Wednesday, February 24, 2016

The Truth About Diatomaceous Earth as a Dewormer

"Diatomaceous Earth is an all-natural dewormer for chickens."  - Statement found on popular Facebook Chicken group page posted on February 3, 2016.

While the benefits of DE for ectoparasite control are well known and studied there is less research on the benefits of including DE as a part of a balanced ration for internal parasite control.  There is one paper published in 2011 in the journal Poultry Science that showed that a diet supplemented with 2% DE was effective in reducing some internal parasites in some breeds of chickens.  Interestingly, there was also a corresponding increase in weight and egg production and quality.  While this study did show some benefits for dietary DE it is important to focus on good biosecurity and husbandry practices which are the most effective control methods for internal and external parasites.

For more information, check out this research on the Effect of Diatomaceous Earth on parasite load, egg production, and egg quality of free-range organic laying hens.

Response provided by Amy Murillo, a PhD candidate at UC Riverside in California.

* It's important to note that while the birds in the study did have a smaller load of worms, they still in fact had worms. ~ Andy Schneider (The Chicken Whisperer)