Inside: Discover the power of diatomaceous earth for chicken care on the homestead, pest control to overall health, enhance your flock's health.
When it comes to caring for our chickens on the homestead, using natural and sustainable methods is a top priority. One such method that is quite popular among homesteaders is the use of diatomaceous earth (DE).
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Diatomaceous Earth for Chicken Care
Derived from fossilized remains of diatoms, DE is a versatile and effective natural substance that can provide numerous benefits to our feathered friends.
There are advantages of incorporating diatomaceous earth into your chicken care routine and how it can contribute to the overall well-being of your flock. And other areas of your homestead too.
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Food grade diatomaceous earth is generally available from food and feed stores, or online. Wherever you buy from, for use with your chickens make sure it…
- is food grade only
- contains less than 2% crystalline silica (and if possible, lower than that)
- has no fillers (some contain chalk or sand)
Promoting Pest Control
One of the primary benefits of using diatomaceous earth for chickens is its ability to control pests.
DE is composed of microscopic skeletal remains of diatoms, which have sharp edges. When pests like mites, lice, fleas, or ticks come into contact with DE, the sharp edges pierce their exoskeletons, leading to dehydration and eventual death.
By dusting DE in the coop bedding and nesting boxes, you can effectively combat these unwelcome pests without resorting to harsh chemicals or medications. I use it under the pine shavings or straw that is lining their areas.
Improving Dust Bathing Areas
Dust bathing is a vital behavior for chickens, helping them keep their feathers clean, control parasites, and regulate body temperature. By adding a little diatomaceous earth into their dust bathing areas, you can enhance its effectiveness. DE helps to suffocate and eliminate external parasites like mites and lice that may be hiding in the dust.
It also absorbs excess moisture, preventing the growth of harmful bacteria and fungi. By providing DE-enriched dusting areas, you can support your chickens' natural grooming instincts and contribute to their overall hygiene.
I add DE to the lose dirt that my chickens love to dust bath in, because they won't use dust bathing boxes or anything like that. Work smarter not harder!
Maintaining Coop Hygiene
Maintaining a clean and hygienic coop is essential for the health and well-being of your flock.
Diatomaceous earth can be used as a natural coop deodorizer and drying agent. By sprinkling DE on the coop floor and the bottom of the nesting boxes, it helps to absorb moisture and odors, preventing the growth of bacteria and reducing the risk of respiratory issues.
As a natural and versatile solution, diatomaceous earth offers a range of benefits for chicken care on the homestead. DE can contribute to the overall well-being of your flock while promoting a sustainable and natural approach to chicken care.
The important thing to remember is that this is about preventative care rather than for dealing with a problem you already have. Smarter not harder right? Keep on top of regular cleaning and health care to prevent a problem. Once you have mites or lice, it is harder to get rid of them rather than just preventing, plus them you are going to need more than natural remedies.