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Feeder Insects

Live prey such as insects, an example would be a cricket, used as a healthy food source, applies not only to reptiles and amphibians, but also to a number of exotic pets that would eat insects in the wild. This would include many mammals, including the pet skunk. Arachnids, an example the tarantula, eat insects! Our pets deserve the best.


Feeding feeder insects can be a crap shoot; you just donít have any idea of the nutritional value of insects bought in pet stores, online, wherever it is you purchase your live prey.


When it comes to feeding insects to your exotic pet keep in mind the nutritional value of an insect can be from very poor to very good. It depends on what the insect eats. If you can gather insects from an organic farm that grows organic fruits and vegetables, and has nutrient rich soil, the insect will be far superior to an insect gathered elsewhere.


If you feed an insect to your exotic pet, and the insect has been feeding in an area where chemical fertilizers, fungicides, plant growth regulators, herbicides, or pesticides, have been used, these toxins will travel the food chain down to the insect. When your skunk or other exotic pet eats the insect, he or she is ingesting the contaminants by eating the insect. These toxins will build up over a period of time even changing the genetic structure of the insects and exotic petís DNA causing free radical havoc and altering inflammatory reactions. All these evil impurities can cause many serious problems in your pet including cancer. As a result this DNA change can be passed down to future generations (insects and pets).


Purchasing insects is a crapshoot, the luck of the draw, and nothing more. Even if they had been fed a healthy diet, when the insects arrive at your house, they havenít eaten for a while. Therefore, before you use the insects as a food they must be fed a healthy diet for a short period of time. The term gut loading was derived from this condition. The animal not only eats the insect but the contents of the insect.


If the insect was fed a poor diet prior to being shipped you must do more that gut load. You must make sure the insects have a healthy diet for a longer period of time.


Is there a way around this risky situation of buying insects? You bet there is, raise your own insects. Then you know exactly what the nutritional value of the insect is.


Why kind of insects can you feed your pet skunk or other exotic pet? What insects can be easily raised at home? Many insects and other live prey can be raised at home, everything from the cricket to the mealworm to the the dubia roach.


Other beneficial insects, and example the butterworms (cannot be raised at home, but have twice the calcium as many insects we feed our pets). The butterworm is kept from pupating before they are shipped to insect suppliers, so breeding is not an option.


Crickets are not my favorite insect to feed my skunk or too near at home. They are noisy and they stink. I enjoy the sound of several crickets when I sleep outside in a tent while camping. However, a single cricket in the house can drive me to despair. I would literally spend the night looking for the cricket.


The dubia roach has twice the protein, in addition crickets have sharp spines on their back legs, and dubia roaches donít.


Our petís health depends on the health of their food, in this case live prey, if the food isnít healthy, neither are your pets. Save some money and raise them at home!



Diana Geiger Exotic Pets Editoron



There are hundreds of exotic pet and unusual pet articles at BellaOnline, here is a small example of insect eating pets.

Have you read my series on pet skunks? Pet Skunks also,
pet tarantulas


Dubia roaches are a very popular feeder insect. Read the article and let me know what you think about the Dubia roach as a feeder insect. I value your experience and opinions!
Dubia Roaches - Feeder Insects

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Find out first if breeding insects is your cup of tea, try this inexpensive kit to experiment, Nature Zone Cricket Breeding Kit







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