Housing and Feeding Baby Tarantulas (2nd/3rd instar)

ErinM31

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I just got ten tiny Aphonopelma slings (2nd or 3rd instar). I've housed them individually, each in a 2 oz cup with ~0.25" coconut fiber substrate, half of it damp. I diced mealworms for them and some have eaten but others haven't. The exoskeleton of even small mealworms is tougher than I expected, but one or both ends of each piece was open. I'll remove uneaten bits tomorrow and am wondering if I should try an even softer food like diced waxworm. Or, so long as they're eating prekilled food, why not bits of soft catfood?

I'm sure there are better ways to house tiny slings but at least they don't run far or fast! Hopefully, once they've settled in, they won't try to escape as often. :rolleyes:

Any advise on feeding and keeping teeny tiny slings is appreciated! :D
 

cold blood

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I've never had a problem with mealworms. Sometimes a cricket leg will get a better response for pickier specimens. Cutting up waxies isn't as "clean" as dicing a mealworm.

I wouldn't use cat food...although I have used bits of raw chicken on occassion, and have never had a refusal.
 

Venom1080

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I just got ten tiny Aphonopelma slings (2nd or 3rd instar). I've housed them individually, each in a 2 oz cup with ~0.25" coconut fiber substrate, half of it damp. I diced mealworms for them and some have eaten but others haven't. The exoskeleton of even small mealworms is tougher than I expected, but one or both ends of each piece was open. I'll remove uneaten bits tomorrow and am wondering if I should try an even softer food like diced waxworm. Or, so long as they're eating prekilled food, why not bits of soft catfood?

I'm sure there are better ways to house tiny slings but at least they don't run far or fast! Hopefully, once they've settled in, they won't try to escape as often. :rolleyes:

Any advise on feeding and keeping teeny tiny slings is appreciated! :D
i doubt cat food would have the necessary nutrients for growing. just stick to feeder insects.
 

Bugmom

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For slings that small, I cut up mealworms, or I buy pinhead crickets. I've yet to see a sling unable to tackle a pinhead cricket. Those things are tiny and they will scavenge at that size, if hungry.

Remember, these things survive all on their own in the wild. They're not as fragile as you think. Especially Aphonopelma sp.
 

Chris LXXIX

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I house slings in very little enclosures. As food, only baby B.dubia and pinhead <-- an entire "Ramones" wouldn't enter in the enclosure :-s
 

bryverine

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I wouldn't use cat food...although I have used bits of raw chicken on occassion, and have never had a refusal.
Really?! :astonished: Very interesting. Now I assume this is only for young 'uns that go for prekilled? Otherwise, I think chicken by the lb is probably at least 200x cheaper than crickets. ;)
 

ErinM31

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Thank you all for the advice!!! :D It's good to know that I'm on the right track with diced mealworm. I was less keen on the idea of cutting up a waxworm. :yuck:

I am a bit puzzled as to why no catfood, however. It makes sense that it would not be good to try to raise them on it but tarantulas will catch small vertebrates when they can and I would think a sling might scavenge a small scrap from a kill even as they do insects. Is it some additive that would be bad for tarantulas but not other arthropods? I've given various fishfoods and catfoods to my roaches and feeder crickets and as an occasional supplement, to some of my millipedes and isopods as well. Is it because many have quite a bit of non-meat in them and tarantulas are, of course, carnivores? The catfood I get is all-natural, grain-free, meat as the first ingredient with some vegetables and vitamins added (better than a lot of what I eat, lol!). It seems to me this would be a healthy occasional supplement for a sling as well, no? Please don't think I am challenging your advice! I only wish to understand why. :)

I haven't had the best experiences ordering pinheads. I've gotten them from two different places and both times ended up with far less than I'd paid for. :sour: I'm guessing they cannibalize one another even worse at that stage. I wonder if roach nymphs are small enough... My Pycnoscelus surinamensis reproduce like, well, stereotypical roaches, lol! Perhaps their size is not an issue, however, as I'd have to prekill them anyway because they burrow FAST. :wideyed:
 
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Bugmom

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Red runner nymphs are really small. Smaller than dubia nymphs. Those are what I use, when I have them, for those itty-bitty slings. They're almost as small as pinhead crickets.
 

cold blood

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Really?! :astonished: Very interesting. Now I assume this is only for young 'uns that go for prekilled? Otherwise, I think chicken by the lb is probably at least 200x cheaper than crickets. ;)
I've only ever tried with slings, although even many adults will scavenge.

The butcher near me gives me scraps they can't sell for my snapping turtle, so I just have it around...its not a normal feeding, just one here and there.

I am a bit puzzled as to why no catfood,. :wideyed:
Cat food has all kinds of other things, and just knowing its terrible for a dog to ingest leads me to believe it should be just used for cats. Conversely, I wouldn't use canned dog food either. Bits of fresh protein from dinner are a better thing to try IMO.
 

Chris LXXIX

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Be very, very, and very careful with Cat food, especially the dried one. I don't know which "label/brands" you guys use/have in the U.S but here in Italy, no .... some of them, even the 'famous' ones, contains poop of all kind.

Needless to say that using those for a Theraphosidae (sling or not) is by far, no offence, one of the weirdest things I've heard in my life, I wouldn't even offer that stuff to my roaches. Only fresh, clean, class A vegetables/fruit :)
 

ErinM31

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Be very, very, and very careful with Cat food, especially the dried one. I don't know which "label/brands" you guys use/have in the U.S but here in Italy, no .... some of them, even the 'famous' ones, contains poop of all kind.

Needless to say that using those for a Theraphosidae (sling or not) is by far, no offence, one of the weirdest things I've heard in my life, I wouldn't even offer that stuff to my roaches. Only fresh, clean, class A vegetables/fruit :)
You are absolutely right and I don't feed my kitties any of those! They get canned food (not the big names but ones that are all natural and don't contain fillers and crap) and a refrigerated food I get from Whole Foods.

Maybe it is weird -- I take no offense at that! :p I was worried as to whether the tiny slings would get complete nutrition if I feed them only a tiny piece of an insect/larva if I don't have prey large enough for them to eat entire (as much as spiders do). My thinking was that it might be a nutritious supplement.

It looks like all/most of my slings did eat, just that even the small pieces I gave them were too large for them to make into boluses. (LOL, autocorrect tried to change "boluses" to "blouses" -- then you'd REALLY think me weird! :rofl: )

Do you feed your roaches anything besides fruits and vegetables? I thought some kind of kibble was required for most for protein or something. I have wondered what those that aren't detrivores eat in the wild. I suppose they are scavengers?
 

Chris LXXIX

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Do you feed your roaches anything besides fruits and vegetables? I thought some kind of kibble was required for most for protein or something. I have wondered what those that aren't detrivores eat in the wild. I suppose they are scavengers?
No :-s

When it comes to roaches I offer them nothing but: XXL enclosure, egg stuff for hide, no substrate, no water dish, as food only fresh fruit and vegetables and cricket fodder that I buy directly from Italian inverts (of all kind) breeders.

My female roaches (B.dubia mostly) are always pregnant and I'm surrounded by those babies that I use for slings :mask:

Same set up for my crickets, but I don't breed them... too annoying and since here they are very cheap, IMO useless :)
 

Bugmom

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It looks like all/most of my slings did eat, just that even the small pieces I gave them were too large for them to make into boluses. (LOL, autocorrect tried to change "boluses" to "blouses" -- then you'd REALLY think me weird! :rofl: )
If my spiders could spin me some shirts, then maybe they'd pay for themselves. Earn their keep! :rofl:

Do you feed your roaches anything besides fruits and vegetables? I thought some kind of kibble was required for most for protein or something. I have wondered what those that aren't detrivores eat in the wild. I suppose they are scavengers?
I give my lateralis, dubia, and hissers raw carrots and grain-free dry dog food. I've tried them with other vegetables, like potato, collared greens, and romaine lettuce and they refuse to eat any of it. The dubia will eat apples; the others will not. :rolleyes: None of them will touch oranges. Well, the dubia might, but I just got them in two days ago so I haven't given this colony any yet (my last colony loved oranges). I have weird roaches, I think.
 

ErinM31

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Red runner nymphs are really small. Smaller than dubia nymphs. Those are what I use, when I have them, for those itty-bitty slings. They're almost as small as pinhead crickets.
I got a couple dozen red runner nymphs a while ago with the intention of making them my primary feeders for my tarantulas and toads so I don't always have to be buying stinky crickets that have been raised on who knows what. :shifty: I think the roaches must be nearly adults now -- can't wait for them to finally mature and get busy! ;)

Cat food has all kinds of other things, and just knowing its terrible for a dog to ingest leads me to believe it should be just used for cats. Conversely, I wouldn't use canned dog food either. Bits of fresh protein from dinner are a better thing to try IMO.
I was curious and looked it up: Cats (obligate carnivores) need more protein than dogs (omnivores) and also require supplementation with vitamin A (they can't convert beta-carotene like dogs and humans can) and taurine. Therefore, cats cannot be sustained on dogfood. The higher protein and fat content of catfood can make it very appealing to dogs, but if eaten by them regularly, cause digestive problems and weight gain. I don't think we know what a tarantula's nutritional requirements are, do we? I imagine it would look more like the cat's requirements, macronutrient-wise, but maybe not and who knows when it comes to vitamins and minerals but probably less calcium and more copper I would think. It makes sense to stick as close as we can to what tarantulas would eat in the wild.

If my spiders could spin me some shirts, then maybe they'd pay for themselves. Earn their keep! :rofl:
Hehe, I bet tarantula silk would make for excellent lightweight but water-proof jackets! :happy:

I give my lateralis, dubia, and hissers raw carrots and grain-free dry dog food. I've tried them with other vegetables, like potato, collared greens, and romaine lettuce and they refuse to eat any of it. The dubia will eat apples; the others will not. :rolleyes: None of them will touch oranges. Well, the dubia might, but I just got them in two days ago so I haven't given this colony any yet (my last colony loved oranges). I have weird roaches, I think.
Why grain-free? Is it bad for roaches or for your dog? Most of my roaches seem to like apple and/or carrot. Potato was a pass and banana did not stimulate the interest I'd thought it would (although my Panchlora roaches seem to like it). I don't know why I was thinking citrus fruits would be bad for them -- might be worth a try. :)
 

cold blood

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I was curious and looked it up: Cats (obligate carnivores) need more protein than dogs (omnivores) and also require supplementation with vitamin A (they can't convert beta-carotene like dogs and humans can) and taurine. Therefore, cats cannot be sustained on dogfood. The higher protein and fat content of catfood can make it very appealing to dogs, but if eaten by them regularly, cause digestive problems and weight gain. I don't think we know what a tarantula's nutritional requirements are, do we? I imagine it would look more like the cat's requirements...



Why grain-free? Is it bad for roaches or for your dog? Most of my roaches seem to like apple and/or carrot. Potato was a pass and banana did not stimulate the interest I'd thought it would (although my Panchlora roaches seem to like it). I don't know why I was thinking citrus fruits would be bad for them -- might be worth a try. :)
Interesting, but I don't think we could compare a ts requirements (which are essentially a mystery) to any mammal, just based on the obvious differences:)
Grains are not good for your dog, they're not really digestible and can cause digestive issues and stomach issues. I doubt is bad for roaches, theyre designed to pretty much eat anything organic.

Apple and carrot are my staple food for my roaches, although potato is also added...its eaten, but less enthusiastically. Oranges are eaten down to the rind in no time and lettuce is eaten do fast its frightening (esp. if you are a lettuce). I tried things I thought they would like, grapefruit had mild interest, but lemons, limes, banana and pineapple were completely ignored....I was surprised at the disinterest in the pineapple and banana considering their fondness for other citrus fruit like oranges. I'm trying pears with the net feeding, I expect them to be readily consumed.
 

ErinM31

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Interesting, but I don't think we could compare a ts requirements (which are essentially a mystery) to any mammal, just based on the obvious differences:)
Very true! I think the mealworm pieces were okay and I cut up some Pycnoscelus surinamensis nymphs for them today and those seem to have a softer exoskeleton so if anything, should be even better I think. :)

Grains are not good for your dog, they're not really digestible and can cause digestive issues and stomach issues. I doubt is bad for roaches, theyre designed to pretty much eat anything organic.
Good to know! I only knew that grains were not good for cats and I've heard of dogs having wheat allergies.

Apple and carrot are my staple food for my roaches, although potato is also added...its eaten, but less enthusiastically. Oranges are eaten down to the rind in no time and lettuce is eaten do fast its frightening (esp. if you are a lettuce). I tried things I thought they would like, grapefruit had mild interest, but lemons, limes, banana and pineapple were completely ignored....I was surprised at the disinterest in the pineapple and banana considering their fondness for other citrus fruit like oranges. I'm trying pears with the net feeding, I expect them to be readily consumed.
Thank you for the info! I'll have to get a greater sampling of produce for my roaches. :D

What/where/from whom did you get that idea from????
Lol, from my brain! :p I just thought that it might be a good once-in-a-while supplement since in the wild, adult Ts will also eat vertebrates when they can and I would imagine that slings scavenge too and then roaches are often given cat-, dog- or fish-food. But I've gotten the message, tis not a good idea and I won't try it. This is why I asked first because I'm still a newb! :D
 
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Marijan2

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I don't know for you guys but my roaches eat literally everything, from dog food, cat food, rat chow, and every possible fruit and vegetable. They will also eat nuts, seeds, bread leftovers etc etc. Only thing i found them not eating is cheese. I just give them dog food(cheaper than cat food) as staple, fruits/veggies, what's leftover of lunch. I also toss in F/T rats/mice when my snakes don't eat them (i wouldn't recommend that unless you have big enough colony to eat it fast)
 

Bugmom

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I buy grain free dog food because I feel that it's better for my dogs. That's really the only reason I give that to my roaches. They love it.
 
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