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Feeding Tarantula

Discussion in 'Arachnids General' started by billrogers, Jan 8, 2016.

  1. billrogers

    billrogers Established Member

    I am trying to get my curlyhair tarantula to eat some mealworms. She hasn't eaten in awhile, but I don't think she is getting ready to shed. I have her in a critter keeper (I thinks its a med), her substrate is coco fibers and organic potting soil mixed. I have a small metal dish that I put some mealworms in, but she didn't eat them. I also tried crushing one's head and putting it at her feet, but still couldn't get her to eat it. It's especially hard because she is very jumpy and quick to rear up at me. I am also working on setting up a 10 gal for her. IMG_0705.jpg
     
  2. Kolby Tannehill

    Kolby Tannehill Well-Known Member

    The best way to get them to eat meal worms is off feeding tong. But I like feeding dubia or cricket best. Tarantula well not normaly go to a dish and eat meal worm from it. If it were to she would become over wight quick, tarantula have very slow metabolism.
    As far as switching her to a 10 gallon, I would not tarantula are not like reptile alot of space will only stress them out. I use med sized critter keeper for tarantula her size.
     
  3. billrogers

    billrogers Established Member

    Sooooo, I ended up moving her (I just saw your post), I have put a lot of thought into it and I think it will be the best for her. She now has room to burrow, which she didn't in her old enclosure. She hasn't had water in her old cage for a bit, so when I got her set up she found her dish quickly and started drinking.

    I put some pothos cuttings in there. Hopefully they will root soon.

    Here's what it looks like.
    IMG_8253.JPG IMG_8255.JPG
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 9, 2016
  4. Sky Prince

    Sky Prince Member

    Its actually good that you put her in a larger enclosure but I wouldn't recommend going any bigger than that. Like what Kolby said, they can get stressed and lost in their on enclosure if the enclosure is too big. From captive breeding, tarantulas have become accustom to being in smaller enclosures and have a better sense of safety because they know their surroundings a little better. As some already know, tarantulas have poor eye sight and rely on their sense of touch to know their surroundings. By putting the mealworm in a dish, they can't exactly feel it as well as putting the worm on the substrate. Yes, the worm can escape and burrow but if it gets to the point, you should take it out immediately. If she's not hungry, then she's not hungry. The unnecessary vibrations from keeping the mealworm in the tank can stress her out. And also, like Kolby said, they do have slower metabolism. Some tarantulas can go months without food. Some even choose to go on long periods of not eating and will refuse food. So, it's honestly perfectly normal. I work at Petsmart and I can say that the G. rosea at my store once went about 1-2 months without food until she eventually wanted to start eating again. My own tarantulas do the same thing but the G. rosea at my work was probably the most extreme I've experienced.
     
  5. billrogers

    billrogers Established Member

    I think she just isn't hungry at the moment.

    I rearranged her cage a bit. I took out the mealworm dish and moved her water dish up where it had been.

    She has been burrowing her little heart out. :)

    You can see the huge pile of substrate right outside her burrow entrance. IMG_8283.JPG
     
  6. Sky Prince

    Sky Prince Member

    that's good. My tarantulas make long burrows along the walls. I like it because I can see in their burrow and see if they are in molt or where the mealworm is when i drop it down the burrow. :)
    Just curious, is she your first T? or have you had tarantulas before?
     
  7. billrogers

    billrogers Established Member

    She's my first! :) Ive had her almost two years though.
     
  8. Sky Prince

    Sky Prince Member

    That's good. :) Tarantulas make great beginner pets and you started off with one of the best beginner tarantulas. If you really like watching a T that will eat, I highly recommend GBBs. They will almost never refuse food. Down side is that it's not a T you would handle. I trust my G. pulchra out of all my Ts when it comes to handling. They're good eaters too. What I did notice was that some of my Ts prefer mealworms over crickets because they don't jump and startle them, while some of my Ts prefer crickets over mealworms because they are more fun to catch. I don't really know if those are the reasons as to why they prefer one over the other but I know my B. albopilosum is terrified of mealworms and will stay out of her burrow once it goes down there. Then I have to dig up the burrow to get the mealworm out. Idk, that's just something else to think about.
     
  9. billrogers

    billrogers Established Member

    When I was originally looking into Ts I wanted either a G. pulchra or a E. campestratus. Both those are pretty expensive though, and someone told me I could keep this B. albopilosum, which was CB, just a year or two old, and a female. I would still like to eventually get a G. pulchra or E. campestratus.

    Do you just drop mealworms in their burrow entrance?
     
  10. Sky Prince

    Sky Prince Member

    Yeah, G. pulchras are expensive. The cheapest I've ever gotten one was $35 at a reptile expo at a "Cold Blooded" booth. They had other Ts too but $35 was too good of a price to pass up. Go to reptile expos. Sometimes you can find a diamond in a rough at a good price. Great thing is that you dont have to pay $30-40 on shipping. Just for gas, entrance fee, and potentially parking (depends on the location).

    It honestly depends on the T. Once you know their personality and their preferences, you usually know how to drop the mealworm in. For example, my G. pulchripes will take it regardless weather in the burrow or at the entrance. If I just put it on top, she can't feel the movement. In your case, since she's not eating, I would grab the mealworm by the tail end with tongs and let the mealworm scratch the entrance of the burrow. If she doesn't react or seem interested, I would try again another time. If anything, experiment with crickets. Worst case scenario, you can just take it out. If you are concerned that it will hop and startle her, I tear off a leg or two. Don't worry about the cricket not feeling pain. They don't nerve receptors to feel pain. For me, its not the end of the world, if they dont eat it, I feed it to one of my frogs or my tiger oscar.
     
  11. billrogers

    billrogers Established Member

    I'll probably also wait until she is in her hunting position (legs spread at entrance to her burrow), but sounds good! Whenever she doesn't eat something I toss it in with my leo :D He never turns down a snack
     
  12. billrogers

    billrogers Established Member

    She turned down a couple more meals since I last posted, but I dropped a mealworm in her burrow today and she snatched it up really quickly! Who knows why she decided to fast for awhile. She's probably just trying to confuse me. :p
     
  13. Kolby Tannehill

    Kolby Tannehill Well-Known Member

    Sorry this is late a lost internet, but they will fast from time to time,at points it for winter at other points it is unknown why.
     
  14. billrogers

    billrogers Established Member

    I thought I would update this again... She still has only eaten that one mealworm since I started this thread, but because she hasn't been in her hunting position, I guess she's not hungry. The other day I flipped her terrarium around and her burrow goes right up against the wall. Now I have it covered in cardboard to make sure she feels comfortable, but now I can make sure she is still in her cage! :D
     

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