A Diatom is a one-celled plant, so tiny that it must be magnified thousands of times to be seen. Diatoms live in such quantities that they out-weigh the total of all land plants combined. Diatoms take the minerals out of water and build a protective shell. As they die, the shells drift to the bottom of the ocean or lake bed and form layers – some hundreds of feet thick – called Diatomaceous Earth (DE). DE is mainly silica, (Silicon Dioxide). Geologic changes have placed some of these deposits on dry land.
The tiny Diatom shells are not a food. They are not digested, but pass through the digestive tract. Everything DE does is either physical action or electrical action. The Diatom shell is a cylinder full of holes. The cylinders have a negative charge, and the holes are the right size to absorb positively-charged viruses and bacteria, hold them, and take them out of the body. Each shell can hold and neutralize many positive particles.
Mixed with feed or eaten free choice on a regular basis, the cylinders – by the millions – pass through the stomach and intestines, and can destroy parasites. This is a physical action, not a chemical action.
Chickens are easy. They will do well if you provide a pan for them to dust in or eat free choice. Put DE in their favorite dusting spots, and they very obligingly throw it all over them selves without you having to do any work at all. However, the best way is to have your mill add 1/2 to 1% to a pellet. DE is safe to add to nests, too. If you are mixing DE into the feed yourself, please use 1/2 to 1% of the total weight of the dry ration. Feeding the proper amount of DE on a daily basis will afford the greatest benefit. Daily feeding allows your animals to receive the most nutrition possible from their feed without “sharing” nutrition with unwanted pests.
Dogs and cats may balk at having DE sprinkled directly onto dry food. After a while, they will adjust, and often lick the bowl! To make life easier, add DE to wet food or table scraps, and mix thoroughly, then add in the kibble. Your dogs and cats will happily eat it up, and you will know they got the amount they need.
Cats . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . 1/2 – 1 teaspoon
Kittens . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1/4 – ½ teaspoon
Dogs 100 lbs. + . . . . . . . . . 2 Tablespoons
Dogs 50 to 100 lbs. . . . . . . 1 Tablespoon
Dogs Under 50 lbs. . . . . . . 2 teaspoons
Mini dogs . . . . . . . . .. . . . . 1/2 teaspoon