Pros of feeding roaches

Trace

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I am trying to convince the zoo I work at to switch all our cricket eating reptiles, amphibians and inverts over to roaches. I use them at home and think they are far superior. However, my boss wants hard facts to prove they are better. I have heard they are nutritionally better, can anyone point me to any articles that would prove that?
 

Cirith Ungol

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There is one mathematical fact that should be very easy to make clear: Large roaches have a higher meat to shell ratio than crickets, obviously due to their volume. But the same can also be said about smaller roach species since (to my current knowlage) there arn't any coaches that have as thick a shell (especially arround the head) as crix.

You could also just show your boss some roaches, tell them how easy and unproblematic they are to rear.
 

Takumaku

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I assume you are looking for something like the below. I need to find the calorie sheet for the hisser roach recipe I have [somewhere]. Maybe someone can post for the other popular roaches.

The nutritional content of edible insects and other animals based on a 100 gram serving are as follows:
Energy(Kcal) - Protein(g) - Iron(mg) - Thiamine(mg) - Riboflavin(mg) - Niacin Termite

(Macrotermes subhyanlinus) 613 14.2 0.75 0.13 1.15 0.95
Caterpillar
(Usata terpsichore) 370 28.2 35.5 3.67 1.91 5.2
Weevil
(Rhynchophorus phoenicis) 562 6.7 13.1 3.02 2.24 7.8
Beef
(Lean ground) 219 27.4 3.5 0.09 0.23 6.0
Fish
(Broiled cod) 170 28.5 1.0 0.08 0.11 3.0
Crickets 121 12.9 n/a n/a n/a n/a
 

cacoseraph

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*sigh*

the nutritional REQUIREMENTS of predator bugs are not known, thus any nutritional information about the feeders is not of any use yet.

meat to shell ratio is an insane thing... what the fog does it mean? i know what the ppl saying it mean... there is more edible vs. inedible material in a higher MtS ratio... but... 1) who measured it and how and 2) so what? the only possible use it would have is if there is some relatively artificial restriction to the number and mass of feeders given out. otherwise... it really doesn't matter at all.


basically... you can't give what your boss wants regarding nutrition. but... he can't really "prove" that crix are better either. why go exclusively one or the other though? it would seem a highly mixed diet would be the best bet, as very very very few species are monospecial predators and the ones that are have been adapted to that for a long long long time

all that being said, most insectivores can be raised egg(or whatever) to grave and reproduce on cricket only diets for many generations, demonstrably.
 

Trace

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Thank you for the replys. I should explain a little futher. The reason I would like to feed off roaches is because you can make self sustaining colonies. We have a building closed to the public where we breed endangered species of amphibians for rerelease into the wild. Think super, super quarantine rooms. Since we are dealing with wild caught specimens from around the world we don't want to cross contaminate pathogens one species may have to another and then release that pathogen into the wild with offspring that are produced in our facility. Each species has it's own specific room completely sealed off from each other, think large closet sized green houses. Everything that goes into the room must be sterlized and everything that goes out of the room must be sterlized. The only problem we are having is there is no way to sterlize feeder insects. We have remedied this to an extent by only ordering crickets once a week and keeping cricket containers in each room. The flaw is we are still bringing crickets from an unknown source into each room weekly. I know the chances of contamination are VERY slim but it's one we'd like to reduce even more so. I would like to take a large colony of roaches into the rooms and feed from that, thus reducing contamination for the outside world. I have proposed this idea to my boss in which he was interested but hesitant. We have always used crickets so why change? Can you guys see my plight? As for variation we are already breeding rice flour beetles and fruit flies in the room.
 

Takumaku

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*sigh*

the nutritional REQUIREMENTS of predator bugs are not known, thus any nutritional information about the feeders is not of any use yet.

meat to shell ratio is an insane thing... what the fog does it mean? i know what the ppl saying it mean... there is more edible vs. inedible material in a higher MtS ratio... but... 1) who measured it and how and 2) so what? the only possible use it would have is if there is some relatively artificial restriction to the number and mass of feeders given out. otherwise... it really doesn't matter at all.


basically... you can't give what your boss wants regarding nutrition. but... he can't really "prove" that crix are better either.
Because of various research done on entomophagy, survival tactics learned/taught in the military, and witnessing/documenting various customs (there are alot of people that eat insects) alot of nutritional information is known for most feeder insects. While I have only seen articles about the nutritional contents of the hisser roach (Gromphadorhina portentosa), it doesn't necessarily mean there aren't other articles published on the other feeder roaches.
 

Cheshire

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Thank you for the replys. I should explain a little futher. The reason I would like to feed off roaches is because you can make self sustaining colonies. We have a building closed to the public where we breed endangered species of amphibians for rerelease into the wild. Think super, super quarantine rooms. Since we are dealing with wild caught specimens from around the world we don't want to cross contaminate pathogens one species may have to another and then release that pathogen into the wild with offspring that are produced in our facility. Each species has it's own specific room completely sealed off from each other, think large closet sized green houses. Everything that goes into the room must be sterlized and everything that goes out of the room must be sterlized. The only problem we are having is there is no way to sterlize feeder insects. We have remedied this to an extent by only ordering crickets once a week and keeping cricket containers in each room. The flaw is we are still bringing crickets from an unknown source into each room weekly. I know the chances of contamination are VERY slim but it's one we'd like to reduce even more so. I would like to take a large colony of roaches into the rooms and feed from that, thus reducing contamination for the outside world. I have proposed this idea to my boss in which he was interested but hesitant. We have always used crickets so why change? Can you guys see my plight? As for variation we are already breeding rice flour beetles and fruit flies in the room.

Wow...I think you nailed down your own answer. Now, explain to the boss how much cheaper it is.
 

cacoseraph

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Because of various research done on entomophagy, survival tactics learned/taught in the military, and witnessing/documenting various customs (there are alot of people that eat insects) alot of nutritional information is known for most feeder insects. While I have only seen articles about the nutritional contents of the hisser roach (Gromphadorhina portentosa), it doesn't necessarily mean there aren't other articles published on the other feeder roaches.
er... yes. i don't disagree with you... but... we don't know what the predators NEED so we can't use what the feeders give yet.

so what if we know how much phosphorus is in a phoenix worm? we don't know how much a tarantula needs... we don't know what overdosing does in most cases. we don't know what symptoms critical shortages produce. you follow?


to the OP: you can breed crickets. the feeder crickets are actually some of the fastest breeding cycle common feeders out there. it is something like 8 weeks hatching to maturity. crix are a little more difficult to breed than the common feeder roach species though. i would say lobster roaches (N. cinerea) have been the most bullet proof feeders i have ever tried breeding.
 

cacoseraph

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Seems very straight forward to me. Again, just think of the volume.
yes... but without knowing the exact method and having it be reproducable it is scientifically useless.

plus... i have never, EVER seen a cite to anything about the origins of the ratios. plus... who cares? like i said, the onlly time you could possibly argue the ratio mattering is in very restricted circumstances.

it's not a dig at you, but i think it is a stupid thing some somewhat unethical roach dealer made up and people started parroting. it smacks of psuedoscience to me ;)
 

Cirith Ungol

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yes... but without knowing the exact method and having it be reproducable it is scientifically useless.

plus... i have never, EVER seen a cite to anything about the origins of the ratios. plus... who cares? like i said, the onlly time you could possibly argue the ratio mattering is in very restricted circumstances.

it's not a dig at you, but i think it is a stupid thing some somewhat unethical roach dealer made up and people started parroting. it smacks of psuedoscience to me ;)
After thinking about it (for a very short while... ok it was just "1" thought :D ) I realized that you were right, especially about the part of just tossing in more in case the pred got fed too little. Just to be a nerd (and if I'm not forgetting about it again, as I seem to do often lately) I'll pluck apart a full grown dubia and a full grown crix to see how thick the shells are respectively. The result won't matter but it may be fun for a few minutes :rolleyes:
 

Digby Rigby

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Roaches Versus Crickets

Some advantages of roaches over crickets are

Cleaner, longer lived, no chirping, less stink, likes being in closer proximity to each other and more productive over the long run than crickets. Roaches are not economical to buy as feeders for the most part, however when you buy them as breeders and then feed what you breed they become very economical. Also everyone that I have communicated with on the subject has noticed a difference when feeding roaches instead of crickets as the main diet. Better growth and reproduction, and livelier animals among other things. Variety in and of itself doesnt matter what matters is that the different things you feed bring different nutrients and such to the table so to speak. It does take some time to get a colony of roaches going to a point where you can feed them off without depleting the colony, however if you have been into reptiles for a long time and will be into it for years to come six months to a year or so to get a colony to a self sustaining point isnt a lot of time. Another arguement you can use is that they have been using crix merely because they are available not because they researched and found them to be the best for the animals needs.

Digby Rigby

balboa28279@mypacks.net
 

cacoseraph

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After thinking about it (for a very short while... ok it was just "1" thought :D ) I realized that you were right, especially about the part of just tossing in more in case the pred got fed too little. Just to be a nerd (and if I'm not forgetting about it again, as I seem to do often lately) I'll pluck apart a full grown dubia and a full grown crix to see how thick the shells are respectively. The result won't matter but it may be fun for a few minutes :rolleyes:
if you have a milliliter flask you can get a better guess by measuring the whole roach (dunk it in the water and see how many milliliters the volume raises) and then carefully razor it apart. remeasure "meat" vs. shell.

immediate problems i see: internal roach fluid loss. hard to be as efficient as the digestive fluid bath a tarantula uses. possibly need to razor apart legs, antennomeres, etc. using fluid volume measurement works well with regular shapes, not as well with very highly irregular shapes.

interesting thought. you could weigh a roach and then way the bolus after a spider is done with it. won't tell you anything about volume, but would tell you about weight/mass

unfortunately for anything to hold a grain of scientific merit and be called an experiment at all you need a good sample size. like 50 would be bare minimum. but you can do interesting demonstration of concepts with a single sample. usually a single sample is better for answering a "is it possible" type of question, if you get a "yes" type of answer. (after all, absence of proof is not proof of absence in science. i almost don't want to say that though, as i am sure it will be misinterpreted by someone)
 

Cirith Ungol

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Well, from a scientific point of view I sadly tend to dissapoint at times. So also this time because I don't see myself plucking apart 100 insects. I'd sure be nerdy enough to do it and to still have with the last one, but I just don't have the time.

I think it's a very intresting thing though and eventhough I just said the above, it's not impossible I'll actually attempt it with a whole sample. That would have to wait 'til summer though.

Getting the juice out of the legs: couldn't it just be pressed out with a pair of flat, smooth tongues? I guess before starting it all I'd first have to open up one of each to see what at all has to be done and maybe come back for a strategy talk :).

I have a couple of different syringes with which I could measure the volume. And actually thinking about it, why not put the entire insect into a flower press. Screw tight, unpack, rinse remains in water, pack to a little ball, press again - until the sample is only a dry lump of crumbles? Shouldn't that represent the shell only?

I think we made half a wrong turn topic wise... Sorry for that!
 

cacoseraph

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heh, yeah, sorry to the OP. we'll be good now.

well, we'll try not to pollute your thread, at any rate
 

Hedorah99

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I am trying to convince the zoo I work at to switch all our cricket eating reptiles, amphibians and inverts over to roaches. I use them at home and think they are far superior. However, my boss wants hard facts to prove they are better. I have heard they are nutritionally better, can anyone point me to any articles that would prove that?
I work at a zoo and have thought of this. My biggest concern is infestation. Even dubia being fed in a rainforest building will most likely take hold of some niche and become an unwanted pest (trust me, we have enough roaches in the building already). Crickets have been unsuccesful in breeding in any of the buildings where insects are routinely fed out. For me, it also boils down to having too many mouths to feed and not enough time to sit there and make sure everyone eats all their bugs. The only times I can see this not being an issue is if I am giving some aquatic turtles a treat.
 

Trace

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I can understand where you are coming from but we aren't too worried about infestation. Like I said we are feeding them in highly sterile, isolation rooms. Think more like a lab than a zoo.
 

Hedorah99

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I can understand where you are coming from but we aren't too worried about infestation. Like I said we are feeding them in highly sterile, isolation rooms. Think more like a lab than a zoo.
Ahh, gotcha, I must have missed that part. But yea, the smell, or lack there of, is more than enough motivation then.
 
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