How often should I feed my spiderling?

LighthouseAndLibrary

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I apologize if this question has been answered before, but I was curious what I should do with a spiderling this size and because I don't want to mess up and not feed it enough. I got it today and it has already been fed before it got shipped around Monday, so now I'm trying to figure out the next feeding. I've read that every two to three days is good for a small spiderling, but I was wondering if there were any specific details for this species specifically? (G. pulchripes).

I am also new to this hobby as I posted before on species advice, so thank you to all who suggested G. pulchripes.
 

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sasker

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It depends on the size of the abdomen. You could feed every day if you feel that your tarantula is a bit skinny. I usually feed about twice a week, but a bit more frequently right after a moult when it needs to regain some body mass. Once they get a bit larger, you can feed a bit less frequent. I would say, abdomen size is leading.

You can't really overfeed a sling. It will not grow a lot faster when you feed much, but you can slow down growth by feeding it less. I prefer to get my slings out of the fragile sling stage asap, so I feed plenty. I hope this helps.
 

basement pets

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ya it kind of depends I feed my spiderlings once a week but I have heard that twice a week is also good.
 

viper69

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I apologize if this question has been answered before, but I was curious what I should do with a spiderling this size and because I don't want to mess up and not feed it enough. I got it today and it has already been fed before it got shipped around Monday, so now I'm trying to figure out the next feeding. I've read that every two to three days is good for a small spiderling, but I was wondering if there were any specific details for this species specifically? (G. pulchripes).

I am also new to this hobby as I posted before on species advice, so thank you to all who suggested G. pulchripes.
Feed when hungry- watch abdomen size

Some of my slings eat quite often during a week. I don’t feed on any interval!!
 

Smotzer

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Feed based on abdomen size and prey size, if you are feeding larger prey you may only be feeding once a week or so, but if you are giving smaller sections of prey you could be feeding a couple times a week. I prefer to feed slower based on abdomen size so to as not get a sling plump/full super fast and then hunger strike and burrow for longer than necessary, but it wont hurt it if you do. But its best to get into the practice of feeding off of abdomen size now.
 

cold blood

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Feeding schedules matter VERY little, if at all.

20 people could give you 20 different feeding schedules and every single one could result in the same healthy adult.


You could feed it every day, you could feed it once a month and anything in between.
 

ccTroi

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Feed when hungry- watch abdomen size

Some of my slings eat quite often during a week. I don’t feed on any interval!!
Feed based on abdomen size and prey size, if you are feeding larger prey you may only be feeding once a week or so, but if you are giving smaller sections of prey you could be feeding a couple times a week. I prefer to feed slower based on abdomen size so to as not get a sling plump/full super fast and then hunger strike and burrow for longer than necessary, but it wont hurt it if you do. But its best to get into the practice of feeding off of abdomen size now.
Be more specific when talking about feeding based on abdomen size and be have it pertain to the species in question? This is such a vague advice especially for newer keepers who aren't familiar with abdomen sizes in adult tarantulas let alone slings and let alone a certain species.
 

sasker

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Be more specific when talking about feeding based on abdomen size and be have it pertain to the species in question?
Perhaps you can enlighten us? ;) How would you explain how big the abdomen should be?

It's not that hard. There are thousands of pictures on AB alone. One could also look for pictures of wild tarantulas. This gives you a good idea what a healthy tarantula should look like. When you see that the abdomen starts to look out proportions (too big, but also too small), you can then adjust your feeding regime accordingly. Don't make it harder than it is.

Edit: you can't really overfeed slings anyway, so there is no need to turn abdomen size into an exact science :)
 
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cold blood

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This gives you a good idea what a healthy tarantula should look like
How would you explain how big the abdomen should be?

But...but...

There is absolutely no "healthy" size of an abdomen....abdomen size does not in any way shape or form indicate the health of the animal (unless its shriveled). A freshly molted irminia sling has an abdomen about the size of this - after molting, and its perfectly normal.....a B. hamorii sling the same size could look like a grape....again, perfectly normal. Abdomen size merely indicates (in almost all situations) where the t is in the molt cycle (MMs not withstanding).

I think the info cc is alluding to is this. When a ts abdomen is smaller (ie after a molt) it should/can be fed, and can be fed more often and gradually as the t plumps, its need for food slowly lessens and eventually reaches a point where food is no longer a priority. So in short, feed your ts less food, less often gradually as the t plumps, but never be worried about a plump t not eating as the food requirement of the plump animal is essentially non-existent.
 

sasker

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When a ts abdomen is smaller (ie after a molt) it should/can be fed, and can be fed more often and gradually as the t plumps, its need for food slowly lessens and eventually reaches a point where food is no longer a priority. So in short, feed your ts less food, less often gradually as the t plumps, but never be worried about a plump t not eating as the food requirement of the plump animal is essentially non-existent.
I totally agree and that's also what I meant! :)

However, I disagree that there is no such thing as a 'healthy' size of abdomen. There is definitely the possibility of overfeeding tarantulas resulting in an 'unhealthy' size of the abdomen. Some species can really balloon if given the chance (Theraphosa spp. Lasiodora spp. A. geniculata, Pamphobeteus spp. to name a few) and this increases the risk of ruptures of the abdomen and drag wounds on the 'belly'. Overfeeding should be avoided for these reasons as it is unhealthy (although this only applies to juvies/adults). A fast growing species right after moulting may have a very tiny abdomen and I think we all give these tarantulas a little extra when it is ready to eat again.

I think @Smotzer @viper69 and myself were quite clear about abdomen size in relation to how often/how much OP can feed his tarantula. OP should now have a good idea about how much and often he can feed his spiderling based on all the posts in this thread. IMO @ccTroi was just making things unnecessarily difficult and confusing.
 

viper69

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Be more specific when talking about feeding based on abdomen size and be have it pertain to the species in question? This is such a vague advice especially for newer keepers who aren't familiar with abdomen sizes in adult tarantulas let alone slings and let alone a certain species.
The advice I provided is as clear as can be.

It’s the guiding rule I use for all species I’ve owned.

Be more specific when you’re asking me to do the same! >>>>>Provide examples
 
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The Grym Reaper

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Depends on the species/size and the size of the prey offered.

For faster growing species I feed slings under 1" every 3 days and slings over 1" every 5 days.
For slower growing species I feed slings under 1" every 7 days and slings over 1" every 10 days.

In both cases prey is generally around the size of the tarantula's abdomen, if you feed larger meals then you'll probably want to feed less often.
 

cold blood

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that there is no such thing as a 'healthy' size of abdomen. There is definitely the possibility of overfeeding tarantulas resulting in an 'unhealthy' size of the abdomen
There are zero health risks to obesity in ts....sure, they are more at risk of a fall, but its not an indication of the actual health of the animal. We see literally none of the health risks associated with obesity that say, mammals do.....i mean if you eliminate fall risks, the risks to being fat are eliminated.

I consider obese females to be ideal breeders.....being obese can also be life saving if the t has molting complications with say the sucking stomach....in such a situation an obese t would have a HUGE survival advantage over a much thinner t.
 

sasker

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There are zero health risks to obesity in ts
I took over an obese Lasiodorides polycuspulatus once. It had a black blister where the abdomen touched the ground. It took more than one moult to completely heal. G. iheringi in general tend to have a smaller abdomen, but I fed her quite a lot. Her abdomen got bigger and bigger. One day, I noticed that she had a bald spot on the same place where my L. polycuspulatus had this black wound. Luckily, the skin was not damaged, and everything was fine the next moult. However, I decided to feed her a bit less generously from then on.

Yes, gravid female tarantulas should get quite big. All my tarantulas are quite well fed. I was glad my LP had a good size abdomen when she broke both her fangs. She recovered them both after the next moult. But the drag wounds lead me to believe there are downsides to overly fat tarantulas as well. Abdominal wounds are just not healthy ;)
 

The Grym Reaper

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There are zero health risks to obesity in ts
It increases the likelihood of the tarantula sustaining drag injuries which can in turn lead to abdominal ruptures.

Edit to add: For juvies and adults anyway, slings can absolutely get as fat as they want.
 
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ccTroi

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The advice I provided is as clear as can be.

It’s the guiding rule I use for all species I’ve owned.

Be more specific when you’re asking me to do the same! >>>>>Provide examples
Perhaps you can enlighten us? ;) How would you explain how big the abdomen should be?

It's not that hard. There are thousands of pictures on AB alone. One could also look for pictures of wild tarantulas. This gives you a good idea what a healthy tarantula should look like. When you see that the abdomen starts to look out proportions (too big, but also too small), you can then adjust your feeding regime accordingly. Don't make it harder than it is.

Edit: you can't really overfeed slings anyway, so there is no need to turn abdomen size into an exact science :)
I totally agree and that's also what I meant! :)

However, I disagree that there is no such thing as a 'healthy' size of abdomen. There is definitely the possibility of overfeeding tarantulas resulting in an 'unhealthy' size of the abdomen. Some species can really balloon if given the chance (Theraphosa spp. Lasiodora spp. A. geniculata, Pamphobeteus spp. to name a few) and this increases the risk of ruptures of the abdomen and drag wounds on the 'belly'. Overfeeding should be avoided for these reasons as it is unhealthy (although this only applies to juvies/adults). A fast growing species right after moulting may have a very tiny abdomen and I think we all give these tarantulas a little extra when it is ready to eat again.

I think @Smotzer @viper69 and myself were quite clear about abdomen size in relation to how often/how much OP can feed his tarantula. OP should now have a good idea about how much and often he can feed his spiderling based on all the posts in this thread. IMO @ccTroi was just making things unnecessarily difficult and confusing.
@viper69 @Smotzer @sasker are among the frequent people who are quick to say to feed off abdomen size when a new keeper asks for feeding schedules. Compare sling abdomen sizes of for example A. chalcodes, G. rosea, B. hamorii, N. chromatus, G. pulchra, N. incei, arboreal species, Selenocosmiinae and Ornithoctoninae species, and let alone G. pulchripes. To many new and novice keepers, it's not obvious to see when it is the sling will no longer take food or in this case to hold off feeding bc of abdomen size. Also take into account that not all slings of "beginner" species will have identical abdominal sizes when in premolt. I've had countless sling specimens of the same species who are as plump as plump can be and still accept food while there are also those that are considerably skinnier and molt without eating anymore.

I'm not discounting the advice of feeding off abdomen sizes bc I think it holds weight for adult tarantulas especially for obligate burrowers. But the OP obviously has a sling as per picture. For slings, I feed as much as they can take so they molt to a size where they have a waxy cuticle that helps them from dessicating as originally advised by @boina. A new keeper let alone a first-time keeper would have no clue as to what size the sling's abdomen should be. Also, wouldn't it be beneficial to feed the sling as much as it can eat until it develops the waxy cuticle? An argument can be made that bc of this at this point in time regarding the OP's specimen being a sling, the advice of "feeding off abdomen size" is irrelevant and can cause confusion. Additionally, premolt can be gauged of a G. pulchripes specimen, a sling or adult, by the color of the abdomen closer towards the pedicel as observed by @cold blood from the several G. pulchripes slings he's raised.
 
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sasker

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@sasker are among the frequent people who are quick to say to feed off abdomen size when a new keeper asks for feeding schedules.
I was not aware of that .. :) :rofl:

I agree with pretty much everything. But please note that OP's question was not "when should I stop feeding?" or "why did my tarantula stop eating?". OP asked how much/often he should feed, and I think everyone who chimed in gave very clear answers. The overall answer was not 'just look at the abdomen', because that would indeed be a very insufficient answer. If OP, or any other beginner who is reading this thread for that matter, sticks to the feeding regimes recommended (from every day, twice a week, once a week, it does not really matter and depends on the preference of the keeper) it will all be fine.

For slings, I feed as much as they can take so they molt to a size where they have a waxy cuticle that helps them from dessicating as originally advised by @boina. A new keeper let alone a first-time keeper would have no clue as to what size the sling's abdomen should be. Also, wouldn't it be beneficial to feed the sling as much as it can eat until it develops the waxy cuticle?
I am totally with you on that. That's why I said in my post (#3):

You can't really overfeed a sling. [...] I prefer to get my slings out of the fragile sling stage asap, so I feed plenty.
An argument can be made that bc of this at this point in time regarding the OP's specimen being a sling, the advice of "feeding off abdomen size" is irrelevant and can cause confusion.
Again, only if 'watch abdomen size' was the only tip/advice given. It was not. And it is not irrelevant, IMO. I had my H. chilensis moulting last week. After the moult, it had a rather small abdomen, so I decided to feed her every day for a few days. I don't think it is necessary to keep this feeding schedule up for very long, because this species grows super slowly and knows how to fast, even as tiny slings.

Additionally, premolt can be gauged of a G. pulchripes specimen, a sling or adult, by the color of the abdomen closer towards the pedicel as observed by @cold blood from the several G. pulchripes slings he's raised.
OP did not ask about premoult, just how often he should feed his sling now it is in his care. Although you are completely right, I don't really see how this is relevant at this point. Still good to include it, though. For other beginners stumbling on this thread when doing research ;)

All-in-all, I think everyone is in agreement about how often to feed a sling at this point :)
 
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