Chicken Coop Chatter©
Diatomaceous Earth or DE, is commonly used in gardening, as an insecticide, filtering agent in fish tanks,as an abrasive substance in toothpaste, and as an anti-caking agent in livestock feed, including chicken feed. It is also used as a component in kitty litter.
DE is made up of microscopic algae from millions upon millions of years ago. First discovered in Germany, it was thought to be Limestone, that could be used as fertilizer, however they soon realized it was not Lime and it was eventually used in making dynamite. It is used for stabilizing nitroglycerin to make it safer to transport. And during the outbreak of Cholera in Germany in 1862 it was used in a filtering system with great success.
Though Diatomite in it's raw form resembles Limestone, it is very porous, much like pumice and can absorb 6 times it's weight, so is often used to absorb moisture in other products. It is used medically for worming in animals and in humans as well as some blood clotting agents.
Germany was the worlds original source until the turn of the 20th century, however Oregon, Washington, Nevada, and Colorado have large supplies of the substance. Other countries, such as France, Canada, and Denmark do as well. It is found in desert regions around the world. It is believed that the more volcanic activity in a given area, is what has made certain areas with deep deposits of the substance such as areas in Oregon state.
DE has been approved by the FDA to be used in filtration of beer, wine, syrups and honey, and additionally approved as a supplement in grains for poultry.
Oregon has a huge deposit of Diatomite near Westfall in the South Eastern region of the state, not far from where our oldest sister resides. It is mined and hauled out by truck load after truck load, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The Diatomaceous Earth is amazing to see in the natural outcroppings in the area, the deposits seem to grow and rise above the soil out of nowhere in regions where there are deep deposits of the substance. Though it crumbles easily, there are many deposits of it with fossils buried inside. Like opening a book, the stone-like deposits easily open to reveal the contents. I have a few examples of it to share in photographs.
I have also shared some of my photographs of the formations that have cropped up straight out of the earth. So the next time you hear of or use DE, you will know some interesting facts about it and have seen the incredible formations straight from the earth in its natural, raw form.
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