1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Feeding Slings

Discussion in 'Tarantula Questions & Discussions' started by 357wheelgunner, Apr 28, 2008.

  1. 357wheelgunner

    357wheelgunner Arachnobaron

    I just got a 1.5" B Smithi sling. The guy I got him from told me to feed him a couple of small crickets every few days. I got him yesterday, and he ate a small cricket.

    Today he ate another one. A few hours after that, I remembered I had one small super meal worm left over, and threw it in with the little T....It was awesome! The worm was as long as the T's legspan, but on the thin side. The spider saw it and pounced, then I got to see the coolest natural wrestling match ever. The spider took a wide stance, and when the worm's thrashing spun it around a few times he just braced himself and held it down. The venom took effect in seconds. I'm so impressed, and ashamed of myself for not getting the battle on camera.

    My question is...Can you overfeed a small T? How much should I feed him, and what are the signs of an overfed T?

    Here's a pic of him eating the subdued worm:

  2. bio teacher

    bio teacher Arachnoknight

    Tarantulas go through cycles in their environment where food is only available at certain times of the year. They eat all that they can catch and then go through periods of fasting until food is available again. So they have been programmed genetically to eat all that is available. Some tarantulas will eat so much that it looks like their abdomens are going to explode. Some will refuse food when they get full, but not very often. As far as slings go, mine will eat one-two small crickets a week for a month and then molt. A lot of people want their slings to grow faster so they power feed their slings so that they will reach maturity faster and then slow down feeding.
  3. 357wheelgunner

    357wheelgunner Arachnobaron

    Thanks for the reply, I think I'll feed him a 1/4 sized cricket daily and see what happens, unless that could hurt him?
  4. Mushroom Spore

    Mushroom Spore Arachnoemperor Old Timer

    There is no animal that benefits from obesity. Feeding a T every day is like you eating a dozen meals every day. ;) One meal a week is PLENTY.

    The signs of an overfed T include: being really really fat, like any other overfed animal.
  5. Beth-Tex

    Beth-Tex Arachnoknight Old Timer

    Some will disagree with what I am about to say but in my almost 30 years now of T keeping, I have found that an OVERLY fat T sometimes has difficulty with the molting process.
    Your smithi will do very well on a couple of crickets a week. If you absolutely want to feed it more often maybe you could just feed it one cricket every other day & see how that works for you. I know that it is exciting to watch them eat & grow.

  6. matthias

    matthias Arachnobaron

    Just like in humans how you feed them now effects their latter development.
    If you over feed you T like that he will grow faster but ultimately mature smaller.
    If it is a male this means he will mature MUCH faster than normal, and be smaller than he should. In my experience this can also mean less likely to mate successfully. If it is a female you can easily half her life span.

    Several appropriately size prey weekly when they are small, and every other week as they mature will produce a nicely sized healthy T.
  7. 357wheelgunner

    357wheelgunner Arachnobaron

    That's the most scientific thing I've heard in a week or more, I almost spit sweet tea all over my computer when I read it.

    Thanks for the advice guys, I'll give him a small cricket twice a week for now while he's small....
  8. Freves

    Freves Arachnopeon

    I have been keeping tarantulas on and off for about 28 years, almost always in conjuction with herps, fish, and so on. As a result the T's have always been sort of an adjacent hobby to the other animals and I have never been serious enough to even attempt any breeding . I have raised probably around a dozen spiderlings of various species only to trade them out or give them away later on. I have usually fed my spiderlings almost daily, at least initially, and then taper off after a few molts. It seems to be the consensus that feedings should be less frequent. While I certainly respect the experience behind the advice given (which is far greater than my own) I am curious about one thing. Is the rationale for less frequent feedings based on a true study, either in captivity or wild observations, or is it more anecdotal? Thanks.
  9. jr47

    jr47 Arachnobaron Old Timer

    I kept snakes for years and have been keeping T's for about 5 years. Some of what works for snakes I have also kept in mind with my spiders. The most important to me has been stress on the animal. The less stress the better.
    Now with that in mind. Snakes can be harmed from power feeding for defferent reasons. One is they are made to not have a meal daily. They to are the type of animal that will eat till they pop if its there. What people dont realize is that in the wild its usually not there because the animal will eat and retire to a hide till the meal is digested.
    When you introduce food all the time they will eat it. In doing so you stress the animal because it is contantly digesting and eating. Instead of the natural order of things where they eat a good meal and then go into their den or hide and dont come out till its digested and they are hungry again.
    With snakes this is pretty much a proven fact that those power fed live shorter lives and are desease prone. Its just my oppinion that spiders are the same way. But I feed mine when they seem to be shrinking and then just enough to plump them up a bit. And I personnaly think they are better off.
  10. BLinKin

    BLinKin Arachnopeon

    What exactly does the term Sling mean? Noobie here.. {D
  11. Moltar

    Moltar ArachnoGod

  12. Keith1212

    Keith1212 Arachnosquire