helping planet

Live Calci Worms: DEFRA-Approved

Let’s unscramble the myths about DEFRA’s stance on Live Insect Feed for Chickens

Let’s talk about a common coop misconception: DEFRA banning all insect proteins for our hens. We’re here to clear up this myth and deliver you the facts and evidence.

Myth-Busting: The DEFRA Insect-Feed Policy

The truth is, dried and processed insects like mealworms are a no-go for our feathery friends, according to DEFRA. They say, “Dried terrestrial invertebrates (insects) and processed animal proteins (PAPs) of insect origin cannot be used in farm animal feed or treats, like hen treats.” But before your beak turns blue, don’t panic! The “bug ban” doesn’t extend to live insects.

Our dedicated co-founder, Paul, reached out to DEFRA for some real-deal clarification. And in return, he received a clear-as-day letter stating that feeding live insects to hens is absolutely LEGAL.

ECOnourish hens eating calci worms
live Black Soldier Fly larvae (Calci Worms) for chickens

The Legal Lowdown: Live Insect Treats Get the Green Light

In DEFRA’s reply, they shared, “The TSE regulations prohibit the use of dead insects in animal feed… This ban does not apply to live insects, insect fats, and oils.” So, our darling hens won’t be going protein-peckish after all!

Live insects are officially catalogued as “live terrestrial invertebrates, in all their life stages” (EU Regulation 68/2013). This means they’re given the go-ahead in your backyard chicken buffet, provided they meet the animal-by-products and TSE regulations, which we make sure they do and we have written confirmation from DEFRA that ECOnourish is compliant!

We are also registered with our local authority Trading Standards Office (TSO) as an animal feed business. Robust legislation Engrained in animal feed law is the overarching requirement that animal feed must be safe to be marketed or fed to animals. TSOs are responsible for enforcing this law. And we are TSO inspected and approved. So, your chickens can indulge in their favourite live insect treats without a worry.

Evidence: The DEFRA letter itself