Feeding...how much? how often? Expert feedback, please!!!!

frodogecko

Arachnopeon
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Feb 7, 2017
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25
I've been reading lots of websites and watching lots of videos and now I'm completely confused. Some people say feed once per week for any species. Others say feed every 2-3 days, some say every 3-5 days. And some say it's different for each species. Also, how much? one feeder, two, three? Some people let them continue to eat until they're full, others say you should never do that. I'm just trying to be a responsible owner and care for all my babies the best I can. How do you experienced keepers handle feeding?
 

ledzeppelin

Arachnobaron
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Jan 8, 2013
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434
Slings can easily be fed 2 maybe even 3 times a week. That means one cricket/roach/worm per feeding. With adults you can go once per week easily. That is just one way to make a schedule. You have to keep in mind that adults can be overweight which makes them more vulnerable for a fall and the consequent death. Slings could in theory be offered food every day because they molt frequently and grow. My feeding schedule is Wednesday and Sunday for slings, and Sunday for adults.. Something like that is fine.
 

frodogecko

Arachnopeon
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Feb 7, 2017
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What about larger species like A. seemanni and T. stirmi? Should they be fed more often or just more feeders? And how do you know how many to give them?
 

Crone Returns

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What about larger species like A. seemanni and T. stirmi? Should they be fed more often or just more feeders? And how do you know how many to give them?
I don't know about T. stirmis, but have a juvie A. seemani BCF. Bottom line is she'd eat one large cricket a week, and she's savage. She's been in premolt for about 4 months o_O. She molted last week. Will lay out prekilled cric on sun., and will see what she does.
You know there's plenty of threads here on AB. Just plug in names and old threads will come up.
 

AntlerAlchemist

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I've been wondering this too! I have a 2.25-2.5" A. chalcodes. I hear they grow slowly, and I know mine has molted as recently as a month ago. But she would eat as much as I could give her and she put weight on really fast! Now I had feed back on a thread saying she may be too big for her size? Is that possible for a young tarantula? I haven't had her refuse food yet! She is wild caught so does that have an influence in her eatting habits?
 

GreyPsyche

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Jun 19, 2016
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I'm by no means experienced but I have several slings and I chose to feed them about 2-4 times a week depending on the size of the prey and how fat they look. My GBB was skinny when I got him about 8 days ago. I fed him a small cricket a day after I got him, two days later a cricket leg, two days after that I fed him a meal worm. My gfs rosehair I fed one cricket and one cricket leg, its refused anymore since but I've tried a meal worm and another leg. My OBT killed a cricket his second day in my care but I don't think she ate it much, I tried again a few days later and she definitely ate this one as it was large and ahe plumped up a lot I have tried feeding her once more but she refused. I'll probably try again today though with a meal worm again instead of a cricket. In fact I'll probably try to feed them all and see how it goes.
 

ledzeppelin

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Jan 8, 2013
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434
I think 4 times a week is overkill but some will disagree :D Again it's all relative.. feeding fruitflies would require you to feed 5 times a day :troll: I don't really think it's different for some species.. Okay maybe Theraphosa genus would get 2 a week from me but that's about it.
 

The Grym Reaper

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Everyone is different on this so you'll most probably get a bunch of different answers.

Generally speaking, I feed:

Slings (under 2") - 1 prey item every 3 days.
Juveniles (over 2") - 1 prey item once a week.
Subadults/Adults (over 4-5") - 1 or more prey items once a fortnight depending on prey size.

I use an app to keep track of feeding etc. and that notifies me when each T needs to be fed.

Prey size is usually smaller than the size of the Tarantula's abdomen (tiny slings are the exception as I only feed pre-killed if they're smaller than 1" and I want them to pig out so that they grow faster anyway), larger Tarantulas get bigger/more prey items than smaller ones but I apply the same rule in that total combined prey size doesn't exceed the size of the Tarantula's abdomen.
 

frodogecko

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Feb 7, 2017
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Everyone is different on this so you'll most probably get a bunch of different answers.

Generally speaking, I feed:

Slings (under 2") - 1 prey item every 3 days.
Juveniles (over 2") - 1 prey item once a week.
Subadults/Adults (over 4-5") - 1 or more prey items once a fortnight depending on prey size.

I use an app to keep track of feeding etc. and that notifies me when each T needs to be fed.

Prey size is usually smaller than the size of the Tarantula's abdomen (tiny slings are the exception as I only feed pre-killed if they're smaller than 1" and I want them to pig out so that they grow faster anyway), larger Tarantulas get bigger/more prey items than smaller ones but I apply the same rule in that total combined prey size doesn't exceed the size of the Tarantula's abdomen.
So far I like your answer the best. I'd also like to hear from KezyGLA, Venom1080, EulersK , CEC, and cold blood
 

EulersK

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So far I like your answer the best. I'd also like to hear from KezyGLA, Venom1080, EulersK , CEC, and cold blood
@KezyGLA @Venom1080 @CEC @cold blood

In the future, put an @ in front of our name. None of those people got tagged (well, now they have been), I just happened to check into this thread.

I think @The Grym Reaper pretty much hit the nail on the head, but remember, a lot of what you're going to hear is opinions based on experience. Myself, I don't use an app or an actual feeding schedule. Slings get fed daily if my schedule allows - basically, it's never not feeding day for them. Juveniles get fed about every other week until their abdomen is just a tad larger than their carapace, and then feeding goes down to about once per month. Adults are the same story as juveniles, but when the abdomen is a touch larger the carapace, feeding goes down to every six weeks or so. My arid NW terrestrial adults get fed once every two months when they reach that plumpness.

Huge note here. Feeding schedules depend on what you're feeding. Many people are looking at my schedule and are appalled that I'm starving my tarantulas... until you realize that they're eating fattened dubia. I assure you that my tarantulas are all healthily plump, and in fact this schedule has triggered fasts from some of my NW terrestrials. When I feed my adults, I'm basically feeding 4-5 large crickets in the form of one fat dubia.
 

Venom1080

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spiders up to 3" i feed probably once or twice a week. a large meal mind.
up to 6" i feed once every other week to once a month. adults if not recently postmolt, once a month. again, a large meal.
 

Nightstalker47

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Jul 2, 2016
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I don't feed on a set schedule, it depends on the individual and species. Pamphoboteus, Theraphosa's and many other genera grow extremely fast as slings, they can be fed daily until they hit the pre molt phase.

Pretty much all your doing by feeding more is allowing your spider to enter pre molt faster, and thus molt and grow at a faster rate. I've bought slings before and returned for more to see the sac mates I had bought were double the size of the new additions. Why? Because I was feeding more often...

I also think a regularly fed sling is usually much more healthy, young Ts that go too long without food seem to weaken. Limiting food is not something I would ever do with my slings or even juvies. For adult Ts I just go by abdomen size, if they get really fat I slow down feeding.
 

cold blood

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Its all dependent on a lot of variables...What species? How big is the species? What temps? How big was the last meal?

You will see people say that any/all slings can eat 3 times a week, but it just isn't always true (even if it is true a lot). A 1/4" Brachy sling may not eat 3 times during an entire cycle, especially if the food is large...and lets face it, everything is large to a 1/4" Brachy. Some adults with low metabolisms might only need one large prey item a month to get plump on.

The thing to understand is how fast of a grower it is and what its molt cycle is. Understanding a particular spiders molt cycles can help determine how long it takes that species to potentially grow a new exo skeleton and shed the old....so minus a few weeks or a month (hardening time and pre-molt time...which may just be a few days for a fast growing sling) this is the time you have to fatten this particular specimen. With slings and juvies you also need to consider that times will also extend for this as they grow, although there's generally periods of many cycles where length stays consistent.

Fill it up quickly, and it just has to wait (fast) until its biology has advanced to the point where it can actually molt (long pre-molt fast). Slower feeding schedules can mean shorter fasting, and sometimes virtually no pre-molt fasting....feed at a slower pace than the t can grow a new exoskeleton and you can extend this time period significantly...but there is, for every t, a shortest possible time, and its almost always easy to fill them up before they can be ready to molt, which is why pre-molt fasts are normal.

A good general rule is that the larger the feeders (or more) you offer in one feeding, the longer you can go till the next feeding and visa versa. A person feeding one single adult roach a week is actually feeding heavier than someone feeding a medium cricket 5 days a week. So if you want to feed your ts often, feed them smaller feeders.

An adult rose hair for instance, may go 4-6 years between molts, that's a long time to fatten something that can get its fill in basically a few large meals...its no wonder they spend so much time fasting.

Some species, like P. cambridgei for instance, can molt really fast when they are young, and they eat like they're starving...but they can molt very very quickly, putting on huge growth per molt...for these a slow feeding schedule works directly against their metabolism...I think feeding a cam sling even once a week is entirely too little unless its a huge meal.

Its confusing for beginners because there is no one way that works best for every t, at every size, in every environment for every keeper....when keeping ts, there is a huge degree of variance between what successful keepers do...there's a lot of wrong ways to keep ts, but there's also a lot of right ways to do things...developing an understanding of what works for you and your collective group of ts, is all part of the fun in the learning curve with tarantulas.
 

The Grym Reaper

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I think @The Grym Reaper pretty much hit the nail on the head, but remember, a lot of what you're going to hear is opinions based on experience.
This, I've only been keeping inverts for about 11 months so I'm still tweaking it as I go for certain species but I've found this works for the majority of what I have so far.
 

D Sherlod

Arachnoknight
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Dec 30, 2016
Messages
222
I feed my slings twice a week
juvi gets once a week
I feed mostly crickets so I use a few more prey items compared to someone who uses roaches or superworms.

I always watch abdominal sizes and adjust frequency for individuals as nessessary.

I strive for healthy plump not fat.... subjective I know:bored:
 

Crone Returns

Arachnoangel
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990
I've been wondering this too! I have a 2.25-2.5" A. chalcodes. I hear they grow slowly, and I know mine has molted as recently as a month ago. But she would eat as much as I could give her and she put weight on really fast! Now I had feed back on a thread saying she may be too big for her size? Is that possible for a young tarantula? I haven't had her refuse food yet! She is wild caught so does that have an influence in her eatting habits?
Could you post a pic?
 

Crone Returns

Arachnoangel
Joined
Mar 22, 2016
Messages
990
Its all dependent on a lot of variables...What species? How big is the species? What temps? How big was the last meal?

You will see people say that any/all slings can eat 3 times a week, but it just isn't always true (even if it is true a lot). A 1/4" Brachy sling may not eat 3 times during an entire cycle, especially if the food is large...and lets face it, everything is large to a 1/4" Brachy. Some adults with low metabolisms might only need one large prey item a month to get plump on.

The thing to understand is how fast of a grower it is and what its molt cycle is. Understanding a particular spiders molt cycles can help determine how long it takes that species to potentially grow a new exo skeleton and shed the old....so minus a few weeks or a month (hardening time and pre-molt time...which may just be a few days for a fast growing sling) this is the time you have to fatten this particular specimen. With slings and juvies you also need to consider that times will also extend for this as they grow, although there's generally periods of many cycles where length stays consistent.

Fill it up quickly, and it just has to wait (fast) until its biology has advanced to the point where it can actually molt (long pre-molt fast). Slower feeding schedules can mean shorter fasting, and sometimes virtually no pre-molt fasting....feed at a slower pace than the t can grow a new exoskeleton and you can extend this time period significantly...but there is, for every t, a shortest possible time, and its almost always easy to fill them up before they can be ready to molt, which is why pre-molt fasts are normal.

A good general rule is that the larger the feeders (or more) you offer in one feeding, the longer you can go till the next feeding and visa versa. A person feeding one single adult roach a week is actually feeding heavier than someone feeding a medium cricket 5 days a week. So if you want to feed your ts often, feed them smaller feeders.

An adult rose hair for instance, may go 4-6 years between molts, that's a long time to fatten something that can get its fill in basically a few large meals...its no wonder they spend so much time fasting.

Some species, like P. cambridgei for instance, can molt really fast when they are young, and they eat like they're starving...but they can molt very very quickly, putting on huge growth per molt...for these a slow feeding schedule works directly against their metabolism...I think feeding a cam sling even once a week is entirely too little unless its a huge meal.

Its confusing for beginners because there is no one way that works best for every t, at every size, in every environment for every keeper....when keeping ts, there is a huge degree of variance between what successful keepers do...there's a lot of wrong ways to keep ts, but there's also a lot of right ways to do things...developing an understanding of what works for you and your collective group of ts, is all part of the fun in the learning curve with tarantulas.
Yeah. What he said.
 

Brumbleberry

Arachnopeon
Joined
Apr 16, 2017
Messages
6
Hi! I'm a noob about feeding schedules. Just wanted to add that I'm totally eating up all this info. Thanks to all!

Also, Frodo, great name.
 

AntlerAlchemist

Arachnosquire
Joined
Apr 4, 2017
Messages
102
Could you post a pic?
IMG_2676.JPG

This was from the 15th of this month. She seems to have slimmed down a little since then. I fed her one super worm since the picture was taken. IMG_2451.JPG This is from March 27th the day I caught her. So she was pretty thin in this picture.
 

frodogecko

Arachnopeon
Joined
Feb 7, 2017
Messages
25
Hi! I'm a noob about feeding schedules. Just wanted to add that I'm totally eating up all this info. Thanks to all!

Also, Frodo, great name.
Thanks! LOTR is my favorite movie/book so all of my T's are named from those characters. I'm new too and learning soooo much!!! Thanks everyone! :happy:
 
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