Reptile Live Food – Nutritional Values of Insects
Feeding the correct food is vital for the health and well being of your pet reptile. Offering a varied diet will help to provide all the vitamins and nutrients needed to help keep your pet reptile healthy. The nutritional values of the various insects normally fed to pet reptiles can vary quite considerably and this should be considered when planning the weekly menu of your pet.
It should be remembered that different reptiles will have different nutritional needs and this should also be taken into consideration.
Researching the requirements of your particular pet, in conjunction with the advice given in this article should help in preparing the perfect diet for your pet reptile.
Feeding your insects a healthy diet is also very important, undernourished insects will not provide the nutrients required by your reptile
Keep your livefoods hydrated by adding oranges, carrots or slices of potato will help add moisture, alternatively bug gel is available in all good pet shops or online. Bug Grub or a good gutloading formula should also be added to the container to help feed the insects with the correct diet.
Don’t forget to supplement your reptile’s diet with a suitable vitamin/calcium supplement, normally dusting your insects before feeding to your reptile is the easiest way of adding supplements to your reptile’s diet.
High Protein Low Fat Diet is beneficial for Most Insectivorous Reptiles
The fat and protein content of feeder insects is something to consider when selecting your feeder insects, protein contains more nutrition value than fat whilst only containing half the calories. A high protein low fat diet is beneficial for most insectivorous reptiles.
Calcium & Phosphorus
The ammount of calcium and phosphorus (Ca:P ratio) is very important, for a reptile to absorb calcium into its body phosphorus needs to be available in its food. However if the food contains too much phosphorus it can stop the calcium being absorbed, too much calcium and the phosphorus will not be absorbed.
The ideal ration is 2 parts calcium to 1 part phosphorus, dusting your feeder insects with a suitable vitamin supplement is vital to the health and well being of your pet reptile.
One of the most popular feeder insects in the UK, Silent Brown Crickets are relatively high in protein and low in fat, the Ca:P ratio however is poor so you will need to feed a suitable calcium supplement.
Not recommended as a staple food as high in fat compared with protein, although the Ca:P ratio is better than Brown Crickets additional calcium supplements would still be required.
A popular feeder insect in the UK, locusts have a good Ca:P ratio (1.71) very high in protein and low in fat they are a good staple diet for most reptiles.
Very high in fat and with a tough shell which some reptiles may find hard to digest, mealworms are not a recommended staple for most reptiles. Calcium supplements would also be needed as poor Ca:P ratio.
Like Mealworms, Wax Worms are very high in fat and can be addictive with reptiles occasionally refusing other foods offered. Not a recommended staple for most reptiles.
Cockroaches make an ideal feeder insect, relatively easy to keep, they don’t smell or make any noise. They have better nutritional value than most other insects used as feeder insects. High in protein and calcium, low in fat cockroaches make a great staple feed for may reptiles.