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    Default Corn meal for Mealworm substrate?


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    Hello. I was trying to determine a good substrate that we already have in our house for mealworms and I was thinking corn meal would work well. I tried looking up the phosphorous information in this excellent link that Elizabeth provided in another string: https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/search/list

    But I didn't have any success determining the Phosphorous ratio for this type of substrate. Any oppinions?

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    After I typed in cornmeal there are lots of choices for the type you may have.

    Scroll down by using the down arrow on the right to locate phosphorus.

    Use the phosphorus and the calcium values to determine the ratio of calcium to phosphorus.
    Last edited by Elizabeth Freer; 06-20-2019 at 04:42 AM.
    "If you can hear crickets, it's still summer." ;)

    "May the peace that
    You find at the beach
    Follow you home"

    Click: Leo Care Sheet's Table of Contents

    ===> No plain calcium, calcium with D3, or multivitamins inside an enclosure <===

    Oedura castelnaui ~ Lepidodactylus lugubris ~ Phelsuma barbouri ~ Ptychozoon kuhli ~ Cyrtodactylus peguensis zebraicus ~ Phyllurus platurus ~ Eublepharis macularius ~ Correlophus ciliatus ~ (L kimhowelli) ~ (P tigrinus) ~ (P klemmeri) ~ (H garnotii)

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    Thanks Elizabeth. When I looked before at every option for the Cornmeal selections I couldn't find one that even matched the brand I have (we're in Canada.) Let alone any that showed any phosphorous numbers. But after looking through quite a few more of them I finally found one that did have some phosphorous numbers. A generic one (Cornmeal, whole-grain yellow) that listed 6mg of Calcium to 241mg Phosphorous in 100ml. If that is correct, that would be a 40/1 ratio. Not a very good medium it looks like at all. Which is a shame, the corn meal was working out wonderfully as a substrate for them for many reasons. Dang it!

    Edit: After doing some more research. Bulgur looks like a much more promising substrate! 300 Phosphorous to 35 Calcium. A ratio of 1:8.6. Not perfect, but not bad either I think considering we are dusting the feeders. Opinions?
    Last edited by Marillion; 06-20-2019 at 01:19 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marillion View Post
    Thanks Elizabeth. When I looked before at every option for the Cornmeal selections I couldn't find one that even matched the brand I have (we're in Canada.) Let alone any that showed any phosphorous numbers. But after looking through quite a few more of them I finally found one that did have some phosphorous numbers. A generic one (Cornmeal, whole-grain yellow) that listed 6mg of Calcium to 241mg Phosphorous in 100ml. If that is correct, that would be a 40/1 ratio. Not a very good medium it looks like at all. Which is a shame, the corn meal was working out wonderfully as a substrate for them for many reasons. Dang it!

    Edit: After doing some more research. Bulgur looks like a much more promising substrate! 300 Phosphorous to 35 Calcium. A ratio of 1:8.6. Not perfect, but not bad either I think considering we are dusting the feeders. Opinions?
    Considering phosphorus content alone using bulgur is scarcely better than using oats.

    It would be much easier if you lived in the USA and had access to Professional Reptiles' ProGutload diet.

    Are either of these chicken starter diets available to you in BC, Canada? It's important that it does NOT contain diatomaceous earth. In the past I used Albers' All Purpose Poultry Feed to feed crickets; a friend of mine still does. Purina Layena Crumbles is another diatomaceous earth-free mix.

    "If you can hear crickets, it's still summer." ;)

    "May the peace that
    You find at the beach
    Follow you home"

    Click: Leo Care Sheet's Table of Contents

    ===> No plain calcium, calcium with D3, or multivitamins inside an enclosure <===

    Oedura castelnaui ~ Lepidodactylus lugubris ~ Phelsuma barbouri ~ Ptychozoon kuhli ~ Cyrtodactylus peguensis zebraicus ~ Phyllurus platurus ~ Eublepharis macularius ~ Correlophus ciliatus ~ (L kimhowelli) ~ (P tigrinus) ~ (P klemmeri) ~ (H garnotii)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Elizabeth Freer View Post
    Considering phosphorus content alone using bulgur is scarcely better than using oats.

    It would be much easier if you lived in the USA and had access to Professional Reptiles' ProGutload diet.

    Are either of these chicken starter diets available to you in BC, Canada? It's important that it does NOT contain diatomaceous earth. In the past I used Albers' All Purpose Poultry Feed to feed crickets; a friend of mine still does. Purina Layena Crumbles is another diatomaceous earth-free mix.

    Thanks Elizabeth. Unfortunately neither of those chicken feeds are available here in Canada. I tried looking.

    I have to confess, I'm a bit confused. This article about mealworm substrates by Dr. Brown clearly states that it is the high Phytates (Phytic acid) content of cereals that inhibits calcium absorption in reptiles when kept as a substrate for feeder insects. This is why Oats are bad as a substrate even though the phosphorous to Calcium content of Oats is actually not bad! See here on the USDA website

    I have read that because of the processing of Bulgur (slightly pre-cooked before it comes to the consumer) there is virtually zero Phytic acid content. That and the relatively good Calcium to Phosphorous ratio as well as protein and other nutrient content would seem to make it a good choice for a mealworm substrate. Or am I missing something here?
    Last edited by Marillion; 06-21-2019 at 03:38 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marillion View Post
    Thanks Elizabeth. Unfortunately neither of those chicken feeds are available here in Canada. I tried looking.

    I have to confess, I'm a bit confused. This article about mealworm substrates by Dr. Brown clearly states that it is the high Phytates (Phytic acid) content of cereals that inhibits calcium absorption in reptiles when kept as a substrate for feeder insects. This is why Oats are bad as a substrate even though the phosphorous to Calcium content of Oats is actually not bad! See here on the USDA website

    I have read that because of the processing of Bulgur (slightly pre-cooked before it comes to the consumer) there is virtually zero Phytic acid content. That and the relatively good Calcium to Phosphorous ratio as well as protein and other nutrient content would seem to make it a good choice for a mealworm substrate. Or am I missing something here?
    I'm thinking about the above.

    Are there some chick starter mixes in BC that don't contain diatomaceous earth? IF DE is in a product, it should be listed upon the label. IF you find a chick starter mix that's available, I'd phone the company to confirm NO DE.
    Last edited by Elizabeth Freer; 06-23-2019 at 04:52 AM.
    "If you can hear crickets, it's still summer." ;)

    "May the peace that
    You find at the beach
    Follow you home"

    Click: Leo Care Sheet's Table of Contents

    ===> No plain calcium, calcium with D3, or multivitamins inside an enclosure <===

    Oedura castelnaui ~ Lepidodactylus lugubris ~ Phelsuma barbouri ~ Ptychozoon kuhli ~ Cyrtodactylus peguensis zebraicus ~ Phyllurus platurus ~ Eublepharis macularius ~ Correlophus ciliatus ~ (L kimhowelli) ~ (P tigrinus) ~ (P klemmeri) ~ (H garnotii)
    Thanks Marillion thanked for this post
    Likes Marillion liked this post

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    Have you been able to find other chick starter mixes that don't contain DE?

    Wow, this is the first time I've seen crickets listed @ 55% protein!

    I've been using this chart. It represents combined efforts of Mark Finke, PhD and dubiaroaches.com.


    I don't know how to interpret Dr. Danny Brown's comments regarding phytic acid. I can't see how either oats or bulgur would be a good dry diet.

    I've always believed that it's important to feed insects and worms a dry diet with a super low phosphorus content -- with the approximate ideal ratio contained in the gutload itself. And then to rebalance that ratio further by lightly dusting those feeders with calcium carbonate.

    Last edited by Elizabeth Freer; 06-25-2019 at 05:24 AM.
    "If you can hear crickets, it's still summer." ;)

    "May the peace that
    You find at the beach
    Follow you home"

    Click: Leo Care Sheet's Table of Contents

    ===> No plain calcium, calcium with D3, or multivitamins inside an enclosure <===

    Oedura castelnaui ~ Lepidodactylus lugubris ~ Phelsuma barbouri ~ Ptychozoon kuhli ~ Cyrtodactylus peguensis zebraicus ~ Phyllurus platurus ~ Eublepharis macularius ~ Correlophus ciliatus ~ (L kimhowelli) ~ (P tigrinus) ~ (P klemmeri) ~ (H garnotii)

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    Thanks Elizabeth! I have started looking into chick feed mixes online. There aren't any locally here so I have been looking on Amazon. There are a few selections but they don't really state if there is any DE in them or not. I may have to ask the sellers directly perhaps.. In the mean time, I have switched over to using Bulgur for the mealworms. I think that is a better choice than Oats, cornmeal or wheatlets.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marillion View Post
    Thanks Elizabeth! I have started looking into chick feed mixes online. There aren't any locally here so I have been looking on Amazon. There are a few selections but they don't really state if there is any DE in them or not. I may have to ask the sellers directly perhaps.. In the mean time, I have switched over to using Bulgur for the mealworms. I think that is a better choice than Oats, cornmeal or wheatlets.
    What do breeders feed little chicks in BC? Have you a feed store nearby?
    "If you can hear crickets, it's still summer." ;)

    "May the peace that
    You find at the beach
    Follow you home"

    Click: Leo Care Sheet's Table of Contents

    ===> No plain calcium, calcium with D3, or multivitamins inside an enclosure <===

    Oedura castelnaui ~ Lepidodactylus lugubris ~ Phelsuma barbouri ~ Ptychozoon kuhli ~ Cyrtodactylus peguensis zebraicus ~ Phyllurus platurus ~ Eublepharis macularius ~ Correlophus ciliatus ~ (L kimhowelli) ~ (P tigrinus) ~ (P klemmeri) ~ (H garnotii)

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    I will need to do some research to look around where chick feed could be sourced in BC. Thanks Elizabeth. Suffice to say I have never seen it being sold anywhere and I have not seen any feed stores around. Perhaps in the more rural areas it might be more attainable.

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