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Do Hermit Crabs Always Eat What's Best for Them?

Discussion in 'Nutrition & Water' started by nancy, Nov 24, 2008.

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  1. nancy

    nancy "Preparing For Second Molt"

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    I've gotten very curious about this when I hear different crabbers talk about feeding their crabbies. I've been wondering in particular about worm castings. We all know the crabs love them, but are they the perfect food or is there something else that attracts the crabs that we don't know about. I've heard some crabbers say that their crabs like mango so much that that is all they will eat from the food dish. In our attempts to provide a balanced diet for out crabs, shouldn't we endeavor to provide a balanced diet and use some of the more attractive foods to be mixed in with what covers all the mandatory food groups? This is what I try to do , anyway. Tell me what you all think. I guess the question is, will crabs eat for taste forgoing nutrition? :think:
     
  2. CrabbyAbby

    CrabbyAbby (Micro Crab)

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    I've read that crabs are wired to avoid foods they've smelled or eaten recently so that they seek out complete nutrition and don't bulk up on any one food or group over another. I have seen crabs that are exceptions to this and it's my theory that perhaps they were so deficient in the area that they are still addressing a need.

    Mango is a source of calcium and a color enhance. I believe it's also a cellulose source and if I'm correct in thinking it's a relative to the peach then it's a natural source of copper too. I wouldn't withhold it but I would suggest crabbers stagger the frequency such favored foods are offered in (maybe every other day or reduce the amount offered) and make sure they receive daily offerings from all food categories so they get the same nutrition from other sources.

    LHC members jokingly refer to worm castings as crabby crack and new crabs and pre/post molters are especially drawn to it for the abundance of minerals it contains. No food is perfect food though and even the awesome makers of hermie foods like Vicki will admit that.

    It's best to have multiple foods in each category and vary them frequently to give the crabs the best nutrition. For example, flax is a protein. In addition to that it's also a source of fat and oil, calcium, B-complex, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium and zinc. Eggs are another protein and a source of fat and oil, calcium, vitamins and minerals (A, D, E, Thiamin, Riboflavin, B-complex, Pantothentic Acid, Choline, Iron, Phosphorous, Sodium, Zinc, Copper and Selenium), and zeaxanthin, plus they're color enhancers.

    While both provide protein, flax provides magnesium and phosphorous, something that eggs do not, and eggs provide numerous vitamins and minerals, zeaxanthin and boost color, something which flax does not.

    And to respond to your last thought you're absolutely right, hermies love sweets and do favor them. That's another reason that mango is such a hit. It's got lots of sugar.
     
  3. vckums

    vckums Moderator

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    CA's right, there is no perfect 100% everything in there food. There has to be a varied diet. I have between 3-4 bowls in the tank. 2 of the bowls are a constant source of dry kibble and worm castings. The other 1-2 bowls will have fresh foods. Those are rotated out daily. The kibble is switched either after it's all gone or after a week of it being in the tank. Fresh items go in at night and I take them out during the day. The dry is there for whoever comes out during the day.

    I remember Sue saying that you shouldn't feed the same food every day. Once you feed one item, don't put it in the tank again for 4 days. So that's what I do.

    If you have 2 liter bottle tops you can feed a bit of everything in small doses to see what their favorites are.
     
  4. nancy

    nancy "Preparing For Second Molt"

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    Thanks Abby and Vickie. I always try to feed my own crabs a balanced diet. I love foods like the Wild Reserve, because it has worm castings but other nutritious foods as well. I like to sprinkle things like powered seaweed, sea salt, and grounded cuttlebone on their foods as well as worm castings. I guess it was all the talk about crabby crack that made me wonder. I work as an addictions counselor, after all. :thanks:
     
  5. vckums

    vckums Moderator

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    LOL It is crabby crack. I remember first getting some and wasn't too sure about putting it in the tank. Once I saw the reaction the crabs had to it, I HAD to put in more!
     
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