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  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Digs View Post
    I almost forgot to answer your question about keeping dry and wet food separate. My insects are picky, Whenever I provide them dry food along with their wet food They seem to pick through the dry and eat only the wet. I at first decided to just give them only fruits/veggies in response but then I heard that those alone wouldn't provide the nutrients needed for my gecko. That's why I decided to mix them all together and it seems to work too. Maybe I could just make small batches so then I don't have to worry too much about the nutrients degrading.
    That's quite true. Insects require more than plant-based foods. That's why I recommend a dry diet like Professional Reptiles' Pro Gutload mix or something similar.

    I have a separate source for the crickets' water. I've been laying a double layer of paper towels on top of the vertical half-height egg flats in their 56 quart bins. Every evening I moisten the paper towels under the faucet and then wring out excess water. Lately I've added a cricket water device sold by Armstrong Crickets. It's a quart size plastic bottle that screws into a saucer. This saucer holds a removable and thick foam rubber ring. The foam wicks the water to the top of the foam. That device may be supplying enough water on it's own.

    Quote Originally Posted by Digs View Post
    Alright I decided to give dry food another chance. This time I blended the dry ingredients separately so then they are grounded up better. First, using a blender I ground up the Small World Rabbit Food until it was a powder, then I did the same to some bee pollen. I then added kelp powder into the mix. Now I'm just waiting to see how the insects react to this new recipe.
    How are the insects reacting to your new recipe?
    "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)

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elizabeth Freer View Post
    That's quite true. Insects require more than plant-based foods. That's why I recommend a dry diet like Professional Reptiles' Pro Gutload mix or something similar.

    I have a separate source for the crickets' water. I've been laying a double layer of paper towels on top of the vertical half-height egg flats in their 56 quart bins. Every evening I moisten the paper towels under the faucet and then wring out excess water. Lately I've added a cricket water device sold by Armstrong Crickets. It's a quart size plastic bottle that screws into a saucer. This saucer holds a removable and thick foam rubber ring. The foam wicks the water to the top of the foam. That device may be supplying enough water on it's own.



    How are the insects reacting to your new recipe?
    I don't Know I removed it the day after. I'm now using zoomed natural forest tortoise food. I decided to choose the tortoise food over the bearded dragon because it seemed to contain less of the ingredients in the avoid as much as possible list and more ingredients from the best or good list. It also had slightly more calcium than the bearded dragon food.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Digs View Post
    I went out the buy the natural adult bearded dragon food you recommended but after comparing it to other food I decided to get the natural forest tortoise food instead.

    Ingredients: Sun-cured oat hay, sun-cured timothy hay, Almond hulls, Wheat middling, Organic soybean meal, sun-cured alfalfa meal, ground whole wheat, dried mango, Escarole,Endive etc.

    protein 12%, fat 1.5%,fiber 22%, calcium(min) 0.90% (max) 1.30%, phosphorus (min) 0.40%.
    I like the Guaranteed Analysis of that beardie food. It's
    Crude Protein (min) 16%
    Crude Fat (min) 2.5%
    Crude Fiber (max) 16.0%
    Moisture (max) 13.0%
    Ash (max) 10%
    Calcium (min) 0.8%
    Calcium (max) 1.2%
    Phosphorus (min) 0.4%
    Sodium (max) 0.3%
    "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)
    Likes Marillion liked this post

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elizabeth Freer View Post
    I like the Guaranteed Analysis of that beardie food. It's
    Crude Protein (min) 16%
    Crude Fat (min) 2.5%
    Crude Fiber (max) 16.0%
    Moisture (max) 13.0%
    Ash (max) 10%
    Calcium (min) 0.8%
    Calcium (max) 1.2%
    Phosphorus (min) 0.4%
    Sodium (max) 0.3%
    I chose the forest tortoise formula because it contained less ingredients from the avoid as much as possible list and it having slightly more calcium than the bearded dragon food.

  5. #15
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    I have another question about my homemade gut-load. Should I have more protein for my crickets? I avoid high protein gut-load for the dubia roaches because they produce uric acid due to naturally having lots of protein in their bodies already but I see on nutrition charts that crickets are different. Would it benefit my gecko to gut- load the crickets with about 16 - 20% protein?

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elizabeth Freer View Post
    I like the Guaranteed Analysis of Zoo Med's Natural ADULT Bearded Dragon food. It's
    Crude Protein (min) 16%
    Crude Fat (min) 2.5%
    Crude Fiber (max) 16.0%
    Moisture (max) 13.0%
    Ash (max) 10%
    Calcium (min) 0.8%
    Calcium (max) 1.2%
    Phosphorus (min) 0.4%
    Sodium (max) 0.3%
    Quote Originally Posted by Digs View Post
    I have another question about my homemade gut-load. Should I have more protein for my crickets? I avoid high protein gut-load for the dubia roaches because they produce uric acid due to naturally having lots of protein in their bodies already but I see on nutrition charts that crickets are different. Would it benefit my gecko to gut- load the crickets with about 16 - 20% protein?
    YES, it will! I think that 16-20% protein is an ideal protein level for a feeder gutload, when the feeders are destined for insectivorous geckos.

    Here's the latest chart I have.

    An excellent gutload is paramount for Mae's bugs and worms as she does her best to recover from beginning MBD. It's important to know the specs of the gutload her bugs and worms eat. The only way to conclusively do that is to have some lab perform a Guaranteed Analysis on your gutload.

    Here's the ingredient list for Cricket Crack. Dehydrated milk is the source of vitamin A palmitate.
    cricket-crack-1-lb (1).jpg
    (click to enlarge)

    Gutloads are more than protein, fat, and vitamin A. I recommend:
    Protein ~ 16-20% protein is what your gutload SHOULD contain
    Fat ~ no more than 5%
    Fiber
    ~ 16% is plenty!
    + Vitamin A acetate (retinol) like you'll find in Zoo Med's Natural ADULT Bearded Dragon Food or vitamin A palmitate like you'll find in Cricket Crack

    Phosphorus content should = ~1/3 - 1/2 the calcium content

    I'm preferring Zoo Med's ADULT Beardie Food over Cricket Crack. I've currently been using both.
    Last edited by Elizabeth Freer; 12-24-2019 at 06:05 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 Digs thanked for this post

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elizabeth Freer View Post
    YES, it will! I think that 16-20% protein is an ideal protein level for a feeder gutload, when the feeders are destined for insectivorous geckos.

    Here's the latest chart I have.

    An excellent gutload is paramount for Mae's bugs and worms as she does her best to recover from beginning MBD. It's important to know the specs of the gutload her bugs and worms eat. The only way to conclusively do that is to have some lab perform a Guaranteed Analysis on your gutload.

    Here's the ingredient list for Cricket Crack. Dehydrated milk is the source of vitamin A palmitate.
    cricket-crack-1-lb (1).jpg
    (click to enlarge)

    Gutloads are more than protein, fat, and vitamin A. I recommend:
    Protein ~ 16-20% protein is what your gutload SHOULD contain
    Fat ~ no more than 5%
    Fiber
    ~ 16% is plenty!
    + Vitamin A acetate (retinol) like you'll find in Zoo Med's Natural ADULT Bearded Dragon Food or vitamin A palmitate like you'll find in Cricket Crack

    Phosphorus content should = ~1/3 - 1/2 the calcium content

    I'm preferring Zoo Med's ADULT Beardie Food over Cricket Crack. I've currently been using both.
    Ok I just decided to go for the natural forest tortoise food when shopping for the adult bearded dragon food because it had slightly more calcium and less of the ingredients that I should avoid. I'm about to add some more ingredients to my gut-load.
    Papaya powder
    Hibiscus powder ( don't worry I made sure it was the edible type of hibiscus)
    Rose petal powder
    ground sunflower seed meal
    Cactus powder

    Would all of these be good to add to the Adult bearded dragon food? I feel I might be adding too much fiber if I put these new ingredients into the tortoise food which already has 22%. I might be over thinking this...

  8. #18
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    I think I'll go back to the rabbit food for the 16% protein. The papaya and cactus powder should help in increasing the calcium levels.

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elizabeth Freer View Post
    I like the Guaranteed Analysis of Zoo Med's Natural ADULT Bearded Dragon Food. It's
    Crude Protein (min) 16%
    Crude Fat (min) 2.5%
    Crude Fiber (max) 16.0%
    Moisture (max) 13.0%
    Ash (max) 10%
    Calcium (min) 0.8%
    Calcium (max) 1.2%
    Phosphorus (min) 0.4%
    Sodium (max) 0.3%
    + includes Vitamin A acetate (retinol)
    Quote Originally Posted by Digs View Post
    I have another question about my homemade gut-load. Should I have more protein for my crickets? I avoid high protein gut-load for the dubia roaches because they produce uric acid due to naturally having lots of protein in their bodies already but I see on nutrition charts that crickets are different. Would it benefit my gecko to gut- load the crickets with about 16 - 20% protein?
    16-20% protein WILL benefit Mae. Zoo Med's Natural Forest Tortoise Food @ 12% protein is NOT ENOUGH protein for crickets or for Mae.

    Quote Originally Posted by Digs View Post
    I almost forgot to answer your question about keeping dry and wet food separate. My insects are picky, Whenever I provide them dry food along with their wet food They seem to pick through the dry and eat only the wet. I at first decided to just give them only fruits/veggies in response but then I heard that those alone wouldn't provide the nutrients needed for my gecko. That's why I decided to mix them all together and it seems to work too. Maybe I could just make small batches so then I don't have to worry too much about the nutrients degrading.
    It sounds like your insects and worms are thirsty! How are you supplying water to Mae's insects and worms?

    Quote Originally Posted by Digs View Post
    Ok I just decided to go for the natural forest tortoise food when shopping for the adult bearded dragon food because it had slightly more calcium and less of the ingredients that I should avoid. I'm about to add some more ingredients to my gut-load.
    Papaya powder
    Hibiscus powder ( don't worry I made sure it was the edible type of hibiscus)
    Rose petal powder
    ground sunflower seed meal
    Cactus powder


    Would all of these be good to add to the Adult bearded dragon food? I feel I might be adding too much fiber if I put these new ingredients into the tortoise food which already has 22%. I might be over thinking this...
    I'm unfamiliar with papaya powder, hibiscus powder, rose petal powder, or cactus powder. Occasionally I've added bee pollen, alfalfa meal, and strawberry powder to my crickets' dry diets.

    You could add those products to Zoo Med's Natural ADULT Bearded Dragon Food. ZMNABDF contains acceptable levels of protein, fiber, vitamin A acetate (retinol), and 2-3x more calcium than phosphorus.

    Quote Originally Posted by Digs View Post
    Hi, I just joined here and recently I’ve made my own gut-load for all my feeders.
    I use small world rabbit pellets which contains: Dehydrated Alfalfa Meal, Wheat Middling's, Roughage Products, Soybean Meal, Feeding Oatmeal etc.
    16% protein, 2.5% fat, fiber min 15% and max 20%, calcium min .50% and max 1.25%, phosphorus .50%.

    I then mix the pellets with dandelion greens, carrots, and bee pollen and grind them in a blender. This food turns out to be a hit with all my roaches and crickets so I plan on adding in some collard greens and maybe sweet potatoes.
    Is this mix ok to use as my 24/7 gut-load? And also should I add some zoo med calcium without D3 to increase the calcium in my formula?
    Zoo Med's ADULT Beardie Food has ideal levels of fiber, calcium, and phosphorus. Too much phosphorus impairs calcium absorption.

    Quote Originally Posted by Digs View Post
    I think I'll go back to the rabbit food for the 16% protein. The papaya and cactus powder should help in increasing the calcium levels.
    If you wish/need to add plain calcium carbonate to Mae's cricket's diet, how about dusting the crickets a little more on the heavy side as you feed them off to her instead of upping the content of a premade dry diet? Sometimes IF a gutload contains excessive calcium, crickets will shun it. Supplement powder sticks to crickets even better than it sticks to dubia or mealworms. I recommend feeding crickets on supplement days for that very reason.

    I believe that having a dietary source of Vitamin A acetate (retinol) like Zoo Med's beardie food is beneficial to our geckos.

    How are you adjusting protein without altering some other level? How will you know what you've got as an end result without having your mix professionally analyzed?
    Last edited by Elizabeth Freer; 12-26-2019 at 01:33 PM.
    "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)

  10. #20
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    I was using watering crystals at the time that my feeders wouldn't eat. Then I went to using vegetables and fruits as a watering source, now I use your method with the paper towel. I also used a pepper grind to crush the pellets at first but it came out as hard crumbles so it was hard for the insects to eat. I use a cheap blender instead and the pellets come out more like a powder. The insects have been able to eat dry food since then .

    I think I'm going to find more scientific studies on gut-loading to decide what to use. I know I can simply just use the bearded dragon food and be done but I have learned some interesting things I didn't know before from the scientific studies I've found and I would like to research more. I'll look into what labs I can send any recipe I make to.

    Thank you so much for your great advice I will keep it in mind while I do my research.
    Likes Elizabeth Freer liked this post

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