Diatomaceous Earth For Chickens: Why and How To Use?

Are you worried about using diatomaceous earth for chickens? Many people use it in poultry farming, but for what purpose?

How to use diatomaceous earth powder, and how is it useful for your chickens?

In this guide, you will learn all about using diatomaceous earth for chickens. You will also understand whether you need it in your chicken coop or not.

What is Diatomaceous Earth?

Diatomaceous earth, or DE, is a sedimentary rock consisting of fossilized diatoms, a type of algae.

Over time, fossilized components build large accumulations on water bodies that can be extracted.

Poultry farmers utilize it as a natural insecticide and to improve chicken health.

Diatomaceous earth powder in the chicken coop controls mites, fleas, and lice that affect chickens.

Moreover, diatomaceous earth treatments are approved for bed bugs, cockroaches, crickets, ticks, spiders, and others.

It can help reduce coop odors and dampness, making the birds healthier.

Open pit miners supply it, which is powdered for different purposes.

Also read: Best vitamins and minerals for chickens

How Does Diatomaceous Earth Work?

Diatomaceous earth is made of fossilized diatoms, tiny algae with silica skeletons. DE is porous like small, sharp-edged crystals.

DE’s abrasive and absorbent properties make it excellent in pest management. 

When insects and mites touch diatomaceous earth, the particles’ rough edges cut and scratch their exoskeletons. Mechanical action and absorbent characteristics dehydrate and kill bugs.

Diatomaceous earth for chickens adsorbs moisture and other pollutants well. This helps with pest management and moisture regulation.

Harris Diatomaceous Earth Food Grade, 4lb with Powder Duster Included in The Bag
  • Save
27,814 Reviews
Harris Diatomaceous Earth Food Grade, 4lb with Powder Duster Included in The Bag7
  • Natural Product - Composed of 4lbs of 100% ground...
  • OMRI Listed - Listed with the Organic Minerals Research...
  • Powder Duster Included - Powder duster in the bag for...
  • Supports a Great Cause - Harris donates 10% of profits...
  • Made in the USA – Mined in Nevada and packaged in...

Last update on 2024-04-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Advantages of Using Diatomaceous Earth For Chickens

Recently, chicken raisers have increased the use of diatomaceous earth (DE). This rise is due to numerous variables that offer considerable advantages over previous methods:

1. Effective Pest Control 

The tiny particles of diatomaceous earth (DE) give it the edge against several poultry pests. 

These sharp, abrasive particles dehydrate and kill mites, lice, fleas, and flies on contact. DE is a natural, non-toxic insecticide that won’t leave residues in eggs and chickens.

2. Improving Chicken Coop Hygiene

The absorbent and odor-reducing capabilities of diatomaceous earth for chickens (DE) keep coops clean. Mold and bacteria growth is reduced by moisture absorption. 

It avoids chicken respiratory disorders because of low ammonia formation in coop litter. DE’s abrasiveness also cleans feathers and the coop floor, making it healthier.

3. Chicken Health Benefits

Fresh research suggests that diatomaceous earth can boost hens’ egg production, feather quality, and overall health. 

This is probable because the diatomaceous earth contains trace minerals needed for chicken growth.

4. A Natural and Safe Alternative

Diatomaceous earth for chickens offers a natural and safe pest management alternative in an era of increased concern about agricultural pesticides. 

Organic and eco-conscious poultry growers use it since it is safe for hens and humans.

5. Easy Application and Cost-Effectiveness

Diatomaceous earth is readily available and affordable for chicken breeders of all sizes. Its ease of use and low equipment requirements make it affordable. 

DE is also cost-effective for long-term pest management due to its lengthy shelf life.

6. Positive Word-of-mouth

More chicken farms are adopting diatomaceous earth due to its benefits. Farmers are experiencing its advantages, and advice on internet forums, social media, and dedicated websites helps raise diatomaceous earth awareness and trust.

7. Serving the Organic Poultry Market

Organic farms need diatomaceous earth due to increasing demand. The ideal solution for this fast-growing sector is natural and non-toxic, like organic farming.

8. Research and Education

The safety and efficacy of diatomaceous earth for chickens are being examined. This research will create training and workshops about DE for poultry farmers.

Diatomaceous Earth - DE Fresh Water - 5.5 Pounds
  • Save
5,431 Reviews
Diatomaceous Earth - DE Fresh Water - 5.5 Pounds7
  • This product is 100% pure freshwater diatomaceous...
  • This product is OMRI certified diatomaceous earth and...
  • This natural product has hundreds of uses. Search the...
  • Bonus packs - all of our packages include a FREE bonus...
  • 100% SATISFACTION – We are so confident that you will...

Last update on 2024-04-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

How To Use Diatomaceous Earth for Chickens?

Diatomaceous earth has lots of use in chickens. Here are some main uses:

Diatomaceous earth for flies in the chicken coop

Flies are some predators in your chicken coop that can cause harm to your chicken. Diatomaceous earth is one of the best solutions that you can use to get rid of them. 

While feeding your chicken diatomaceous earth will help clean the internal aspects, you must sprinkle the powder in and around your chicken coop. 

Spraying diatomaceous earth around your chicken coop, bedding areas, and where they dust baths will help eliminate the flies. 

Once the flies have come into contact with the diatomaceous earth, their hard shells will get pierced, and DE will absorb all the oils and fats that help the insects retain water. 

The flies will then die due to dehydration within a short time, leaving the chicken coop safe. Putting diatomaceous earth on or around your chicken coop will effectively dry any wet surfaces where pests may lay their eggs.

Diatomaceous earth for chicken mites, lice, and other pests

Your chicken’s being unhealthy is caused by mites, lice, and other pests. Spraying or pouring diatomaceous earth will help remove crawling insects from your yard. 

This is because diatomaceous earth features sharp and microscopic edges that will attack mites, lice, and other pests. 

The attack of these pests will be through cutting their outer skin and layer, leading to them losing moisture, becoming dehydrated, and then dying within a short time. 

Using diatomaceous earth will leave your chickens free from mites, lice, ticks, and other pests that may harm them.

Diatomaceous earth for chicken dust baths

Chickens are known to take dust baths. One of the best ways to get rid of the pests that affect them is to mix the diatomaceous earth with the dust they use to bathe. 

When your chicken goes bathing in the dust, there will be diatomaceous earth with sharp microscopic edges that will cut through the bodies of the insects. 

This will lead to the pest losing moisture and then getting killed. However, not all the pests infested your chicken may die immediately after the dust bath in dust-containing diatomaceous earth. They may die later.

Diatomaceous earth in chicken feed

Putting diatomaceous earth in chicken feed is the best way of using it for various purposes. Adding food-grade diatomaceous earth to the chicken feed will help eliminate certain parasites in their internal organs. 

The best way is to add 10 to 15% volume of diatomaceous earth to your chicken feed, and it will help cleanse your chicken digestive tract of internal parasites. 

Additionally, diatomaceous earth contains elements that may aid in bone development. The elements in diatomaceous earth will also help your chicken lay bigger, healthier, and more nutritious eggs.

Non-Toxic Nature and Safe Application of Diatomaceous Earth (DE) in Chicken Farming

DE is non-toxic and safe for chicken farming. Chicken farmers use Diatomaceous Earth (DE) for chemical-free pest control.

Consider these tips for safe and successful use:

Food-Grade vs. Industrial-Grade Diatomaceous Earth (DE)

Knowing the difference between food-grade and industrial-grade DE is important to maintain safety in chicken farming.

Food-grade DE is safe to eat and utilized in poultry raising. With possible additions, industrial-grade diatomaceous earth is inappropriate for direct contact with animals or humans.

Non-Toxic to Chickens

Food-grade diatomaceous earth is safe for hens when used as given instructions.

Dust-bathing chickens can safely swallow modest levels of DE. You may safely introduce diatomaceous earth to chickens.

Respiratory Safety

Diatomaceous Earth (DE) is typically safe; dust inhalation should be minimized, especially in high quantities.

Chronic DE dust exposure might irritate the chicken and human lungs. Use a dust mask and avoid breathing in dust during application to protect respiratory health.

Application Safety

Use extreme caution when applying DE to prevent excessive dust in the air. Diatomaceous Earth can reduce the exposure to dust when chickens are outside the coop.

Avoid applying directly to birds’ faces or sensitive regions. This safe strategy maximizes DE’s positive aspects while minimizing side effects.

Regular Monitoring

Maintain regular monitoring of the chicken coop and chickens for pest warning signs. DE should be used as needed according to pest activity and environmental circumstances. Monitoring optimizes pest control and ensures DE’s efficiency in chicken production.

Other FAQs About Diatomaceous Earth For Chickens

Is diatomaceous earth safe for chickens?

Diatomaceous earth is completely natural. It does not contain any chemicals that can harm your chicken.

The sharp microscopic edges of diatomaceous earth cannot harm your chicken’s internal tracts or bodies, but it will help eliminate any pests from their bodies. 

Therefore, diatomaceous earth cannot cause any harm to your chickens. This makes them safe. Besides, diatomaceous earth for chickens contains elements that help their bone development and lay better eggs.

Which one is best, lime or diatomaceous earth for chickens?

Diatomaceous earth is the best. This is because diatomaceous earth possesses qualities that will benefit your chicken, especially when you mix them with the dust that your chicken uses to bathe. 

Lime does not contain any insecticidal qualities that may benefit your chickens when they are dust-bathing.

How much diatomaceous earth for chickens?

You do not need to mix much if you want to feed your chicken diatomaceous feed. You only need to sprinkle and mix diatomaceous earth into their food. 

The quantity of diatomaceous food should not be more than 5% of the total feed. Mix a quarter cupful of diatomaceous earth into every five cups of chicken feed.

Where to buy diatomaceous earth for chickens?

You can buy diatomaceous earth on various online sites, such as Amazon. Additionally, there are local feed stores, garden centers, or hardware stores that sell diatomaceous earth that you can buy.

How often do you use diatomaceous earth for chickens?

You can mix diatomaceous earth with your chicken feed and feed them at least once every three months. If your chickens are foraging, you can mix the diatomaceous earth with the dust that they use to bathe at least once every three months.

How do you mix the diatomaceous earth with the chicken feed?

You will need a scoop that you will use to measure the exact quantity of diatomaceous earth that you want to mix with chicken feed. Then you will mix a quarter full of the scoop into every five full scoops of chicken feed. 

If you have a lot of chicken, you will mix one scoop of diatomaceous earth into every 20 full scoops of chicken feed.

How often should I sprinkle DE in a chicken coop?

You can sprinkle DE in your chicken coop as much as you want. It can be daily, weekly, or monthly.


Diatomaceous earth is a natural product that is chemical free that you should have in your home for your chickens. 

DE can be mixed with the dust that chickens use in dust-bathing to help get rid of any pests in their bodies.

Thanks to sharp, microscopic edges that will aid in piercing the hard shells of pests and getting rid of the oils and fats that help them retain moisture, hence killing them. 

Additionally, you can add a small portion of diatomaceous earth to your chicken feed to feed your chicken.

Feeding your chicken diatomaceous earth will help in their bone development, cleansing your chicken digestive tracts of internal parasites, and many more.

Bijaya Kumar
  • Save

Leave a Comment