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Thread: Pillbugs as feeders

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    100+ Post Member daybr4ke's Avatar
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    Default Pillbugs as feeders

    A while back I tried to feed my woodhouse's toads a pillbugs(woodlouse, rolly-polly, etc.) mostly to see if they would eat one. I had treefrogs as a kid and they couldn't seem to eat them, but the woodhouse toads adore them. After reading they were high in calcium, I started cultivating them. Finding a couple hundred over a month was easy, and so is breeding. All you have to do is provide food and keep them moist. The woodhouse's toads are now fed a staple of them, and they seem to be doing great. Anyone else use them as feeders?

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    Default Re: Pillbugs as feeders

    Hi there. I am new to the world of Toads, as I just purchased 2 Southern Toads. Can you please provide details on breeding pill bugs to keep on hand? I am also interested in breeding Earthworms for winter feedings. Thanks for your time! Wish I could've helped with your question.

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    Default Re: Pillbugs as feeders

    I give them to my fire-bellied toads but they prefer the woodlice/isopods/whatever they're called. Which are nice because they can survive underwater for awhile and often find their own way out, unlike the pillbugs which just roll into the water and drown :s

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    Default Re: Pillbugs as feeders

    Of course, I'm happy to help! I keep mine in a smallish cooler, with reptisoil as substrate. The cooler closes, keeping in moisture and keeping it from getting too hot. Food consists of vegetable matter, fallen dry leaves, and probably other stuff, but I usually keep it at that. Water crystals or the purchasable bottles of water gel are probably a good idea, but I haven't got them yet and they've been fine with misting. In addition to local isopods there are other varieties in interesting colors online. I've been considering getting some to market as feeders after breeding a lot, but the local ones are plenty good. Also, Gamabunta makes a great point, they don't drown easily lol. I know they've saved me a bit on crickets, I hope this helps. I'll add some pics soon.
    Last edited by daybr4ke; May 25th, 2017 at 04:15 PM. Reason: Spelling

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    100+ Post Member daybr4ke's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pillbugs as feeders

    Realized I forgot something, and figured I'd attach the images to this post a little later. Breeding takes no effort, the females(more colorful, yellow markings on shell for the common pill woodlouse) carry the eggs in a pouch on their undersides, visible as a yellow mass, pretty easy to identify if compared to a male(little to no markings, usually very dark.) as they lack it entirely. After they hatch, over a couple days they leave the mother and look like little white specks. They'll likely be hard to see in the pics, since they're so small.
    Edit: I'm forgetting everything today. I usually check the underside of females for eggs/babies, and try to avoid feeding too many of them to the toads until after the babies have left the mother.

    https://imgur.com/a/eLvW7

    Sorry for potato quality and not embedding, having some technical difficulty.
    Even more edit: http://www.frogforum.net/showthread.php?t=16360
    Found an old thread about it, even cites what I read that made me start breeding them. Also, I have found fecal matter from the woodhouse's which had an empty chitin in it.
    Last edited by daybr4ke; May 25th, 2017 at 05:31 PM.

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    Default Re: Pillbugs as feeders

    I am also interested in breeding Earthworms for winter feedings. Thanks for your time! Wish I could've helped with your question.

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    Default Re: Pillbugs as feeders

    I've used the isopods called powder blue, they seem to breed pretty fast and are decent sized. For the pill bugs, I have 3-4 boards from untreated lumber laying around in the weeds in my backyard. I can lift those up and harvest a bunch that way, when it's not too hot sometimes there are earthworms in there, too. Sometimes snakes hide under the boards which is also fun to find but most times I can get a lot of pill bugs that way.

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    100+ Post Member Larry Wardog's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pillbugs as feeders

    I've so far used native Woodlice in my native setups and I'm with you 100% they are devoured by American Toads as well. These are a very easy to breed crustacean and I've had success with them breeding inside my setups before. They add to a wide variety of insects to feed which makes for a healthy frog or toad and a cleaned tank.

    Sent from my BLN-L24 using Tapatalk

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    Default Re: Pillbugs as feeders

    Hi! I'm new to the forum and ive been looking into alternate feeding sources for my toads! I'm unable to get 100% pesticide free insects outside as most of my neighbors use pesticides of some kind.
    I do order bean beetles from josh's, and buy crickets from the store but pill bugs seem like a great snack for them!
    Would you be able to part with some of yours? Or know a cheap place I can get some of my own?

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    100+ Post Member Larry Wardog's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pillbugs as feeders

    Quote Originally Posted by Lyzzistired View Post
    Hi! I'm new to the forum and ive been looking into alternate feeding sources for my toads! I'm unable to get 100% pesticide free insects outside as most of my neighbors use pesticides of some kind.
    I do order bean beetles from josh's, and buy crickets from the store but pill bugs seem like a great snack for them!
    Would you be able to part with some of yours? Or know a cheap place I can get some of my own?
    I actually don't have any right now actually lol but if you go into the woods and check under some logs you will find many!

    Sent from my BLN-L24 using Tapatalk

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    Default Re: Pillbugs as feeders

    Awesome discussion was held here actually i am also very found of breeding Earthworms. I must want to bookmark your forum to get future updates.

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