Review/Oorsig Volume 23, Issue 01 - Page 22

Oorsig/Review a dewormer when added on a regular basis in the amount of 2% of the ration. Scientific tests on the subject are limited however and opinions of farmers are contradictory. Moreover, diatomaceous earth has no effect on lungworm and is not very appetizing. It may also be a lung irritant. Given that the level of dust is already quite high in barns, diatomaceous earth does not seem appropriate when the animals are fed indoors. The main motivation for adding diatomaceous earth to rations should not be to control internal parasites JB - Oct 29, 2007 Adrian, I have to agree with Tod. The stuff only works for ants, the large ones that dig holes in your front lawn, and it does so by clogging up their spiracles, and it is also used in swimming pool filters, 'the diatomaceous earth' that one sometimes sees in the shops. Very much a scam like the milk cultures in the 80's! ML - Oct 30, 2007 Tod's comment on "organic" farming can be added to. There is plenty of current research in the human field that strongly indicates that organically produced foods are very often deficient in all sorts of things. Pay more for less!! Australian research indicates that biologically sustainable farming, which is vastly different to organic farming, is reaping the best of both worlds. They indicate the use of agricultural chemicals with care and caution; which is surely the only responsible way these products should be used. RM - 30 Oct 2007 I believe that (on another continent) some cattle feeders decided to include the diatomaceous earth into a ration possibly for the mineral content and perhaps to help with worms, salmonellosis and all other ailments. I am not sure of the details, but I understand that the ground earth and some ration ingredients reacted and resulted in a fire hazard. As this is just hearsay please do not quote me, but I wondered if the resulting flames would suit Tod's perspective of the matter. FM - 08 Nov 2007 I know of a controlled study where diatomite was tested in a feedlot. There were two groups of lambs, more than 10 lambs per group. They received a fattening ration but in the one group diatomite was added for the whole fattening period. The lambs were infected with Haemonchus contortus larvae at the time they went into the feedlot. Faecal egg counts, haematocrits, FAMACHA and weights were taken at regular intervals. At slaughtering worm recoveries of each lamb was done. Results 22 will be published at a later stage. Summary: No statistical differences in weight gain between the 2 groups. 20% control of Haemonchus in the diatomite group. Just an afterthought: To get registration for a dewormer to control worms (Act 36/1947) you have to have more than 90% control and aid in the control more than 60% SM – 17 May 2010 The last discussion on this topic was in 2007. Any news or developments? I ask as this product has now hit the wildlife industry. I keep an open mind, but I also like to see the experimental trial evidence for myself. Game owners are very impressed by Electron Microscope photos of "shredded" helminths, but what about the intestinal villi and possible septic emboli? Would appreciate any updates on safety issues and registration, as well as if any worthwhile published articles exist? The information on the internet is not convincing. JM - May 18, 2010 We were asked (as independent UP researchers) to investigate the potential of diatomite as a feed additive. The anthelmintic effect is only one of the focus areas. Several research projects (for MSc, PhD degrees) were started (or are in the planning stages) and work is progressing well. We hope to submit the first manuscript for publication before the end of this year. GB - May 18, 2010 Faffa Malan and I have been badgering Jan van Wyk to write up the results of a trial we did, Stuart. The results were very modest - only a 20% reduction, not high enough to even consider for registration. Put another way, if this was a registered anthelmintic, we would conclude that it had severe anthelmintic resistance and should not be used on that farm. The internet claims are mostly long on praise and short on proof, most of them are just product endorsements like " it worked great on my farm" or " I'd recommend this to anyone". There is also a question of reliability of these claims. We three visited a farm in the eastern Free State where DE (Diatomaceous Earth) was already in use with the intention of running a trial of DE against internal parasites. At one stage we were on our own, and we saw a farm worker dusting the cattle with DE, apparently for lice. We went across to have a look and take photos. Every few animals the worker took out a container with a liquid and put that on the badly affected cattle. When we looked at what was being applied, it turned out to be a registered product for external parasites in cattle! No wonder the DE