Looking for a natural all-rounder for managing lice and mites?
Diatomaceous Earth (DE) is a natural worming and parasite control for animals, including horses, dogs, cats and chickens.
Made from the fossilised remains of tiny aquatic organisms called diatoms, a type of hard-shelled algae, DE is natural silica which accumulated millennia ago in river beds and streams. It is crushed to form a powder.
The best way to use Diatomaceous Earth (DE) for chickens
If using for chickens, I like to make it into a paste using a small amount of water and smear onto perches and other hard surfaces. A small amount can be sprinkled into the nesting box litter, too.
As with all animal powders, please always use a mask when using DE. Even organic food grade varieties of DE dust can irritate lungs. Never (ever) use pool grade DE near your flock.
How I use Diatomaceous Earth in my flock
I use DE as part of my parasite routine in the chicken shed, I don't use it on the actual birds. Mainly because it's so fine, I don't want to be breathing it in (it's natural, but still...). For your hens, you can't go past Natural Vet Co Feather & Skin Poultry Powder. I have found DE to be effective when used in the nests and on the perch (used wet as above), particularly for red mite. But please don't think you can use it once and solve your lice and mite problems! It needs to be used regularly and consistently. I would be using it weekly if you have an infestation of parasites, and once every 6 weeks when you can't see any signs of parasites.