can they eat maggots?

LBonawitz

Member
my chameleon is getting sick of crickets and meal worms but thats all the pet stores around here sell. so i looked outside the box and thought about live fish bate. i called the local sporting good store; they have night crawlers and maggots. night crawlers would be way too big for my cham. but what about maggots? those things seem to live forever. i guess i'm worried about if they could hurt him from the inside...

any ideas?
 

panthercrazy

New Member
I've never fed maggots, I keep them and turn them to flies....my chams go crazy for those...it's like a kid in a candy store.
 

Sancho

New Member
my chameleon is getting sick of crickets and meal worms but thats all the pet stores around here sell. so i looked outside the box and thought about live fish bate. i called the local sporting good store; they have night crawlers and maggots. night crawlers would be way too big for my cham. but what about maggots? those things seem to live forever. i guess i'm worried about if they could hurt him from the inside...

any ideas?

I wouldn't feed it meal worms at all. Try dubias, Hornworms, Silkworms, Butterworms instead of meal or maggots.
 

LBonawitz

Member
what is a web site with decent prices for butter worms? i looked on mulberry farms and they want almost 22 dollars for just shipping. sorry, 22 dollars is a new UV light
 
what is a web site with decent prices for butter worms? i looked on mulberry farms and they want almost 22 dollars for just shipping. sorry, 22 dollars is a new UV light

I live in Oregon and go through Mulberry Farms I choose the Priority 2-3 day shipping it's usually 13.00 dollars and I order Horn worms, Silk worms, and Butter worms they can handle the cold.
 

nick barta

Chameleon Enthusiast
Site Sponsor
I have 2,000 butterworms, and live in Puyallup Washington. Give me a PM and you can buy some of my pile!

Nick Barta:D
 

Chameleon Company

Avid Member
Maggots ?

I think you would have to be leary of maggots. Almost by definition they represent higher bacteria counts. They nourish themselves on decaying organic matter, often where animal tissue and excessive moisture are involved, which would be to say that they thrive in conditions of very high bacteria, more than you would have with other insects, such as roaches and crickets raised properly, and they consume those bacteria in quantity. The transfer by such "poison pill" insects, i.e. those with unusually high bacteria count due to their own feeding/drinking sources, of high bacteria quantities to your chameleon has been documented to have detrimental, and often fatal, net effects on your chameleon. If the maggots were raised in a more sterile environment, where they were provided fresh feed matter daily, and all of the old was removed, then your risk would be greatly reduced.

The safe course, IMMHO, is to stick with those feeder insects where you can have the greatest control over what the bugs are eating. This rule would eliminate many of the bugs I often see discussed here as "variety", as you cannot gut-load them, nor were they gut-loaded by the supplier. On this note, unless you have reason to put great faith in your local pet store cricket source, to feed crickets recently purchased from such a source is a big mistake as well. You should have crickets in your keep at least three days before offering them as food. This will afford them the opportunity to "clean out". Good luck !
 

nick barta

Chameleon Enthusiast
Site Sponsor
I think you would have to be leary of maggots. Almost by definition they represent higher bacteria counts. They nourish themselves on decaying organic matter, often where animal tissue and excessive moisture are involved, which would be to say that they thrive in conditions of very high bacteria, more than you would have with other insects, such as roaches and crickets raised properly, and they consume those bacteria in quantity. The transfer by such "poison pill" insects, i.e. those with unusually high bacteria count due to their own feeding/drinking sources, of high bacteria quantities to your chameleon has been documented to have detrimental, and often fatal, net effects on your chameleon. If the maggots were raised in a more sterile environment, where they were provided fresh feed matter daily, and all of the old was removed, then your risk would be greatly reduced.

The safe course, IMMHO, is to stick with those feeder insects where you can have the greatest control over what the bugs are eating. This rule would eliminate many of the bugs I often see discussed here as "variety", as you cannot gut-load them, nor were they gut-loaded by the supplier. On this note, unless you have reason to put great faith in your local pet store cricket source, to feed crickets recently purchased from such a source is a big mistake as well. You should have crickets in your keep at least three days before offering them as food. This will afford them the opportunity to "clean out". Good luck !


Jim, I would be interested in which "variety" feeder insects you consider not as benificial. BTW my Oustalets female is growing like a weed!:D:D
 

Chameleon Company

Avid Member
Nick,

I think it best that people evaluate what they themselves buy, who from, and how they address the quality of what is in the bug's gut. Many readers here surely walk into an area petstore and buy "variety", never paying much attention to anything except that its a different species of insect. That interaction of bug husbandry would be the first determinent of what is, and is not, "beneficial". If I could get some readers to just think more about how they manage their bugs, rather then fuel a good-bug-bad-bug debate that would step on some suppliers toes, its a win ! :cool:
 

nick barta

Chameleon Enthusiast
Site Sponsor
I think it best that people evaluate what they themselves buy, who from, and how they address the quality of what is in the bug's gut. Many readers here surely walk into an area petstore and buy "variety", never paying much attention to anything except that its a different species of insect. That interaction of bug husbandry would be the first determinent of what is, and is not, "beneficial". If I could get some readers to just think more about how they manage their bugs, rather then fuel a good-bug-bad-bug debate that would step on some suppliers toes, its a win ! :cool:
Makes me think of the times I ran out of food, bought some bugs, threw them in, and thought..."I really should gutload these." Again Sensei, your grasshopper is humbled at your wisdom!:eek:
 

Chameleon Company

Avid Member
Nick,

Well ... if the only problem were that a fill-in meal or two were not gut-loaded, its not a big deal. The real looming concern is that the bugs may have come from a septic situation, with store-bought crickets being at the top of the list. Forgive the analogy, but non-gutloaded bugs might be like you and me eating at McDonalds. Some of these septic bugs would be like you and me eating food left out overnight off the floor ... or worse. A whole lot of folks can improve their bug situations.

As I told someone in a PM, I'm a Capitalist, and do not want to subjectively trash the products that bug-folks sell. Just want folks to be smarter about things.
 

LBonawitz

Member
just to put everybodies mind at ease i bought butterworms from Nick. Thank you again Nick! my chameleons birthday was today, 2 years! woowhoo! :D
 

pba110

Established Member
Some of these septic bugs would be like you and me eating food left out overnight off the floor ... or worse. A whole lot of folks can improve their bug situations. .
I try to clean out my cricket enclosure as frequently as possible. It's small, so I'm doing once every three days. Will they eat their own feces? They smell awful.
Still, the chameleon eats the feces along with the cricket, so they must be able to tolerate bacteria loads of some amount. I'm concerned about this as I'm trying to start a dubia population. In fact, they were delivered today, but I wasn't home. I wonder how many are going to die? It's about 62 degrees out.
 

Chameleon Company

Avid Member
...... so they must be able to tolerate bacteria loads of some amount.

They most certainly can, just like you and me. The problem arises when a septic situation exists. That takes decaying organic matter, and MOISTURE, and some elevated temps never hurt (if you're a bacteria). The key word is moisture, and is why I highlighted it. It fast tracks everything else. Most of us have to deal with moisture in our chameleon/insect environments. If it isn't cleaned (the moisture source) every 48 hours or less, you are asking for trouble. By 96 hours, you'll have it. Its not that you will have some bacteria. Its that you will have an unnatural abundance of bacteria being consumed by your feeder insects, turning them into poison pills. Or your pet store will have already done this for you. This is not conjecture on my part, or some logic puzzle. Been there ... done that.
 

nick barta

Chameleon Enthusiast
Site Sponsor
They most certainly can, just like you and me. The problem arises when a septic situation exists. That takes decaying organic matter, and MOISTURE, and some elevated temps never hurt (if you're a bacteria). The key word is moisture, and is why I highlighted it. It fast tracks everything else. Most of us have to deal with moisture in our chameleon/insect environments. If it isn't cleaned (the moisture source) every 48 hours or less, you are asking for trouble. By 96 hours, you'll have it. Its not that you will have some bacteria. Its that you will have an unnatural abundance of bacteria being consumed by your feeder insects, turning them into poison pills. Or your pet store will have already done this for you. This is not conjecture on my part, or some logic puzzle. Been there ... done that.

If your crickets are smelling and you are dumping all the feces every 3 days, I would echo what Jim said; Moisture is your problem. If you are doing a water bowl or sponges, I would suggest you try making your own "cricket cubes". You can buy the crystles from members here, or online. It has solved all my cricket smells and I onlyclean once per week.;)
 

trickedoutbiker

Avid Member
how do you get them to turn to flies? anything special?

you can just take them and put them in a jar and they will pupate and turn into flies all within about a week as long as the maggots are ready. I buy mine already grown enough. I just put them in a glass jar with a plastic lid as the top (with buttloads of needle holes poked into it for airflow) and aim a 20 watt bulb at the jar. Glass keeps in heat good, and the bulb keeps the jar at 80 degrees or around there. Which is perfect for them. Then they pupate (1-2 days) and turn into flies. After the flies hatch (a few days after they pupate), I put them in the freezer for about 2 minutes to make them cold, which makes them go idle and stop moving. I open the lid, pour the flies into a Gutloading jar with fly gutload I buy. Some people use make their own, or use honey - which tends to make everything all sticky. They then warm up some, start buzzing around and start eating. There is also a small sponge or paper towel I throw in there as a water source as well. After a day or two of them eating, do the same thing - put them in the freezer so they stop buzzing around. Open lid, now that they are gutloaded, throw them in the chameleon cage (I do it where he cant see them) and when they wake back up in a minute or two and start buzzing around, your chameleon cage door will be already closed. Cham eats, no flies escape. Everyone is happy. :)
 
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