Several Questions...

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Ok, I have several questions, and I hope some of you great beardie parents can help me out.

I'm very much a DIY kinda girl, I want to raise my own food for my beardies, I have started a cricket colony, and a meal worm farm, but the more research i'm doing, i'm finding these are not the best staples for my dragons.
SO now i'm considering raising black soldier fly grubs (also known as reptiworms, phoenix worms, etc etc etc), and some super worms, ... There is a couple of great benefits for me raising my own:
1) I know what they are eating and where they've been, and ergo what my dragons are eating.
2) the casting make GREAT compost, which will help the greens i'm going to be trying to grow for the dragons to get organic greens.
3) I will be doing it my self, which in the long run should save me money.

My questions for the soldier grubs are these: has anyone else tried to raise them? and if i'm using scraps from the house is it going to be a problem for feeding them to the dragons? i.e. if they (the grubs) are eating whatever scraps, if it's something beardies wouldn't eat, is this going to make the dragons sick?

I of course plan to start small only enough to feed my own dragons, but I would like to do a bit of composting, as I have horses and you get a lot of horse 'waste' around, and i've been reading these guys are GREAT composters, if I use them to compost my horses, um, 'leftovers' are those grubs going to be unsafe because of the diet they were on? (composting horse manure, and house scraps?

how long does the whole life cycle last of the fly (haven't been able to find this anywhere yet) so I know how many to order for my dragons, as well as my breeding colony? and how long does it take to get worms after you get flies?

Now to cricket questions: My crickets keep dying, no idea why. I have food in there (at the moment chicken starter grower but I will be changing this to my own blended cricket food, and veggies, this was just to get going) and cricket gel for water. I bought 2 dozen adults, by the next day nearly all are dead or dying, what the heck is up with this? same goes for the babies that i'm using as feeders, by the next day nearly all are dead or dying. Do I have bad crickets? or am I doing something wrong?
I bought my starter crix from petsmart, and a friend of mine who has an exotic pet store. both sets have died.

My next set of questions: are Super worms the same to raise as meal worms? or do I have to feed and raise them differently?

I know i'm asking a lot but i'm still pretty new to all this, and if I do something, I want to do it right!
Thank you everyone in advance!
 

Mark1998

Member
I don't know much about the Phoenix worms, though I think it makes sense that they would go great with horse manure. I have ordered them a couple of times but stopped because they are so small and one beardie can eat a whole can in a single sitting.

I do know a little about crickets, enough to say that having them die within 24 hours is very abnormal. Crickets die frequently, but certainly not that fast. I guess I would have to know what you are keeping them in, since the food and water seem to be covered. My beardie ate crickets for the first few months, but I got tired of running to PetsMart two times a week to get more as he grew. So now I have Dubias, which I love. I still buy Supers to mix things up a little, but they are a treat and not a staple.
 

Prodigyitachi

Hatchling Member
Superworm and mealworm are the same to raise as in bedding, food and care. As for breeding they require different steps. For superworms, you have to isolate each one in order for them to turn into a pupae. As for mealworms they can pupae without seperation. For superworm breeding i isolate the biggest ones and put in deli cups with no food. Just poke some tiny holes on the lid.
 

keen77

Hatchling Member
meal worms are soo easy to breed but cause impaction. I dont feed them to my dragons anymore. I have tons of them am going to feed them to the birds. I just had some of my super worms turn to beetles!
 

jodyberry

Hatchling Member
I know this would be a complete 180 for you, but have you thought about dubia roaches? They're EASY to raise, less smelly, less die-offs and better for your BDs than mealworms.

I started my colony about 2 months ago and I'm almost at the point of being self-sustaining for our 5 BDs. Of course I still feed them greens and occasional other treats, but roaches are our main staple and they LOVE them!

Here's the setup when I started. I need to update this since it's a few months old:

http://jodyberry.smugmug.com/Vivarium/Dubias-Part-2/15446316_6vHwa#1156507480_iFBNL
 
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