Butterworms are a good choice!

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Re: Butterworms are a good choice!

Postby wilddragons16 » Mon Feb 10, 2014 3:01 pm

Wow, taterbug, you're right! They have even more fat than waxworms by your analysis! :shock: Hmm, makes me wonder, but then there aren't many more options to be had for staple feeders that you can get in bulk for reasonable prices. :?: I just can't see many more options. :(
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Re: Butterworms are a good choice!

Postby claudiusx » Mon Feb 10, 2014 7:35 pm

Links that contradict your source.
http://www.beautifuldragons.com/Nutrition.html
http://www.elliotsbutterworms.com/nutrition.htm
http://www.reptileforums.net/forums/showthread.php?61842-Lizard-Food-Reference-Chart&s=c475ef7f5dc13c4bd786d9fb11b9324c&p=82770&viewfull=1#post82770
http://www.mulberryfarms.com/Jumbo-Butterworms-c41/
http://www.nyworms.com/butterworms.htm
http://www.healthycrickets.com/buy_butter_worms/buy_butter_worms.htm
http://www.georgiacrickets.com/Products/Butter-Worms-24__24BUTTER.aspx

The list goes on and on, literally I could put up 20+ more links to all different sites and sources all saying the same thing.

So clearly, you can see how I am very very reluctant to take your study that you found on the internet seriously, when its contradicted by not only numerous other sources, but my own experience, and the experiences of many other owners on this site.

-Brandon
Follow along with all my beardies. Check out my thread here!: Claud's Crew
P.S. We have lots of pictures ;)
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Re: Butterworms are a good choice!

Postby claudiusx » Mon Feb 10, 2014 7:36 pm

PS, I did contact Elliot and asked him how he went about his nutritional testing and if he would be willing to show me. I also mentioned it would help if he came here and chimed in himself.

-Brandon
Follow along with all my beardies. Check out my thread here!: Claud's Crew
P.S. We have lots of pictures ;)
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Re: Butterworms are a good choice!

Postby diamc » Mon Feb 10, 2014 7:44 pm

claudiusx wrote:PS, I did contact Elliot and asked him how he went about his nutritional testing and if he would be willing to show me. I also mentioned it would help if he came here and chimed in himself.

-Brandon

That was a good idea Brandon. Hope he can come here to clarify. I still feel they are a great feeder.
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Re: Butterworms are a good choice!

Postby Taterbug » Mon Feb 10, 2014 9:12 pm

I am not here to trash talk butterworms. I have no reason to and nothing to gain. I am genuinely curious and am hoping to glean some insight from those who may have access to information I do not.

I have already visited all those sites and have noticed they all list the same values, almost word for word. Not just the same numbers, but almost the exact same claims down to the wording. I cannot find any other numbers anywhere. None of them list any information about how the numbers were obtained or sometimes even units. I really feel those sites are all referring to that same original source information. If that's is the case, it is no more accurate just because it shows up everywhere.

I'm not saying that the study is the absolute truth, there are plenty of studies on other feeder insects that illustrate there is a range of values attributed to say cricket nutritional content. It has made me question the accuracy of the common information because it is so wildly different from the claims. The info on the vendor sites could very well be accurate, and the study had some flaw In processing or something resulting in poor data. Personally, I'm more inclined to rely on information as published in a scientific journal, that states it's methods and results over something I can't substantiate.

As I said before, I don't have personal experience with them. What is your experience that proves they are low fat, high calcium and nutritious? I really would like them to be all they claim to be, as I'd love another easy to care for bug to add to the diet.

I had also contacted Elliot's and Mulberry farms to get more information, and look forward to what the vendors can contribute in regards to a better understanding of the situation.
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Re: Butterworms are a good choice!

Postby Taterbug » Tue Feb 11, 2014 9:50 pm

For those who may be interested, I have done a bit more looking into the butter worms. I have reached out to several sources on this, and while I haven't heard back from all of them, I'd like to share what I've learned.

One of the vendors I contacted confirmed that their information is from their worm supplier. I suspect this is the case for the bulk of the retailers due to the very similar presentation and since they have the exact same numbers. I have only been able to locate contact information for one exporter in Chile, though I'm not sure how many there are.

I have also contacted the researcher who wrote the article I shared a few days ago. I was able to ask him directly about his work, as well as the claims elsewhere on the internet. Butterworms were included in this study in part because of the lack of information available about them. The following is a summary of the explanation and information he shared with me.

There are factors relating to the technical aspect than can influence results some. There are a few ways to analyze samples, different tests that can be ordered and some labs are more proficient than others in running these analysis. Diet and age can also have some impact on the results. Unfortunately, there are no other sources sharing details of their procedures. I have made this request to the exporter and some vendors, but I'm not sure what to expect.

The analysis such as the ones we are used to seeing for bugs (moisture, fat, protein, fiber, ash) are the total components of the material being tested and should add to be close to 100%. The marketed values from any of the sites listed do not add up (58.54+5.21+16.2+1.04=80.99). Fiber is missing, but the fiber content (carbohydrates) of insects is a small component, not 20%.

Dr. Finke's study also employed tests for fatty acids. Another way to check fat content is the sum of these components. The study indicated roughly 25% of the sample content to be fatty acids, therefor total fat content is at least 25%.

The calcium level of the butterworms claims to be exceeding any other feeder insect, or comparable to BSFL depending on the site. To quote the study "The exoskeleton of most insects is primarily composed of protein and chitin, although some insects, including soldier fly larvae, have a mineralized exoskeleton that explains their high calcium content." Butterworms lack this.

----
Keep in mind, this study is a publication from a peer-reviewed scientific journal. Perhaps this lends some credibility to challenge the 'common knowledge'. I am still waiting to hear from the other sources as well and I will share that information as well.

Personally, I see no reason not to feed the worms as treats or occasionally (and its great they last so long) but I don't consider them a good component the to regular diet. This of course, is with the current understanding of dietary needs. That too is subject to change in the light of new information.

This is a hobby filled with misleading information and inaccurate claims by many sources. After all its the same industry selling compact florescent UV lights, 'calci-sand', crushed walnut shell and heat rocks, all legitimately dangerous products marketed directly at lizard owners.
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