Cricket gut load?

Jamielee

New Member
Hi, I was wondering if anyone has tried the Fluker's dry gut load for their crickets? If so, what did you think of it? I've heard a lot of good things about "Cricket Crack" but I can buy this at my local pet store and it's a lot cheaper! I wonder how similar they are to each other.. oh and I want to make my own wet gut load.. does anyone have any recipes? or can I just through a bunch of good things of my chameleon in a blender? Thank! :)
 

ferretinmyshoes

Veterinarian
Staff member
Hi, welcome to the forums! The reason flukers is so cheap is because there's not a whole lot in it to make it worth more. I use it as a portion of my gutload (more for filler than anything), but here's an idea of some of the other ingredients that are recommended for dry gutload use by one of our nutrition experts. This list also pops up on chameleon breeder websites for their gutload recipe. I use as many of them as I can get easily and vary it each time I make gutload. As far as the fluker's goes, you get what you pay for - it's cheap for a reason!

Use fresh fruits and veggies for wet gutload and you can just throw them in with the crickets or some people blend them and freeze portions for later use. Here is a greaat website on the nutritional info on commonly available fruits and veggies. You want to use those higher in calcium than phosphorus and avoid oxalates and goitrogens. The site is made for iguanas but the same concepts apply.
 
i've used it as a small ingredient in my dry loads for some time. i used it with no problems, but stopped because there are better "high calcium" ingredients out there.
 

melric

Avid Member
I think everyone is on the same train with cricket crack. You can make something similar if you have a food dehydrator. Then you can turn the dehydrated food into powder. At least that's how I think they make the stuff. I'm going to do it one of these days.
 

Jamielee

New Member
We should buy a food dehydrator and start making our own "cricket crack"!! Im sure it'd be a lot cheaper in the long run...
 

ferretinmyshoes

Veterinarian
Staff member
Good info for you

Do chameleons need a lot of calcium? I just bought some cricket crack, hope I like it!! :)

Calcium is absolutely essential to a healthy reptile. But it's not enough by itself, you must have a UVB light as well. A regular light bulb does not provide UV rays and UVB cannot be absorbed through windows so if you can't give your cham regular natural unfiltered sunlight you must have a UVB bulb. Without UVB your cham can't absorb any of the calcium in its food and its body will pull all of the calcium out of its bones to provide calcium to the rest of the body. This process is called metabolic bone disease and the bones have so little calcium that they cannot support the body of your chameleon.

Here's some information that might help.......
Exposure to proper UVB, appropriate temperatures, supplements, a supply of well-fed/gutloaded insects, water and an appropriate cage set-up are all important for the well-being of your chameleon.

Appropriate cage temperatures aid in digestion and thus play a part indirectly in nutrient absorption.

Exposure to UVB from either direct sunlight or a proper UVB light allows the chameleon to produce D3 so that it can use the calcium in its system to make/keep the bones strong and be used in other systems in the chameleon as well. The UVB should not pass through glass or plastic no matter whether its from the sun or the UVB light. The most often recommended UVB light is the long linear fluorescent Repti-sun 5.0 tube light. Some of the compacts, spirals and tube lights have caused health issues, but so far there have been no bad reports against this one.

Since many of the feeder insects have a poor ratio of calcium to phosphorus in them, its important to dust the insects before you feed them to the chameleon at most feedings with a phos.-free calcium powder to help make up for it. (I use Rep-cal phosphorus-free calcium).

If you also dust twice a month with a phos.-free calcium/D3 powder it will ensure that your chameleon gets some D3 without overdoing it. It leaves the chameleon to produce the rest of what it needs through its exposure to the UVB light. D3 from supplements can build up in the system but D3 produced from exposure to UVB shouldn't as long as the chameleon can move in and out of it. (I use Rep-cal phos.-free calcium/D3).

Dusting twice a month as well with a vitamin powder that contains a beta carotene (prOformed) source of vitamin A will ensure that the chameleon gets some vitamins without the danger of overdosing the vitamin A. PrEformed sources of vitamin A can build up in the system and may prevent the D3 from doing its job and push the chameleon towards MBD. However, there is controversy as to whether all/any chameleons can convert the beta carotene and so some people give some prEformed vitamin A once in a while. (I use herptivite.)

Gutloading/feeding the insects well helps to provide what the chameleon needs. I gutload crickets, roaches, locusts, superworms, etc. with an assortment of greens (dandelions, kale, collards, endive, escarole, mustard greens, etc.) and veggies (carrots, squash, sweet potato, sweet red pepper, zucchini, etc.)

Calcium, phos., D3 and vitamin A are important players in bone health and other systems in the chameleon (muscles, etc.) and they need to be in balance. When trying to balance them, you need to look at the supplements, what you feed the insects and what you feed the chameleon.

Here are some good sites for you to read...
http://chameleonnews.com/07FebWheelock.html
http://web.archive.org/web/200605020...Vitamin.A.html
http://web.archive.org/web/200406080...d.Calcium.html
http://www.uvguide.co.uk/
http://raisingkittytheveiledchameleon.blogspot.com/
http://web.archive.org/web/200601140...ww.adcham.com/
 
Top Bottom