Safeguards for Salmonella and Parasites in Backyard Chickens

Diatomaceous Earth for ChickensChickens and other poultry (ducks, geese and turkeys) can carry salmonella and parasites, with a little care you can guard against both.

Regardless if your backyard flock is cooped or free range, feathered friends can carry salmonella and parasites in their droppings, on their feathers, feet and beaks.

These germs can live in cages, coops, feed and water dishes, hay, plants and soil, anywhere poultry live and roam.

After being in contact with poultry, people can become infected with these germs when they put unwashed hands or equipment in or around their month.

There are simply ways to diminish the risk of infections from Salmonella and Parasites.

#1. Always wash your hands with soap and water right after touching live poultry, eggs or anything in their environment. Adults should supervise hand washing by young children. Use hand sanitizer. if soap and water is not readily available.

#2. Do not prepare food, eat or drink around live poultry

#3. Do not kiss, nuzzle, or touch the birds to your mouth

Cleaning the coop, floor, nests and perches on a regular basis will help to keep chickens and eggs clean.

Using OMRI listed Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth (FGDE) will keep the cages and coops drier.

Dusting poultry with FGDE or adding it to a dust bath will control external parasites. FGDE added to poultry food and water will kill internal parasites.

Flock caretakers should purchase birds from hatcheries that participate in the USDA voluntary Salmonella Monitoring Program. This program is intended to reduce the incidence of salmonella in baby poultry that come from hatcheries.

For more guidelines visit, gov/features/salmonellapoultry.

Find a Retailer Near You Carrying OMRI Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth for Poultry.

Diatomaceous Earth for Healthy Pets and Poultry

Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth (DE) has many diverse uses for people, pets and around the home. It is also environmentally friendly and healthy for chickens.

Diatomaceous Earth has been used for decades as a natural, safe insecticide/pesticide. It is also used around the home for cleaning and deodorizing.

Humans consume food grade DE in grains, beverages, and medicines. Many individuals have discovered the benefits of adding DE to their dietary and beauty regimen.

Pets and Poultry want to look and feel good too! Adding DE to their diets will control parasites and improve their over-all health.

Poultry will also benefit from DE’s natural functions of deodorization and absorption. By drying up manure faster, it keeps coops cleaner, drier and odor free. Adding DE to dust baths will keep feathers and skin clean and encourage preening that conditions feathers.

Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth is approved by the USDA for feeding to livestock at a rate of 2% of dry weight of food or 1 cup for 50 pounds of feed.

Kittens: ½ teaspoon
Cats and Puppies: ½ – 1 teaspoon

Dogs under 35 lbs: 1 teaspoon
Dogs 35 – 50 lbs: 2 teaspoons
Dogs over 50 lbs: 1 tablespoon
Dogs over 100 lbs: 2 tablespoons

Poultry: mix with feed at a 2% concentration or 1 cup for 50 pounds of feed.

There are different grades of DE. Of the 600 deposits in the USA, only four are considered food grade. Food grade DE is considered GRAS (generally regarded as safe) by the FDA.

Find Reviews on Amazon for Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth for People, Pets and Home

Dusting Bath Powder for Chickens

Dusting Bath Powder for Chickens

Chickens love to take baths, not in water, but in dust.

Backyard chickens and barnyard chickens should have constant access to a dust box or dust hole.

Dusting bath powder absorbs excess oil in the chicken’s feathers and skin. The thorough shaking and feather ruffling after a dust bath dislodges dirt, dander and feather flakes.

Using dusting bath powder encourages preening. Preening releases new oils that spread over the feathers to keep them in good condition and waterproof.

Lumino is sharing their formula for 15 lbs. of their Dusting Bath Powder;

Start with 8 Lbs Lumino’s OMRI (Organic Materials Review Institute) listed Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth for Poultry.

Mix in:
2 Lbs. Oyster Shell Flour
2 Lbs. Bentonite Sodium Clay
2 Lbs. Alfalfa Meal, crushed
1/2 Lbs. Glacial Rock Dust
1/2 Lbs. Play Sand, washed and screened play sand

Providing bathing facilities for the “ladies couldn’t be easier. Fill a kitty litter box, wood tub or plastic container half full of dusting bath powder. Place in a dry warm place, especially during cold months. Add additional powder as level drops and keep free of droppings and foreign material.

A heavy-duty plastic tub with a seal tight lid makes an ideal box. It can be moved around easily. Left open on sunny days, it can be moved into the coop during inclement weather. Be sure the box or tub is sturdy as the ladies often perch on the sides waiting for their turn.

If the dust box is located in the coop, place the chickens’ food at the opposite end to help keep it clean. For free-range chickens you can use a box or dig a hole in a sheltered area to keep it dry.

It is very important to have a dust bath in the coop in cold climates where hens may be inside for long periods of time.

All of the above ingredients should be available at farm, feed and gardens retailers.

To find a retailer near you that sells OMRI Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth, visit Diatomaceous Earth Hotline.

You may also visit for more information.