what can I feed him other than crickets?


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Hi there! I have a fischers cham (for about 8 months) and he will refuse to eat crickets. I have tried everything. He just wont eat them. I have tried every size they come in. I have tried letting them have free range of the cage and the cup method. I even tried the milk jug idea with the screen glued in it to mimic them crawling around. I even let him starve for up to 5 days and nothing. He is not dehydrated by any means although we have went through it before. He loves WORMS though. Every single type he will gulp down. As soon as I put them in his cup he will go down to it and chomp down. We have tried mealworms (but has a hard time digesting them), hornworms (he will eat a million a day), and silkworms (I will order 100 and feed about 5 before they all die though). I am also ordering butterworms and waxworms this time. (Canadian feeders). Anyways which worm could I possibly feed all the time? I would love for him to eat crix but nooooooo:) picky little bastard:) (I didn't mean that I swear). :eek:
Have you tried phoenix worms or small superworms?

How come your silkworms are dying before they're used up? You feeding them?
Silkworms are probably best to be used as staple feeders if he won't eat crickets. I think hornworms would be ok too.

The other worms you listed are generally considered too fatty to be used all the time.

Have you tried roaches? And how does he respond to flying insects?
Superworms are a great feeder too. They are very easy to gutload and have a better shell to meat ratio than mealworms. I feed my supers the same diet as my crickets and they eat it up. I have only seen undigested superworms in one of my cham's poop and he was ill at the time. They are easy to take care of and last forever. I bought 1000 about a month ago and they are still going strong. 1000 lasts forever too even around here where there are chams galore.
Superworms are ok, and they are a bit better than mealworms due to the meat/shell ratio. In fact, if you're using silkworms/hornworms as a staple, you'll probably want to feed superworms every now and then to add a bit of fibre/roughage to the cham's diet.

But everyone I've spoken to has warned against using superworms as a staple feeder due to their high fat content.
According to this, A Bug's Nutrition, 67% of the calories from superworms come from fat (as opposed to 43% for crickets and only 25% for silkworms).

Phoenix worms are also a good suggestion as they are very high in calcium, and supposedly contain many beneficial nutrients. The only warning with phoenix worms is that their skin must be broken in order for the cham to digest the worm, otherwise the worm simply passes right through the cham's digestive system without any nutrients being absorbed (in some cases the worm actually comes out alive).
The skin of the worm is usually broken by the cham chewing the food before swallowing, but on the odd occasion the worms are swallowed whole. So some keepers pierce the skin of the phoenix worms with a pin before feeding them (but this will kill the worm, so they must be fed immediately otherwise they'll eventually stop wriggling and the cham won't be interested in them).

So as I said earlier, as far as worms (and caterpillars and grubs) go, I still think silkworms are the best staple feeder.
Get some roaches!! im sure they will love the lobster roaches,they are very prolific and you will never have to buy them again once they get growing!!
ya everytime I buy silkworms they die. It looks like they shrivel up somehow? Any suggestions? And with the superbugs he won't touch them, it's almost like he is scared of them ha ha. I try not to feed to many mealworms bug I feel bad and give in most of the time. And I cannot get any roaches here in Canada. It's to bad to cuz they don't have that nasty smell that crickets have. But I have to have crix cuz of my froggies. No I have never tried pheonix worms, but I will soon.

I recently tried the silkworm thing myself. I have one super silkworm who is hanging on and he is getting big the rest all 49 of them croaked. I have been reading about them and what kills them off pretty quick is bacteria and moisture and of course not feeding them enough. Or not spread loading their food so that each critter can get a bite. Can be hard to do. I bought the silkworm food with them and that worked but a friend of mine has a Mulberry tree and they took to that right away but I noticed they were starting to die before that anyway. So I thought I would share. Hopefully I'll have some luck with them next time. Oh yeah about the bacteria everything the worms are contained in needs to be washed down with alcohol. The Isopropyl kind, not beer, LOL. Let everything dry then place them in their container. Also don't touch them with anything unless it is disinfected first also. I'm going to keep trying. Hope you have luck. Great info on the worms here though. What is a superworm? Is that like Mighty Mouse?

A lot of sites will tell you to be ultra-clean around silkworms. I've never found cleanliness (or lack thereof) to be much of a problem. I don't wear surgical gloves when handling them (there are sites that tell you to), I don't use any form of bleach or alcohol to clean their containers (just regular dishwashing liquid). I don't disinfect everything I touch them with.
And I've managed to raise many generations of them through all phases of their lifecycle, and successfully breed them and use their eggs to hatch new generations.
I'm not saying that silkworms aren't susceptible to bacteria, but I think if you practise the same cleanliness routines that you do around your cham (i.e. wash hands before and after), then you should be fine, without having to go to extremes.

In my experience the two biggest killers of silkworms is lack of access to fresh food, and mouldy food.

I've only ever used mulberry leaves (because I can't find chow suppliers in SA), and you have to replace the leaves every day. Usually that's quite easy because the worms devour them at a tremendous rate.

To prevent mould, you need to keep them in a well-aired container. It's a delicate balance, because if it's too airy the leaves dry out too quickly, but if there's not enough air, mould forms quickly.
Also, you need to clean out the frass regularly. Frass contains quite a bit of moisture and that gives mould a great place to grow. Those plastic grids that most sites recommend are really helpful at separating the food/worms from the frass.

Here is Lele's article on raising silkworms:

What is a superworm?

Superworms are Zophobas Morio, sometimes known as kingworms. They aren't actually worms (in the same way that silkworms aren't worms, and mealworms aren't worms), but in fact are larvae of the Morio darkling beetle.
You can even let the worms pupate and feed the beetles to your cham, but they are quite large, nasty looking beetles and most chams aren't interested in them.

They should not be confused with giant mealworms, which are in fact simply mealworms on steroids (there's your Mighty Mouse for ya!). The giant mealworms are not recommended as feeders due to the artificial hormone content.

Read this article (has nice pics): Super, Meal, Giant?
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