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Overfeed your tarantula

Discussion in 'Tarantula Questions & Discussions' started by Tjohns, Aug 8, 2008.

  1. Tjohns

    Tjohns Arachnosquire

    Is it possible to overfeed your tarantula?
    My Acanthoscurria Geniculata (Brazilian Whiteknee) eats like I starve the damn thing.
    Everytime I drop a couple of crickets in her cage they are dead and consumed by the next morning. If they even hit the ground. lol.
    Are they smart enough to realize enough is enough before they explode?
    I am not trying to powerfeed my T but for an experiment I wanted to see her if she knew what her limit was and apparently 15 crickets in one week still wasn't enough.
    I know that 5-6 crickets a week is enough for her but has anyone ever had their T split open from eating too much?
    I don't want to hear about hearsay and myths but have you actually had it happen to you?
  2. troglodyte

    troglodyte Arachnoknight

    I only feed my Ts 1-2 crickets a week... Even 5-6 seems like an awful lot.
  3. Scott C.

    Scott C. Arachnofloater Arachnosupporter

    To death? No.... unless they have a weakness in the abdomen from a bad molt or something.... then maybe.... but they won't eat until they pop.

    imo you can over feed them though. The picture threads are riddled with obese tarantulas.... I personally prefer mine slim and trim.... Just preference though, I don't think it's unhealthy for 'em unless they take a spill.
  4. Texas Blonde

    Texas Blonde Arachnoangel Old Timer

    A tarantula will quit eating when its full, and cant physically eat anymore. But so will the obese guy at McDonalds. Doesnt mean its healthy to let either of them eat as much as they possibly can.

    An overweight tarantula faces more risk of being injured from a fall, and imo it can create difficulties for the spider when molting.
  5. Tjohns

    Tjohns Arachnosquire

    Let me set something straight from the get go.
    I do NOT want an obese spider nor is it my intent to create one.

    I don't think comparing obesity in spiders to a fat guy in Mcdonalds is really all that relevant though. It's been along time since I took biology but I seem to remember humans and spiders having different biologies. But good point about the falling may be more dangerous for it. I was just wondering because my O.B.T. eats about as much as an anorexic crackhead and it seems to know better than to gorge while my Genic doesn't.

    I wonder since Genics are terrestrial whether them eating as much as they can is a naturally programmed instinct because I'm sure the bigger they get the less predators will bother them.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  6. IMO it's fine to feed as much as the T wants as long as it's growing, and it helps them mature faster. When they are adults not so much. Though I've certainly fed more than 15 crickets in a week to large T's. But then I let them fast (or they do it themselves). Sometimes it's more convenient to do all the feeding in a short period of time.
  7. scottyk

    scottyk Arachnoangel Old Timer

    I believe the currently accepted theory is that they are programmed to eat as much as they can because of natural variations in the abundance of food.

    In the wild it's smart to eat 15 insects in a week because it may be months before they see another potential meal walk by. I would imagine this is especially true for desert and arid land species....
  8. Lennie Collins

    Lennie Collins Arachnobaron

    I feed all my tarantulas PLENTY! They seem to stop when they are about to molt so I will say no. I have seen overfed scorpions but not tarantulas.
  9. xchondrox

    xchondrox Arachnobaron Old Timer

    Your problem is pretty obvious to me, its a Genic, Those things will eat thru your feeder budget like mad.
  10. Lennie Collins

    Lennie Collins Arachnobaron

    Tjohns...keep in mind that the temperature plays a part also in how much your tarantula will eat. During the late fall to early spring I spend about $3 a month on crickets to feed 14 tarantulas and 4 scorpions. Since late April the average temperature in Austin, Texas has been 95 degrees so I have been spending about $8 per month on crickets. My top 4 "eaters schedule is like this:

    1) Lasiodora Parahybana - 10 crickets per week
    2) Chromatopelma Cyanopubescens - 10 crickets per week
    3) Acanthoscurria Geniculata - 8 crickets per week
    4) Nhandu Coloratovillosus - 8 crickets per week

    They don't eat half has much when the weather does cool down here. So that will be their schedule until the second or third week of October.
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2008
  11. Kid Dragon

    Kid Dragon Arachnoprince Old Timer

    Ts can get phat

    The more you feed them the faster they will grow. I feed my Aphonopelma hentzi slings until they look like they are getting ready to pop, and they molt faster.

    As previously stated temperature will control their appetite and their growth rate. While they are in eating mode, I tend to 'overfeed' them...meaning I feed them way more than they need to survive and grow.
  12. ShellsandScales

    ShellsandScales Arachnobaron

    I find this to be a very relevant analogy.(even though I'm guilty of a little overfeeding myself from time to time:shame: :} ) I know with boa constrictors, obese snakes will produce fewer offspring that are often smaller or deformed compared to their "in shape" counterparts. Don't know if anyone has compared yield of egg sacks between normal and obese spiders but I would expect to see the same trend. If there has been any indication that obese spiders can have molting problems or live shorter lives, there is no reason to believe that being overweight won't have other effects on their health.
  13. ShellsandScales

    ShellsandScales Arachnobaron

    I also agree here but that binging is in expectation of a fasting period. If they are constantly given food they may not choose to fast and eat more than may be healthy(speculation). That being said I will again say that I am guilty of overfeeding as well especially with slings in the hope of putting on extra size to ease feeding and maintinance.
  14. DooM_ShrooM

    DooM_ShrooM Arachnosquire

    no living matter has ever done that (eat to death).maybe it is molting coz it consumes food to reserve energy for a long time coz of molting.
  15. Hedorah99

    Hedorah99 Arachnoprince Old Timer

    No, not to death. But no animal prospers from obesity.
  16. PSYS

    PSYS Arachnosquire

    I don't like the tennis ball with legs looks either... haha.
  17. Merfolk

    Merfolk Arachnoprince Old Timer

    Some true spiders are just a big abdomen with the prosoma a tiny pimple attached to it!
    • Agree Agree x 1
  18. LeilaNami

    LeilaNami Arachnoking Old Timer

    Overfeeding is dangerous to the T. If anything happens, such as a fall, it will rupture much more easily. There was a thread posted on here a while back of an overfed P. murinus who ruptured because of it. T's are opportunistic feeders. They will eat and eat because they don't know when their next meal will be.
  19. Lennie Collins

    Lennie Collins Arachnobaron

    First handling a tarantula "stresses" it out and now a tarantula does not know when to stop eating. Boy, tarantulas lives are messed up! I thought my life has a minority was difficult!
  20. I wonder if there are as many overweight Ts as there are overweight people. Americans are fat and lazy by design, I guess our Ts are too!!