Sorry, but yet another feeding Q for adult Ts

phoebe12483

Arachnopeon
Joined
Jan 19, 2011
Messages
27
Sorry for the potential redundancy of this post, however despite using the search function I could use some specific advise pertaining to my T.

After having done research through the search function I have effectively answered some of my own questions regarding feeding and have found that YES, I am feeding my T too much, potentially way too much. To my own defense, I was following the advice of what appears to be a more or less reputable T store which had been feeding her 5-7 crickets per week for almost a year.

I have a 4.25-4.5 inch female Versicolor with a very big appetite. I have been maintaining this feeding regimen for about 3 months, she is able to consume this amount of food in a 3 - 4 day time frame, often eating up to three crickets at a time, and single large crickets whole. She actively seems to hunt the crickets out, leaving her web tube home to chase after prey. Usually I will wait 3-5 days before feeding again, branching feedings out to once a week to week and a half. If you read a previous post from about a month ago regarding "potentially aggressive behavior with vibrations", after 3 or 4 days of not eating, she will jump towards the sound of low vibrations and pace back and forth to get closer to the sound of what I'm assuming she's interpreting as potential prey items. For the last 3 days, she has been sitting on her bark outside of her tube web, which is usually what she does after not eating for several consecutive days.

She last molted in Dec, molt prior was in March. As per store is about 2.5-3 years of age. Temp kept at 68-80F, humidity at 55-70 (which is hard to maintain here in DRY Colorado even with a humidifier right next to her cage, and live plants in her vivarium). She is not fat per se, abdomen not larger than her cephalothorax, but she is not thin either.

My question is this: Given her behavior in conjunction with the fact that she is a fast growing, higher metabolism species that has high humidity and hydration requirements, how much should I be feeding her each week? Versi owners, what sort of feeding regimen do you maintain for your ADULT Ts?
Should I ignore her behavior which appears to illustrate that she is hungry? I understand T behavior with regards to how/why they eat in the wild, dangers of overfeeding etc. If I'm not anticipating her to molt soon given the time frame between past molts, should I be concerned about an extra two or three crickets wondering about? (If she doesn't catch them when I drop them near her, her set up is such that it is hard to remove prey items given her set up).

Sorry again for yet another feeding post, I just found that there were fewer posts regarding specifics on adult T feedings (more on growing spiderlings), and even less info with species specific info for the faster growing/ high humidity Ts. THANKS!:D
 

Ms.X

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
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May 22, 2009
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272
My rule for all adult specimens that are not injured and have not been bred is to feed them when they look like they need to be fed...I know it sounds a bit vague. I judge need based on abdomen size. When the abdomen appears to be getting a bit small when compared to the carapace, then I will offer food. Water is of course available at all times. I feel that it is not necessary to feed adults to the point of apparent obesity. Slings, potentially gravid females, and injured adults are all a different story.
 

Den

Arachnosquire
Joined
Dec 21, 2010
Messages
75
55-70% is kind of low for that species, they like it very humid/well ventilated.
I feed my mine once a week. The amount I feed them is based on their size.
 

xhexdx

ArachnoGod
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Jul 20, 2007
Messages
5,363
My guys aren't kept terribly humid and do fine.

If you want to stick to a schedule, you could feed once per week or even once every two weeks and be fine. Other than that, I follow the same method Ms. X does.
 

Motorkar

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
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Aug 16, 2009
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473
I feed my adult versicolor once every 14 days. She gets one superworm then, but even if she doesen't get the food she is outside waiting. Like yours, mine is always hungry except when she is preparing or is after the molt and her abdomen is really huge.
 

Ms.X

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
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May 22, 2009
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hey Ms.X how do you feed injured adult T's?
When there is an injury present (especially abdominal injury), I feel that it's best to feed very sparingly until a molt occurs in order to prevent possible complications from larger body mass. In the case of abdominal issues, there may be a better chance for a cyst/small rupture to remain intact during the molt when the abdomen size remains relatively small.
 

arachnobint

Arachnopeon
Joined
Feb 13, 2011
Messages
38
ah riiight. well i only have a T with an injured leg... wouldnt have thought there would be much difference in feeding routine in this case, but if you do anything different could use the information cheers.
 

Ms.X

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
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May 22, 2009
Messages
272
well i only have a T with an injured leg... wouldnt have thought there would be much difference in feeding routine in this case, but if you do anything different could use the information cheers.
Hey everybody,
i got a T. stirmi had it for nearly 6 months and since climbing the wall of her viv has borken a leg, recently i noticed some cuts on the joints between the body and the end of the legs, think maybe shes gonna molt soonish because shes being fasting for about a month, since then shes eaten once or twice, but recently when she strikes the food she crushes it then lets it fall out from her mouth... is she just killing them because she doesnt want to be bothered or something more sinister?
I just now saw the thread that you posted about your T. stirmi. Has it molted in your care yet? How large is it? (DLS). How long ago did she 'break' her leg and is it leaking any hemolymph? You said she's been fasting for a month, then you said that she's eaten once or twice since then...is she fasting or eating, and what is her normal feeding schedule/quantity? If you are offering prey and she is killing it then discarding the body instead of consuming it, she is probably doing that because the prey is more of an annoyance or she perceives it as dangerous in her current injured state and she is simply not hungry or she is in premolt. I would continue to offer water and keep her humidity up. I would not even offer more prey unless her abdomen begins to shrink to an unacceptable size. These are just my personal opinions on this and what I would do could drastically differ from another keeper.
 

arachnobint

Arachnopeon
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Feb 13, 2011
Messages
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yeah i worded it a bit wrong, i usually offer 2 crickets a week and shes never turned them down apart from the past month shes mostly disrinterested... and i think its weird behaviour because she is acting different when killing them, i forgot to mention that the most recent feeding she killed the cricket and dropped it then picked it up again later on, no shes not leaking any hemolymph, shes not molted since being in my care either and shes about 5/7 inches
 

Ms.X

Arachnoknight
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May 22, 2009
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i forgot to mention that the most recent feeding she killed the cricket and dropped it then picked it up again later on
So she's a fairly decent size and there is a good possibility that this different behavior toward her prey is due to her being close to a molt. When you say that she picked it up again later, does that mean that she actually ate it?
Even if she is still eating, she could be ready for a molt. I've had some of my spiders eat right up until the day before they molted, you never know sometimes. I would still feed sparingly in order to minimize the weight she has to carry around when considering her leg injuries. It would be interesting to see a picture of the 'cuts' on her joint because I honestly couldn't say what this is/what it is from without having a better understanding of the appearance and location of these wounds.
 

arachnobint

Arachnopeon
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Feb 13, 2011
Messages
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yeah she ate it, she was right at the back of her burrow/ hide too so iwas thinking it was going to be a nightmare to get the remains out but she ate it anyway, as for these cuts they are on the side facing away from the carapace on the first leg joint not very deep but you can tell they are indenting the joint and have a white coating around the wound... its pretty hard to pet a picture she isnt one to stay still and is real skittish, and a real awkward place to photograph. hope this helps.
 

Ms.X

Arachnoknight
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as for these cuts they are on the side facing away from the carapace on the first leg joint not very deep but you can tell they are indenting the joint and have a white coating around the wound.
Seeing your description of a white coating around the wound concerns me. I worry that it could be fungi or mold invading the wound. It may not be the case at all, but this was my first thought, especially because of the high humidity levels that T. stirmi require. Perhaps someone with more experience or knowledge in the area of Theraphosa leg injuries will chime in with additional help or ideas.
 

phoebe12483

Arachnopeon
Joined
Jan 19, 2011
Messages
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55-70% is kind of low for that species, they like it very humid/well ventilated.
I feed my mine once a week. The amount I feed them is based on their size.
I honestly don't know what else I could do to increase the humidity past 55-70% and from what I gathered in past inquiries, it was actually okay to have it slightly drier than overly moist...but this is in part why I've been curious about feeding.

So once a week to two weeks is what I've gathered, but how much? We talking 1 lg cricket once a week, or is my 5 crickets once a week/two weeks appropriate?

I'm still curious as to whether the feeding requirements for this particular species varies from others and whether or not their increased metabolism and specific need for hydration and humidity = increased quantity of food with feedings.
 

Ms.X

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
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May 22, 2009
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I honestly don't know what else I could do to increase the humidity past 55-70% and from what I gathered in past inquiries, it was actually okay to have it slightly drier than overly moist

So once a week to two weeks is what I've gathered, but how much? We talking 1 lg cricket once a week, or is my 5 crickets once a week/two weeks appropriate?
Don't worry so much about the humidity. Unless you are seeing an obvious problem, then just mist occasionally and keep a full water dish to meet her requirements for water and humidity.

As far as feeding is concerned, I don't think that there is an exact number of prey items within a specific period of time that would be right for every individual of the same species. The needs may differ, and this is why I say that I feed based upon the appearance of the abdomen.
I judge need based on abdomen size. When the abdomen appears to be getting a bit small when compared to the carapace, then I will offer food.
The amount I feed them is based on their size.
My guys aren't kept terribly humid and do fine.

If you want to stick to a schedule, you could feed once per week or even once every two weeks and be fine. Other than that, I follow the same method Ms. X does.
 

arachnobint

Arachnopeon
Joined
Feb 13, 2011
Messages
38
sorry for hi-jacking this thread btw, but i got a shot of the leg wound, theres another wound nearly the same on the other side on the 3rd leg.

Big spider eats camera22.jpg
 
Last edited:

Fran

Arachnoprince
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It doesnt appear to be a big deal to me.
If its not bleeding, or act strange, or that white stuff spreads...She should be fine
 
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