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How much is too much?


Melissa
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Hi all new here, tried doing a search and could not find exactly what I am looking for, although got a little info from the grinding thread. I was wondering if anyone has any real good information on what is a good protein level for these guys. I belong to a gecko forum and we were having a discussion on making our own roach food and such and I already knew you had to watch the protein intake for roaches. Most of us keep dubias but there are a few keepers of other species.

But I am however one of the lucky few who are capable knowing the nutritional content of the food I make because of a machine in my lab. I work in a flour lab, and our mill makes several types of flours, each type has a different requirement. Because of this I am able to get readings on moisture, protein, ash, fat, fiber, and iron although not sure how important iron is to roaches....So anyways I was going to try and come up with a blend using one of our whole grain flours, actually it is the backbone for MilkBones, and normally runs a protein around 12-12.6%, 12.3% is most common for it when it leaves our mill. And from there I was going to play around other foods to it.

Right now I just do a mix of chicken feed, pond sticks, veggie fish flakes, and lafabers finch pellet. Not really thinking much of the protein intake as I thought well koi and goldfish food (the pond food) shouldnt be that high in protein, well it is at 28% protein, the finch food has 15%, which is more doable I honestly thought it would be more as there are many species of finches which are insect eaters in the pet trade. And my chicken feed is up there at 18%. So now I have realized although my roaches are doing fairly well, they are getting a pretty high protein intake. I plan to take a blend of my food in on tuesday out of curiosity and use my machine on it and see exactly what it reads.

I think I have rambled....anyways I back to the topic, any info pointing me in the right direction would be great as I have been finding conflicting information (or none at all) on this. I know me and my gecko friends over at Pangea really want to get the answer of this...we love our bugs too :)

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There isn't a magic number. You may get better results using a cheap dog food brand than making special mixes. Food doesn't trump caging, moisture and temperature. Your readings sound really interesting if you could get details on some of the different feeders though I imagine grinding up a bunch of different cockroaches at work may be far outside the doable range.

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ya there is no magic number really it's all about what works for you. most of my non feeders get what every i have lying around at the time be it bread, dog food, fish food or left over veggies. my feeders on the other hand do get a diet that is lower in protein, but that is because thay get feed to my geckos and what the roaches eat my gecko's eat. so that food isn't designed specifically for the roach but what is best for the gecko.

on another note it would be awesome to see the different protein contents of different roaches if you where every able to do that

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I feed whatever is available from the fridge, which is anything from fruits and veggies to last weeks burgers. They eat it all the same and seem to be thriving since I've stopped feeding dogfood to them on a 3 day schedule.

Think about it like this, what will most species of cockroach eat in nature? Most likely fruit and vegetables with the rare occasion of animal protiens. I feed mine meat or dogfood once every few weeks and fruits and veggies once every 6-14 days depending on the colony size. I find that too much food simply rots and these insects are made to survive on little food. Now for colonies I feed off to my bearded dragon I feed more protien and calcium rich greens to but only once a week. Those I feed off to scorpions and whatnot don't get a special diet, just whatever is around.

Maybe it's not the best way to do it, but ever since I stopped the scheduled feedings of oranges and dogfood and started feeding whatever to them, they've been doing very well. My method is to feed them only what they will eat in a day or two and take little regard in a specific diet. Haphazard maybe, but it works for mine.

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Um....yeah I am not putting in crushed up dubia roaches into a $25,000 machine at work lol, we have to use that for the flour!

I know what I normally give, and honestly it would cost me no more to make my own using the products at work since we throw out so many samples. Like I said it is working OK for me, would like something better, and as I said my other forum friends are really just trying to narrow down about the range to shoot for since we are all breeding for feeders for out reptile colonies we keep.

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For some species, I think they do select food as needed. For example, my peppered roaches would normally ignore dried cat food and concentrate on dead leaves and wood, those pellets would just sit there feeding mites for days, and all out of sudden, the roaches would finish the whole dish in one night, same goes for carrots as well. Even orange heads would once in awhile ignore cat food for a day or two, they normally would home in to cat food as soon as I throw the pellets into their bin.

Personally, I think its important to have some protein rich supplement for some species, such as those normally feed on dead leaves, barks, and twigs since they don't get a lot of protein on their staple diet. But for species like hissers, their daily diet is already filled with protein, lettuces, bananas, rolled oats, you name it, and I don't see how they not get enough of it, so for those, a balanced diet would be quite enough.

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I had never heard of "being careful not to give roaches too much protein".... sounds like a wives tale of sorts. For example, my orangeheads for some consecutive years were only fed dead and/or gutted mice and nothing else until a few years ago. (Thier food was a by-product of captive breeding many, many snakes which I no longer have). Similarly, I had hissers that went a few years with almost zero protein in thier diet and only vegetables for food. I eventually grew to feeding everything the same stuff because it got easier that way. Pelleted fish food. Carrots/apples, some mixed veggies or occasional other fruits. Water once a week or two.

What causes your interest in specific protein levels in dubia feed? What do you believe happens with too much or too little? Maybe that could get you a better answer from the Forum...

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I had never heard of "being careful not to give roaches too much protein".... sounds like a wives tale of sorts...What do you believe happens with too much or too little?

I was also curious about this topic ever since I came across this article: http://www.store.repashy.com/can-feeder-insect-diets-contribute-to-gout-in-reptiles.html

Does this article seem accurate or just a sales pitch?

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I have no science to back it up, but in my opinions, every single species has been evolved to their environment, , giving them more of the same stuff will in most cases, benefit them, but giving them more by something different may not be a good idea. Granted an occasional variety, such as feeding cattle with corns, or feeding panda with lamb, will benefit them enormously, but long term feeding isn't so, and in many cases, will kill them.

On the other hand, cockroaches is such a short living species comparatively, what we offer them may not even show any effects within their lifespan, unless it is hugely far off from what they need.

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I was also curious about this topic ever since I came across this article: http://www.store.repashy.com/can-feeder-insect-diets-contribute-to-gout-in-reptiles.html

Does this article seem accurate or just a sales pitch?

I am sure you have seen this, but we also have a thread going on that website link... Some very interesting ideas and suggestions have also come from this thread.

http://www.roachforum.com/index.php?showtopic=3393

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Do you not worry about oxalate acids with roaches? In the reptile world you avoid food high in oxalate acids due to them...well in easier terms make it harder to absorb calcium. When I used to keep crickets by the thousands it was something I considered as we all say what goes into our food goes into ourreptiles. So has this shown to but be as big of a deal wit roaches? This is the reason I stay away from foods like carrots, spinach and broccoli (thyroidial issues in reptiles not oxalate acids) in the past.

As much as part of that does sound like a sales pitch however Allen as done so much for the Rhac world, the bonus to his work is that it has taken much of the guess work out of what too feed. Yes he wants his produce to sell, who wouldnt want their product to sell. But he has proven time and time again to produce complete diets. However we all know these guys can be maintained on other diets fine which is why my friends and I were looking for an alternative to the "bug buger"

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i think the main reason that i have always keep my food below 18% protein for my feeder roaches is because i have always been told that if you feeder higher protein levels to you roaches (such as dog food) it can lead to liver/kidney problems. just another thing to think about when dealing with feeder roaches.

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