Results 1 to 6 of 6

Thread: Idea's For Custom Roach Chow

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Louisiana
    Posts
    124
    Thanks
    24
    Thanked 11 Times in 10 Posts

    Default Idea's For Custom Roach Chow

    Been looking around all over for a decent custom blend. I know they will eat just about everything but that doesn't mean its the best diet. Anyone Care sharing what you use for your roach colonies?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Phoenix, Arizona USA
    Posts
    5,857
    Thanks
    442
    Thanked 1,058 Times in 799 Posts

    Default

    For a maintenance diet, you can use a number of ingredients to get to a balanced level of protein, fat and carbohydrates. Many have used cat, dog or fish foods for raising crickets with success. Roaches have a different tolerance of protein than crickets, so I don't recommend a cricket food recipe or commercial product if the protein is over 20%. Many chicken feeds contain about 15-20% depending on the lifestage formula, and can be a backbone of a home blend or you can recreate the formula to adjust any of the other nutrients to your (or your roaches) liking. Insects don't need the calcium in commercial animal feeds, it can actually be harmful. Calcium can be added to gutloads (see below) or as a dust prior to feeding.

    Nutrient requirements vary depending on the preferred diet of the species as well as lifestage. Dubia tend to prefer vegetation to meat sources, while other species are more omnivorous. Roaches can actually obtain protein (along with short-chain fatty acids) from fermented vegetable matter in their guts. Like horses, they are better adapted to rip out the good stuff from cellulose by way of hindgut fermentation and bacterial breakdown from commensal organisms.. So some believe they don't need supplemental protein; however when you have a colony, younger nymphs will probably do better on dietary protein to support faster growth. Grain, legume and nut meals can supply additional nutrients like protein (amino acids) and fat. You can use a mix of wheat, corn & soy flour, or you can used crushed up, low sugar breakfast cereal like Cheerios, corn or bran flakes. Although they can produce some protein, they have essential amino acids they most obtain through diet. These foods should provide the basic building blocks for your feeders to grow, reproduce and provide healthful nutrition to your reptiles. But it is dry and many feeders will eat it sparingly, so you need some healthy moist foods as well.

    For hydration and vitamins, use a variety of greens and fruit. Orange colored ones seem to be preferred: sweet potatoes, carrots, oranges which are high in beta carotene - the dietary precursor to Vitamin A. This is important, as studies on captive insect feeders show drastically low levels of Vitamins A and E when compared with wild-harvested insects. Foods high in Vitamin E are breakfast cereals, wheat germ and greens like swiss chard and beet, turnip & mustard greens. Potato peels can be used, but dubias don't seem very fond of potatoes, maybe because too much starch can lower the pH of the hindgut as with horses.

    As for alternate ingredients, you can substitute some of the grains for alfalfa meal but it is very high in protein for a plant food. Oats and other grains are fine, too. Wheat germ, brewer's or nutritional yeast, bee pollen, baby cereals, and you can provide some dog food if you'd like. Just be careful of having too much of calcium and protein. Some recipes call for powdered milk, which is really too much calcium for an insect. They may eat the dog food preferentially instead of the home mix, so offer one or the other. Grinding it all up into a fine powder isn't necessary but it allows you to provide more food in a small space that even small nymphs can eat. 30% dry food and 70% moist food is good. Some mix it together to form a more balanced option that ensures they eat everything. They prefer wet food in most cases even if you provide a water source. However, some like free choice feeding under the philosophy that the insects "know" what they need to eat.

    Here is a basic recipe for maintenance diet and a gutload, from this post

    Regular Diet
    7 pbv whole wheat flour
    1 pbv corn flour
    1 pbv soy flour
    1 pbv brewer's yeast

    Gutload
    24 pbw whole wheat flour
    8 pbw calcium carbonate with vitamin D3
    4 pbw brewer's yeast
    3 pbw soy flour
    1 pbw paprika

    PBV = parts per volume
    PBW = parts per weight

    For a gutload, there are a variety of foods you can use depending on whether you are dusting with a calcium powder. If you use gutload to provide the calcium, you would mix grain flour and calcium supplement along with a few other nutritional boosts. However, I like to stick to a low-calcium diet and provide fruits and veggies or even CGD as a gutload and use a good calcium + vitamin D3 dust balanced with other nutrients. Either Repashy Calcium Plus or Sticky Tongue Farms Miner-All indoor formula.

    Give the gutload 24-48 hours before feeding off the insects so that the food has a chance to move into the hindgut, giving it time for maximum nutrition by decomposition. Also, the amount of vitamin D3 you provide can be reduced if you are providing UVB light to your reptiles. If you are feeding invertebrates like tarantulas, you must skip the calcium supplementation and just use the regular diet and fruits/veggies as a gutload.

    I personally feed a ton of fruits & veggies with a dry mix (roach chow) provided from AaronPauling.com. It's just easier for me than blending my own and they love it.

    Good luck!
    Specializing in Crested Geckos
    Working with Uromastyx | Uroplatus | PI Chahoua
    Also keeping: Australian Shepherds (Chester & Sadie)
    Moon Valley Reptiles | MVR @iherp | Facebook

  3. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Spyral For This Useful Post:

    Ollie H (12-31-2015),SideShowMom (10-06-2014),Viking (10-07-2014)

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    California foothills
    Posts
    121
    Thanks
    2
    Thanked 28 Times in 18 Posts

    Default

    My colony has been doing great on rabbit pellets/alfalfa pellets, leftover CGD and occasional veggie scraps.

  5. The Following User Says Thank You to pleh For This Useful Post:

    Viking (10-07-2014)

  6. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Louisiana
    Posts
    124
    Thanks
    24
    Thanked 11 Times in 10 Posts

    Default

    Wow above and beyond spyral!!! Im going too examine this pretty well. Thanks alot. I was just wanting too lean toward something like Darkfires Roach chow on ebay. It has some good all natural ingredients and if it does like the video preview shows it triggers an immediate feeding response. I was just wanting to replicate it, And i really don't like animal fats and proteins myself Id rather go with plant proteins and pollens, and things of this type. It probably doesnt matter to the roaches but I just have a weird feeling about dog food spoilage or mold from something thats not 100% dry.

    I have a list of fruits and veggies I want too dehydrate and grind too add to the chow. I'll experiment with it a little but i need some serious research.

  7. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Louisiana
    Posts
    124
    Thanks
    24
    Thanked 11 Times in 10 Posts

    Default

    Opps, sorry for double posting. But do you do the gutloading spyral? Or just a good balanced diet of chow and fruits/vegs and dusting?

  8. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Phoenix, Arizona USA
    Posts
    5,857
    Thanks
    442
    Thanked 1,058 Times in 799 Posts

    Default

    When I buy crickets from a pet store I gutload them with Repashy Bug Burger or some fruit/veggies. Roaches are generally just a grab and dust scenario since I know they've eaten some good stuff. They also have a larger crop for digestion and larger hindgut for fermentation, while crickets have smaller crops and nutrients are digested quickly in the midgut. That means they don't retain the gutload for as long. So starving crickets give less benefit compared to a gutloaded cricket.
    Specializing in Crested Geckos
    Working with Uromastyx | Uroplatus | PI Chahoua
    Also keeping: Australian Shepherds (Chester & Sadie)
    Moon Valley Reptiles | MVR @iherp | Facebook

  9. The Following User Says Thank You to Spyral For This Useful Post:

    Viking (10-08-2014)

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •