Gutloading: Food constantly available for all feeders or separated the night before?

StephDay

Member
Is it better to provide the whole colony of feeders (ie the 500+ crickets you have or the 100+ dubias, whatever) with highly nutritious food all the time, or is it better to give them what they need to survive and then pull some out the night before for the healthy feast? (Never mind the cost of anything)

The concern I have is that feeding the whole colony all the time may lead to me grabbing crickets to feed that haven't eaten in a while, and are therefore not very nutritious. He/she is eating 10-15 crickets a day at the moment, so the odds are he/she is getting some that are freshly gutloaded, but I have no way of knowing how much/how many.

But on the flip side, if I keep them going in the main bin and pull 15 out and put them in a smaller bin with better food the night before, who is to say they are eating that either? So now maybe I am giving crickets that are full of crappier food, and I would have been better off having good food in my main bin.

I have been going back and forth on this, and have even tried each way a few times. Since I have no idea what is happening to the stomach contents of my crickets, however, it is mostly just me fussing.

Is this moot because crickets will always eat, and are therefore always full of whatever food they have access to? Is there no such thing as a cricket who just hasn't eaten in a while?

What is the best way?
Thanks!
 

Kaizen

Chameleon Enthusiast
Very good question! I won’t pretend to know the answer, but you should check out the following link. It’s the CBP where Pete Hawkins discusses this very question, and he seemed to think that digestion can happen as quickly as 1 hour for crickets, which would lead me to believe that they are always feeding.:


I have heard many people say that dubias have a much longer gut, and so nutrients are available for longer. Personally, I find it pretty easy to tell whether dubias are gut loaded. I feed off larger ones and when they get crunched, I can almost always tell by the juices that run out, that they’ve been eating my gut load: it’s either bright green if they’ve been on the homemade cubes, and beige if they’ve chowed on the repashy. Also, I never use dry gutload, but serve prepared ice cubes of my wet concoctions. I find it easier to just feed my entire colonies the best possible nutrition all the time, but it’s certainly not the most cost effective way.
 

nightanole

Chameleon Enthusiast
If you had a pet t-rex and fed him humans. If you fed the humans a crap diet, you would get less humans, not less nutritious humans.

The same thing will happen to your bugs. If you feed them a crap diet, you will have a greater die off, and less puppies.

In terms of gut load. meal worms gut load 10%, crickets 25% and dubias like 33%, by weight. But how much of that weight is water weight?


Lastly, the "good stuff" may kill a colony, so a high calcium mix the night before for the "chosen few" is fine, but you feed that to the colony and you wont have a colony much longer.
 

JacksJill

Chameleon Enthusiast
When I have large numbers of crickets or other feeders I feed them food just to keep them alive and growing, carrots, sweet potatoes and dry food. When they are about to be fed off they get separated and fed the good stuff. If I only have a few left then they get the good stuff.
 

Bigsky

Established Member
When I have large numbers of crickets or other feeders I feed them food just to keep them alive and growing, carrots, sweet potatoes and dry food. When they are about to be fed off they get separated and fed the good stuff. If I only have a few left then they get the good stuff.
In insect anatomy class we learned that insects have salivary glands. Nutrients in their food begins to break down as soon as it is taken into the mouth.
 

Gingero

Chameleon Enthusiast
I'm team "pick the few you're going to feed off the night before and gutload them with the good stuff". I feed mostly dubia roaches and worms, so by not feeding all of my bugs on a daily basis, I can help stunt their growth and keep them from getting too big to feed off. I'll toss in the scraps from my gutload to the rest of the bugs to keep them alive.

I walk through how I gutload in this video if you're more of a visual person.

 

Clayton0520

Avid Member
I’m no expert but I feed all of my feeders ( banded crickets & dubias ) from day 1 with a good gut load ( OMG gut load from Matt ) I even feed my newly hatched crickets the exact same gut load that I feed my adult crickets. I keep a bin of proximately 1500 adult crickets and have raised 6 “litters” of home grown hatched baby crickets with no problems at all. When I first started I would separate my feeders the day before and place them in a separate bin for gut loading and honestly that got old QUICK lol. I can’t really tell a difference from when I did and didn’t gut load my feeders but I do know that my daily regiment got a lot easier especially for my wife when she has to feed my little guys.
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Enthusiast
I've always fed/gutloaded all the insects...no difference between gutload and food for mine.thr whole idea for me is to make and keep the insects healthy and I don't really try to put stuff in the insects aimed only at it being there for the chameleons.
 

GoodKarma19

Chameleon Enthusiast
When I have large numbers of crickets or other feeders I feed them food just to keep them alive and growing, carrots, sweet potatoes and dry food. When they are about to be fed off they get separated and fed the good stuff. If I only have a few left then they get the good stuff.
^This. I rarely keep more than maybe 200 mixed feeders at a time right now anyway, and I'm close enough to a good pet store that I just pop over there every week or two for a top up. Gotta get food for the birds anyway!
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
I feed all the same...fresh organic veggies, leafy things and fruits along with some bug burger. Besides hopefully keeping them healthy and always gutloaded, as they are on ‘death row’, my overactive sense of compassion and a pinch of anthropomorphism dictates that I try to make their last days happy. :notworthy:
 

StephDay

Member
It is so interesting to hear everyone's oppinion, and that people differ in how they go about it. Thanks for the feedback everyone!
 
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