Can tarantulas eat chicken/beef/ham/etc?

bentrollio

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I'm going to preface this by saying I am not going to give my tarantula anything listed above! Don't worry, I'm a responsible owner.

I'm asking this question purely out of scientific curiosity! If you were to give your tarantula a small piece of raw steak or chicken breast, and they took it, what would happen? Could a tarantula survive on it, or are there certain nutrients and amino acids that they can only get from bugs? And are there any species of tarantula or other arachnid whose diet subsists mostly on vertebrates? Like I said, I'm not considering ever giving my tarantula anything other than her usual crickets (and juicy superworms on special occasions), and I don't suggest anyone else does! Its just something I was thinking about last night and couldn't find any real answers to.

Edit: I said ham but I meant pork. Since I don't eat pork, I didn't realize there's a difference, but apparently ham isn't just raw pig.
 
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mack1855

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It’s been done,but no long term studies on the effect on inverts.The biggest problem would be triggering the feeding response in T,s in particular.I don’t believe any nutritional studies have been done,if there are would be interesting to read it.
With impaction being a concern in T health,I would be concerned with a T,s ability to effectively digest,and process this type of food.
Having said that,T,s in the wild take reptile/amphibian prey,along with vertebrae prey supposedly.I think maybe different than processed meat,meant for human consumption.
 

chanda

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Ham - which is smoked, processed, and heavily salted - would be out of the question, but there have been people who have offered raw meat (such as beef, chicken, or shrimp) to their tarantulas.

Tarantulas can eat non-insect meat - just like tarantulas in the wild may occasionally eat other non-insect prey such as rodents, birds, frogs, or lizards. The hard part would be getting the tarantula to take them in the first place. Young slings are frequently scavengers (which is why then can be offered pre-killed roaches or cricket drumsticks) but older tarantulas may require live/moving prey to trigger their feeding response. It's also possible that they might not be able to utilize the food as efficiently, since a chunk of steak, for example, starts out pretty solid and would require a lot of digestive enzymes to render it "slurpable" while a cricket or cockroach is already juicy on the inside and should liquefy more easily.

I would not attempt feeding my spiders unconventional food just to see what happens - but if I were in a pinch, where I couldn't get live feeders for a prolonged time, I might try offering bits of room-temperature raw meat.

If you were to offer raw meat to a tarantula, you'd definitely need to be vigilant about clean up, because raw chunks of uneaten meat will decay, smell really bad, and attract scavengers.
 

cold blood

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Yes, they typically will eat it...ive fed bits of chicken or fish (raw obviously) to ts in the past, its a non-issue.

I think this is the 3rd thread on the subject in the past month.

If you were to offer raw meat to a tarantula, you'd definitely need to be vigilant about clean up, because raw chunks of uneaten meat will decay, smell really bad, and attract scavenger
big chunks, sure, but small bits are fully eaten....no bolus or leftovers...ive never had any nastiness result from the times ive fed bits of chicken or fish.

The key is obviously not to offer such things as a huge meal.....ive fed live fish, as long as theyre small, same thing.....i have made the mistake of feeding larger fish....dont do that....thats 100% pure nasty....It took a week to get the smell out of the room.
 

viper69

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I'm going to preface this by saying I am not going to give my tarantula anything listed above! Don't worry, I'm a responsible owner.

I'm asking this question purely out of scientific curiosity! If you were to give your tarantula a small piece of raw steak or chicken breast, and they took it, what would happen? Could a tarantula survive on it, or are there certain nutrients and amino acids that they can only get from bugs? And are there any species of tarantula or other arachnid whose diet subsists mostly on vertebrates? Like I said, I'm not considering ever giving my tarantula anything other than her usual crickets (and juicy superworms on special occasions), and I don't suggest anyone else does! Its just something I was thinking about last night and couldn't find any real answers to.
Sure feed it ham, and watch a T die from all the salt and processed food chemicals.

They do eat vertebrates in the wild. Board member here gives lizards as food at time.

They don’t catch chickens or ham in the wild so why would anyone be interested in that??

Doesn’t sound like scientific curiosity to me, but I could be wrong.

I feed mine spam and In N Out burgers!
 

bentrollio

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They don’t catch chickens or ham in the wild so why would anyone be interested in that??

Doesn’t sound like scientific curiosity to me, but I could be wrong.
Cats and dogs don't exactly catch ham or beef in the wild, and yet they'll still eat it. Heck, even wild animals don't always eat what they would in the wild-- cheetahs in zoos aren't exactly chowing down on live gazelle, but there's an entire field of nutritionists that study the animal's dietary requirements and try to match or improve them in captivity. So "why would anyone be interested in that"? Because people can be interested in anything they want, and I'm a curious and inquisitive person! The diets of animals and they way they metabolize various foods is interesting to me! The digestive systems of a human, a bird, an earthworm, and a spider are all very different, and a good way of understanding those differences is seeing how they process the same foods. So when I ask if a tarantula could eat beef or chicken and what the effects would be, I'm interested because it could give me the opportunity to learn about how their bodies process different types of meats!

It's also possible that they might not be able to utilize the food as efficiently, since a chunk of steak, for example, starts out pretty solid and would require a lot of digestive enzymes to render it "slurpable" while a cricket or cockroach is already juicy on the inside and should liquefy more easily.
That's a really interesting point that I hadn't thought about, but you're absolutely right! Do you know if there's also a large difference in breaking down and processing hemolymph vs. blood?
 

viper69

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Cats and dogs don't exactly catch ham or beef in the wild, and yet they'll still eat it. Heck, even wild animals don't always eat what they would in the wild-- cheetahs in zoos aren't exactly chowing down on live gazelle, but there's an entire field of nutritionists that study the animal's dietary requirements and try to match or improve them in captivity. So "why would anyone be interested in that"? Because people can be interested in anything they want, and I'm a curious and inquisitive person! The diets of animals and they way they metabolize various foods is interesting to me! The digestive systems of a human, a bird, an earthworm, and a spider are all very different, and a good way of understanding those differences is seeing how they process the same foods. So when I ask if a tarantula could eat beef or chicken and what the effects would be, I'm interested because it could give me the opportunity to learn about how their bodies process different types of meats!



That's a really interesting point that I hadn't thought about, but you're absolutely right! Do you know if there's also a large difference in breaking down and processing hemolymph vs. blood?
My point wasn't whether a T will eat a particular food item.

Cheetahs most definitely could feed on a live gazelle. There's no reason not to feed a predator live prey. Indeed captive animals should have their diet matched as best as possible. But nothing is better than Mother Nature's own food.

There is a scientific paper which reported how much a T needs to eat in captivity in order to grow. Note, not what it could or couldn't it.

Unless you are performing biochemical assays you (or anyone else) won't learn too much, re: how a T processes food.
 
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