Discussion in 'Bearded Dragons' started by Rae, Oct 27, 2012.
What is healthier as a Staple ... Crickets or Silkworms?
My dragon won't touch any pellets or prepared foods... not even those soft 'bearded bites'. He's almost 7 months old and only just started paying any attention to canned bugs - I give him a canned grasshopper every once in a while - but he still doesn't really love them. When he was a baby he wouldn't touch anything that wasn't alive and squirming. Since he only ate live bugs and a little bit of salad, for the first two months or so he was eating upwards of 80 crickets a day. So they do eat a lot and it is expensive.
As far as the healthiest staples I believe crickets, dubia roaches, and pheonix worms are among the best, not sure about silkworms.
Silk worms are great, more expensive. Variety is the best though, and fresh is always better than processed/canned/freeze dried
Roaches are illegal here... I'll just stick with crickets I guess lol. I have recently heard of vibrating feeding dishes... would this work to trick them into thinking they are alive?
I will have to look into silk worms if available near me...
Why would you want to feed a dead insect, feeders are only as good as what they are fed. Who know's whats in those canned products and dried products. Stick with fresh feeders that are well fed at all times, this way you know exactly what your reptile is eating.
And I have heard many reports of those vibrating bowls actually scaring the lizards away.
You have to consider that the chief role of feeder insects is as a transportation device to get good foods into the animal. With those canned types you may very well be feeding the lizard an empty husk.
Silkworms are healthier than crickets but more expensive.
-sigh- I know I can't believe everything I read... but... you ask why...
well when you read they are pre gutloaded, in a can, easier to digest as the skeletons are softer, you spend less money, less gas, they last longer, and can't get loose, don't stink up the house, Well thats why.
I can get these cans for $8 ... 2 min away....
Live crickets.... 20 min drive... $5 for 4 dozen... 1/3 die in the cricket keeper especially in summer heat... they stink... get loose and are seen on walls and floors... company loves that sight I tell you. Have to get crickets at least weekly or a can lasts 2 weeks or more.
So yes when something claims to be just as healthy, easier to digest, frogs seem to swallow them easier, doesn't smell or get out, and is cheaper... That is why I want to use them...
For one reptile, you should be able to get enough live crickets to last you two weeks, easily.
How do you store your crickets?
The easiest (and cheapest) method I have found is by using either a 10gal tank with a mesh lid, or buying a plastic tote and cut holes in the lid for ventilation, or cut out a section of the lid and replace with screen (can buy a roll from places like Home Depot for about $10).
Fill the container with a mixture of oats, bran, grains, etc. and add in chopped veggies such as carrots, potatoes, greens. Replenish the veggies about every 3 days or so. This is the cricket gutload, and very nutritious. Add in several cardboard paper towel rolls and/or toilet paper rolls, and tear up some cardboard egg cartons. These provide the crickets with places to climb and explore so they don't trample each other to death. As well, if you lean the paper towel rolls up against the side of the tank/tub, it makes cricket retrieval very easy. Keep the container in a cool dry place, such as in a closet, cupboard, basement.
Just for an example, I fill a 10gal with about 200-300 full-sized crickets a week, and I have a very low death rate. You could easily double that amount with small crickets, assuming you provide enough tubes/cardboard to space them out.
Yes, occasionally, you may have escapees, but that comes with the territory of owning an insectivore/carnivore.
I wouldn't use the canned stuff. That'd be the equivalent of feeding you canned sandwiches or salads. How tasty and nutritious would that be?
I have 4 tree frogs, 1 Crested Gecko (but he only gets crickets once a week), and as this thread shows I am wanting a Bearded Dragon.
I keep crickets in a large cricket keeper with egg carton to climb and hide, kept out of the sun, I feed the crickets fish flakes, carrots, romaine lettuce. I lose a min of 1/3... usually buy 4 dozen at a time... I do not have room or the area to have a bigger container atm.
Each frog eats 2 a night and the gecko I toss in 3 or 4 once a week (usually I see 1 or 2 a day later sneaking about).
Sorry, let me clarify - for one consistent cricket-eating reptile, you should be able to get you enough crickets to last for two weeks.
Of course, it may depend on the quality of crickets you're getting, and the conditions in which they were shipped. One supplier near me stuffs them in tight little boxes, which means half of them are dead or dying by the time they get to me. Whereas the other has them in a large open tub and scoops out what I need. These last quite awhile.
As a comparison, I also buy 200 2-3 week old crickets that I house in a large KK to last me for a week. Again, very low death rate.
Basically what I'm getting at is that if you don't like having to run and get live crickets every week, I don't feel you should have to either. I firmly believe you can buy enough and maintain enough to last you for at least two weeks.
One thing I would suggest is to replace the fish flakes - they aren't a great gutload as they are too high in protein and fat. Grains, oats, bran, rice, etc. are much healthier. You know the phrase "you are what you eat"? Same applies to your reptiles - whatever is fed to the crickets is ultimately being fed to your reptile.
Ya blame Petsmart for the fish flakes -sigh- I barely use them I have had the container 2 years and its barely 1/4 down. I dont know about the grains I have always been told lettuce, carrots and potatoes...
hey Rae, uhm why are roaches illegal there? Just nosy. lol. I was going to ask if you had considered butter worms at all. They are pretty and are a really nice treat now and again. Horn worms are really nice as are silkworms too. It's a real bummer roaches are illegal because they are honestly a really nice feeder.
Roaches are considered an agricultural pest in Canada. The authorities do not want multiple foreign species of roaches getting free and taking over the world! Thus the stupid ban.
Ah ok I didn't know that, just seems like it would be way too cold for them there. I know here in upper Tn if one gets loose I find it dead within a few days somewhere. I really hate crickets though so uggg.
Oh and Rae uhm there are sites where you can buy them pretty cheaply. You might want to look around but a 10 gallon does honestly work best.
Silkworms are the best worms. They contain an enzyme called serrpeptase, that makes calcium absorption more efficient, can reduce inflammation, pain and best of all it can break down arterial plaque.
I do agree, silkworms are really nice but I didnt know about the enzyme I will definitely remember that!!
Yep I use them as a staple for most sick animals now. Or hornworms if animals is malnourished as green bugs seem to stimulate appetites.
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