What does powerfeeding mean to YOU?

Estein

Arachnoknight
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Feb 11, 2016
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Hey y'all. I've noticed that everyone on the boards seems to have a different idea as to what constitutes powerfeeding. For some, it's feeding your sling every day; for others, keeping food constantly in the enclosure; for others still, feeding steadily until the sling refuses to eat more.

I don't intend for this to be a debate, nor is my plan to establish some sort of standard for the term--I'm not that lofty. ;) I want to know your definition of powerfeeding because I think it will make me more understanding of the nuances in the hobby and give an idea of what practices have worked for you. I look forward to gleaning your wisdom, fellow arachnerds. :D

So, what's your version of powerfeeding?
 

Venom1080

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having food in the cage 24/7. not really a great practice. i feed small slings about 3 times week, sometimes 5.
 

Estein

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having food in the cage 24/7. not really a great practice. i feed small slings about 3 times week, sometimes 5.
I've been thinking about asking this question for awhile, but it was reading this same definition that you had posted elsewhere today that finally pushed me to ask. ;) Thank you for your thoughts.
 

EulersK

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Powerfeeding is a term usually used in the reptile hobby. It doesn't hold much weight here, as we don't fully understand what this type of feeding does to a spider.

What I can say is that I feed my slings daily - more for the ones willing to take. Both the slings and I want them to be out of that fragile stage as quickly as possible, so I offer food every day until they refuse. Different story for juveniles, though.
 

Jones0911

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Mar 5, 2013
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I dont really have a tarantula definition because you can't power feed these animals by any means.

They'll eat their full and be done some times for a few days or even up to a few months.... Any "powerfed" food will either be ignored or killed and left alone until the keeper removes it or the maggots etc get to it.

I fed all my slings as much as they will eat per day and week until refused.

Some folks do bi weekly not sure why but to each his own.
 

magicmed

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Feeding a YOUNG snake 3 rats a setting every week if it were normally to eat one a month or so. It will store away much more.

Feeding a YOUNG beardie hundreds of crickets a day as apposed to the regular 50 or so, basically it's calories go to chewing and digestion.

In both cases this is done to accelerate growth rates in order to have mature specimen for breeding, even in the reptile hobby once the specimen is grown it ceases being "powerfeeding" and is simply overfeeding, then leads to obese animals


I've heard the term is useless in the T hobby as young T's will normally try to increase growth speed by consuming as molting as often as possible anyway, so it's just feeding until it becomes "overfeeding" and I don't believe you can "overfeed" a sling.
 

Chris LXXIX

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What does 'powerfeeding' mean to me? To end this way sooner or later but without the excuse of being a U.S man eating burger :-s

 

Ranitomeya

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To me, powerfeeding is overfeeding when we're talking about vertebrates, but overfeeding doesn't usually happen when talking about feeding tarantulas and juvenile invertebrates as much as they could eat. You just can't overfeed a sling or any juvenile invertebrate that will eat as much as possible and then molt as soon as it's gained enough resources to do so.

They won't overfeed because they will stop before they physically pass the point where they can take in more food. They're not going to eat until they pop--they're not inbred dogs or fish that don't recognize when to stop eating and they aren't eating dry food that's going to expand when they drink water. Ruptures are caused by damage from handling and improper housing and they can happen after the exoskeletal structure experiences stresses and is weakened when proper feeding causes the weakened areas to split. Remember: damage in the exoskeleton is not fully repaired until a new exoskeleton is produced--anything healing before a molt is just a biological band-aid.

Powerfeeding in invertebrates is simply feeding to optimizing growth rates, feeding to increase the frequency of molts in adult females, and feeding to ensure ample nutrition for breeding. I know there's an argument over whether or not powerfeeding produces undersized males, but I highly doubt just feeding frequency and amount alone are responsible for the size at which tarantulas mature.
 

Estein

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Alright, in a broad generalization (because I realize there is some nuance in terminology) what I'm reading is "I don't powerfeed because that's what you do when you want reptiles to grow faster. I just feed my sling more food than I would feed an older specimen (using X method) because I want it to grow faster (to get out of a fragile stage)."

So on a broad scale, what is the difference? Aren't both Powerfeeding (for reptiles) and "powerfeeding" (for inverts) giving more food than you would to a more mature individual in an attempt to achieve the same goal, i.e. faster growth?

Thoughts?
 

magicmed

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Alright, in a broad generalization (because I realize there is some nuance in terminology) what I'm reading is "I don't powerfeed because that's what you do when you want reptiles to grow faster. I just feed my sling more food than I would feed an older specimen (using X method) because I want it to grow faster (to get out of a fragile stage)."

So on a broad scale, what is the difference? Aren't both Powerfeeding (for reptiles) and "powerfeeding" (for inverts) giving more food than you would to a more mature individual in an attempt to achieve the same goal, i.e. faster growth?

Thoughts?
I think the break in terminology is simply the fact that most reptiles won't eat and eat and eat in the wild in a conscious attempt to grow faster, I THINK it's said that slings will do exactly that in the wild, so theoretically the base amount of feeding before the term power feeding is applied is "infinitely many" because said sling will eat and eat and eat until it molts, then eat and eat and eat until it has the calories to molt again, Then continue.

A wild snake will happily pass up on a few meals simply because it doesn't need it, it's got plenty stored, so you actually can increase the "base" amount of food intake, so the term "power feeding can be applied


This is only my interpretation and like you, I don't see why using the term is a problem.
 

Estein

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I think the break in terminology is simply the fact that most reptiles won't eat and eat and eat in the wild in a conscious attempt to grow faster, I THINK it's said that slings will do exactly that in the wild, so theoretically the base amount of feeding before the term power feeding is applied is "infinitely many" because said sling will eat and eat and eat until it molts, then eat and eat and eat until it has the calories to molt again, Then continue.

A wild snake will happily pass up on a few meals simply because it doesn't need it, it's got plenty stored, so you actually can increase the "base" amount of food intake, so the term "power feeding can be applied


This is only my interpretation and like you, I don't see why using the term is a problem.
Ah, I see what you mean. I can also see why some would argue against using the term, as certain definitions would negate its use for invertebrates. My understanding had always been that powerfeeding is giving an increased amount of food to promote faster growth, which I think would be applicable in that case, but with so many definitions it's certainly difficult to pin down. :rolleyes:
 

Estein

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Wouldn't overfeeding in inverts result in picky eating more than anything?
...and a double post after refreshing the page to be sure I wasn't double posting. My internet connection, ladies and gentlemen.
 
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magicmed

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Ah, I see what you mean. I can also see why some would argue against using the term, as certain definitions would negate its use for invertebrates. My understanding had always been that powerfeeding is giving an increased amount of food to promote faster growth, which I think would be applicable in that case, but with so many definitions it's certainly difficult to pin down. :rolleyes:
Haha exactly, I don't really see a problem with it being thrown around, that's just my personal interpretation of it. Kind of like the "grammar police" on forums or from high school, same concept lol
 

Estein

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Haha exactly, I don't really see a problem with it being thrown around, that's just my personal interpretation of it. Kind of like the "grammar police" on forums or from high school, same concept lol
Although, full disclosure, I was definitely that person in high school. :embarrassed: But it's good to see different opinions, plus now I have a better working knowledge of reptiles. I'd call that a win-win.
 

Ranitomeya

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Ah, I see what you mean. I can also see why some would argue against using the term, as certain definitions would negate its use for invertebrates. My understanding had always been that powerfeeding is giving an increased amount of food to promote faster growth, which I think would be applicable in that case, but with so many definitions it's certainly difficult to pin down. :rolleyes:
But now you have to question if we're giving them an increased amount or the optimal amount they would normally experience. Suddenly powerfeeding would become normal feeding, and everything else would be underfeeding to slow them down so people can have their pets live longer by stunting their growth.

Sure, you can't expect all slings to encounter optimal amounts of food since that is dependent on the habitat, season, and location within the habitat they reside, but surely many encounter prey more frequently than once a week. If they do not encounter food wandering to where they are, you can expect them to move locations or take so long to grow that they stay snack-sized for longer.
 

Estein

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But now you have to question if we're giving them an increased amount or the optimal amount they would normally experience. Suddenly powerfeeding would become normal feeding, and everything else would be underfeeding to slow them down so people can have their pets live longer by stunting their growth.

Sure, you can't expect all slings to encounter optimal amounts of food since that is dependent on the habitat, season, and location within the habitat they reside, but surely many encounter prey more frequently than once a week. If they do not encounter food wandering to where they are, you can expect them to move locations or take so long to grow that they stay snack-sized for longer.
A great point. I interpret the term powerfeeding as a reflection of the keeper's actions and not of the sling's, but I see where you're coming from. I know that it's generally thought from anecdotal evidence that decreasing feeding will lead to longer lifespans--do you know of any studies? I agree that it's certainly the intuitive conclusion to make; I just wonder if there are any numbers to back it up.

Powerfeeding definitions aside, how do you feed your slings? I'd love to hear your experience.
 

Jarrod B

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Jul 19, 2016
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I think you have to crank up the heat and humidity to around 80 and feed them as much as they will eat. The heat and humidity helps boost their metabolism. if you just feed them a lot they will just look like a bunch of swollen ticks.
 
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