What kind of Roaches are safe/healthy?

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What kind of Roaches are safe/healthy?

Postby D4saken1 » Sat Jan 14, 2017 9:53 pm

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I know of:

Dubia
Turkish
Orange Pin-Head

Are there any other good safe choices?
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Re: What kind of Roaches are safe/healthy?

Postby SHBailey » Sat Jan 14, 2017 10:37 pm

Blaptica dubia is my favorite, and they seem to be the ones that are usually most easily available, at least here in Anchorage Alaska. My bearded dragon likes them too :)

Other people and other dragons have other preferences, but I don't know of any besides the ones you mention.
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Re: What kind of Roaches are safe/healthy?

Postby D4saken1 » Sun Jan 15, 2017 8:32 am

I think I also heard of Australian Roaches or Woodies? Has anyone used Discord Roaches?
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Re: What kind of Roaches are safe/healthy?

Postby D4saken1 » Sun Jan 15, 2017 8:33 am

SHBailey wrote:Blaptica dubia is my favorite, and they seem to be the ones that are usually most easily available, at least here in Anchorage Alaska. My bearded dragon likes them too :)

Other people and other dragons have other preferences, but I don't know of any besides the ones you mention.


Yeah so far only dubia work for my wife I am looking for more non traditional looking roaches. My wife already said no more Turkish Roaches. She used to live in the south and hates roaches so if they don't look like standard roaches body wise I'm OK.
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Re: What kind of Roaches are safe/healthy?

Postby Rankins » Sun Jan 15, 2017 1:27 pm

Orange Head
Ivory head
Deaths head
Polymorphic roach
Giant cave roach
Dusky cave roach
Discoid roach
Green bananna roach
There are a bunch of them, that is a short list.

I have orange head, ivory head, dubia, and soon I will have death heads. Right now the orange heads are my favorite, they breed fast, are more plump than Dubia', and they are pretty. Ivory heads will be my new favorite when the colony gets larger. I hate dubia...they breed slower and are ugly as sin.

Orange Head adult
[Click image to enlarge]

Orange Head nymph
[Click image to enlarge]

Ivory head adult
[Click image to enlarge]

Ivory head nymph.....it's massive!!
[Click image to enlarge]

Check out http://www.roachcrossing.com for more species.
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Re: What kind of Roaches are safe/healthy?

Postby D4saken1 » Sun Jan 15, 2017 1:42 pm

Rankins wrote:....


Do the nymphs start small on each of these or are they mainly flood for adults? My girl is a juvenile still and I'm trying to find a good one to do a colony with vs dubia.
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Re: What kind of Roaches are safe/healthy?

Postby Rankins » Sun Jan 15, 2017 1:46 pm

Yeah, they all start off small. I just grabbed the largest ivory head nymph in the bin. The orange head nymph pictured is about medium sized.
The nymphs of both species are really pretty. You can't tell from the pictures, but the orange head nymphs are a deep red. The ivory heads are a dark purple with faint yellow spots.
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Re: What kind of Roaches are safe/healthy?

Postby D4saken1 » Sun Jan 15, 2017 1:50 pm

Rankins wrote:Yeah, they all start off small. I just grabbed the largest ivory head nymph in the bin. The orange head nymph pictured is about medium sized.
The nymphs of both species are really pretty. You can't tell from the pictures, but the orange head nymphs are a deep red. The ivory heads are a dark purple with faint yellow spots.

Sadly my wife just told me I'm not allowed to breed roaches at all only buy. I know it's a while out but I tried to tell her that roaches are costly when they are full size.
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Re: What kind of Roaches are safe/healthy?

Postby Rankins » Sun Jan 15, 2017 1:54 pm

That's too bad....
Feeding dragons does get expensive. Roaches are nearly free if you have a colony. You can also sell extras and make some money off of them.
Im going to sell a bunch at an upcoming reptile expo. I figure I can make $2000 off the roaches and egg flats.
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Re: What kind of Roaches are safe/healthy?

Postby SHBailey » Sun Jan 15, 2017 2:13 pm

I guess I'm lucky I'm married to a guy who doesn't mind sharing the dinner table with crickets, cockroaches, and worms, and is even all for the idea of breeding our own roaches if I ever want to do it. I'm just afraid that he'll end up getting stuck with most of the work when I'm not up to doing it all. He's already helping me more than he should have to with the critters we have, and he's the one with the full time job... :oops:

I had no idea there were so many different kinds of pretty roaches. Thanks for the pictures, Rankins. But that last one looks like it's almost big enough to eat my bearded dragon :shock:
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Re: What kind of Roaches are safe/healthy?

Postby Rankins » Sun Jan 15, 2017 2:25 pm

Haha...the ivory head nymphs do get huge. They actually shrink after the final molt into adults. They stay about the same lengthwise, but their bulk reduces.
They are expensive roaches though...
The orange heads are also much bulkier than Dubia's. So the lizards have to eat less of them to get full.
I have also been researching roach diets for a long time and have decided to market my own roach food at the expos. I can't give exact recipe but it doesn't contain any animal protiens. It's all grains, seeds and plants so it won't cause any problems with uric acid in the roaches. It reduces the chance of causing gout in the dragons.
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Re: What kind of Roaches are safe/healthy?

Postby SHBailey » Sun Jan 15, 2017 3:12 pm

I feed mine the same stuff I feed the crickets (Fluker's "high calcium" "cricket diet") along with plain water gel for moisture. You got me curious about the ingredients and it seems that all the protein (20% according to "analysis") comes from plant sources (corn, soy, wheat, etc). So far, I haven't had any problems. I used to get my cricket & roach (same stuff) food from a lady who made her own, but she went out of business a couple of years ago, so now I'm buying my stuff from the big box stores because I don't really have any other options left around here.

My bearded dragon's uric acid levels are all over the map -- every time they do a blood test they get something different, but so far he hasn't seemed to have any obvious problems with gout. The one time he had some problems with his joints, the only thing the vet could see under the microscope was "amorphous debris" -- no obvious microorganisms and no obvious uric acid crystals, and it turned out to be related to adenovirus. I do worry about gout a little bit though, because his diet is supposedly too high in protein since we have a heck of a time getting him to eat enough veggies.

So do you think there's much difference between the best diet for crickets vs the best diet for roaches, and do you plan to market your roach food as good for crickets and other feeder insects too?
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Re: What kind of Roaches are safe/healthy?

Postby Rankins » Sun Jan 15, 2017 4:05 pm

The problem with the calcium that is added to some roach and cricket food is that it isn't healthy for them. It can actually kill the roaches and crickets.
The protien that comes from grains and plants dont have much (or any) purines. Those protiens dont metabolize into uric acid. It's the animal protiens that are the source of the uric acid. So if the roaches or crickets are fed dog/cat food/fish food (or anything with animal protiens) it causes them to store the uric acid, it can kill the insects. If your dragon then eats the insects high in uric acid they are getting a high dose of it.
Your dragons uric acid will vary from day to day a bit. It depends on what it has eaten and how much it has eaten. If the dragon only eats greens for a few days it's uric acid levels would be much lower than a dragon that only has eaten insects. It my opinion people feed dragons way too many insects anyway... So the insect diet that I tried to come up with eliminated as much uric acid as possible. Young dragons do need more insects than adults...but in the past I only fed my adult dragons greens and alfalfa meal, rarely did I give them insects. It worked well for several years until I eventually I stopped keeping and breeding bearded dragons. I took a few years off from them and kept several other different species of reptiles. So when I got my Rankins I got back into breeding crickets and roaches. I wasn't happy with most of the commercial roach diets on the market. Many are just chicken mash that has been run through a mill with a few other ingredients added. I avoided anything that had calcium or animal protiens as an ingredient.
The diet that I came up with are mainly ingredients fit for human consumption...they are not animal feeds. But I did add some alfalfa meal...which is the only animal feed ingredient in the formula. The alfalfa is a good protien source and actually helps clear uric acid.
It costs more to use human grade food ingredients to make it...but cost wasn't my main concern. I wanted to use the best ingredients I could find. I'm pretty happy with what I have come up with...but I still may tweek it a bit more.

It's a good diet for roaches or crickets. I have tested it on all my species of roaches, and a friend used it for cricket food and mealworm/superworm food. It seems to be liked by all of them.
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Re: What kind of Roaches are safe/healthy?

Postby kingofnobbys » Mon Jan 16, 2017 6:21 pm

D4saken1 wrote:I think I also heard of Australian Roaches or Woodies? Has anyone used Discord Roaches?
They are wood roaches (that are sold commercially here in Oz). Nauphoeta cinerae.

My resident wild skink is partial the roaches he finds hiding behind things and under things.
(I think I've seen Periplaneta Americana, Blatella germanica, Periplaneta australasiae and Periplaneta fuliginosae in my garden (esp at night in summer), in my shed, and yes they enter my house too (no bug sprays, surface sprays or bug baits in my house since we started keeping feeder insects and lizards as pets).
The wild skinks love the wild roaches and it's amazing how big a roach a small skink will tackle and demolish to eat - usually only signs left of the roach are the wing cases, and maybe a few legs once a skink has eaten it.
I wouldn't feed any wild roach to my pet lizards ,too big a chance of it carrying paracites, and it is has likely travelled from one the neighbours houses/yards and will likely come in contact with insectocides, baits, and surface spray residues. The wild skinks have built up a tolerance for these so are fine to eat them, even if they go hypo for a while afterwards, BUT definitely not the pampered pet dragons and skinks.
CBDs: Cleopatra & Caesar born 28Jan19.
Puff (RIP 10Dec15),Rex (RIP 16Mar17),Toothless (RIP 26Nov17).Peppa (RIP 22Mar19).
EBTSs : George & Mildred (born july 2010).
EWSs : , Fluffy (F) rescued injured by lawnwacker 14Nov17, Gutzy (F) rescued 27Sep19 - RIP 3Aug20 (est 12 yo), Wriggles (F) - injured rescue, over 8 yrs old, RIP 2Feb16 old age. Lucky juvenile (M) - cat attack rescue (lost r-eye, broken r-lower jaw), fatal SI RIP 21Jul2010.
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Re: What kind of Roaches are safe/healthy?

Postby kingofnobbys » Mon Jan 16, 2017 6:29 pm

SHBailey wrote:I feed mine the same stuff I feed the crickets (Fluker's "high calcium" "cricket diet") along with plain water gel for moisture. You got me curious about the ingredients and it seems that all the protein (20% according to "analysis") comes from plant sources (corn, soy, wheat, etc). So far, I haven't had any problems. I used to get my cricket & roach (same stuff) food from a lady who made her own, but she went out of business a couple of years ago, so now I'm buying my stuff from the big box stores because I don't really have any other options left around here. <<< I don't think Fluker's "high calcium" "cricket diet" is a good insect food, I find my crickets do great on dry Repcal Adult beardie pellets, fresh greens (buk or puk choi) and fresh carrot chunks.
plain water gel is a bad idea , where do you think the gel chemicals accumulate when the lizards eat the bugs ?

My bearded dragon's uric acid levels are all over the map -- every time they do a blood test they get something different, but so far he hasn't seemed to have any obvious problems with gout. The one time he had some problems with his joints, the only thing the vet could see under the microscope was "amorphous debris" -- no obvious microorganisms and no obvious uric acid crystals, and it turned out to be related to adenovirus. I do worry about gout a little bit though, because his diet is supposedly too high in protein since we have a heck of a time getting him to eat enough veggies.

So do you think there's much difference between the best diet for crickets vs the best diet for roaches, and do you plan to market your roach food as good for crickets and other feeder insects too? <<< people here who have cricket colonies , use kitchen greens and veg and fruit scraps and nothing else for their crickets as food.
CBDs: Cleopatra & Caesar born 28Jan19.
Puff (RIP 10Dec15),Rex (RIP 16Mar17),Toothless (RIP 26Nov17).Peppa (RIP 22Mar19).
EBTSs : George & Mildred (born july 2010).
EWSs : , Fluffy (F) rescued injured by lawnwacker 14Nov17, Gutzy (F) rescued 27Sep19 - RIP 3Aug20 (est 12 yo), Wriggles (F) - injured rescue, over 8 yrs old, RIP 2Feb16 old age. Lucky juvenile (M) - cat attack rescue (lost r-eye, broken r-lower jaw), fatal SI RIP 21Jul2010.
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