Mealworms

Morcomshane

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I see alot of conflicting information out there and all I want to know is if I could feed my brown mountain tortoise meal worms. I've got a few colonies breeding and I've held off because it's ok for some but not box turtles and other torts apparently. Any info would be great.
 

Aileen

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Hi there

We do feed mealworms or at least morioworms to our Burmese browns but only occasionally, maybe once a month. Our adults aren't interested though.
 

Yvonne G

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I read a while ago that the meal worm's exoskeleton is not digestible, so I quit using them for any of my turtles and tortoises.
 

Morcomshane

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That's why I asked, i wish i could find the article but I'll play it safe and just not feed em the mealworms. I haven't been anyways
 

jsheffield

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I feed my Darwin dried silkworm pupae, and he loves them!

Jamie
 

Markw84

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I feed mealworms to all my aquatic turtles. Not as staple item, but certainly as supplement. They also love them and are therefore great for the grandkids to use to feed as the turtles will swarm over to get them. I use them for my upper spotted turtle colony. I do not use them for tortoises I have as I have herbivorous tortoises. I would think as a treat for a redfoot would be great.

You are right - there is a lot of confusing info out there. The food value is actually quite good. I also put Mazuri tortoise food and opuntia cactus in the container I keep the mealworms (I buy 5000 at a time) so I am gut loading them with good foods. The exoskeleton is harder on regular mealworms than the superworms. The supermealworms also last 4-5 times longer in the larval stage, especially at room temp, so they are a good choice is a bit larger worm is OK for your application. The exoskeleton is not totally digestible, but that is because it is mainly chitin. It does therefore provide good fiber. But even that is debatable as most animals that eat insects in the wild do have enzymes that do help digest chitin, and even in humans it has been found that the more insects that are in the diet, the more this is active in the gut. But even the indigestible portions simply provide additional fiber. The chitin of the exoskeleton also provides protection against some bacterial infections.
 

Cheryl Hills

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I feed mealworms to all my aquatic turtles. Not as staple item, but certainly as supplement. They also love them and are therefore great for the grandkids to use to feed as the turtles will swarm over to get them. I use them for my upper spotted turtle colony. I do not use them for tortoises I have as I have herbivorous tortoises. I would think as a treat for a redfoot would be great.

You are right - there is a lot of confusing info out there. The food value is actually quite good. I also put Mazuri tortoise food and opuntia cactus in the container I keep the mealworms (I buy 5000 at a time) so I am gut loading them with good foods. The exoskeleton is harder on regular mealworms than the superworms. The supermealworms also last 4-5 times longer in the larval stage, especially at room temp, so they are a good choice is a bit larger worm is OK for your application. The exoskeleton is not totally digestible, but that is because it is mainly chitin. It does therefore provide good fiber. But even that is debatable as most animals that eat insects in the wild do have enzymes that do help digest chitin, and even in humans it has been found that the more insects that are in the diet, the more this is active in the gut. But even the indigestible portions simply provide additional fiber. The chitin of the exoskeleton also provides protection against some bacterial infections.
But, I don’t want to eat them ! :)
 

Morcomshane

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I appreciate the info. Honestly, I'm just not going to feed them.
I'm sure some here and there wouldn't hurt anything but I very the diet a bit and just thought what's one more thing that I happen to just be breeding anyways.
 

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