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Why won't my Dubias eat Alfalfa pellets?


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I recently started a small Dubia roach colony. I have been doing loads of research on making them a Chow out of grains as well as using Animal protein vs Plant protein.

I decided to go with a inexpensive mix of Quaker Oats, Honey Nut Cheerios, and 100% Alfalfa pellets (for horses, rabbits, etc) ground up all together. Once a week i throw in a couple small pieces of fruit (apple, peaches etc.)

However, Im noticing that my dubias wont touch the ground up Alfalfa pellets. Its funny cause it seems like they will pick out all the oats and cheerio dust and leave the dark green dust that is the alfalfa pellets. Since most of the protein is in the Alfalfa pellets im beginning to worry a bit.

Any advice? I have an old bottle of Goldfish flakes, should i maybe add a bit of them to the chow?

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Hi, I actually made almost the exact same chow. Had the same issue. They will eat it for about 3-4 days and completely stop. I have no clue why but theres no way to get them to eat what they dont want to eat. I would suggest sticking with fruits and veggies with oats on occasion. Its really all the need.

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"Most of that stuff isn't good for what your feeding. Stick with carrots and oranges. dry food on occasion.

I can do that. The only thing im worried about is getting fruit flies. How often do you feed them the fruits and veggies? and how long do you leave it in there before you take em out.

I have a small colony, about 250-300 mixed size, 8 adult females, 2 adult males.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I was about to ask if I could feed rabbit pellets to my roaches because my bunny passed away but after reading your post guess I'll just sell the rest of the bag

I don't have flies with my dubia colony, I feed them oranges, carrots, potatoes, cat food

ocassionally like once every 2 weeks nopales, peeled cucumber, bananas, tomatoes

I clean their food dishes every 5-6 days and most of the time they devour all the food it's just 1 colony in a 35 gallon sterilite plastic tub I'm starting a second colony in a 20 gallon glass tank but those eat less because there aren't as many no fruit flies or mosquitos with my dubia colony

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I don't keep dubia roaches but I powder everything in my dry mix, including alfalfa, and have no problems. I also find mixing a little water with the day's food works well for picky eaters. You add a few drops of water at a time and mix until you get a mixture that holds its shape.

Hope this helps from Bill. :D

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  • 5 months later...

Sorry for the late reply, but I'm new to the forum.  :0)

Try soaking the pellets in water (or orange juice) to soften them up and see if the roaches will eat the alfalfa pellets.  I know a guy on the bearded dragon forums that mixes all of his DIY dry foods together and adds organic orange juice until it is roughly an oatmeal consistency, and feeds it to his roaches.  He has massive amounts of roaches, from Dubia, Orange Head, Ivory Head, and I think he is about to get some Death's Head roaches too.  Most people have holes in their bins to regulate heat and humidity, where this guy has a fan that turns on for 15 minutes every 15 minutes to help regulate the heat and humidity (that's a lotta roaches LOL).  He has 26 reptiles (soon to be 36) that he feeds and his colonies are still far overgrown for the amount of roaches he feeds to his reptiles, and he swears by feeding the alfalfa pellets mixed in with the orange juice slurry.  He actually has to cut back on the alfalfa at times because it gets to where the colony starts to produce a strong ammonia smell. 

Oh, and I almost forgot.  Don't worry about not getting enough protein in the roaches diet.  I was conversing with a professor that has been posting his research work on roaches since 1966, so I'd consider him an authority on roaches.  Below is an exact quote of what he told me yesterday.

The 4% protein diet should satisfy all stages (nymphs and adults).  You can produce some happy medium with a minimum of work by allowing them to choose their own diet but forcing them to get some of their moisture from vegetables such as carrots and potatoes that provide more filler that is low in protein and provide a restricted amount of the ~20% protein from readily available dog/rat chow.

So actually, instead of trying to feed roaches more protein, you should probably be attempting to feed them minimal amounts.  I've seen that 4% (four) posted by this professor on a website and in an e-mail last night, so it's not a typo.

Here is a FAQ link on roaches that you all may find interesting.


A few questions I found interesting:
6.Why do cockroaches die on their backs?
7.Do cockroaches bite? (actually, they do...they eat about anything that doesn't fight back)
12.Are cockroaches really clean? (yes...and no. They keep themselves very clean, but still walk through poop and such)
39.How do Cockroaches Digest and what organs do they use to do so?
56.How fast are cockroaches? (roaches run away from air movement near them as a built in defensive reaction, no brain involved!)
68.Color cockroaches most attracted to?
79.Can female-only set of hissing cockroaches give birth 7 months after purchase?

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  • 4 years later...
  • 2 months later...

I should've paid more attention to this topic. Bag of rabbit nuggets, alfalfa listed as first ingredient. Everything nibbled them at the start, now they all turn up their noses. Even my morio culture isn't impressed. And they mould quickly when they go uneaten, too...

They eat it as part of a 'porridge' with more palatable ingredients, but that's a bit less convenient than throwing in dry nuggets. I have most of a bag of pond sticks left - what the rabbit food was meant to replace, as a lower protein staple - but I think I'll look at dog food after it's all done.

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  • 7 months later...
26 minutes ago, dogpack said:

Has anyone fed egg shells or raisins?

I've fed mine eggshells and they seemed to dig them. I think I've given hissers grapes in the past without issue, but you may want to test it on one before giving some to the whole colony.

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2 hours ago, kadupul said:

I've fed mine eggshells and they seemed to dig them. I think I've given hissers grapes in the past without issue, but you may want to test it on one before giving some to the whole colony.

Thank you.

Have you fed kefir?

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