Experience feeding stick insects

janjan20

Chameleon Enthusiast
I’ve been seeing Nick Barta posting ads for stick insects and I really want to get some but kinda scared. 😬I know stupid because I deal with roaches 🤦🏻‍♀️. For those that feed these regularly, what is your experience and recommendation for starters? How many do you buy at a time, feed in a week etc. I would like to add more variety to their diet.
 
I’ve been seeing Nick Barta posting ads for stick insects and I really want to get some but kinda scared. 😬I know stupid because I deal with roaches 🤦🏻‍♀️. For those that feed these regularly, what is your experience and recommendation for starters? How many do you buy at a time, feed in a week etc. I would like to add more variety to their diet.

Just make sure you have the food plant those sticks feed off of, raspberry and rose leaves seem to be a hit with most sticks.

So find out what nick uses for his host plants then start and indoor and outdoor garden for said plant. They eat a LOT

Other than that I foresee a new hobby in your future, phasmids are fun animals in and of themselves

Screen enclosures work really well for sticks as well.
 

janjan20

Chameleon Enthusiast
I was reading up on food and I don’t think it would be too hard finding plants. I don’t know if I want to raise them lol. Would this type of insect be a staple feeder to feed off with every meal or just as a treat?
 
I was reading up on food and I don’t think it would be too hard finding plants. I don’t know if I want to raise them lol. Would this type of insect be a staple feeder to feed off with every meal or just as a treat?

Id use them as a "regular treat" That said it really is in your interest to raise them as well.

What species is he offering, some sticks are very prolific, others take a bit more time to raise up. So it depends on the species I guess.
 

snitz427

Chameleon Enthusiast
100% recommend the Vietnamese. They are easy to keep and reproduce much faster and more volume than others. They will eat a lot of different leaves - oak, blackberry, raspberry, rose, etc. and romaine lettuce during winter. You could feed romaine all the time, but that's a boring diet that prob doesn't offer much in terms of gutload. Throw them in a screen cage (the chameleon kit 16x16x30 is perfect), add a mason jar or bottle of water to hold the cuttings.... or you can make a tube out of thin PVC to attach to the sides (so leaves/branches are higher up like tree branches). Lightly mist 1-2x a day.

They are an absolute favorite feeder for chams of all sizes. Nymphs are great for little ones and smaller species. An adult cham will enjoy them, even at full size. They are very soft bodied - if you picked one up with tongs it would fold over like a wet noodle.

I would not recommend Aussies, or any other very thick bodied stick. They not only have a lot of girth, but they have a very strong grip, and put up quite a fight. They don't bite or scratch the chameleon, but they (Aussies) get a super-glue grip on screens and sticks - way worse than hornworms - and they wiggle like a rattle when being eaten. They just put up too much of a fight. Vietnamese, Pink Wings, Indians, etc are the opposite and an awesome feeder.

They are regulated and potentially envasive/destructive... so they should be kept in a way to ensure there are no escapes, and no accidentally discarded eggs.
 

snitz427

Chameleon Enthusiast
Just make sure you have the food plant those sticks feed off of, raspberry and rose leaves seem to be a hit with most sticks.

So find out what nick uses for his host plants then start and indoor and outdoor garden for said plant. They eat a LOT

Other than that I foresee a new hobby in your future, phasmids are fun animals in and of themselves

Screen enclosures work really well for sticks as well.

I've found all of my insects (including hoppers and roaches) really like Oak. I don't have any oak trees, so I run to the park once a week and take a small sprig from a tree. Or you can freeze the sprigs. Just try to be thoughtful in how you clip the tree. A thoughtful cutting will actually encourage more growth and branches on the tree!
 

janjan20

Chameleon Enthusiast
100% recommend the Vietnamese. They are easy to keep and reproduce much faster and more volume than others. They will eat a lot of different leaves - oak, blackberry, raspberry, rose, etc. and romaine lettuce during winter. You could feed romaine all the time, but that's a boring diet that prob doesn't offer much in terms of gutload. Throw them in a screen cage (the chameleon kit 16x16x30 is perfect), add a mason jar or bottle of water to hold the cuttings.... or you can make a tube out of thin PVC to attach to the sides (so leaves/branches are higher up like tree branches). Lightly mist 1-2x a day.

They are an absolute favorite feeder for chams of all sizes. Nymphs are great for little ones and smaller species. An adult cham will enjoy them, even at full size. They are very soft bodied - if you picked one up with tongs it would fold over like a wet noodle.

I would not recommend Aussies, or any other very thick bodied stick. They not only have a lot of girth, but they have a very strong grip, and put up quite a fight. They don't bite or scratch the chameleon, but they (Aussies) get a super-glue grip on screens and sticks - way worse than hornworms - and they wiggle like a rattle when being eaten. They just put up too much of a fight. Vietnamese, Pink Wings, Indians, etc are the opposite and an awesome feeder.

They are regulated and potentially envasive/destructive... so they should be kept in a way to ensure there are no escapes, and no accidentally discarded eggs.
www.keepinginsects.com is an excellent resource
I've found all of my insects (including hoppers and roaches) really like Oak. I don't have any oak trees, so I run to the park once a week and take a small sprig from a tree. Or you can freeze the sprigs. Just try to be thoughtful in how you clip the tree. A thoughtful cutting will actually encourage more growth and branches on the tree!
Thanks for all the info Natalie!! Super helpful! I will most likely stick with the Vietnamese then. There is a large oak tree in my neighbors back yard as well as other parts of the neighborhood. I will take a look at the website and do a little more research. I will have to look up the rules for FL as most bugs are not welcome lol! I might not have room to breed and keep them unfortunately. My husband already complains about the roaches lol!
 

jamest0o0

Chameleon Enthusiast
I raised and bred the giant green bean sticks. They're super cool, but took sooo long to reach maturity, breed, and hatch. I'd definitely take @snitz427 advice on the vietnamese. The green beans also ate a TON. I was doing weekly forage for oak and raspberry, to the point I planted them and rose in my yard lol. Now, I have no sticks, but I have woods filled with wild rose, raspberry, oak, etc. Hoping to get back into phasmids eventually.
 

snitz427

Chameleon Enthusiast
I raised and bred the giant green bean sticks. They're super cool, but took sooo long to reach maturity, breed, and hatch. I'd definitely take @snitz427 advice on the vietnamese. The green beans also ate a TON. I was doing weekly forage for oak and raspberry, to the point I planted them and rose in my yard lol. Now, I have no sticks, but I have woods filled with wild rose, raspberry, oak, etc. Hoping to get back into phasmids eventually.

A friend has a female green bean aptly named "Sheezus" :ROFLMAO:
 
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