Feeders

Cristatus Chameleon

Ep 154: Allen Repashy and Reptile Supplementation

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Supplementation powders are a cornerstone of our captive reptile nutrition. One of the most prominent supplements in our community has been the Repashy Superfoods line. In today’s episode, Allen Repashy, the founder and formulator, comes on and shares with us what got him started in reptiles and how that led to creating a diverse line of nearly 50 specialty supplements and diets.

Supplements changed the reptile keeping hobby. Now we can add calcium to our feeder insects to create strong bones. We can avoid vitamin deficiency. But for every advantage there are dangers. Both D and A are fat soluble and can be overdosed. Vitamins and minerals are meant to be ingested in a certain balance so the formulation must be intelligently approached. The research behind reptile nutrition is spotty at best so no small amount of testing must be done. Thus it is well worth our time to learn about the formulator and strategy behind formulation of our supplements.

Repashy Calcium Plus

Repashy Calcium Plus is a general purpose multi-vitamin supplement. It has moderate levels of vitamin D3 and preformed vitamin A. Within the chameleon community it has been used successfully as an every feeding supplement by some panther chameleon breeders. The most high profile breeder is Kammerflage Kreations. For more information on what has been done, an interview with Ed Kammer can be found here

Kammerflage

Though more testing would be appropriate to confirm the suspicion, it appears that this formulation has a balance of vitamins and minerals that produces edema in certain montane chameleon species. These issues seem to clear up with Repashy Calcium Plus LoD. Presumably, this is due to the lower levels of both vitamin D3 and A. But, once again, these are best guesses based on anecdotal testing and more rigorous methods must be applied to speak with certainty.

Repashy Calcium Plus LoD

Repashy Calcium Plus LoD has become a common supplement used as a bi-weekly/monthly "top-off" for husbandry strategies that focus on strong UVB for D3 production. This is often used in chameleon husbandry a few times a month for the presence of preformed vitamin A.  Since the chameleon gets their vitamin D3 consistently through daily UVB exposure the D3 inclusion is merely a bonus. We still are careful for a number of montane chameleons, such as Jackson's Chameleon, as they appear to be sensitive to our vitamin D3 and A supplementation. But the LoD formulation appears to sit with them better than the regular Calcium Plus. This shows off the convenience of the Repashy line as it has great flexibility so that you can find a formulation and dusting schedule to match the needs of your specific reptile.

Repashy Supercal NoD

Of course, what supplement line would not have plain calcium? Plain calcium is used as an every feeding base in many caresheets. When selecting a plain calcium, read carefully both the front and the ingredients. Verify if vitamin D3 has been added. Ensure that, if it is present, that you intend to be using that level of D3. The Repashy line contains a number of calcium/vitamin D3 formulations. If you are purchasing for your chameleon and are looking for a plain calcium, ensure that you are buying the one with the green monitor on the front label.

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silkworms

Ep 141: Silkworms with Susan Marquardt

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Silkworms are a nutritious and highly prized chameleon feeder. Today, Susan Marquardt of BeastMode Silkworms shares with us a little about the silkworm and how we can breed them ourselves!

Beastmode Silks

Contact Susan at Beastmode Silkworms at the following links

silkworm banner
silkworms
silkworm eggs

Silkworms spend about a week as eggs

silkworm babies

Upon hatching, these voracious eaters will mow down mulberry tree leaves or specially made solkworm chow.

silkworms eating leaves

Silkworms eating through mulberry leaves

silkworm

Silkworms can be raised up to give you the perfect size feeder based on how long you wait until feeding them off.

cocoons

Silkworms will spin cocoons when they are ready to turn into moths

silkworm moth

Silkworm moths will live a short time and live only to mate and lay eggs. They can also provide a flying feeder for your chameleon.

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Stick Insects

Ep 15: Exotic Feeders – Stick Insects with Nick Barta

Summary:Stick insects are one of the most fascinating of the insects chameleon keepers use as feeders.  Whether you use them as feeders or, like the rest of us, find that we'd rather keep them as pets, you'll find out here how to take care of them.  From the bizarre Australian Stick Insect to the huge Green Bean Insect to the cryptic leaf insect, you'll find no end to the wonder of stick insects!


You can listen here:


Show Notes:

Stick Insect Podcast


Nick mentioned a walking stick "ova" exchange group, though there are many other insects represented here!

Ovogram Website


Leaf Insect

Phyllium philippinicum Leaf Insect. Male, Female, and Juvenile.


Diapherodes gigantea, Green Bean Insect, juvenile

Diapherodes gigantea, Green Bean Insect, juvenile


Extatosoma tiaratum

Extatosoma tiaratum, Australian stick insect


The first thing you’ll want to do is check out Nick’s feeder list!  The Facebook page can be found at Full Throttle Feeders.

Full Throttle Feeders Logo

Click here for Nick Barta’s Full Throttle Feeders Facebook page!


You can also find them here on the Chameleon Forums

If you would like to contact Nick directly then you can email him at nick@bllc.net .

Nick Barta - the man behind the bugs!

Nick Barta - the man behind the bugs!


Season 1 Archive
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Exotic Feeders

Ep 13: Exotic Feeders with Nick Barta- Beetles and Mantids

Summary: Explore beetles that act as cleaner crews and food for baby chameleons. Mantises and flies are also covered as we continue our journey into the fascinating world of feeder insects. They aren’t just meals for our chameleons, they are a completely amazing world unto themselves!


You can listen here:


Show Notes:

The first thing you'll want to do is check out Nick's feeder list!  The Facebook page can be found at Full Throttle Feeders.


Full Throttle Feeders Logo

Click here for Nick Barta's Full Throttle Feeders Facebook page!


You can also find them here on the Chameleon Forums

I tried out Nick's two feeder cups and was pleased with the results. I like the high back cup mainly because that is what I have been used to using for a long time.  Nick's version is a classy and professional version which looks good in a chameleon cage.

Pole Feeder

His second version is a design completely new to me!  It took a little getting used to, but after seeing a cricket scamper up the middle pole I was pleasantly surprised.

Cup Feeder

Both of these come with a magnet that holds the feeder to the screen.  It is a powerful magnet so you actually have to slide the magnets apart because the super glue may not be strong enough to break the magnetic seal.  They are that powerful!  Both feeders also have a hole that allows them tobe hung from a hook or branch in the cage.  They have mesh bottoms to ensure no water will pool in the cup portion.


In today's episode we went over using Buffalo and Peanut Beetles for cleaner crews.  These are crews of small 1/4" beetles that eat waste and dead bodies in the roach bins.  They can also be used as crunchy feeders for your juvenile chameleons.

Nick barta part 2 post image

Taking a step down in size we have bean beetles and rice flour beetles which have the great advantage of being able to used as feeders for baby chameleons.

Mini Beetles

Mantis ootheca (egg cases) are also available which hatch out into great feeders and very interesting pets!

Care sheets are available for the asking.  Just email Nick!

If you would like to contact Nick directly then you can email him at nick@bllc.net .

Nick Barta - the man behind the bugs!

Giant Green Banana Roach vs. Green Banana Roach

Green Banana Roach Comparison
Season 1 Archive
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Exotic Feeders

Ep 11: Roaches with Nick Barta

Summary: Nick Barta from Full Throttle Feeders joins us and talks about his business offering exotic feeder insects.  In this first of our feeder series, Nick and I discuss the different types of roaches, how to care for them, and what they can be used for!  One of a chameleon keeper's favorite afflictions is having feeders so awesome that it is hard to feed them off!


You can listen here:

Roach Comparison


Dubia

Dubia

Discoid

Discoid Roach

Kenyan Roach

Kenyan Roaches

Green Banana Roach

Green Banana Roach

Giant Green Banana Roach vs. Green Banana Roach

Green Banana Roach Comparison
Season 1 Archive
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