Scratch with webs and moth larvae OK to eat?


Chicken Slave
12 Years
Mar 19, 2007
Brick, NJ
I know chickens eat bugs, but what about this: I have a bag of scratch that when I dumped it into a container to bring out to the henhouse, I noticed lots of webby things in it and those pantry moths larva does this mean it's spoiled and shouldn't use it, or is it OK ?
The question you need to answer is...Is it moldy?
The worms are only what they eat.
It's questionable as to if it OK for the chicks and with not being able to check it out personally I can't really say.
If it is dry and not soggy or mushy...maybe. If any moisture or mushy clumps...No.
Good Luck!
I have fed my chickens feed that was infested with those nasty little moths. I figure they eat bugs...
But as PeeperKeeper stated, I make sure there is no mold or dampness. We keep our feed in covered plastic garbage pails and put fresh bay leaves in to discourage those moths. It seems to help.
That's what I was thinking - they eat bugs, so why not? That was a good point about damp/moldy. No, the stuff was dry and flowed fine, just those yucky webby clumps and most likely wormy things too.
I wouldn't touch it (except to throw it away > if a new package then take it back and insist on a refund!) much less feed it to my birds. The nutritional quality is not only compromised but you run the risk of mycotoxin.
Please read this entire article (nice easy language and easy to read!) of which I have excerpted a few sentences out of it below the link:
"....Mycotoxins are generally very stable and will persist during storage as they are independent of storage conditions. As no efficient decontamination procedures are available today, most of the mycotoxins that are present at the time of harvest in a crop will reach the final animal diet during feed consumption......One of the common features of fungal species in poorly hydrated feedstuffs is their ability to farm and disseminate spores......
In poultry production, feed is the key vector bringing mycotoxins into the production system and control strategies should mainly focus on optimising feed quality...Economic losses associated with mycotoxicosis include:
Poor growth
Reduced egg production
Reduced feed conversion
Increased mortality
Poor egg shell quality
Reduced fertility
Leg problems
Carcass condemnation
Increased susceptibility to disease ..."
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Thank you for that info Diana. I used my better judgement and didn't feed them the scratch in question mostly because I'm not a fan of wormy things and it just grossed me out, so I didn't use it.

I still have it, but when i get home I'm chucking the bag into the garbage. Again, thank you.
Yes, but mycotoxins have to come from mold, not the moths and their larva. So as others have said, the webs and larva should be fine, as long as nothing has become moldy.

I've been feeding my chickens my sunflower seeds that got moth infested too. The new batch is clean (with the addition of plenty of DE), but I'm not throwing out the old just for some webs.
I've fed my chickens dry spaghetti that got infested with grain moth larvae with no ill effects. They loved it. The webs are popular, too. But then, mine have a positive fetish for eating spider webs, so I guess anything with webs is a treat for them.

I wouldn't feed them moldy anything, though.
With the webby things and moths, I question how fresh the feed is. The older it gets, the more the nutrients deteriorate. I would take it back for a fresh bag. The price of feed has gone up and I will not pay full price for an old bag of feed.
Actually, I only had about 4 cups of it left, could have gotten webby and infested because it wasn't properly stored (me) but I have a sick hen right now and I'm not taking any chances so I'm throwing it into the woods for other creatures to pick through.

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