Diatomaceous earth is composed primarily of fine silica particles. The chalky white powder form of diatomaceous earth is able to absorb moisture, deter pests and contains a large amount of nutrients and minerals.
These properties make diatomaceous earth a highly effective and useful feed additive for livestock, especially livestock that are commonly fed dry feed, such as sheep.
Dry sheep feed is prone to rot, mold, mildew, and crawling insect pests. Mixing sheep feed with diatomaceous earth provides a natural and chemical-free method of preserving feed without damaging the health of your livestock.
Surprisingly, diatomaceous earth actually promotes digestive health in livestock, eliminates digestive parasites and promotes healthier coats. In this article, we’ll present the best method for mixing your sheep feed with diatomaceous earth.
What You’ll Need
- Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth
- A Food Scale
- A Diatomaceous Earth Applicator or Scoop
- Sheep Feed
- Airtight Feed Container
Step 1: Choose The Right Diatomaceous Earth Grade
Diatomaceous earth is available in a number of different grades, intended for different purposes. Pest control grade diatomaceous earth, for example, is often mixed with poisons or toxic chemicals to increase its efficacy.
Pool grade diatomaceous earth is mined from the ground then subjected to temperatures in excess of 1000 degrees fahrenheit, causing the silica particles to crystallize. This process creates a highly effective pool filter but is incredibly toxic to both humans and livestock.
When treating your sheep feed with diatomaceous earth, it’s critical to use only food grade diatomaceous earth. Food grade DE is pure and is not subjected to any treatments or chemical mixes after being mined from mineral deposits.
Certified by the FDA as generally regarded as safe, food grade diatomaceous earth is the only grade of DE that is safe to use in any application involving ingestion by either humans or animals.
Step 2: Weight Your Feed
In order to determine the correct amount of diatomaceous earth to mix with your feed, you’ll need to firstly either weight the feed you’ll be mixing, or note down the weight of the feed bag you’re using.
Step 3: Measure Diatomaceous Earth
Diatomaceous earth, when used as a feed additive, should be mixed at a ratio of 2%. The easiest way of working this out is to take the total weight of your feed and divide it by 50. Measure out this amount of diatomaceous earth with your food scale.
Step 4: Mix Diatomaceous Earth And Feed
The best method of mixing feed and diatomaceous earth is by transferring both into a new container. Begin by dusting the empty container with a small amount of DE, then apply alternating layers of diatomaceous earth and feed.
You will need to apply a thin layer of DE for ever 3-4 inch layer of feed. Once you’ve transferred all of the feed, shake and stir the container to mix thoroughly.
A diatomaceous earth applicator will make this job easier and prevent wastage. The best tool for mixing diatomaceous earth with feed is the Wilcox 3 Quart Duster.
For more information, see our Wilcox 3 Quart Duster Review.
Some sheep may not find the diatomaceous earth mixed feed if they are able to discern the different. To prevent this, leave diatomaceous earth mixed feed for a minimum of 24 hours before feeding livestock.
This will allow the DE to absorb the scent of the feed. When providing livestock with DE-enhanced feed, always be sure to provide sufficient water, as diatomaceous earth is a desiccant and can dehydrate sheep.
Diatomaceous Earth Information Guide:
We have a wide variety of food grade diatomaceous earth resources for you look through to make your life a little easier and chemical-free. Please check out the other valuable resources and versatile application uses for silica-rich diatomaceous earth below:
- Diatomaceous Earth Supplementation
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- Silica Supplements Guide
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- Silica Water
- Bamboo Extract
- Orthosilicic Acid (Organic Silica)
- Diatomaceous Earth DIY Bath Bombs
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Please reach out regarding any information above. In the future, more share-worthy useful enhancements, experiences and effects of diatomaceous earth will be added as the benefits continue to pile up. Always welcome for more insight and awareness, click the button to see the most recommended beautifully blended product that combines both high quality food grade diatomaceous earth powder and pure organic silica together in one formula.