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Diatomaceous Earth

16 August 2011 No Comment

Diatomaceous Earth
We asked horse training expert Cheyanne West. More about Cheyanne

Question
Quite a few horse lists are and have been discussing feeding DE as a fly prevention (and a worming) technique. Another topic of discussion has been feeding apple cider vinegar to deter flies.

At the present time we have been purchasing Fly Predators (mini wasps) for fly control. I am not keen on the idea of the paste wormers (too much poison in those things!). So I am searching for a safer way to get rid of pests!

What are your thoughts on this, and how should they be administered?

Thank you,
BJ Henderson

Answer
Dear BJ Deworming is always such a controversial subject. So many opinions out there! I can only tell you what I do with the seven horses I have. I do not use apple cider vinegar unless I have horses with digestive problems. I have not found it to keep flies away. At least where I live in the mountains of Colorado, where the weather here happens to be unusually dry, little keeps away the nasty deer flies we have. I do use Diatomaceous earth daily and have done so for years. I serve a round tablespoon two times per day for a 1000 lb. horse. I have even made a cake out of it and left it in the pasture as a free choice. I have very good luck with it. I also keep homeopathic Cina (Wormwood) in the water tank which stretches the time frame between deworming down to 1 time per year with Zimectrin. My pens are kept clean, and the manure is not spread in pasture. I deworm horses in a pen allowing 48 hours to pass before any are returned to pasture and the pens are kept clean during that time. I have no colics, no digestive problems and very healthy shiny horses and have not had a vet on the property in over 20 years. Things are kept routine and simple. Lots of fresh water, consistency in hay and grain and in feeding schedules. A bad bale of hay is not worth a massive vet bill. I also use Ultra Shield by Absorbine in the black bottle during the summer as needed however you may find you may not need much if you use the diatomaceous earth regularly.

Not all living situations are the same. More humid climates may require an adjustment and boarded horses may also require different arrangements. These are the guidelines I can offer about deworming.

Cheyanne West – C-Hom

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