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RE: On feeding crayfish/crawdads

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Posted by: VICtort at Thu Aug 2 20:22:02 2012  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by VICtort ]  
   

Dear AnnaCB, sometimes these threads get carried away, and this lively debate may or may not have addressed your Q about crayfish/water quality etc.

Regarding crayfish, some keepers think a varied diet is OK, and maybe your Nile monitor would enjoy eating crayfish whether or not they compare nutritionally/conditionally/economically to rodents? I tend to offer my animals (none of which are monitors at this point) a variety of prey items, simply to try and provide trace elements, buffer against excesses/deficiencies, and try to add stimulation to the captive environment. Not sure why you could not offer both, rather than exclude one in favor of another? I am addressing crayfish, which I have a lot of experience with, not monitors.

Crayfish are so easy to trap, and you have them in abundance in Oregon ponds and streams. Many crayfish populations are nonative and you will be encouraged in some areas to harvest them. Internet trap sources exist, for very reasonable, and limits in many states do not exist or are very liberal. I think trapping them is sort of fun, and when I fill the traps, I sometimes invite friends over for a crayfish feed, and still have plenty for animals. In the right spot, you could probably harvest hundreds of pounds in just a weekend.

Your water quality is quite likely way better than the water from many commercially available sources. Crayfish are often harvested in California, Texas and Louisiana rice fields (they are a pest to germinating rice)and inland waterways, often from water you would not want to drink without heavy treatment. I think it would be wise to freeze them first, on the theory you might eliminate parasite transmission, but of course the same could be said for rodents or mollusks. I am not suggesting crayfish are a likley source of parasites, I do not know. I can assure you monitors living near the banks of the upper Nile river are exposed to some poor water quality...I would imagine Nile monitors are pretty tough and can do well on a wide variety of prey items. Let us know if you try them and if they are well received.

Does anyone know if crayfish shells are digestible? Are they chitonous or do they have available Calcium? I would be concered about meeting a breeding monitors needs for Calcium with any prey source...and I wonder if crayfish are an adequate source? Thus, I would offer a variety of prey items and cover that base or prevent that potential deficiency. Good luck, Vic


   

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>> Next Message:  RE: On feeding crayfish/crawdads - jburokas, Fri Aug 3 14:10:31 2012

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