A question from a newbie to veterans

keeper1

Arachnopeon
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Is it possible to overfeed a tarantula? or will they just stop if their full.... and if I gave it a pretty large meal a long should I wait to feed it again
 

Python

Arachnolord
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First thing first, what do you have? Some T's naturally eat less than others and some can be pigs. Of course they won't eat more than they can but they can sometimes eat a lot. You can't overfeed in one meal but over the long haul overfeeding will shorten their lifespan. As far as I know the only effect that overfeeding has on them health wise is that they grow faster and therefore die faster. Most people feed them once a week or once every couple weeks. Some go off feed for long periods of time. Some younger ones might eat every other day. Confused yet? Size and species will go a long way to help getting an answer but generally one appropriate sized prey item per week is fine.
 

Andrea82

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Overfeeding can increase the risk of injuries on the abdomen because a large full abdomen can drag along the floor. It also increases the risk of the abdomen rupturing in a fall, although height of the substrate is the main reason for this.
Most T's stop eating when full, and with some species, this can lead to very long fasting. As in, six months not eating long. What species do you have?
 
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Chris LXXIX

ArachnoGod
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No, you can't. Indeed there's avid like 'Slimer' Theraphosidae (hello A.geniculata) but no matter, they know when "enough is enough", unlike my old friend Nippon Trippon here v

index.jpg
 

Venom1080

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Depends on the size, under 3" get fed 1-5 times a week, over that once a week, and adults no more than twice a month.
 

Graves6661

Arachnosquire
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Most Ts in my experience wont accept a feeder if they aren't hungry. Even my A. geniculata wont eat more than her fill. Although she will bite anything that touches her substrate even if she doesn't want to eat it.
 

gobey

Arachnoknight
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In my experience most will just refuse food if they don't need it. But feeding too much can encourage fasting even in piggy species. I used to feed my LPs 4 crickets at a time just because they'd eat that much. But it led to one not eating for 6 months.

Now she gets 2 crickets every week and does fine.
 

cold blood

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A sling, no...but an adult of a slow growing species is certainly capable of becoming morbidly obese and it should be avoided....like said though, its not a "health" issue, its more of a danger of rupture or damage from dragging. To me its just logical to stop feeding at a certain point of fatness...but for some reason, some people look at a super fat t and just keep feeding away.

The biggest issue I see is that an obese t comes through a molt already fat, and not slender like it should be. Now despite this, they remain as hungry as any post molt t. So basically the t is set up for a life of obesity, as its hard for most people to just stop feeding as we have in our minds that food should be a regular occurrence to living things, even if a t is obviously vastly different than us...or our mammalian pets. Its the reason almost every "pet" animal with low feeding requirements spends its life in captivity obese.

While more food can lead to faster growth (if combined with proper warmth), its dramatic effect on a ts lifespan is really only for males, as a male can and will mature much faster. For females its not as much of an issue as their life isn't limited to just maturing.
 

keeper1

Arachnopeon
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Overfeeding can increase the risk of injuries on the abdomen because a large full abdomen can drag along the floor. It also increases the risk of the abdomen rupturing in a fall, although height of the substrate is the main reason for this.
Most T's stop eating when full, and with some species, this can lead to very long fasting. As in, six months not eating long. What species do you have?
I have a grammostola pulchripes
 

Haemus

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Hungry little animals those G. pulchripes. I have two that are about 3", and they'll definitely eat more than I feed them. Every other week they each get a meal worm that's roughly the thickness of their leg.

Here's a shot of my female who is developing some love handles:
Capture.JPG
 

cold blood

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Hungry little animals those G. pulchripes. I have two that are about 3", and they'll definitely eat more than I feed them. Every other week they each get a meal worm that's roughly the thickness of their leg.

Here's a shot of my female who is developing some love handles:
View attachment 230541
2 mealworms a month is pretty darn meager....feed it weekly....all youre doing us making the molt cycle last considerably longer with that feeding schedule.
 

Paiige

Arachnobaron
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My pulchripes eats like a monster. It varies from T to T though - my porteri will eat and eat and eat and then fast for a year, ignoring anything I give her, whereas my GBB will just start killing everything I drop in there if he's not hungry and leave it next to the water dish for me to clean up.
 

Haemus

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2 mealworms a month is pretty darn meager....feed it weekly....all youre doing us making the molt cycle last considerably longer with that feeding schedule.
Thanks for the insight, I noticed she hasn't molted for some time actually :) I was quite worried about her abdomen size, but I'll feed her weekly and observe.
 

Sana

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Under 3" I fed my G. pulchripes once a week as many crickets as he would eat. I dropped them in one at a time after each molt for the first two feedings to get sort of an average for that cycle so I didn't have to continue the one at a time of an entire cycle or fish tiny crickets back out of my baby's enclosure. It worked well for me and it's something that I have done since then with slings.
 

Walker253

Arachnobaron
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Most Ts in my experience wont accept a feeder if they aren't hungry. Even my A. geniculata wont eat more than her fill. Although she will bite anything that touches her substrate even if she doesn't want to eat it.
Tell that to my A genticulata aka The cricket vacuum cleaner. I fed her so much and she got so fat, she looked like someone who made a lot of bad choices at an all you can eat buffet and got wheelbarrow'd out. She looked miserable for so long and went in a very long premolt for 5 months. She finally molted the other day. She was at risk for so long because her abdomen was so enlarged. I'm grateful she is ok now. I won't be doing that again.

So my answer to the OP is yes you can overfeed. Many will stop eating and will enter periods of extended fasting. Some will gorge themselves to the point they are more fragile and at risk. Slower, spaced out and steadier feeding is better for your tarantula. Pay attention to abdomen size, it's a good indicator of if they are getting enough to eat or not.
 

cold blood

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Tell that to my A genticulata aka The cricket vacuum cleaner. I fed her so much and she got so fat, she looked like someone who made a lot of bad choices at an all you can eat buffet and got wheelbarrow'd out. She looked miserable for so long and went in a very long premolt for 5 months. She finally molted the other day. She was at risk for so long because her abdomen was so enlarged. I'm grateful she is ok now. I won't be doing that again.

So my answer to the OP is yes you can overfeed. Many will stop eating and will enter periods of extended fasting. Some will gorge themselves to the point they are more fragile and at risk. Slower, spaced out and steadier feeding is better for your tarantula. Pay attention to abdomen size, it's a good indicator of if they are getting enough to eat or not.
And I bet that genic came though that molt carrying a bunch more of that weight as well.
 

Crone Returns

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My G. pulcripes small juvie has scarfed down 2 superworms since she molted
And I thinks she wants more:hungry:
 
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