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Protein supplement

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Is protein suppliment (like dried dog food) necessary for roaches? I feed them with dried leaves and carrots only.

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Many roaches will eat each other if not given a protein source.

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Wowww.... Thank you! I'm gonna buy some dried dog..

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Dried dog food is definitely recommended as part of their diet. I feed my roach dog food and fruit, which fully completes his nutritional requirements. Just make sure the dog food doesn't have a ton of meat in it, as roaches will stink a lot more when they're fed meat. Personal experience.

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Hmm, I keep my roaches mostly vegan but dry oatmeal constitutes the majority of their diet. 10 grams of protein in 1 cup of oatmeal, I wonder if that's enough. I haven't noticed any cannibalism issues except that they eat their dead, although tiny nymphs could be gobbled up all the time and I'd never know... I don't feed them cat food because they're used as feeders for amphibians.

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Wowww.... Thank you! I'm gonna buy some dried dog..

If your colony is not too large, just pick up free samples at your local pet store. The one near me has little sample bags out to take all the time. Every time I am there I pick a couple up. One serving for a dog is MANY servings for roaches. Plus, I'm getting the "high end" foods rather than cheap stuff...

Just a thought.

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If your colony is not too large, just pick up free samples at your local pet store. The one near me has little sample bags out to take all the time. Every time I am there I pick a couple up. One serving for a dog is MANY servings for roaches. Plus, I'm getting the "high end" foods rather than cheap stuff...

Just a thought.

Thanks for your tip! I have 6 G.oblongonota and 5 H.tenebricosa . There's PETCO and PETSMART nearby.. but I can't find any sample bags.

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Thanks for your tip! I have 6 G.oblongonota and 5 H.tenebricosa . There's PETCO and PETSMART nearby.. but I can't find any sample bags.

Hmm... ok. I go to a little family-owned store that sell high-end food. They give out samples because they want people to buy their high-end foods.

Sorry that didn't help.

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Hmm... ok. I go to a little family-owned store that sell high-end food. They give out samples because they want people to buy their high-end foods.

Sorry that didn't help.

NoNo I found it. I bought a sample size dog pellet at Petsmart! That costs only $2.11

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NoNo I found it. I bought a sample size dog pellet at Petsmart! That costs only $2.11

:-)

You might also try posting an ad on Craig's list -

"Wanted - leftover dog/fish/reptile food for my insect colony. Clean, dry food only. Expired is OK. No cat food please"

You might not want to mention the word "roach" though... it might turn people off.

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If you use dog food or any other type of food commonly kept in containers that are not completely airtight, you need to be aware that sometimes they are infested with grain mites.

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You might not want to mention the word "roach" though... it might turn people off.

But the expressions the workers make when they ask you what type of dog you are feeding and you answer roaches is priceless. :P

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I am new to this site and joined this site specifically to shed some light on some common misgivings about roach nutrition. I have kept a number of species of tropical roaches over the years and have extensively researched their nutritional needs. After reading dozens of research studies, most available online or through various university resources, I have come to the conclusion that the vast majority of available species do not need high protein supplementation. In fact, higher protein diets are counterproductive and not good for roaches. I always supply my roaches with wood, dried leaves, rolled oats and barley (both fiber rich with adequate protein), and always have either carrots, winter squash or sweet potato available for moisture. Simple and very effective. No dog, cat or fish food - and the inevitable preservatives that are present whether listed or not. Do a Google search "cockroach protein urea pdf", choose the result that reads "The cockroach Blattella germanica obtains nitrogen from uric acid..." Give it a read before you decide whether or not to feed your roaches inappropriately.

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I am new to this site and joined this site specifically to shed some light on some common misgivings about roach nutrition. I have kept a number of species of tropical roaches over the years and have extensively researched their nutritional needs. After reading dozens of research studies, most available online or through various university resources, I have come to the conclusion that the vast majority of available species do not need high protein supplementation. In fact, higher protein diets are counterproductive and not good for roaches. I always supply my roaches with wood, dried leaves, rolled oats and barley (both fiber rich with adequate protein), and always have either carrots, winter squash or sweet potato available for moisture. Simple and very effective. No dog, cat or fish food - and the inevitable preservatives that are present whether listed or not. Do a Google search "cockroach protein urea pdf", choose the result that reads "The cockroach Blattella germanica obtains nitrogen from uric acid..." Give it a read before you decide whether or not to feed your roaches inappropriately.

Cheers for that info, im switching from a dry dog food based feed to a good rabbit food mix (16% protein)with some butter nut squash now and again.

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Would the salt content be an issue in rabbit food?

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Agreed. Salt content is higher than ideal. Rabbit pellets are essentially corn, soy alfalfa, grain waste products, salt and are vitamin/mineral fortified. You would be ahead feeding just the corn, soy and alfalfa in their less processed forms. However, based on my research of the anti-nutritional factors in all three of those ingredients, you would be better off with oats and barley as your dry feed.

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Most people report no problems with feeding protein. Someone on here had dubias and other roaches live a very long time feeding them protein regularly, and they definitely love eating it and it makes them grow faster and breed more. I'm doing an experiment where I feed dubia nymphs different diets, one group is being fed 100% cat food and they're growing much faster and seem healthier. Additionally I have a container of excess males being fed nothing but cat food. Only a few have died (old ones with broken off feet) and at least one has been in there since august. The only problem with feeding too much protein is that the uric acid probably isn't good for herps that eat the roaches. Also pet food often has some pretty nasty stuff in it. So I feed my feeder colony oats. But I've seen no real evidence that it harms the roaches themselves. Has anyone done a study on blaberid roaches? I'm not convinced they even store uric acid like the Germans in that paper do. Maybe they've evolved around it. Bear in mind that many of the larger species live in bat caves and eat mostly bat guano and dead bats. Bat guano is 54% protein.

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I follow the old adage that just because you can, doesn't make it right or good. As far as the cat food, you may be on the right track. I know of several aboriginal tribes in the Amazon that feed cat food to all the roaches in the jungle. Joking aside, if it works for you, go for it. As for me, I will trust my 30 years of keeping roaches and watching the long term effects of both good and bad diets.

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so you're saying that you have actually observed harmful effects from feeding protein to blaberid roaches? Because before you didn't mention any actual observations, you just said to google a paper done on one species in a completely different family.

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Yes. Specifically to detritivore species..."the vast majority of available species." These are general observations, not a carefully documented study or paper. What I have observed may or may not be completely caused by diet, but may be a cumulative effect caused by diet, certain environmental factors and the presence of preservatives found in commercial cat, dog and fish feed. What I have observed is that once a high protein diet is fed, a certain percentage of almost exclusively females become stunted and deformed. The affected adult females are nearly round and approximately 60% normal length. It takes several generations to fully manifest, but it can affect approximately 10-15% of the female population. I have noticed this in Dubias and different strains of Death Heads primarily. Once the affected females were culled and their diet adjusted the stunted females are no longer produced. I cited that particular study because it is easy to understand. There have been other documented instances in other species and with a curious mind and nimble fingers, many can be accessed free of charge on the internet. I have drawn conclusions on my research and experience that may not be entirely accurate or supportable. I am no scientist, but have a background in military law enforcement and risk management which make for a decent critical thinking/problem solving skill set. I am not a specie collector, I currently keep 5 species, but have kept many others in the past.

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You claim these females are "stunted" because they're round in shape? Length fluctuates according to how pregnant or full of food they are. A newly eclosed female, one who has given birth recently, or one that is starved and dehydrated will be short, flat and round while a pregnant or full female will be more elongated. What you have to look at to determine size is the pronotum. It doesn't change size. And even then other factors such as heat and overcrowding can contribute to stunted adults.

Cockroaches in the genus Eublaberus, Periplaneta and I imagine at least some members of the genus Blaberus given that they are called "cave roaches" live in caves and feed upon piles of bat guano. Bats have an inefficient digestive system and their waste products contain more protein than the insects they eat, 54% protein. I can't really think of any other food that has that much protein, and it's all animal based. Even forest dwelling species have access to protein rich fungal mycelia that grow on decaying leaves. Ever dug through some leaf litter or flipped over a log and seen just how much fungi there is under there?

Btw, I wasn't doubting that blaberid roaches have those microbes to convert the urea. I just think the mechanism that kills germans may be harmless to them. Think about it, a human home doesn't have many protein rich food sources. Maybe they're such a successful pest species because of they're adapted to live on foods that are poor in protein, and that's why their bodies don't know what to do with too much protein.

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