My neighbor's sheep happily eating alfalfa.
I’ve been taking care of my neighbor’s farm for the last ten days while they’ve been on vacation. I guess they figure that a barn girl can become a farm girl for a few days. My charges: sheep, turkeys, chickens, bunnies and ducks. Here’s what I learned:
- Sheep aren’t very smart. And that’s the understatement of the year.
- Roosters are mean
- My husband wants to adopt a turkey as a pet. I think “Turkey Lurkey” would make a great Thanksgiving meal.
- Most importantly, these people need some diatomaceous earth!
It rained a lot the week my neighbors left on vacation, and I was up to my ankles in mud taking care of the animals. DE solution #1: DE is a great drying agent. I dragged down a bag of DE and spread it around to dry things up. Voila – in a few hours it was much more manageable, and I didn’t have to wear my “Wellie” boots.
Chickens are really messy. I have horses, clean my barn twice a day and spread DE to keep things dry and the stalls fresh. How could these 12 chickens make more of a mess than my horses? And why do the bad roosters keep trying to peck me and jump on my back? Hello! I am here to feed you! DE solution #2: Use DE in pens, coops, houses as an absorbent and freshener.
This many animals draws a lot of bugs. Flies, spiders, mites and something weird in the grain. DE solution #3: DE, and more specifically, our product DEsect, kills bugs. It’s an organic, non-toxic and chemical-free insecticide, and it’s food grade, so you don’t have to worry about using it around animals. Our NaturalDE AFA product can be mixed in at 2% into grain – it serves as an anti-caking agent, which is really helpful with feed that has molasses in it and clumps up.
Chickens love DE! I’d heard this, but I hadn’t seen it for myself. I put down some DE, and the chickens said, “oohhh – bath time!” They couldn’t get enough of flopping around in the DE to give themselves dust baths. It must have felt good to them. We have a lot of research that proves that DE controls mites in chickens. Maybe they know that.
I do like getting the fresh eggs every day. There’s nothing like the taste of farm fresh eggs. But the shells on these eggs were pretty thin, and some would break as I carried them home. DE solution #4: Feeding DE to your chickens makes the shells of their eggs harder and thicker.
Our neighbors come home tomorrow, and I’m happy to go back to being just barn girl.
Read more about the benefits of DE at the barn http://blog.epminerals.com/im-tired-of-bugs-but-i-have-a-secret-de-insecticide-weapon