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Thread: Mealworms as Stable diet

  1. #1
    Unnar Karl
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    Default Mealworms as Stable diet

    In my country theres not much variety in live food for frogs, mostly mealworms. Could i be facing some kinds of health problems when feeding my FBT mealworms most of the times. I know it is hard for some of them to digest the mealworms shell but is it going to lead to prolapse of some sort ?

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    Default Re: Mealworms as Stable diet

    It could lead to some issues such as your frogs becoming impacted or prolapse if they get constipated. It'd be better to find alternatives if you can. They are also high in fat which can lead to obesity issues with your frogs.
    2.0.3 Hyla versicolor "Eastern Gray Tree Frogs"
    2.2.0 Agalychnis callidryas "Red Eyed Tree Frogs"

    0.0.3 Dendrobates auratus "Turquoise and Bronze"
    0.0.1 Anaxyrus fowleri "Fowler's Toad"



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    Default Re: Mealworms as Stable diet

    Can you get crickets or feeder roaches? They would be much better... Where do you live? I know in some parts of Europe locusts are the preferred staple feeder. You can also culture your own feeders if you can get ahold of starter stock. But yeah I have heard bad things about using mealworms as a staple, I'd start looking into other alternatives as soon as possible...

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    Default Re: Mealworms as Stable diet

    No crickets; earthworms, roaches, etc. on Iceland? Apart from their impaction issues; mealworms nutrition content is low when compared to other listed foods, specially earthworms.
    Remember to take care of the enclosure and it will take care of your frog !​

  6. #5
    Unnar Karl
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    Default Re: Mealworms as Stable diet

    I have a few locust that i am trying to breed. We get locust and crickets but it is every 2-3 months so there isn't a constant supply. I may have to look into earthworms, maybe bait shops or something like that. They are suppose to be very good stable diet right?

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    Default Re: Mealworms as Stable diet

    Yes, earthworms would be an excellent diet.
    2.0.3 Hyla versicolor "Eastern Gray Tree Frogs"
    2.2.0 Agalychnis callidryas "Red Eyed Tree Frogs"

    0.0.3 Dendrobates auratus "Turquoise and Bronze"
    0.0.1 Anaxyrus fowleri "Fowler's Toad"



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    Default Re: Mealworms as Stable diet

    I hear a lot about mealworm causing impaction, like everybody... then everybody keep saying they hear a lot about impaction but I'd like to ask this... can anyone here tell me of only one actually legit story of an amphibian getting impaction from eating something they're made for?
    Amphibs digest chitin into protein if I remember well...... so this whole impaction thing are lies. If you frog has digestive issues, your temperature and humidity are prolly off.

    Mealworms aren't good staple for nutrional value reasons. They're very good backup plan tho as they're cheap, easy to find and can be stored for a long time!
    Ultimately, you really want a friend to ship you about 200-300 dubias roaches or any other kind and you start your own colony. Doesn't take much space or time to take care of and they're from far the best staple feeder out there for amphibians. They come in all sizes, don't stink, don't cry, don't bite, don't climb.. don't DIE!
    Earthworms are pretty good too but not the greatest staple, they lack a bit of P. Easier to add Ca than P
    Diversity is the key to a healthy frog tho.
    Here's what I feed mine; roaches, flies, crickets, horn butter silk wax earth WORMS, beetles, weevils, springtails and isos, and I am hoping to start culturing aphids too.

    Telling us what kind of frog you have would help too!

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    100+ Post Member teslas intern's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mealworms as Stable diet

    I can't recall someone specifically saying they got an impaction from meal worms, but I can say there is a lot of undigested chiton in my frogs droppings, and they eat roaches. I think the OP was asking about fire bellied toads if that makes a difference. If it was possible I'd suggest going the Roach route also, lateralis breed like crazy!

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    Default Re: Mealworms as Stable diet

    Quote Originally Posted by FwoGiZ View Post
    I hear a lot about mealworm causing impaction, like everybody... then everybody keep saying they hear a lot about impaction but I'd like to ask this... can anyone here tell me of only one actually legit story of an amphibian getting impaction from eating something they're made for?
    Amphibs digest chitin into protein if I remember well...... so this whole impaction thing are lies. If you frog has digestive issues, your temperature and humidity are prolly off.

    Mealworms aren't good staple for nutrional value reasons. They're very good backup plan tho as they're cheap, easy to find and can be stored for a long time!
    Ultimately, you really want a friend to ship you about 200-300 dubias roaches or any other kind and you start your own colony. Doesn't take much space or time to take care of and they're from far the best staple feeder out there for amphibians. They come in all sizes, don't stink, don't cry, don't bite, don't climb.. don't DIE!
    Earthworms are pretty good too but not the greatest staple, they lack a bit of P. Easier to add Ca than P
    Diversity is the key to a healthy frog tho.
    Here's what I feed mine; roaches, flies, crickets, horn butter silk wax earth WORMS, beetles, weevils, springtails and isos, and I am hoping to start culturing aphids too.

    Telling us what kind of frog you have would help too!
    id be careful saying that in public. Roaches are illegal to keep in Canada.

    as for mealworms, no, amphibians cant digest chitin, this impaction problem. If you want examples, just browse through pacman frog section, tons of threads of impacted and dying frogs there.

    Nightcrawlers have the best ca ratio out of feeders out there, they are digested the best too. I definitely agree on statement tha variety (when possible ) is a key, however foods have to be safe.
    Save one animal and it doesn't change the world, but it surely changes the world for that one animal!

  11. #10
    Unnar Karl
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    Default Re: Mealworms as Stable diet

    Thanks for all the great answers! I definitely need to lay off the mealworms and start using them as a treat when i find another food source, guess i'll start calling the baits shops

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    Default Re: Mealworms as Stable diet

    Quote Originally Posted by Lija View Post
    id be careful saying that in public. Roaches are illegal to keep in Canada.

    as for mealworms, no, amphibians cant digest chitin, this impaction problem. If you want examples, just browse through pacman frog section, tons of threads of impacted and dying frogs there.

    Nightcrawlers have the best ca ratio out of feeders out there, they are digested the best too. I definitely agree on statement tha variety (when possible ) is a key, however foods have to be safe.
    I was going to say. .. just start searching impaction threads and see what the primary diet was. I used to give them as treats to my greys, just 1 or 2 at a time. They came back out whole and undigested even with proper temps and humidity.
    2.0.3 Hyla versicolor "Eastern Gray Tree Frogs"
    2.2.0 Agalychnis callidryas "Red Eyed Tree Frogs"

    0.0.3 Dendrobates auratus "Turquoise and Bronze"
    0.0.1 Anaxyrus fowleri "Fowler's Toad"



  13. #12

    Default Re: Mealworms as Stable diet

    I fed them to my newts for a while, and they digested fine, but I was always careful to give newly-moulted larvae. If you have enough mealworms and you dig around in the substrate for a while, you can probably guarantee coming up with a few that have less chitin.

    But again, that's newts. I fed some really small mealworms to one of my tree frogs for a while, without problems, but that was just a stopgap while waiting for crickets. No issues though.

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    Chitin isn't a problem with the right temps and humidity. .. I can try and find papers that proves that.

    I know veteran froggers that use a staple of bean weevils which are prolly one of the highest chitin bugs out there with no problems.

    Another problem I forgot to mention with mealworm is that they may carry parasites but not sure if that's a myth too.
    Giving them newly moulted one is still nice tho, I think phibs enjoy the softness of em.

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    Google amphibian pancreatic chitinase
    Try and find legit scholarship papers...
    What your perception is and what reality is might bebtwo different things.

    Also if I may add, just so we're talking about the same thing here, impaction causes death if untreated.
    A frog pooping undigested chitin isn't impaction.
    I've only ever seen impaction cause by sand and rocks really... huge mass of fine coco fiber once in a pacman frog but I suspect low temp didn't help that.
    Last edited by FwoGiZ; December 17th, 2014 at 01:16 PM. Reason: impaction definition.

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    Default Re: Mealworms as Stable diet

    Quote Originally Posted by Lija View Post
    id be careful saying that in public. Roaches are illegal to keep in Canada.

    as for mealworms, no, amphibians cant digest chitin, this impaction problem. If you want examples, just browse through pacman frog section, tons of threads of impacted and dying frogs there.

    Nightcrawlers have the best ca ratio out of feeders out there, they are digested the best too. I definitely agree on statement tha variety (when possible ) is a key, however foods have to be safe.
    Yes there are stupid laws that aren't enforced so I don't really bother with em but I didn't say I own roaches... you're the one interpreting this
    Heard of Alberta trying to pass a law that will ban ALL POISON FROGS? talking bout stupid eh?
    I am advicing him to get some as they're the #1 best feeder insect for staple which is what he's looking for.

    Altho nightcrawlers have a good ca/p ratio, they aren't a complete feeder, they have no chitin, high ash %, low protein... low fiber... but they're lean! basically for someone who uses calcium supplement they become quite obsolete but like I said, I will always encourage diversity!!! Plus some animals LOVES it.

    Roach is the best all around feeder is what I meant, therefore the best staple feeder. Easy to breed, cheap, fast, wide range of sizes..
    Mealworm is one of the worst out there... plus I am not sure if it's myth of not but they may come in parasited?

  17. #16

    Default Re: Mealworms as Stable diet

    In the hunt for earthworms, you can also try looking into home composting setups. Red Wrigglers, Eisenia fetida, are commonly used for home composters. These worms do have foul tasting secretions though, some frogs won't go near them and some people claim trying red wrigglers put there frogs off worms completely (I've not had this experience though). Some frogs won't care and gobble them up happily like they're candy.

    Quote Originally Posted by FwoGiZ View Post
    Mealworms aren't good staple for nutrional value reasons. They're very good backup plan tho as they're cheap, easy to find and can be stored for a long time!
    Whatever you believe about impaction, this pretty much covers my mealworm usage. I've kept a shoe box sized colony going for years with very little maintenance as a backup and also a bit of variety (always good).

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    Default Re: Mealworms as Stable diet

    Quote Originally Posted by UncleChester View Post
    In the hunt for earthworms, you can also try looking into home composting setups. Red Wrigglers, Eisenia fetida, are commonly used for home composters. These worms do have foul tasting secretions though, some frogs won't go near them and some people claim trying red wrigglers put there frogs off worms completely (I've not had this experience though). Some frogs won't care and gobble them up happily like they're candy.



    Whatever you believe about impaction, this pretty much covers my mealworm usage. I've kept a shoe box sized colony going for years with very little maintenance as a backup and also a bit of variety (always good).
    That is the way to do it! Yup!
    I breed over a dozen different feeders for my herp room and breeding earthworms is real easy indeed, I have red wrigglers (they're quite small..) and also european crawlers.

    I believe that you can order those from the Govt (they'll ship by mail!) for composting reasons for good price! in Canada.

    The only thing I'll never breed cause of how nasty it is are crickets.
    I used to when I was a kid and lemme tell you, you need an exterior setup of some kinda warehouse or shed... somewhere you don't mind to have crazy stench ahah!!!
    But so many feeders are so easy to care for...

  19. #18

    Default Re: Mealworms as Stable diet

    Quote Originally Posted by FwoGiZ View Post
    The only thing I'll never breed cause of how nasty it is are crickets.
    I used to when I was a kid and lemme tell you, you need an exterior setup of some kinda warehouse or shed... somewhere you don't mind to have crazy stench ahah!!!
    I've had some big tubs of crickets - pinheads to adults - going in the office for a few months now. Haven't noticed much smell, apart from when the adults start dying off. Otherwise, not nearly as whiffy as fruit fly cultures, at least in my experience.

  20. #19
    Tongue Flicker
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    Default Re: Mealworms as Stable diet

    Newly molted worms are fine but they are not produced on a level that is sustainable enough to be fed on a regular basis. I'm pretty sure there are a lot of insects there that you could start breeding into a more pure and cleaner feeder.

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