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Feeding Mouse Parts to a Fangless Tarantula

Discussion in 'Tarantula Questions & Discussions' started by Vanessa, Sep 6, 2019.

  1. Vanessa

    Vanessa Grammostola Groupie Arachnosupporter

    I have been struggling to keep my fangless Theraphosinae sp. Panama adult female alive until her next moult. I have been alternating between giving her bug soup and giving her a large cricket/horn worm/silk worm with it's guts opened up. She really likes having the bug over the bug soup and tries to masticate it with her fangs and does her happy dance. The problem is that the prey is not being broken down that much by digestive fluids... if at all.
    I am not getting enough food into her. She is getting skinny and she only moulted in June. She is too small for me to cup and syringe feed.
    I have an adult mouse that I am going to throw away, because my snake wouldn't eat them. It's a frozen/thawed mouse that I currently have in the fridge. What I want to know is... what is the best way to go about giving her parts of this mouse? Do I give her actual limbs to eat, or do I give her guts in a soup? Do you think she would eat them?
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2019
    • Optimistic Optimistic x 1
  2. Theneil

    Theneil Arachnoprince Active Member

    is trying to feed more often not an option? Perhaps daily?
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  3. Vanessa

    Vanessa Grammostola Groupie Arachnosupporter

    I do feed her almost daily. I put the food in and leave it overnight and then replace it the next evening. In between she gets her water dish back. I might skip a night, but not often. I tried removing her water, to see if she would be inclined to drink the bug soup more if she were thirsty, but it didn't seem to make a difference.
    I am just waiting for the mouse guts to get to room temperature and I am going to offer them to her.
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  4. Try adding a little water to the soup that looks quite thick, it should be able to get it in and digested better if it’s thinned down
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  5. Vanessa

    Vanessa Grammostola Groupie Arachnosupporter

    No, that is actually very thin and watery. It just looks like that because I mashed it up really well. It's mostly water.
    • Informative Informative x 1
  6. I’ve never had to deal with it that’s about all I can think of going to watch this thread but to see the outcome
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  7. EtienneN

    EtienneN Arachnonovelist-musician-artist Arachnosupporter

    Well, theoretically, the dead and 'opened' mouse might attract the spider more? Maybe? It's worth a shot, right? Just maybe offer the mouse in a separate plastic bin so you don't have to deal with the residual stench after the meal. And then I had a thought of ruining a blender with the mouse, but that could be expensive to replace. Without fangs, you really do have to think outside the box.
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  8. Vanessa

    Vanessa Grammostola Groupie Arachnosupporter

    I took some guts out and put them into a lid for her. I also tried to feed them to her manually, like I do with the crickets and worms. She isn't interested. I've left it in there, just in case I stressed her out by trying to feed her and she might come back to the dish later.
    • Optimistic Optimistic x 1
  9. cold blood

    cold blood Moderator Staff Member

    I've always done best feeding wax worms...I just split them the long way and score them the opposite direction....I like that they're basically gummy and super fatty, so they seem to plump ts up nicely, especially smaller ones like yours. I have never watered down anything for them. I would think watering down food would make it...well, watered down, and might not plump as well or offer the same nutrition....just my take...best of luck, seems like you are going that extra mile for sure.

    I would think anything you do with the mouse would be flat out gross.
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  10. AzJohn

    AzJohn Arachnoking Old Timer

    It might work. I've used frozen pink mice before to fatten up wild caught tarantulas or larger tarantulas that have laid an eggsacks and were real skinny. You'd have to be careful about what you would use. Anything with bones and connective tissues, I don't think a tarantula without fangs could do much with it. You'd have to decide what parts would be best and figure out how to mush it up. Feeding mice to tarantulas is always messy, this could take that to a whole new level.
    • Like Like x 1
  11. Brachyfan

    Brachyfan Arachnobaron Active Member

    Hey VanessaS

    Really hope your T pulls through! Been going through something similar with 2 leopard geckos for the last month and a half. They just will not eat and I've been racking up vet bills like crazy! It sucks to see these things happen but keep it up.

    I can't really add anything about the mouse as I have never fed one to a spider before.

    Just wanted to drop a line and say thanks for helping me out a bunch with my threads and stupid noob questions! I am truly amazed at your passion and caring for your animals! I really hope she pulls through.
    • Love Love x 1
  12. Vanessa

    Vanessa Grammostola Groupie Arachnosupporter

    It is very gross and I would never consider feeding a mouse to any of mine outside of this scenario - that it is going to be thrown away anyway.
    I took out some guts, offered them to her on the tongs and she refused. I put them in a small drink bottle lid and added a bit of water. Her enclosure is getting repulsive and there are small flies in there. She seems very active tonight and that makes me sad because she is probably hungry and looking for food.
    I am thankful for your optimism, but I don't share it. She is so skinny at this point and I will be very surprised if she makes it. I'll keep trying, though.
  13. AphonopelmaTX

    AphonopelmaTX Moderator Staff Member

    @VanessaS At this point, I would suggest trying to glue the fangs from its last molt, or from another tarantula's molt of similar size, to the base of the chelicerae. There was an article published in the BTS journal from 2016 that documented the process, but not in any detail, and it worked for the author. I don't have a digital copy, but I will take pictures of the pages and send to you if you think you might want to give that a try.
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  14. Vanisher

    Vanisher Arachnoking Old Timer

    I have an wild idea! Maybe an extreamly smart one? I have ADHD and often thinks outside the box! Feed another tarantula a bug. When the tarantula has killed the bug and just start to eat it, "steal" the feeder from it! It should not be that difficult to take the prey away from the tarantula? In this way, venom and digestiv fluids are already in the feeder and the bug should start to break down? Now, wait a while and give the feeder to the fangless rarantula! Now it should have more success coping with eating it! Think about it. In this way, one tarantula is helping another one. Isnt that a smart suggestion?
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2019
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  15. Vanessa

    Vanessa Grammostola Groupie Arachnosupporter

    Okay, just in case anyone is reading this thread in the future.
    I thought this was an awesome idea and I am glad that you came up with it. I did try to pull this off with two of my more tolerant species, because I really thought that this would work. Unfortunately, I don't think it did work for me, but that doesn't mean that it might not work for someone else.
    I fed three of my more tolerant females a couple of extra crickets and I waited about 15-20 minutes after they had caught all of them. Out of the three, only two of them had the cricket parts sticking out in such a way that I was confident that I would not injure them trying to take some of the cricket away. It ended up being my sub-adult Brachypelma albiceps girl and my sub-adult Grammostola grossa. It was very tricky to try to pull pieces of the cricket away, but I managed to do it without them coming up the tongs at me.
    My fangless girl accepted the partially digested meals, but I didn't see an increase in abdomen size.
    Anyway, thanks again for your input. It is definitely an option that could work in this scenario.
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  16. Arachnophoric

    Arachnophoric Arachnoangel Arachnosupporter

    Holding out hope your girl makes a turn around. I wouldn't think just being fangless would give her this much trouble eating, especially with how earnestly she wants to eat/keeps trying and how accessible you've made food even for a T with no fangs... Did she lose the fangs in a molt?
  17. ShyDragoness

    ShyDragoness Arachnobaron

    Wax worms, Wax worms and more wax worms
  18. Vanessa

    Vanessa Grammostola Groupie Arachnosupporter

    Thanks. Yes, she came out of her last moult in July with both fangs missing. I have no idea what caused it to happen. I've never encountered this before. Her sucking stomach was intact, so that isn't part of the issue.

    I tried them both cut up in a soup and fed whole with their bodies cut open and I didn't have much success. She grabbed them and started to try to masticate them, but no increase in her abdomen.
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2019
  19. ShyDragoness

    ShyDragoness Arachnobaron

    Hmm that is odd. You think she would have no problem slurpin up those bug juices, there may be another issue here as well as missing teeth.
  20. Vanessa

    Vanessa Grammostola Groupie Arachnosupporter

    Update on my fangless Theraphosinae sp. Panama adult female.
    She has not been eating and I have been watching her get skinnier and skinnier. I've been alternating between cut open live/dead prey and bug soup. She is getting fresh water at all times.
    I have been reluctant to try to manually feed her, because of her size. Even with having smaller fingers, she is very small and I have been concerned about doing damage to her. I've gotten to the point where I decided that I was going to have to risk it. Plus, she is not as active and I thought it would be less likely that she bolted and that I would lose her.
    It was tough to grab her without damaging her. She struck at me and I am sure that it would have been a bite had she had fangs. It was likely more of a feeding response than her being defensive and it was only a split second. I didn't flinch. She was struggling and flailing her legs around which didn't make it any easier.
    I think that she might have drank some of the first drop I put in, I'm almost certain, but then I think that a lot of the subsequent drops just ran off her mouth. Now that I have done it once with success, I will continue to feed her manually.
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