Feeding dubia roaches critical care?

Yeecaw

Member
Beardie name(s)
Merlin
Has anyone ever tried gutloading dubias with critical care herbivore? I already have a bag of the apple banana flavor for my rabbit and am trying to fatten up some roaches. Seems like it could be a good way to pack them full of vitamins
 

AHBD

BD.org Sicko
It probably has too much protein. The problem is that dubias that eat too much protein develop uric acid and this gets passed on to the bearded dragon which can result in gout . What were you feeding your dubia before ?
 

Yeecaw

Member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
Merlin
It probably has too much protein. The problem is that dubias that eat too much protein develop uric acid and this gets passed on to the bearded dragon which can result in gout . What were you feeding your dubia before ?
Sounds like the herbivore formula has 17% protein, mostly timothy hay based.

I’m currently feeding a combination of oats, whatever greens I have on hand, and occasional sweet potatoes.
 

AHBD

BD.org Sicko
At 17 % protein you can probably use some as a portion of their diet since that's not too high in protein. Maybe someone else like Cooperdragon or Drache613 has some input.
 

Claudiusx

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
17% protein is too much protein for dubia diet IMO.

I've aimed for around 6% protein for my colony's and have found it to be extremely successful. I wouldn't feed dubias a diet anything over 12% protein.

Like AHBD mentioned, the Uric Acid that Dubias store in their systems when they eat excess protein is the main issue here. There are a few threads discussing it, but there is no coincidence that the increase in dragons suffering from gout has coincided with the increased popularity of dubias over the last 10-15 years.

-Brandon
 

Hazel_AndWarrior_10

Juvie Member
Beardie name(s)
Hazel my female baby beardie and Warrior my male baby rescue
17% protein is too much protein for dubia diet IMO.

I've aimed for around 6% protein for my colony's and have found it to be extremely successful. I wouldn't feed dubias a diet anything over 12% protein.

-Brandon
I agree
 

hdochow

Juvie Member
Beardie name(s)
Sir Henry of Scales
17% protein is too much protein for dubia diet IMO.

I've aimed for around 6% protein for my colony's and have found it to be extremely successful. I wouldn't feed dubias a diet anything over 12% protein.

Like AHBD mentioned, the Uric Acid that Dubias store in their systems when they eat excess protein is the main issue here. There are a few threads discussing it, but there is no coincidence that the increase in dragons suffering from gout has coincided with the increased popularity of dubias over the last 10-15 years.

-Brandon
Interesting! We had Sir Henry at the vet yesterday for a routine annual exam. (100% healthy and doing great. Keep doing what we are doing. YAY!) I brought up dubias and gout with him just to see what his opinion on it was since they are our staple feeder. He hasn't seen many dragons with gout at his practice over the years, only a couple. He said that when it has come up at conferences, the general consensus is that the issue isn't with the dubias themselves, but more what is being fed to the dubias because of how they retain the uric acid. Most of the information that is available on their feeding is from die hard reptile owners, but not much as far as official scientific studies. He mentioned he'd like me to forward him any studies I happen to come across, if I do. The above protein information seems to line up with what he was saying. He suggested we stick with our habit of giving them Henry's leftover salads as their main food, and then supplement with chow as a back up.
 
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Yeecaw

Member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
Merlin
This is all really good information, thank you! I’ll stick with feeding them greens and fresh veggies then
 

Claudiusx

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
the general consensus is that the issue isn't with the dubias themselves, but more what is being fed to the dubias because of how they retain the uric acid. Most of the information that is available on their feeding is from die hard reptile owners, but not much as far as official scientific studies
A reason your vet might not see it much could depend on the life stages of dragons he sees (along with the quantity.) Younger dragons obviously eat younger roaches. Younger roaches have been shown to have significantly lower UA levels than older roaches, due to UA building up over time. Adults (or large dragons that obviously ate way too many feeder insects to become full grown at 9 months old) that eat older/larger dubias are where we see it most often.

It is the high levels of protein in a dubia's diet that increase their UA levels, not any specific food. Although casein protein has been shown to almost double UA levels over other sources of protein (no milk protein in your chow mix!) A low protein diet will help lower roaches UA levels. Here is a post of mine from another thread on the topic:

Even when fed a low protein diet, roaches still have high levels of Uric acid in their bodies. This is because roaches, unlike many other insects, do not expel their uric acid, they hold onto it for various biological reasons that are a bit more in depth than this needs to be. It stays in their body, for further use, and can be converted back into protein nitrogen when needed. But, they can't get rid of it like other insects can. When roaches are fed a high protein diet, they create even more uric acid. This can get to the point where the roach will actually die from it's built up uric acid levels.

A low protein diet for the roaches is the best middle ground, but I would be more cautious on what exactly your supplier considers low protein. Many people feed their roaches a dog/cat chow mixture. Most dog food is 18-25% protein. So with that train of thought, would you consider half of that to be low protein? Say 9-12%? Still, according to one biochemist who oddly enough is also a roach expert, he says the magic number he shoots for with roaches is 4% protein.


So the biochemist roach expert thinks 4% is a good number. I've found that getting too low effects breeding programs (not an issue if you're just buying roaches) Which is why I settled 6%. I've had decent success aiming for that percentage.

Obviously there is more than one contributing factor to gout in dragons, a major one being hydration, but there really is no benefit in what i've seen to feeding roaches a high protein diet.

-Brandon
 
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Claudiusx

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
Also, FWIW, despite coming from a roach supplier, this is a great resource of information:

And another great resource:

I emailed Professor Kunkel with the report of my feedback issue, as well as nutritional details on the Bug Burger, and his simple response fueled and directed me to learn quite a bit about Roach nutrition.

“My initial reading of your composition is that it has to much protein (>20%). 4% protein is sufficient to support Blattella germanica and if it is >20% they will accumulate waste uric acid in their fat body which could be lethal in certain situations.” Joe

-Brandon
 

hdochow

Juvie Member
Beardie name(s)
Sir Henry of Scales
@Claudiusx thanks for all that! do you have a chow you recommend for the dubias? part of the reason we have backed off the chow and focused more on salads is the chow we have is a high protein kind.
 

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