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Author Topic: diatomaceous earth  (Read 937 times)

mark taylor

  • Joined Jul 2018
diatomaceous earth
« on: July 08, 2018, 02:49:40 pm »
I have been using diatomaceous earth in my sheep feed to help with parasites and mites tics etc has anyone else tried this and if so do you think it works I put in on the hay in the shed and I think it is working
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Coximus

  • Joined Aug 2014
Re: diatomaceous earth
« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2018, 11:44:41 am »
It has zero effect at all -
its a waste of money, I tried it and FEC before and after, it made zero difference at all, and My vet confirmed that in every case where people used it and forwent worming or good pasture management, it resulted in increased worm burdens, or at best no change.

It is nothing more than hopeful thinking and snake oil -
The best thing to do is manage your pasture rotation properly, and this will allow you to keep worm counts low, I myself have not wormed any sheep this year, and only 20 of 340 last year, with my FEC readings rarely topping 120. This is by ensuring sheep never stay on grass for more than 10 days at a time before being moved, and a minimum of 60 days rotation time in summer (during the egg hatching season), ideally pushing it out to 100 days where possible.

Also keeping grass covers above 4-5cm, and ideally 10cm on entry. impacts on the larvae survival as fewer reach the top of the grass.

Simply you would be better saving your money and spending it on other things.

As for putting it on hay - hay is an inert feed and sheep fed on forage will have lower worm and parasite burdens simply because the food they are eating has no parasite eggs on!

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: diatomaceous earth
« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2018, 04:28:27 pm »
It does seem to do some good in the poultry house though  :chook: :chook: :chook:
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sheeponthebrain

  • Joined Feb 2016
  • Turriff
Re: diatomaceous earth
« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2018, 09:35:12 pm »
a lady whom i shear for uses it and swears by it.  however i do crutch all her lambs at shearing time because rhey have very dirty tails. make of that what you will. 

Womble

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Re: diatomaceous earth
« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2018, 09:56:52 pm »
This makes sense though. It's made from crushed up coral type organisms, so basically it works by being microscopically very sharp. That then abrades the waxy protective coating on red mite etc, so that they dehydrate and eventually die (I can personally attest to this working for poultry).

However, if you feed the same thing to sheep, what would the mode of action be for intestinal worms?  I mean, why would they be bothered about microscopic sharpness anyway?
Experience is what you get just after you needed it.

bazzais

  • Joined Jan 2010
    • Allt Y Coed Farm and Campsite
Re: diatomaceous earth
« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2018, 10:49:30 pm »
I thought it was only for getting rid of bugs like fleas or mites - not for digestion.  Works really well when dusted around the greenhouse or in areas that have been previously infested with bugs.

DavidandCollette

  • Joined Dec 2012
Re: diatomaceous earth
« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2018, 09:32:59 am »
I have used it successfully on goats to get rid of mites

Womble

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Re: diatomaceous earth
« Reply #7 on: July 11, 2018, 10:30:46 am »
^ But mites are external, right?  So it stands to reason that covering the goats with DE would work for mites, in the same way that it works for hens. However, Mark's original question was whether *feeding* animals DE does any good?
« Last Edit: July 11, 2018, 10:33:27 am by Womble »
Experience is what you get just after you needed it.

landroverroy

  • Joined Oct 2010
Re: diatomaceous earth
« Reply #8 on: July 11, 2018, 11:10:05 am »
Well there is some sort of research that shows it is effective against internal parasites - by scratching their outer covering in the same way as it does with external pests.
However, you have to use it for at least a month for it to work. So if you only used it for a more limited time Coximus, then presumably you would not have seen any improvement.


Also, obviously by it's mode of action, it could only at best be effective against gut worms   
Rules are made:
  for the guidance of wise men
  and the obedience of fools.

farmers wife

  • Joined Jul 2009
  • SE Wales
Re: diatomaceous earth
« Reply #9 on: July 12, 2018, 09:06:28 am »
We've used it on cattle which has never had worms.  Whether it is coincidental as we are big on rotational grazing and pasture health.


I use it a lot with the chickens as its good against red mite and I provide a birdbath of DE and sand.  Its a good way of drying up any parasites on them.


I cant see it as doing any harm.  As for externally it will only work if applied to the skin which could be quite a challenge with sheep.


With sheep worms are more difficult to assess. Keeping animals in tip top condition is one thing, but strict rotation and being in excellent pasture and location is another. Outbreaks of some parasites are dependent on the weather & geography.

Maysie

  • Joined Jan 2018
  • Herefordshire/Shropshire Border
Re: diatomaceous earth
« Reply #10 on: July 12, 2018, 03:48:55 pm »
We have had very good experiences with this for red mites on our chooks and do put some in their food as suggested on the bumpf, but I have no measure of whether it works in internal parasites or not. 

It has not been 'snake oil' for our chickens, in fact it has been one of the most effective red mite control measures we have found to date. 

With regards to sheep, I have no clue!

YorkshireLass

  • Joined Mar 2010
Re: diatomaceous earth
« Reply #11 on: July 14, 2018, 04:59:10 pm »
I used DE in sacks for housed cattle over winter and didn't have to treat for lice. Coincidence? Probably. In any case, the sacks of dust provided entertainment  ::) ;D

Tim W

  • Joined Aug 2013
Re: diatomaceous earth
« Reply #12 on: July 15, 2018, 07:24:30 am »
Well there is some sort of research that shows it is effective against internal parasites -

Have you a link to this?

landroverroy

  • Joined Oct 2010
Re: diatomaceous earth
« Reply #13 on: July 15, 2018, 09:45:18 am »
No I'm afraid not Tim. I read up all sorts of things about products and don't necessarily believe all I see in print. I just take note of what seems credible I don't record the actual sources.
However, on the last occasion when I found red mite on the perches, I sprinkled DE on top and the next morning there were loads of dead mites scattered along the top of the perches, so I can't see what else would have killed them as I hadn't used any chemicals.  OK I realise that doesn't indicate that DE would be effective internally, but it does make it a possibility.
« Last Edit: July 15, 2018, 09:48:18 am by landroverroy »
Rules are made:
  for the guidance of wise men
  and the obedience of fools.

Coximus

  • Joined Aug 2014
Re: diatomaceous earth
« Reply #14 on: July 17, 2018, 09:15:36 pm »
Their is plenty of Research indicating DE is effective at making an environment less accommodating to external parasites, but no evidence for internal, full stop.
My experiment was carried out over 3 months in parallel fields and was stopped when my vet pointed out it has been a snake oil idea since the 70's.

http://www.healthsil.co.za/pdf/eng/DE_Natural_Dewormer_Study%20sheep-cattle.pdf

This is the best research that shows nothing conclusive, IE it made no difference that could be attributed and as such their is No benefit.

MNy vet showed me a journal in 2016 that said much the same - that it was of concern to vets that it was gaining traction in the small holding community as a snake oil remedy causing suffering to animals as people believed it was a "natural" alternative to "evil pharmaceuticals" and was pushed by people with an ideological opposition to chemicals, rather than science based. I will ask for the date and notes on publication.


https://www.sheepandgoat.com/de
A good info source.

https://lib.dr.iastate.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?referer=https://www.google.com&httpsredir=1&article=1100&context=leopold_grantreports

https://www.agrireseau.net/documents/63094/study-of-alternative-parasitides-for-organic-lamb-production?r=organic+lamb+production

All the above studies show that DE is about as good as fresh air.

I rang my vet, she confirmed that their has NEVER been a study confirming DE to have any effect whatsoever when eaten, other than increasing Dry matter % in the muck.


Please do not advocate the use of DE.
It is tantamount to animal abuse and neglect if animals were to forgoe good rotational husbandry or worming in favour of DE treatment, and then suffer as a result.
DE Is NOT and CAN NOT be used as a wormer, worm inhibitor or any form of intestinal parasite control agent.





Well there is some sort of research that shows it is effective against internal parasites - by scratching their outer covering in the same way as it does with external pests.
However, you have to use it for at least a month for it to work. So if you only used it for a more limited time Coximus, then presumably you would not have seen any improvement.


Also, obviously by it's mode of action, it could only at best be effective against gut worms

 

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