Diatomaceous earth is a white powder made from the fossilized shells of a type of algae located throughout the world. The algae are called diatoms, which is the origin of the word “diatom-aceous” earth.
The benefits of diatomaceous earth for chickens are numerous — it contains nutrients that your chickens can consume and doubles as a safe, non-toxic, organic pesticide.
Wait! What? A pesticide? Let me explain.
Diatomaceous earth absorbs the oils and fats from the exoskeletons of the parasites that prey on your chickens, causing them to die. And by parasites, I mean mites, lice, fleas, etc.
In short, diatomaceous earth is used as a panacea against the parasites that cause harm to your chickens. If you’d like your flock to lay more eggs, have more energy to cull the yard of bugs, as well as promote their well-being, diatomaceous earth is a wise investment.
Benefits of Diatomaceous Earth
- Rids your chicken coop of parasites
- Eliminates some of those really bad coop smells
- A dietary supplement
- A natural worming remedy that kills the bad parasites that live inside your chicken’s gut
How to Use Diatomaceous Earth for Chickens
- Sprinkle diatomaceous earth where your chickens take their dust baths. They’ll love you for it!
- Sprinkle the powder in the coop to eliminate bad smells.
- You could also add a little to your chicken’s feed to give them a nice dietary supplement.
How Much Diatomaceous Earth Do You Need for Chickens
There’s no science to it. And you don’t need to measure anything. Most folks will tell you your chicken’s diet should be between 5% and 15% diatomaceous earth. In other words, don’t overdo it. Be cautious and practical.
I was sparing on what I added to my chickens’ diet, choosing to sprinkle more powder in the areas where my chickens took dust baths.
Where to Buy Diatomaceous Earth
I’ve seen the stuff at my local Walmart and Home Depot so I’d imagine you too could start there. I suspect your local pet store even carries it. But I’d call ahead just to be sure.
The easiest way, of course, is to get the stuff online. I’ve provided a list of the top-selling brands at Amazon, so you can view them all in one sitting and make an informed choice.