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RE: are mealworms a good diet!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Posted by: Fireside3 at Tue Aug 28 04:24:15 2007  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by Fireside3 ]  
   

No...I agree with Blake. Not as a staple.

Many people live off McDonalds for years too, but that doesn't make it a good food item to offer does it?

Mealworms are one of the least nutritous feeders on the market if you look at the numbers. They are extremely high in fat, phosphorus, sodium, chitin, and low in calcium. I don't care how much you gut load, you're still starting with a substandard and potentially dangerous food item if you are going to use it as a staple. They should be offered only as a treat.

Mealworms are responsible for more gut impaction deaths than probably any other insect feeder. If you don't pay attention and you feed too many, and/or your hydration slips a bit, you are asking for an impaction. Ideally, they should be size appropriate ( bigger is not better ), and freshly shed.

All that mealworm fat requires extra water to in the bowels to break it down, in order to pass thought the intestinal barrier and be put to use, or, be recombined in the blood and stored again as fat. This places extra burden on organ function, and water stores, and will slow metabolic rate eventually. That's especially bad for a herp that may be sick, or may not be getting the best care to begin with.

The way it was explained to me by a microbiologist/parasitology aquaintance; most invertebrate larvae are going to be poor nutritional content and less healthy than mature insect forms. The larvae is convering all the good stuff it takes in, into rapid growth and making it into growth, fat to sustain on through pupae, and expelling waste...Larvae are not maintaining a homeostasis of nutritious components in their body, as the mature invertebrate forms do.

I breed mealworms, but I refuse to push them and sell them as a staple food item the way that everyone else is. They're loved by herps, but they are just junk, can be dangerous, are unhealthy, and all that should be remembered.


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