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Opinions - CAN you feed a post-molt T "too early"?

Discussion in 'Tarantula Questions & Discussions' started by Phases, Jul 16, 2017.

  1. Phases

    Phases Arachnosquire

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    I did lots of searching and read up best I could here and elsewhere. Generally, I seemed to find that a tarantula will eat when it's ready, and not if it's not.

    It has been 5 full days since my 5.5" (who knows now, can't wait to measure!) L. parahybana (salmon pink) has molted. He came to the surface, and hung at the entrance to his burrow. So, I thought I'd just see what he did. He turned around and when a little down when I opened the cage to drop in the dubia, so all I could see was the backside of him.

    Dropped in, he took it quick, and now I am watching him eat.

    Why I'm posting this - one of his fangs is black, and one is still red. The red one is not moving, seems to be holding the dubia, the black one was doing all the 'chewing'.

    I guess my question - can a T harm himself eating earlier than he should, or, more likely than not, does the T know what it is doing, and that's why he's only using one fang to chew? I saw discussion here where it was suggested to wait until fangs were black to feed. So, I figure I'll see what people from 2017 think.

    ;)
     
  2. KezyGLA

    KezyGLA Arachnoking Active Member

    Yes. Greedy jungle giants will attack food when still like jelly. I have had them respond to my paintbrush and tweezers when removing exuviae. Their feeding response is that good that they could probably do some harm if fed when fangs not hardened
     
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  3. Phases

    Phases Arachnosquire

    Ok, so I'll hope and assume he will be just fine since he's clearly just using one fang (hopefully didn't injure when it grabbed it), and will try to get a look at fangs before feeding next time. Clearly, he can eat though - and any harm done should hopefully be resolved on next molt?
     
  4. Phases

    Phases Arachnosquire

    In fact, all three of my molters attacked their food. The other two (1.5" C. cyaneopubescens and 4" P. cambridge) molted a day earlier and they are smaller though, so less worried.
     
  5. mconnachan

    mconnachan Arachnoprince Active Member

    You really should wait from 7-10 days depending on how large your spider is, if it's a sling a couple of days is long enough, but I still don't risk it, for larger specimens I wait at least 7 whole days so if it were to molt on a Friday I would wait until the following Saturday, giving a whole seven days to allow the fangs to become black, and hard enough so there is no chance of the fangs being damaged when feeding. Always better to err on the side of caution in these situations. I hope your spider hasn't damaged the fang that was still red.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2017
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  6. Phases

    Phases Arachnosquire

    Me too, thanks for the reply. The general consensus I found when researching was that they wouldn't eat if they weren't ready - so this is a bit disappointing to hear. Though, I do believe he'll be okay, and will recover in a molt if there is damage.

    He does seem happy though. Doing his little spin around and web deal. Thanks for the replies guys, if more info or want to add "agrees" to any replies or whatever please do, this thread is as much for future searchers as it is for me.
     
  7. mconnachan

    mconnachan Arachnoprince Active Member

    Some species are just eating machines, my A. geniculata for one, that's the species I'm most aware of having a veracious appetite, I think if I'd dropped a roach as soon as s/he'd molted it would have attempted to take it down, they really are eating machines. (A. Geniculata)
     
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  8. Ungoliant

    Ungoliant Arachnoprince Active Member

    I wouldn't necessarily trust a tarantula's "judgment" on this matter. Tarantulas are opportunistic predators that eat whenever they can, because it might be a long time before another meal comes along. In some habitats, prey may be so scarce that a hungry post-molt tarantula would not pass up a meal, even if there was some risk of injury.

    We do know that red fangs aren't as hard as black fangs, so it stands to reason that red fangs would be easier to damage. So whether the tarantula wants to eat or not, it has to wait until I see black fangs.

    After all, in captivity, we are trying to optimize survival (and health): we eliminate (or at least mitigate) as many dangers as we can, even ones that seem unlikely.

    Besides, a healthy captive tarantula should not be on the brink of starvation, where waiting a few more days for the fangs to turn black is the difference between life and death.
     
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  9. mack1855

    mack1855 Arachnosquire Arachnosupporter

    Ive always gone with the advise from the more experienced keepers here on AB.Waiting 2 to 3 days for slings after a molt,
    and a week for larger T,s...but makes a person wonder about T,s in the wild.

    If they are opportunistic predators,do freshly molted T,s in the wild take that prey animal that they come across,even though
    their fangs may not have had time to hardened?.Possibly in the nature,they don't hunt right after a molt,maybe hunkering down
    for a period of time.As opposed to captive animals,having prey dropped on them from above from their keepers.
    Or maybe they do try and take prey right after a molt,in the wild,then breaking a fang,and contributing to the mortality
    levels of T,s in the wild. Intresting subject.
     
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  10. Phases

    Phases Arachnosquire

  11. mconnachan

    mconnachan Arachnoprince Active Member

    I understand your thoughts, although we can make that judgement as to whether to feed or wait until the fangs are at an appropriate level for safe feeding, I think tarantulas in the wild would "hunker" down in wait of the hardening process, looking for moisture rather than food at that point.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2017
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  12. Nixphat

    Nixphat Arachnosquire

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    Could NOT have said it better myself. Smaller slings would be fine to feed after 5 days, but 5.5 inches??? You need to wait at LEAST a couple weeks, the longer the better. Your T will be fine with a full water dish and recovery time. Is the exo fully hardened? The T is already more vulnerable, and they are very opportunistic. They will eat ASAP because they don't know they are in captivity with regular feeding schedules. Is it really so important for you to see a feeding response from your T that you're willing to sacrifice its health? Even if your T is fine this time, doesn't mean it will be every time. I'd personally feel extremely terrible for an injured T with broken fangs, or worse a dead T, just because I couldn't wait long enough to make Absolute sure my T's exo has fully hardened. Sorry, I don't mean to come off as a big jerk, but I've seen this topic MANY times on the forum in my short time that I've been on these boards, and most keepers with actual experience will tell you to wait.
     
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  13. Phases

    Phases Arachnosquire

    Right, it wasn't because I couldn't wait to see a response. It was because it came to the edge of the burrow and I was under the impression they will eat when they want to, so I decided after many searches, here and on google, to see if it were ready. I read people saying to try after 4 or 5 days and if they don't immediately take it, to remove it.

    I did not see the responses indicating it would be opportunistic and could injure itself, until after I fed it and noticed a red fang. Which is precisely why I started the thread. Nothing to do with my urge to see him eat or couldn't wait. I have plenty of Ts and get to see lots of eating. I too would feel terrible, I care a huge amount for these Ts.

    Thanks for the reply. Yes, it's a little presumptuous, but I know you mean well. Like we all (hopefully) do.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2017
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  14. Nixphat

    Nixphat Arachnosquire

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    Well for future reference I would automatically put a time limit wait on when to feed a T post molt. Opportunistic means a T at the edge of its burrow, a hole with legs, or what ever the case is with each individual T. As you then found afterwards that your T did in fact still have a red fang, and wasn't really ready to eat after all. Seems like a bit of impatience to me, because if you keep multiple Ts, you know they can go weeks, if not months without being fed. Just take it as a learning lesson before anything more serious ever happens in the future ;)
     
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  15. mconnachan

    mconnachan Arachnoprince Active Member

    Agreed 100% you see it all the time, our beloved tarantulas eating their exuviae, in an opportunistic fashion to replenish lost nutrients due to the exhausting effort put into a molt, take time to think, make sure your T's fangs are at the appropriate strength(hardness)for taking its prey items. It's common sense to wait longer for larger specimens, even 7 days is cutting it fine. I have had larger specimens take 2 weeks until I was comfortable feeding them after a molt, my L. parahybana was a huge lass, 7-8" and she still wasn't fully grown, she was left for 14 days until fed after her molt.
     
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  16. Phases

    Phases Arachnosquire

    Well again, I wouldn't call it impatience, but whatever - I got that I should wait by the first couple of responses. Was hoping to see some likes and agrees on those rather than harping and making assumptions. This T was on his 5th week of no food, and only once before that in the couple prior.

    SO I made a judgement call after researching responses other than what is on this thread.

    Anyway, thanks all!
     
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  17. mconnachan

    mconnachan Arachnoprince Active Member

    Why would we post "like" and "agree" if we don't, come on @Phases sometimes we all make mistakes, your not the exception neither am I, and it won't be the last one either from you or me, we can only say what we feel, and yes in this case your judgement was wrong, just yesterday I had to make a judgement call regarding my lost B. albopilosum as to post how dumb I had been making the holes too large so the sling managed to escape, I've still not found it. At the end of the day we can't be right all of the time, it's life pal, no offense but sometimes these things just happen.
     
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  18. Phases

    Phases Arachnosquire

    Nah man I meant the first few replies where people told me I should have waited. No worries. :) Appreciate all the help everyone!
     
  19. chanda

    chanda Arachnodemon Active Member

    I hope the red fang turns out ok. I have a suspect male Pamphobeteus sp. Ecuador who has a wonky fang that goes sideways, over his pedipalp. He was a Craigslist spider that I picked up almost a year and a half ago, and it was like that when I got him, so I don't know if it was caused by molting problems, feeding too soon after a molt, or trying to bite something hard like feeding tongs. I've had him for three molts now and it still hasn't corrected itself. That fang does stay red for quite a while after the other has turned black and he doesn't appear to be able to use it. Fortunately, he seems to do just fine with only one working fang.
     
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  20. mconnachan

    mconnachan Arachnoprince Active Member

    That's interesting, even after a molt the fang is still in the same position, it must have been some impact, I thought it would have corrected itself after a molt or two, it just goes to show how cautious you have to be with the fangs, a tarantula without its fangs is a dead tarantula I'm afraid, yours seems to be doing fine, fortunately, but think what could have been, thanks for posting it's extremely relevant.
     
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