Power Feeding

Lopez

Arachnoking
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My Power Feeding Experiment

When I first got Miguel, I decided to conduct a bit of an experiment.

I'm sure we're all familiar with the concept of "Power Feeding", where you choose a tarantula and feed it as much as it can physically eat, in an attempt to make it mature or otherwise grow quickly.
This really requires a spider with good feeding responses, making a baby Curly Hair ideal.

I decided to feed Miguel as much as he could manage to eat, whilst using his fellow hatchlings in the pet shop as "control spiders"
I know that the pet shop owner feeds his spiderlings once a week with a single medium cricket each.

Miguel was aquired on 18/2/03. Here he is on my hand - he'd moulted shortly before I purchased him.



I fed him as many mealworms and crickets as possible over the next month (a typical weeks food for him was around 15 crickets or up to 30 mealworms :eek: ) - he fasted just a couple of days before moulting on 14/03/03

The picture below was taken on 20/03/03, one month after purchase.
As you can see, he has clearly grown a substantial amount.



As you probably guessed, he ate ravenously before entering a fast on 14/04/03
Miguel moulted again (in my absence) on 18/04/03 - making each moult approximately a month apart.

This picture was taken on 23/04/03 - two months after I purchased him.



As you can see, he is now a seriously chunky spider.

I returned to the pet shop last week to check on his fellow hatchlings - the ones fed once a week.
Some of shed once in the last 2 months, and others not at all. None are anywhere near Miguel's size - and most are still the same size he was 2 months ago.

Conclusion
Power Feeding works!
 

Botar

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I didn't think the results in growth in regards to power feeding was ever in question. It was a matter of "does power feeding shorten their lifespan?"

For that, you'd have to purchase his/her siblings and continue the experiment until their natural demise. That, of course, would require a "natural" demise and comparison to spiders of the same sex.

In other words... don't stop now, you're on to something here.

Botar
 

Lopez

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Originally posted by Botar
I didn't think the results in growth in regards to power feeding was ever in question. It was a matter of "does power feeding shorten their lifespan?"

For that, you'd have to purchase his/her siblings and continue the experiment until their natural demise. That, of course, would require a "natural" demise and comparison to spiders of the same sex.

In other words... don't stop now, you're on to something here.

Botar
Well the shop still has a load of Curlies at £3........hmmmmm

If I'm totally honest I'm not sure I'd like to "power-feed" a tarantula to death - but it's satisfying to know that it definitely decreases the time taken to mature. Several of my freinds and arachnophiles doubted that power-feeding would have any drastic effect :)
 

Botar

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Code Monkey has posted on this before. I think the theory is that a tarantula has a set number of molts in its lifespan. If you increase the growth rate you decrease the lifespan. The theory appears sound, just how it all turns out in the end remains to be seen.

Botar
 

Code Monkey

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Tarantulas are actually variable in total moults, but it's still probably fixed within a narrow margin. Almost every other arthropod that has life spans short enough to easily study has a fixed or nearly so number of moults, it is therefore likely that tarantulas are much the same.

Although temp is still a bigger factor in increasing growth than feeding. A powerfed but "cool" T will be a somewhat faster growing T, but dang fat. A warm T will grow faster, but not be as robust as it would be if powerfed. A warm and powerfed T is a fast growing, big T.
 
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rapunzel

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well, I have an opinion on it,

and I am sure that my opinion is based mainly on ignorance, but what the he**.

I feed my tarantulas all they will eat. I don't refer to it as 'power-feeding', but then again, when I am hungry, I sit down and eat, and I don't call that power-feeding either (except at Thanksgiving).
Petstores know it is easier to sell small critters that are "cute and tiny" than to sell large fullgrown critters...plus it is easier to house a large amount of animals if you do not have to have full adult sized housing. That is the only reason I can think of feeding a sling like a Curly only one cricket a week. That sounds terrible to me. My one inch curly eats three to four crickets every couple days.
I was told they do not overeat, and will not eat if they are full. Therefore, it is only my common sense that dictates to feed them until they are not hungry any longer. I wouldn't consider only feeding them minimally just so they will live longer. To me, it would be an issue of surviving versus thriving. Sure, in the wild, their next meal is uncertain, but then again, they can move on to another spot to live if they arent finding the food supply they want , where as my Ts don't have that option, and I am sure they think that food really does just fall from the 'sky.'
 

Arachnopuppy

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Re: well, I have an opinion on it,

Originally posted by rapunzel
...and I am sure they think that food really does just fall from the 'sky.'
Hahahahahaha. You are so right. In this particular case, food does fall out of the sky.

About the power feeding experiment, I've already tried that with several of my tarantulas and compare them to others of their kinds. There's no doubt about it. It works.
 

dennis

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Re: well, I have an opinion on it,

I feed my tarantulas all they will eat. I don't refer to it as 'power-feeding', but then again, when I am hungry, I sit down and eat, and I don't call that power-feeding either (except at Thanksgiving).
Feeding yout spider untill it stops eating is just not good. Spiders stop eating when they are totally stuffed, having butts as tennisballs, which slide on the ground as they walk. I guess it's just me, but IMHO that just cannot be good for a spider. As you said we humans eat when we are hungry (or at least you do), we know when to stop. We know when there will be another meal for us, a spider simply does not. It will eat all it can get its hands on.



Petstores know it is easier to sell small critters that are "cute and tiny" than to sell large fullgrown critters...plus it is easier to house a large amount of animals if you do not have to have full adult sized housing. That is the only reason I can think of feeding a sling like a Curly only one cricket a week. That sounds terrible to me. My one inch curly eats three to four crickets every couple days.
You might be right on the "cute and tiny" part. But as long as a sling lives on one cricket a week, why bother to give more? The goal of a petstore is to buy the animals, and sell them with profit. They don't really want the slings to grow to adult size in their store, because selling it will only get harder.



I was told they do not overeat, and will not eat if they are full. Therefore, it is only my common sense that dictates to feed them until they are not hungry any longer.
It depends what you think about overeating... As long as a spider doesn't explode it's not overeating in your opinion. In my opinion a spider gets overfed when his butt is twice as wide as its celophatorax (sp?), and this even depends on what species you are dealing with.



I wouldn't consider only feeding them minimally just so they will live longer.
It's not just about the longlivity of the spider, but also about HOW it will live its life. A spider who lives about 6 years, with hus butt laying on the floor all the times, can't move very well, and might even get problems molting, doesn't really have a happy live IMHO.


Don't take this personally, this is just how I think about it...

Dennis
 

rapunzel

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well, I said that.

Originally posted by dennie

It's not just about the longlivity of the spider, but also about HOW it will live its life. A spider who lives about 6 years, with hus butt laying on the floor all the times, can't move very well, and might even get problems molting, doesn't really have a happy live IMHO.
Don't take this personally, this is just how I think about it...

Dennis
I said that same thing.."itts not just about the longlivity of the spider, but also HOW it will live its life"..
But, I had a different look at it.
Sure, it MAY survive on a cricket a week, but that doesn't mean it is satisfied and having its nutritional needs met.

AND, for the record,
My spiders do not have their butts laying on the floor all the time, and can move quite well.
 

invadermike

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Oops..

I don't believe my curly hair knows when to stop eating, i stopped feeding her now because she looks like she is going to explode. Look at her, i feel so bad, she is a porker. haha. I think she's going to molt really soon, she closed up her burrow.
 

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rapunzel

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well see, THATS what I like..

I like the fat butt t's..
that there is one I would be PROUD to call my own.
IF my curly ever comes out from underground, I will take its picture.
I got it in February at 1/4 inch...its much bigger now, I think I need to transfer it to a bigger container. Right now I have it in a 1X1X3 vial.
 

Lopez

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Thanks for the replies.

I stopped feeding my Curly when I realised it had "stretch marks" - I could never let it get to the levels of some of Joy's T's and be comfortable (please note I'm NOT having a go at Joy! I just couldn't have T's that fat without worrying about them bursting or whatever)

Miguel's sac-mates are in no way underfed - they just won't grow at anywhere near the rate he has :)
 

rapunzel

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here is mine...and by no means is it SLOW

it ran across my hand, up the back side, and down my sleeve..er, up my sleeve,,however you wanna say it..
 

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rapunzel

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this one is a little better...

it doesnt know it is supposed to be slow, and calm, it was runnin like crazy!
 

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rapunzel

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WAIT! MOst of the time all I see is

butt.
(Dedicated to Ernie)
 

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skadiwolf

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according to that sticky G. rosea caresheet at least, Ts don't have any environmental signs about their environment that are truly reliable.

besides that, it said that a T will keep eating and eating and eating and can actually become grossly overweight. in fact, the larger the abdomen the greater the risk of the T dying in a fall from a rupture.

now, this is what i've read, and especially in that caresheet.

any thoughts on this from others?

at least in snakes, power feeding definitely shortens their lifespans as many breeders have known for years. i also think it's grossly unhealthy for any animal.

they aren't getting the same exercise they'd be getting in the natural world, they don't have predators to fear. so the need to stay leaner and healthier kind of goes away. it's like us. being overweight is extremely detrimental to your health.

perhaps, if breeding Ts is like breeding snakes, T breeders will find great advantage (as many snake breeders do) in power feeding their animals to get them to a much larger, breedable size in a smaller time frame. in their cases, i think getting a greater yield is more important than having that snake/T live longer, unless it's a really rare example.

personally, i don't power feed my pets, but i certainly don't underfeed them either. i think you've got to find a good balance. :)

however, i don't preach either - these are solely my opinions. oh, gotta go, my T is doing her first hunting in front of me!!! |D
 

Professor T

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Ticks?

I can't tell if those were pictures of Tarantulas or ticks! You guys really need to get a feeling for when to stop feeding your T's!

That's why I'm offering a special video on Weight Watchers for Tarantulas for only $39.95. The video runs 20 seconds and explains in detail how to feed a T one cricket a week on Tuesdays. The other 6 days you warm up by throwing crickets into an empty tank. Also comes with a cricket calorie counter!
 

Professor T

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Skadiwolf,

You are obviously very intelligent, very young, and very cute. I have to ask what is up with the symbol )o( ????

Is it possible to change it to :) ????

Peace :cool: out wolf girl
 

skadiwolf

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lol! man, i agree, they need WW totally! :) ticks indeed...heheehe.

awwww, how sweet of you. well, i'm 29 as of this past saturday, but i definitely appreciate the cute & intelligent remarks. (grin)

oh, actually, the )o( is a triple moon/goddess symbol, i'm pagan. man, you thought i'd made a typo...tsk!
 
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