Diatom - I don't understand

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maggiemc

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Diatom - I don't understand
« on: September 28, 2011, 14:17 »
After reading on here about sprinkling or painting Diatom (mixed with water I guess???) on the inside of the hen house to prevent red mite etc I was completely thrown whilst reading the label in the shop...it said "add to feed". The shop assistants did not have a clue when I asked if there was another form of the stuff. Am I being completely stupid, or are you all ignoring the instructions and using it your own way. Please advise me, as I want to get this re homing ex battery hens thing right. Getting close now. :)

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Aunt Sally

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Re: Diatom - I don't understand
« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2011, 14:23 »
Sprinkling or painting diatom is to help to prevent an infestation of red mite.

Adding it to feed is thought by some to help to control internal gut parasites - like worms.  We prefere flubenvet in the diet for that.
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kegs

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Re: Diatom - I don't understand
« Reply #2 on: September 28, 2011, 15:49 »
And here's the diatom slurry recipe for painting the coop:

http://chat.allotment-garden.org/index.php?topic=81422.0

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Lindeggs

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Re: Diatom - I don't understand
« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2011, 22:42 »
maggiemc, that's a good question - and there are many, many uses for diatomaceous earth.  Some people even add it to their own food!  (I am not recommending this...)

The key thing is all the DE you buy needs to be food grade.  There is another type that is used in swimming pool filters that is not food grade and is apparently quite dangerous as it has had other chemicals added.  Avoid that one!

So far I have used DE in the following ways:
  • As a slurry (according to HF's instructions linked above) painted on the inside of the coop.  So far it seems to be working as I haven't had red mite.  Or maybe I'm just lucky.
  • As a powder, sprinkled in nest boxes and dust baths, so the chickens work it into their own feathers.  Aain I have never had lice or mites on my chickens.  Again I may just be lucky.
  • Added to feed to a) absorb moisture and help the feed flow through the feeder better, and b) to help prevent intestinal worms.  It didn't work for the worms so I use a chemical wormer as well.
  • Inside my own house!  When we moved in a year ago there was a major ant infestation.  We cleaned everything and tried to kill the ants but they kept coming back.  About 6 months ago I sprinkled DE under the fridge, under the pantry, and in other nooks and crannies in the kitchen.  We haven't seen an ant (or a cockroach or any other crawling insect) since.  Maybe just more luck.

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maggiemc

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Re: Diatom - I don't understand
« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2011, 23:37 »
Thank you for your answers, and the recipe, is not quite the "just add water and mix" I was anticipating. I will buy a tub as it comes so highly recomended, it must be wonderful stuff to be able to be used in such a variety of ways. Thanks once again.

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hillfooter

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Re: Diatom - I don't understand
« Reply #5 on: September 29, 2011, 02:45 »
Don't assume DE is a wonder cure all it isn't, but it does have it's uses mainly for Red Mite control.  It also dries the droppings and prevents them sticking to the roosts so a quick scrape off is all that's needed rather than a soaking in detergent which means, you need to reapply it.  

Personally I wouldn't consider taking the stuff internally and I'm also not a fan of sprinkling the dust in the confines of a house.  Chx have vulnerable respiratory systems and dust can irritate it as well as carry viruses to cause infection.  A single suspended dust particle can transport hundreds of viruses.  Use it as a slurry paint as my recipe and that will deter RM.

Below is some further general advice on DE I posted recently.

"It's a popular misconception that diamtomaceous earth (DE) to give it its full moniker will "cure" an infestation of RM. It won't. DE should be used as a preventative to discourage a house becoming infested initially. The theory is that the dehydrating quality of DE is not favoured by RM however once they have colonised a house there are several generations of RM deeply hidden in cracks and crevices waiting to hatch. RM have 4 life stage forms including the adult form we normally see it takes some time to rid a house of an infestation as you need to zap them over a long period using contact cleaning processes alone.

There are two approaches to getting rid of RM.

1 Deep cleaning which needs to be done repeatedly and frequently until you have physically reduced their numbers to a non sustainable breeding colony. This is hard work, tedious and expensive and needs to be continued in reduced form after they are gone or they will just reinfest.
2 Treat the house with a residual pesticide. One application of a suitable insecticide can give a longterm RM free period of up to 18months though once a year is what I'd recommend. Simple low labour and cheap. It does however require specialist handling to ensure safe use.

Search these posts for details of both approaches and decide which you want to use. Once the RM are gone (a few days in case 2) you can then use DE mixed as a slurry paint in a disinfectant (Vanodine V18) base and painted on. This makes the house RM unfriendly and also helps to dry droppings and make it easier to just scrape roosts clean rather than washing everytime. First though make your house as physically RM unfriendly as possible by reducing breeding sites and a big must is to GET RID of all roofing felt where RM always colonise.

If you want to do the cleaning method forget boiling water, Jeyes fluid proprietry cleaners which only work on contact, good old cheap detergent with some household disinfectant is more or equally as effective."

HF


« Last Edit: September 29, 2011, 12:15 by hillfooter »
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Missie

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Re: Diatom - I don't understand
« Reply #6 on: September 29, 2011, 10:25 »
The food grade-or human food grade DE is great,My Mum and I put it on our cornflakes every day!-it is white,not grey and mixes up fine with no after taste,We have found it is brilliant for detoxing and increased energy levels! ??? Why,I have no idea,the only slight drawback is that we both spend longer in the bathroom :lol:

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The Goods

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Re: Diatom - I don't understand
« Reply #7 on: September 29, 2011, 11:36 »
I too have been trying to rid the horrid RM from out coop.  We purchased Diatom but it seemed to be having little affect if any, so have moved on to Smite.  We stripped the entire house out, scrubbed it and sprayed the entire thing.  The numbers seemed to be reduced, but after a couple of days they seem to be back the same as before.  Will continue with the smite and diatom and hope it works, if not will have to try something else.

I'm getting to the point where I just want to burn the house and start with a new one.  My poor girls.... :(

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Missie

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Re: Diatom - I don't understand
« Reply #8 on: September 29, 2011, 11:40 »
See if you can source "Real" creosote from your local market.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2011, 12:06 by joyfull »

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Lastcast

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Re: Diatom - I don't understand
« Reply #9 on: September 29, 2011, 12:02 »
The Goods,
Don't despair, persevere with the treatment, it won't work overnight.

 I had the same problems with Red mite. You have to treat the hens also, I dusted mine with the Diatom, then cleaned the coop, I've a blowtorch which I used on the ends of perches and all cracks in the timber ( double checking that nothing was left smoldering )before I painted the same with the diatom slurry, You must cover all cracks/gaps,  I then added a little of the diatom powder to the bedding material in the coop and nest-boxes.

Did the trick for me as I'd been fighting them with not much success for almost a year.

The infestation diminished at once and every time I clean the coop I double-check and repaint the perches and any worn patches of slurry or missed gaps.

Been red mite free all summer.  

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hillfooter

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Re: Diatom - I don't understand
« Reply #10 on: September 29, 2011, 12:03 »
The food grade-or human food grade DE is great,My Mum and I put it on our cornflakes every day!-it is white,not grey and mixes up fine with no after taste,We have found it is brilliant for detoxing and increased energy levels! ??? Why,I have no idea,the only slight drawback is that we both spend longer in the bathroom :lol:

I'd be extremely cautious of taking this stuff internally some forms of DE are positively harmful if swallowed or breathed in.  Self medicating yourself in this way is breath-takingly risky, particularly everyday, when you have "no idea" what it's doing.  Frankly I would always consult your doctor before even thinking of taking any unprescribed medication the risks aren't worth the dubious benefits.  DE is mostly silica and extremely abrasive on a microscopic scale.

History is littered with examples of wonder materials which subsequently turned out to cause longterm heath issues.  Need I mention asbestos a not dissimilar material which had been used for hundreds, if not thousands of years and was hailed as a wonder building material only a matter of 35 years or so ago.  The health risks were well established by the 1950's but were covered up and suppressed by manufacturers until exposed in the mid 70's.  Tobacco has a similar bad record and still today isn't illegal to sell.

This is what Wiki says about DE's safety.
HF

"Safety considerations
 
The absorbent qualities of diatomite can result in a significant drying of the hands if handled without gloves. The flux-calcined form contains a highly crystalline form of silica, resulting in sharp edges. The sharpness of this version of the material makes it dangerous to breathe and a dust mask is recommended when working with it.
 
The type of hazard posed by inhalation depends on the form of the silica. Crystalline silica poses a serious inhalation hazard because it can cause silicosis. Amorphous silica can cause dusty lungs, but does not carry the same degree of risk as crystalline silica. Natural or dried diatomite generally contains very low percentages of crystalline silica. Diatomite produced for pool filters is treated with high heat (calcining) and a fluxing agent (soda ash), causing the formerly amorphous silicon dioxide to assume its crystalline form.
 
The crystalline silica content of the dust's particulate is regulated in the United States by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and there are guidelines for the maximum amounts allowable in the product and in the air near the breathing zone of workers."
« Last Edit: September 29, 2011, 12:27 by hillfooter »

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joyfull

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Re: Diatom - I don't understand
« Reply #11 on: September 29, 2011, 12:04 »
missie real creosote is ILLEGAL to use so please do not advise it on here. We are only able to recommend products that are suitable for backyard poultry keepers not professionals.
if you need further advice please read this link:-
http://chat.allotment-garden.org/index.php?topic=83342.0

If you or anybody has details of any legal treatments for redmite then please pm me and I will add it to the list.
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Missie

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Re: Diatom - I don't understand
« Reply #12 on: September 29, 2011, 12:35 »
The food grade-or human food grade DE is great,My Mum and I put it on our cornflakes every day!-it is white,not grey and mixes up fine with no after taste,We have found it is brilliant for detoxing and increased energy levels! ??? Why,I have no idea,the only slight drawback is that we both spend longer in the bathroom :lol:

I'd be extremely cautious of taking this stuff internally some forms of DE are positively harmful if swallowed or breathed in.  Self medicating yourself in this way is breath-takingly risky, particularly everyday, when you have "no idea" what it's doing.  Frankly I would always consult your doctor before even thinking of taking any unprescribed medication the risks aren't worth the dubious benefits.  DE is mostly silica and extremely abrasive on a microscopic scale.

History is littered with examples of wonder materials which subsequently turned out to cause longterm heath issues.  Need I mention asbestos a not dissimilar material which had been used for hundreds, if not thousands of years and was hailed as a wonder building material only a matter of 35 years or so ago.  The health risks were well established by the 1950's but were covered up and suppressed by manufacturers until exposed in the mid 70's.  Tobacco has a similar bad record and still today isn't illegal to sell.

This is what Wiki says about DE's safety.
HF

"Safety considerations
 
The absorbent qualities of diatomite can result in a significant drying of the hands if handled without gloves. The flux-calcined form contains a highly crystalline form of silica, resulting in sharp edges. The sharpness of this version of the material makes it dangerous to breathe and a dust mask is recommended when working with it.
 
The type of hazard posed by inhalation depends on the form of the silica. Crystalline silica poses a serious inhalation hazard because it can cause silicosis. Amorphous silica can cause dusty lungs, but does not carry the same degree of risk as crystalline silica. Natural or dried diatomite generally contains very low percentages of crystalline silica. Diatomite produced for pool filters is treated with high heat (calcining) and a fluxing agent (soda ash), causing the formerly amorphous silicon dioxide to assume its crystalline form.
 
The crystalline silica content of the dust's particulate is regulated in the United States by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and there are guidelines for the maximum amounts allowable in the product and in the air near the breathing zone of workers."

Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth Fresh Water (Fossil Shell Flour) has over 1,500 uses:  The natural holistic organic way.
In the household, with pets, on plants, around livestock, and for stored grain. It is totally natural and organic and listed with OMRI.

Some say "There is no life without Silica".  "Silica is the most important trace mineral for human health!" Silica plays an important role
in many body functions and has a direct relationship to mineral absorption. The average human body holds approximately seven grams
of silica, a quantity far exceeding the figures for other important minerals such as iron.

How Diatomaceous Earth Works

 http://diatomx.co.uk/Diatom-for-Humans/Diatomaceous-Earth-for-Human-Consumption-Facts-and-Instructions

(I have removed the large cut and paste and replaced it with a link to the original - as required by out site rules)  Aunty
« Last Edit: September 29, 2011, 12:53 by Aunt Sally »

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Aunt Sally

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Re: Diatom - I don't understand
« Reply #13 on: September 29, 2011, 12:48 »
See if you can source "Real" creosote from your local market.

I'm surprised you've said that Missie !

In one post you are talking about detoxifying your body and in the next suggesting someone uses a banned toxic (carcinogenic) substance  :ohmy:
« Last Edit: September 29, 2011, 12:56 by Aunt Sally »

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Missie

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