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Author Topic: Diatomaceous Earth, Chickens and Honeybees  (Read 3816 times)
reinbeau
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« on: May 02, 2008, 06:57:10 AM »

Do any of you use food grade DE in your coops for odor and insect control?  I'm trying to determine if it's safe to use it with an apiary nearby - our bees are right next to the chickens, and I don't want to do anything to harm the bees, but DE is such an effective product I'd like to use it for the chickens.  Any experience would be appreciated!
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- Ann, A Gardening Beek -  ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

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Cindi
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« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2008, 09:10:14 AM »

Ann, do a search on our forum for diatomaceous earth.  THere was some speaking about it and I can't remember.  I am too lazy to do that search for you, well, not true, I have a bunch of posts that I want to read, so I will be that lazy girl and wait for you to do it and then tell us, hee, hee, (if you will share this secret once you have done the work to get the answers, hee, hee, you know me).

Personally, if I were you, instead of using the D.E. I would just turn the ground over in the coop frequently to keep the stench down (oops, did I say that?)  The chicken yard can get kind of stinky when there are alot of chickens in a pretty small area, stench was not a great word, hee, hee.

I am lucky that I have so much room for all the birds here that there is not really much smell.  I clean the coops about once a week and put down sawdust shavings, very very lightly, that helps to get rid of smells too.

About the insects, well I think that the chickens will eat all the insects, they love to  munch on bugs, even pick the bugs from the air as they fly away.

When I was herding the ducks into their night house (they are always the last ones to go in), Girl was walking along and she was looking this way and that.  She stopped for a second, grabbed a bug in mid air and then carried on to her house.  It was kind of funny because I didn't see that bug, but boy, she had her eyeball on it, it made me laugh. 

Ann, you are going to love to have those chickens, they will give you hours of entertainment, watching them, listening to them, I cannot describe how interesting it will be.  Are you getting a rooster?  Now that is a hoot and a hollar, they have got to be the most cool of them all.  I love my roosters, and I love how they command the girls and the entire stock.  Even the ducks and the turkeys listen when a warning call is made.  When the warning call is made, it is incredible the silence.  You never realize how really noisy things are until their is the chickenyard silence......have the most beautiful and wonderful day, don't I just keep ramblin' and ramblin', something like the Eveready Bunny, keeps on goin' and goin' and goin', by the way, our sun is gonna shine today,  Smiley Smiley Smiley  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
reinbeau
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« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2008, 10:05:25 AM »

Ok, Cindi, I did the search and yes, we've discussed DE, but there's nothing conclusive.  Maybe Angi will speak up and tell us if she's got experience with it.

I have been discussing this over on Backyard Chickens.  Many use food grade DE (the food grade is key here) to manage the smell, mites, worms, etc. all the things that can be difficult when raising chickens.  I can't turn over my coop floor, it's wood covered with linoleum, but I am planning on using the deep litter method in there in conjunction with a dropping pit, the idea is to sprinkle the DE onto the litter every once in awhile to keep the smell down, the girls work it down into the litter while they peck around for bugs (and yes, there are still bugs for them to peck at even with the use of the DE).  People use DE for mites, they dust their birds with it, and if you mix it a bit with their feed, it's a natural wormer.  The silicosis issue isn't associated with food grade DE, only with the more raw or industrial use DE, but I'll still use a mask when working with it.

The grain store called me yesterday to tell me that the hatch has been set back for a month, so I won't be getting them until the first week of June - oh well!  At least it gives Greg more time to get the coop ready.  I am not looking forward to setting up the run, the rocks out there are fierce (I haven't posted the picture of my rock pile yet, it's pretty huge now!) so setting posts is going to be tedious, at best.  I'm trying to make the run as large as I can, right now I'm going for 16x20, with a net covering to keep out our friendly, hungr, neighborhood redtails. 

I can't have a rooster, my neighbors are too close, but that's ok, I'm resigned to it.  Maybe someday we'll be somewhere where I can (although that seems less and less likely as things progress, we'll see....)   I love my house, all I need is more land.  Maybe I'll win the lottery and make my neighbors an offer they can't refuse  evil  Hey, we can dream, can't we?  cheesy
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- Ann, A Gardening Beek -  ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

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KONASDAD
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« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2008, 10:10:43 AM »

Not an answer directly to your question, but.... I keep fish. I use DE for filter media. W/ time it can become clogged, so I swap it out and put in buckets to be cleaned later. i have about ten 5gal buckets w/ DE behind my shed. the bees drink water off the top but otherwise ignore it. I dont see them attempt to pick up and fly awy as if it were pollen either. If it hurts my bees, i am unaware it is doing so.
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« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2008, 10:41:49 AM »

I use the food grade for my chix, pigeons, plants ect.  I wouldn't put it down under the bees but it should be safe in the chix as there really isn't anything interesting in there for the bees to get into. I put some in the food containers, keeps the moths & crawlies at bay & keeps food from clumping.  I don't dust animals with it, as inhaling into the lungs isn't good.  You can also put it around plants in my pots to kill slugs, aphids etc.  Don't dust on the flowers for the bees though.  Best thing would be to sprinkle (you wear a mask) directly on the floor before you put litter down, then add a little each time you put more add more litter. I even put it in my wild bird bins as they carry worms & cooties that can be passed to my birds.  Have been doing it for years & everyone is alive & happy (I think... huh)  Just make sure it is food grade, NOT industrial pool grade.   grin  Jody
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thomashton
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« Reply #5 on: May 02, 2008, 12:07:00 PM »

I can't turn over my coop floor, it's wood covered with linoleum

Holy smokes! I thought I was the only one with that kind of coop!
Awesome. Great minds think alike! grin
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DayValleyDahlias
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« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2008, 02:34:31 PM »

I have only ever used DE around the perimeter of the aviary for ant control...It didn't seem to work very well...I am using the borax mixed in jelly...I smeared it on the inner inside cover of Earth Balance container,poked holes along the rim of the container put it on the lid and have it upside down, so ants with crawl in and take the poison to the nests...I hope anyway..

Another idea for people who use more toxic granules...a friend of mine pokes a few small holes in an empty soda/beer can, places the bait in the can, them lays the can on the ground for the ants to get to...works with earwigs too I am told...

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Cindi
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« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2008, 12:10:36 AM »

Ann, you are a work and a wonder!!!  Great, I knew that you would do a little searching and impart thoughts, hee, hee.  See, I didn't have to do a darn thing, me bad.

But now you are a naughty girl, you have sent me off on another mission.  Eeks, like I don't have enough mission impossibles right now, hee, hee.  I am going to do a little investigation myself into DE, I have heard of it over and over and it sounds like by what Jody was saying it is going to be a good thing to have around the chicken coops.

My turkey barn and one chicken barn both have cement floors.  That comes from the day when we kept horses and my Husband poured cement.  We did that during the summer and man was that alot of work.  We have a cement mixer, and man oh man, has it been put to use around our place over the years.  Ramblin'.  Sorry.

My third house has a plywood floor, so it is easy to keep clean too.  Anyways, I am probably going to get into using some of the food grade D.E.  I remember when I operated the nursery, that many people raved about the use of D.E. around their gardens, gotta have something really good with many things eh?  Now I am going to find out where it comes from, I think it is from dinosaurs or something like that, hee, hee.

Ann, that is maybe a good thing that your chicks are delayed.  The weather will certainly be much more warm and friendly to them.  Have you chosen what breed/s you are going to get, I would love to hear more of what you are up to.  Have that beautiful day, loving our great earth.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
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« Reply #8 on: May 03, 2008, 12:50:40 AM »

Ive used/ use both kinds of DE.
 Like Konasdad I use the grittier type in my Diatom filter for my aquariums. Its the same as pool filter DE.
 I use the food grade(more powdery) on my pigeons to kill lice, but it IS very dusty and breathable. I've used this kind also for fleas and ticks on my dog.
The cost of DE (food grade) has really gone up in the last years, so I dont use it nearly as much as I used to. I have a 50 lb bag of pool grade which will probably last me a REALLY LONG TIME! Ive had it about 18 months and havent put a dent in it. 50 lbs is a pretty big bag cuz its so lite!
 I used it for fire ants too, but as mentioned by DVD, I couldnt rreally tell if it worked or the ants just left.

your friend,
john
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qa33010
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« Reply #9 on: May 03, 2008, 01:22:55 AM »

    I know one beek that uses it under the hives for SHB larvae control. 
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Angi_H
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« Reply #10 on: May 03, 2008, 01:58:40 AM »

I use food grade de all the time it is also ORM certified for organic use. When mixed with feed for dogs, cats, horses pigs etc even humans at a rate of 2% it helps control internal parasites. When added to the poultrys fav dust bath holes and to the bottoms of all the nest boxes and in the bottom of the coups it will help take care of mites and lice.  When added around muddy wet areas it helps soak up water and also helps kill the maggots. When used for dogs and cats as a dust it helps take care of fleas and ticks. If you use it in those areas just for the chickens and other animals it will be safe around bees. once wet it is used as a filtering agent. It is also organic as it is the skeltons of the diatom an acient spiney sea creature.  I buy it by the 50lb bag which reminds me I need to buy some more. Some food places use it to filture out honey to get all of the pollen propolis and wax and bee parts.  As long as you were not using it around the bees it should be safe enough. I would just no use it around the hives. it wont hurt them if it is wet either. I totally make my coups floor white once a month.  And I also dust each bird with it every month. Any other questions just ask away. Sorry but I can only get online in the evenings so that is why I am always late to chime in. If you email me with a question I can answer it sooner in the eve as I logg on. I check my farm email first so if you want to reach me there email to HHH_Farms@wildblue.net
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reinbeau
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« Reply #11 on: May 05, 2008, 07:11:10 AM »

Thanx, everyone, you've all eased my mind about using DE.  Now I just have to wait a month before they come - oh, yea, and we have to build the run.....that isn't going to be fun around here with all the rocks!
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- Ann, A Gardening Beek -  ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

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Cindi
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« Reply #12 on: May 05, 2008, 09:22:05 AM »

Ann, keep stacking those rocks!!!  You should see the size of my rock pile now, I am still building it, hee, hee, it has grown considerably, we will have to one day compare pics.  Most beautiful and wonderful day, Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
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