humans and is commonly used in animal feed, including for chickens. Industrial grade diatomaceous earth, on the other hand, is not suitable for consumption and is used in applications such as filtration and industrial processes.
Pest Control Properties of Diatomaceous Earth
One of the main reasons why backyard chicken keepers use diatomaceous earth is its natural pest control properties. DE works by causing physical damage to the exoskeleton of insects, leading to dehydration and death. When chickens come into contact with diatomaceous earth, it can help control and prevent common pests that can harm chickens, such as mites, lice, fleas, ticks, and even internal parasites.
Diatomaceous earth for chickens is very healthy.
To use diatomaceous earth for pest control in chickens, you can apply a thin layer of DE in areas where pests are known to infest, such as the coop, nesting boxes, and dust baths. Chickens naturally dust bathe, and the abrasive particles of DE can help to eliminate pests that come into contact with it. Additionally, adding a small amount of diatomaceous earth to your chicken’s feed can help prevent internal parasites.
It’s important to note that only food grade diatomaceous earth should be used with chickens, as industrial grade DE can be harmful if ingested. When using diatomaceous earth for pest control, it’s also important to use caution and avoid excessive dust exposure, as it can cause respiratory irritation in both humans and animals.
Health Benefits of Diatomaceous Earth for Chickens
In addition to its pest control properties, diatomaceous earth can also provide health benefits for chickens. DE is rich in trace minerals such as silica, calcium, magnesium, and other beneficial minerals, which can help improve overall health and well-being in chickens.
Some potential health benefits of diatomaceous earth for chickens include:
- Improved Digestive Health: Diatomaceous earth can help to absorb excess moisture in the digestive tract, which can be beneficial in preventing and treating conditions such as diarrhea and other digestive issues in chickens.
- Stronger Eggshells: The calcium content in diatomaceous earth can help improve the quality and strength of eggshells, reducing the risk of egg breakage and improving overall egg production.
- Detoxification: Diatomaceous earth has been shown to have detoxifying properties, helping to remove harmful toxins from the body, which can promote overall health and immunity in chickens.
- Odor Control: Adding diatomaceous earth to the coop or nesting boxes can help absorb moisture and control odors, creating a cleaner and healthier environment for your chickens.
- Promoting Healthy Feathers: DE can also help control external parasites, such as mites and lice, which can irritate the skin and damage the feathers. By reducing the presence of these pests, diatomaceous earth can help promote healthy feather growth and overall feather health in chickens