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JunQ

Protein supplement

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Well actually I feed my biggest colony mostly a vegetarian diet. They're feeders and I don't want the nasty stuff working its way up the food chain. But for the roaches themselves I've seen no evidence that it would do anything but benefit them.

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"Nasty Stuff" is the problem. It may not affect them in the short term, but it does. I raise thousands of Dubias a month and I see the healthy examples of these roaches constantly...which is how I am so in tune when something is off. The stunted females I have described cannot be explained away.

"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."

I disagree with those statements in the context of being an explanation for what I've described. Whether or not a female is gravid or not, and whether or not they've eaten does not significantly change their dimensions. Certainly not to the degree I described. Further, the Bat Guano argument is irrelevant when you consider the probable nutritional analysis verses commercially available pet foods.

http://m.rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/273/1585/439.full

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I'm not talking about the "nasty stuff." I'm talking about protein. I don't see how there could be any problem with feeding "clean" sources of protein such as eggs, other insects, or soybeans.

Fruit bats don't form large communal roosts in caves like insectivorous bats do.

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"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."

I disagree with those statements in the context of being an explanation for what I've described. Whether or not a female is gravid or not, and whether or not they've eaten does not significantly change their dimensions. Certainly not to the degree I described.

Let me show what I mean. Here's two females I just pulled from my colony.

http://s1303.photobucket.com/user/salmonsaladsandwic/media/image.jpg1_zpsbop8fmsh.jpg.html

One has just molted to adulthood. Her exoskeleton was still noticeably soft and in person her colors are slightly paler and grayer. As you can see, she is flat and round and her abdominal segments are retracted. The other female is gravid or has recently gorged herself on fruit, probably both. Her abdomen is distended and elongated and she is more cylindrical in shape. But you can see that the recently emerged female has a larger pronotum, which is a rigid part of the exoskeleton that doesn't change size. So when she becomes pregnant she will be larger than the other one. Don't rely on abdomen shape to gauge adult size, the only thing it tells you is how much stuff is in their belly at any given time. It's the same with nymphs too. A nymph who is almost ready to molt is just as distended as a gravid female.

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Then keep doing what you are doing. You mention non-processed forms of protein that would be far better than commercial pet foods. However, I would avoid soybeans due to anti-nutritional factors such as saponins and trypsin inhibitors, to name two. You need to buff up on your bat info, though. There are omnivorous, frugivorous and nectivorous bats that use caves. Also, you used a study to support your point that was done on one bat specie in an Oklahoma Ozark cave. My point is that not all guano has the same nutritional profile that you mentioned.

I respect your opinion, though I disagree with certain aspects of it. It seems you have given roach nutrition serious thought and I applaud you.

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I understand your point. I am talking about something far different. They stood out in cultures of thousands of roaches. They reminded me of the balloon mollies or certain types of goldfish that have shortened, compacted bodies. They were deformed. It hasn't happened since changing their diet several years ago. Problem solved.

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What I meant was that fruit bats aren't the dominant bat species in caves that form the huge colonies. Compared to insectivorous bats the amount of guano they are responsible for is probably minimal.

So you're saying that just because the feces of only one bat species has been analyzed, that means other species with similar diets must be totally different? Considering that the gray bat guano is 54% protein (which is A LOT!), even if protein levels among different bat species do vary significantly it would still in all likelihood be higher than any pet food. Or really any food.

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I understand your point. I am talking about something far different. They stood out in cultures of thousands of roaches. They reminded me of the balloon mollies or certain types of goldfish that have shortened, compacted bodies. They were deformed. It hasn't happened since changing their diet several years ago. Problem solved.

Do you have any pictures of them?

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Did they just look wierd, or were they disabled? Like, they had trouble moving around? Perhaps you don't see them anymore because the other roaches, with less protein, eat them. Or, feeding them a protein rich diet allows weak, deformed roaches that otherwise wouldn't survive to reach adulthood.

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Very interesting discussion. I guess the true test to this debate would be with a wing biting species, eublaberus for example. Feeding one a high animal protein diet and the other a low protein diet. If the normal thinking is correct the population fed the lower protein will have chewed wings. Whe I feed my eublaberus "pantanal" fish food and Oats daily they eat the oats first. When I feed them oats only for several days then add fish food, they eat the fish food first.

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That's what I'm doing right now with dubias. Probably not the best subject since I don't believe they are a cave dwelling species, but so far growth seems directly correlated with protein content of food.

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The deformed females were round. Round, like a circle. They got around and seem to function adequately. I used them as feeders, which I rarely do with my females.

I have kept Orange Heads and they did well on the diet I feed. I kept the humidity higher and the population density lower and they did fine.

As I stated before, I am not completely convinced protein content is the main or only issue. I do believe a lot of folks feed too much and the wrong kind of protein.

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Here is another thought. Cave dwelling species would also have the opportunity to dine on the occasional baby bat and dead adult bat. This would be high in protein, but not available daily.

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Well, actually bat guano is higher in protein than dead bats. Bat guano, as I mentioned above, is 54% protein. By comparison, cooked hamburger is 23 percent protein and dry cat food is usually around 30%.

The deformed females were round. Round, like a circle. They got around and seem to function adequately. I used them as feeders, which I rarely do with my females.

I'm still not convinced that they were deformed. Did you look at the picture I posted a link to?

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Then don't be convinced. I can go look at thousands of Dubias right now and not see a single roach like those females. They were deformed. I saw your pictures, read your argument and I disagree. It also happened with Death Heads in significant numbers.

You are operating under the assumption that cave dwelling roaches only inhabit caves and eat primarily guano. I think that would be the exception rather than the rule. You are also assuming that all guano has that level of protein. Finally, a part of that protein is found in the chitinous exoskeletons of the partially digested insects and would likely be difficult or impossible to digest, even for a roach.

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I was never operating under the assumptions that they "only" inhabit caves and "only" eat guano. It is a fact that caves containing large numbers of bats support huge numbers of cockroaches, who thrive on a diet of almost nothing but guano, because there is almost nothing else to eat in a cave and if there was, why would they when an extremely rich food is so plentiful? If they also live outside the cave and eat decaying vegetation, good for them. But it's doubtful they teem in the thousands like in a cave where it basically rains protein. More protein= more growth and reproduction.

Why wouldn't all bat feces contain that much protein? Like I already said, even if it did vary depending on species and prey eaten I find it hard to believe the change would be so dramatic as to bring the protein content down into the range of anything that people already feed to roaches.

Finally, a part of that protein is found in the chitinous exoskeletons of the partially digested insects and would likely be difficult or impossible to digest, even for a roach.

Chitin isn't a protein. It's a carbohydrate.

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Well, does a nutritional analysis measure this stuff? I believe what they meant by "protein percentage" is usable protein percentage. The fact that a salamander can sustain itself on guano is sufficient proof for me that it contains plenty of digestible protein.

EDIT: wait a minute, glucosamine isn't a protein. It's in the name: GLUCOSEamine.

Chitin is more like cellulose than it is like keratin.

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I already read that. Where does it say it's a protein? Even if it is "technically a protein" (which by the looks of it it is not) I don't think that's what they measure in a nutritional analysis...

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I can't teach you organic chemistry. Glucosamine is an amino sugar, similar to melamine, in that it can give a false picture of true protein content. Remember the Chinese company that was boosting the protein analysis of baby formula with melamine? Same principle. Also, amino sugars are known to inhibit bacterial protein synthesis. Try to connect the dots.

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It is true that protein content is analyzed by measuring nitrogen, and amino sugars are made of nitrogen. But why do you keep on changing the story? First you said chitin was protein, (which it isn't ) then you said it contains a form of protein, (which it doesn't), and now you're saying it contains compounds that can be mistaken for protein.

If bat guano is so low in protein, please explain how the salamander can survive and grow eating it.

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