Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Pork Rub


 
Yeah, you're thinking BBQ sauce but you're a bit premature. I'm talking about Diatomaceous Earth, the wonder powder we like to rub on our pigs (cats, dogs, calves but I can never get the peacocks to sit still long enough.)

If you are not familiar with Diatomaceous earth or DE, it is a very fine white powder made up of the fossilized remains of diatoms, a type of hard-shelled algae which was discovered in Germany in 1837.  It is used to control parasites (mechanical insecticide) in animals along with about 100 other uses such as  a filtration aid, a mild abrasive in toothpaste, absorbent in liquids, reinforcing filler in plastics and rubber, ingredient in cat litter, activator in blood clotting studies etc..

The powder which consists of all these microscopic bits of dead diatoms (ANOTHER great name for a band "The Dead Diatoms") is lethal to parasites, worms, bedbugs, cockroach, ants, fleas and what we see sometimes in our hogs...lice.  The fine powder absorbs lipids from the waxy outer layer of insects' exoskeletons, causing them to dehydrate and die. It can be used on animals both internally and externally. Because DE is considered natural it is approved for use by the National Organic Program .

Although you can use your bare hands to spread the powder, our skin is too tough for the little dead diatoms to injure, I like to use a thick sock.




I don't lose as much of the powder to the wind that way. And because our pigs have mud holes which means dried mud on their bods, the sock keeps my paws cleaner as well. I'll grab a handful of DE and rub it on our breeder hogs who because they stay with us several years tend to attract the external parasites. A favorite spot for flies and lice to lay their eggs on hogs is right behind the ear.

For extra measure and to take care of any internals parasites we also shake some of the powder in our animals bedding and in their feed. When coupled with powdered garlic, also added to feed rations we are able to control parasites without using any chemicals.

10 comments:

  1. Brandon uses this in the grain bins at the elevator to keep the bugs out! They take a coffee cup of the stuff, put in front of a fan, let it blow all around the bin so it will coat the bin prior to it being filled with grain. Works Great!!
    ~ Maggie

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    1. See, that's what I'm talking about. DE is the bomb.

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  2. DE is magic stuff. When i was innundated with fleas a couple years ago, i spread it about the house, rubbed it on the cats and put some in their food. I also drank some dissolved in water (I had the food grade DE). After slugs had annihilated everything i put in the garden one year (small patch) i learned to put some DE around each plant the day i put it in the ground.

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  3. I never knew about the multiple uses of DE. We use it in the swimming pool. Now I will try these uses. Fleas--that is wonderful.

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    1. I suppose we should all be about quieter about the wonders of DE or our governments FDA will make it a controlled substance and we will need a prescription for the stuff.

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  4. I put it in a sieve and shook it on my vine crops to deter squash bugs and stink bugs.

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  5. I really must buy some; I can think of certain people who could do with a good rubbing down.

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  6. I use is as a wormer for the dogs, giving them a teaspoon each which is scattered over their breakfast every morning. Works a treat!

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  7. i've read about this stuff but have never actually seen it, so thanks for that!

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