Follow our adventures

Follow our adventures as we raise a tiny flock of chickens in suburban Bexley, Ohio.
Our chicken bloggers include Tami Taylor, a Welsummer, and Tyra, a Jersey Giant.
RIP, Betty, Joan, Sally & Peggy.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Diatomaceous earth camo

Joan is pretty well camouflaged after dusting the run with diatomaceous earth. It's our new anti-fly strategy. Apparently food-grade diatomaceous earth (basically the dust of ground up diatoms -- who knew this even existed!?) will kill grubs & larva of flies by both cutting them & desiccating them. Not so lovely - but it seems better than those poison traps we used last year. I'd love to dust the compost but I have a hunch it'd kill the worms, too. Does anybody know?


  1. According to my dad (we used to "heat" the chicken house in the winter with one of our compost piles) the diatomaceous earth should be fine and maybe even good for the compost pile. My horse gets some in his feed during the spring/summer to help keep the flies off his poo. Glamourous.

  2. What a great closing image. Thanks, Silly Pony!

  3. Where do you purchase diatomaceous earth here in the Columbus area? I live on the west side and just built a coop and have 4 pullets that are about a month from laying. I need to do something to help with the fly control around the coop. Thanks!

    1. Thad, I'm not sure if you're still following this thread, but I saw that City Folks Farm Shop does carry diatomaceous earth now.

  4. Thad-
    I ordered it online. I wasn't able to find a local source (though I have to admit I didn't look too hard). Gardening stores might have it. I also know that the Clintonville Food Coop carries some for human consumption, but it's much more expensive than ordering it in bulk on line. I might be worth calling for a price, though. We ought to ask City Folks to keep some in stock!

    This is the stuff we got:
    PureEarthD Diatomaceous Earth, 35 lbs.

    I think I ordered it from Amazon: . I'd get at least 10 lbs. I bet we'll go through our 35lbs in a year or so.

    So far it really has made a difference. My instinct is to kill critters with chemicals, but this seems to make a lot more sense. And fly traps are so incredibly disgusting to deal with.

    If you want to have a cup or two to see how it goes, or to tide yourself over, you're welcome to come by and have some!