Errors in widespread nutrition guides for beardies

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Re: Errors in widespread nutrition guides for beardies

Postby CooperDragon » Wed Jan 22, 2020 8:55 am

I've been feeding my roach colony exclusively veges and fruit for years and it is thriving. They get the leftover salads as well as kitchen scraps (dragon friendly food, no onions etc) and sometimes a treat of orange slices, some bread, or a banana. They LOVE squash almost as much as Darwin does so there is always plenty around. I haven't seen ill effects from this diet and at last check, Darwins UA level was in the normal range. Granted he only eats bugs once a week or so. I know it's a small sample size but perhaps the issue is more with what the roaches are being fed rather than using them regularly as bug meals.
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Re: Errors in widespread nutrition guides for beardies

Postby Claudiusx » Wed Jan 22, 2020 10:13 am

Exactly, that's why I mentioned feeding them a low protein diet.

When the roaches dont get the protein they need from their diet, they actually convert their UA into nitrogen proteins. So by limiting their protein consumption you almost force them to lower their UA levels.

When roaches get plenty or excess protein, the UA in their system just builds and builds, it doesnt get excreted through urine or feces like with other insects.

So Cooper, you are compounding the methods to avoid high UA levels. Dubias get low protein and Darwin doesnt get copious amounts of roaches to begin with. You wont see issues that way.

You will see issues though if you feed your roaches a high protein diet and feed your dragon tons of them every.

Even if they are fed commercial chow that is high in protein, limiting them and adding a multitude of other bugs too will dilute the issue. Couple that with proper hydration so that the dragon can flush UA easier, and roaches are perfectly fine :)

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Re: Errors in widespread nutrition guides for beardies

Postby karmakollector » Wed Jan 22, 2020 2:01 pm

Thanks... now that you mention it, I do remember recently reading about the UA buildup in Dubia, which did raise some concerns (though my dubia subsisted almost entirely on carrot, so maybe it wasn't as much of a problem?)

Good things to consider. I am going to change my graphic tonight, removing mealworms from "do not feed" an considering the overall value of various buggos. Perhaps dubia should be moved on down the list, because you are right, I distinctly remember that dubia can get high UA concentrations as a way to prolong their life in some way (like a protein storage mechanism?)

I have, in fact, seen it take longer to digest the mealworms (just basing on undigested materials, but on length between bowel movements on dubia vs. other feeders), even with great heat and UV, but probably not any worse than how long it took to digest crickets or superworms (it's just going to be a higher ratio of shell-to-meat than for some of those)...

I'll check it all out. I lost a beardie at 1 year of age -- despite following all of the advice given on forums like this one (and elsewhere) -- so now I am questioning everything, and really trying to see what the facts say, especially in areas where there seems to be conflicting information, like diet.
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Re: Errors in widespread nutrition guides for beardies

Postby karmakollector » Wed Jan 22, 2020 8:29 pm

Thanks for posting the links to the dubia info and mealworm info... saved some of those bug feeder nutrition sources cited, and have come up with a second-draft infographic:

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Re: Errors in widespread nutrition guides for beardies

Postby karmakollector » Thu Jan 23, 2020 6:59 am

And one more update I have made, after some debate and discuss with an admin/mod of another forum I am in...

I went back and thought of a better way to balance out the oxalates in stuff like collards, or the goitrogens in all cruciferous (Brassica) vegetables (because it doesn't make sense to try to balance a goitrogenic plant with another goitrogenic one, which is what my original chart allowed.

So the 2nd chart basically separates staples into two categories: Brassica (cruciferous) vegetables (which are very healthy, but should not be fed in excess due to goitrogenic properties), and non-brassica staples, which will help balance the diet and prevent overdosing of goitrogens (and, to some extent, oxalates as well.) It makes sense that (A) vegetables of the same family (esp. the same genus) will have similar nutritional properties, and (B) we should therefore strive to provide fruits and vegetables from a variety of different families. This new chart represents that, and I'm feeling pretty good about it. (I also updated the bug list to include dubia as a "staple", and there is not a consensus on this but I have seen general recommendations to make it no more than 25-50% of an overall bug diet. A lot of people were pushing back on the idea that it was an "inferior" feeder, but in my opinion I will probably avoid them for the most part now, and will opt for mostly a mix of BSFL and mealworms/superworms, but still not going to serve those until my young 4 month old gets bigger.)

[Click image to enlarge]
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Re: Errors in widespread nutrition guides for beardies

Postby Claudiusx » Thu Jan 23, 2020 8:18 am

Many people would push back on the dubias simply because they dont understand what is actually going on. They are told they are high protein and low fat so they are perfect. All anyone seems to care about is protein content and fat content which is so backwards.

They are still a good feeder choice, I'm not against that. I just wish people would realize that variety is the key. Not 1 single item.

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Re: Errors in widespread nutrition guides for beardies

Postby karmakollector » Sat Jan 25, 2020 12:19 pm

Interestingly, my new vet (a reptile specialist registered with ARAV) approved of our current diet staples (a mix of arugula, collards, kale, cilantro, and romaine), but had a concern with feeding a high proportion of BSFL, stating that they were likely too fatty. She suggested dubia instead...
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