When magnified 7,000 times, food grade diatomaceous earth looks like bits of broken glass. The sharp edges cut up intestinal parasites in the gut, reducing their numbers, but is harmless to a horse's digestive system. Add the diatomaceous earth to your horse's food each day for at least 60 days to eradicate parasitic infestations.
What It Is
Diatomaceous earth is the fossilized remains of tiny ocean plants called diatoms. Their silica skeletons collect on the floors of oceans and lakes. When harvested, diatomaceous earth is either heat processed and chemically treated into industrial grade diatomaceous earth or ground and dried to make food grade diatomaceous earth. Only feed food grade diatomaceous earth to your horse.
How to Feed It
Add food grade diatomaceous earth to your horse's grain on a daily basis, moistening the diatomaceous earth with water to keep dust to a minimum. You can mix it with juice to create a worming paste. Consult your veterinarian to calculate the right daily dosage for your horse based on her weight and fecal worm count. After 30 days, your horse's fecal worm count should show a significant decrease if she's at the correct dosage. Feed for at least another 30 days to eradicate the parasites. Talk to your vet to determine the proper maintenance dosage for your horse to keep the parasites from returning.
In addition to the sharp outer edges, diatomaceous earth has a hollow center that attracts harmful microbes such as viruses and bacteria. The microbes can't escape the negative charge of the diatomaceous earth and exit the body along with the silica. As the diatomaceous earth doesn't get digested, its presence in your horse's manure will help lower your fly count as the sharp edges drill into eggs and maggots. Diatomaceous earth also has nutritional benefits for your horse, supplying calcium, magnesium, iron and trace minerals.