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  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elizabeth Freer View Post
    Are you sending the ingredients through your grinder more than once? Have you a lab to test the feeders before and after?

    Overheating definitely kills the motor.

    Last July my mini-grinder died. I'd "gently" used it about 10 years. I upgraded to a large Krups GX5000 model that carries a 2 year international guarantee. It's a $50 model that I found on sale for $37.
    Yes I grind the ingredients separately and then grind the two powders together to get them mixed up and grounded up more. Unfortunately I don’t have a lab so then I can put the insects into the freezer after a week or two to test their nutrients, I made this recipe to what I could get out of the scientific studies posted above. I really want to contact the researchers behind those studies but I can’t get their contact info and I have tried asking a question on ResearchGate but it seems that I need to be a member in order to do that. ☹️

  2. #12
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    Kudos for doing exacting research, but why work so hard lol? I use pro-gut load dry food for my crickets, mealworms, and roaches. But all of them also get fresh fruit and veggies daily. Anything that the dry diet lacks the fresh stuff should make up for.

    (I grow my own kale, dandelion greens, sweet potato, alfalfa sprouts, and squash) the greens I grow inside year round on my kitchen table, the bigger stuff only in the summer lol. I also give fresh organic pesticide free fruit scraps on occasion when I have it.

    You don't even have to grow your own stuff if you know where to get pesticide free produce. Ask your local farmers' markets and support locally grown stuff for you and your feeders
    Nature is the best teacher, learn by observing

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpottedDragon View Post
    Kudos for doing exacting research, but why work so hard lol? I use pro-gut load dry food for my crickets, mealworms, and roaches. But all of them also get fresh fruit and veggies daily. Anything that the dry diet lacks the fresh stuff should make up for.

    (I grow my own kale, dandelion greens, sweet potato, alfalfa sprouts, and squash) the greens I grow inside year round on my kitchen table, the bigger stuff only in the summer lol. I also give fresh organic pesticide free fruit scraps on occasion when I have it.

    You don't even have to grow your own stuff if you know where to get pesticide free produce. Ask your local farmers' markets and support locally grown stuff for you and your feeders
    Unfortunately due to having a very limited choice of captive bred feeder insects that are easily accessible in captivity and feeder insects' ability to pick and choose nutrients according to what's good for them rather than what's good for the reptile, hard work is required if you want a considerable amount of nutrients to actually be passed to the reptile . There are only 3 proven gut loads that I know of so far and those are Mazuri Better Bug, Mazuri Hi Calcium diet, and T- rex calcium plus cricket diet.
    There are 3 issues to deal with when trying to increase nutrients in the feeder insects available. One is that you have to have enough of a targeted nutrient in the food to actually be passed on to the reptile rather than be completely absorbed by the insect. 4-8% calcium has been found to effectively increase calcium in feeder insects,23,000 IU/kg of vitamin A is recommended, and 69- 691 IU/kg for vitamin E.
    The second issue is that some nutrients, like calcium, need to be the right consistency. Crickets are experts at skipping over pieces that have high amounts of calcium that are going to be beneficial to the reptile. When formulating a gutloading diet you have to make sure the calcium in the diet is small enough to where the cricket has no choice but to eat the high amount of calcium in order to get the rest of the nutrients that are in the diet. Calcium of this form is expensive and difficult to obtain even in laboratory settings and this is why Fluker's isn't a good diet for gutloading because crickets avoid calcium bits in their food with no problem.
    The third issue is that different specie of feeder insects eat and absorb the diet differently. There was a study done with Mazuri Better Bug and Mazuri Hi Calcium. Crickets and Superworms both had optimal calcium levels on Mazuri Better Bug but on Mazuri Hi Calcium their calcium levels were lower than the phosphorus level. It was the other way around for mealworms, on the Mazuri Better Bug the mealworms' calcium levels where lower than their phosphorus levels but their calcium went up to more optimal levels on the Mazuri Hi Calcium diet.
    Even if a company manages to get through all of these things when formulating their gutload wild feeder insects still have way more nutrients in them than a properly gut loaded captive insect.

    Sources:
    https://patents.google.com/patent/US9480278B2/en

    https://nagonline.net/wp-content/upl...superworms.pdf

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    SpottedDragon I have went outside and collected some dandelion green seeds and put them into a planting pot a week ago. I'll have to see if they have sprouted yet and maybe I could look into planting sweet potatoes too .
    Likes SpottedDragon liked this post

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    Have you come across any research on raw / fresh diets (mainly for crickets)? I've looked but it doesn't seem to be a topic anyone has studied. You can easily grow alfalfa, flax, oat, and chia seeds at home in a small green house organically - and for locusts / wild crickets tender grasses and crops seem to be a thing to go for. Not sure on the nutrition as all of these are marketed with humans in mind.
    Nature is the best teacher, learn by observing

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpottedDragon View Post
    Have you come across any research on raw / fresh diets (mainly for crickets)? I've looked but it doesn't seem to be a topic anyone has studied. You can easily grow alfalfa, flax, oat, and chia seeds at home in a small green house organically - and for locusts / wild crickets tender grasses and crops seem to be a thing to go for. Not sure on the nutrition as all of these are marketed with humans in mind.
    https://nagonline.net/wp-content/upl...-DOMESTICA.pdf

    https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/..._GZfKEiI6JYgIz

    https://nagonline.net/wp-content/upl...UT-LOADING.pdf
    Thanks SpottedDragon thanked for this post

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    Another thing to consider is adding bee pollen to diets. I feed it to the insects and once a month dust with it for the geckos. It has all kinds of vitamins and minerals in it and other benefits such as lowering cholesterol and such. There really isn't a "dose" that has been studied in captive reptiles that I could find - most studies are on rats and people, but it is interesting none the less. I figure that leos being desert creatures - lots of non-bee insects pollinate plants and the geckos probably get pollen off of them in the wild.

    https://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/297425/
    Nature is the best teacher, learn by observing

  8. #18
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    Another thing to consider is adding bee pollen to diets. I feed it to the insects and once a month dust with it for the geckos. It has all kinds of vitamins and minerals in it and other benefits such as lowering cholesterol and such. There really isn't a "dose" that has been studied in captive reptiles that I could find - most studies are on rats and people, but it is interesting none the less. I figure that leos being desert creatures - lots of non-bee insects pollinate plants and the geckos probably get pollen off of them in the wild.

    https://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/297425/
    Nature is the best teacher, learn by observing

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpottedDragon View Post
    Another thing to consider is adding bee pollen to diets. I feed it to the insects and once a month dust with it for the geckos. It has all kinds of vitamins and minerals in it and other benefits such as lowering cholesterol and such. There really isn't a "dose" that has been studied in captive reptiles that I could find - most studies are on rats and people, but it is interesting none the less. I figure that leos being desert creatures - lots of non-bee insects pollinate plants and the geckos probably get pollen off of them in the wild.

    https://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/297425/
    I used to feed my feeders bee pollen. I don't know how much of each vitamin is in bee pollen in terms of IU/kg or IU/lb. I like to stick with foods that give me a better idea of how much vitamin A,E,and D are in them like Mazuri.

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    I have been told that T - Rex has a diet specifically meant for mealworms currently in testing but they can’t say when it might be released. I wonder if it will be for gut loading or maintenance.

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