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Various Food Groups And Schedule

Discussion in 'Foods, Treats & Home Recipes.' started by lovelylivelycrabs, Oct 23, 2009.

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  1. lovelylivelycrabs

    lovelylivelycrabs "Preparing For First Molt"

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    How often should you feed your crabs each food group? (I'm talking Calcium, Chitin, Fats and Oils, Protein, Color Enhancing, Zeaxanthin<I don't know how important that one is--- I don't really know what that does>, and Vitamins and Minerals @ Hermit Crab Cuisine)

    I'm trying to feed my crabs better and I want them to enjoy their food, so I was wondering if you guys have a schedule for the sort of foods you feed your crabs. I know protein is important, so how do you serve protein every day? Is it the same meat all week, since that would be easiest if you prepare dinner for yourself? Do you freeze a variety of proteins and offer a selection, or vary every night?

    All in all, what's on the menu for your crabs?
     
  2. peach

    peach "Never Molted"

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    On the HCA there is a chart that helps with this it is like a food group pyramid but for crabs
     
  3. emmac350

    emmac350 "Fourth Molt In Progress"

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    Honestly, I give them some of everything daily. I don't know what they need nutritionally on any given day, so I'd rather offer them some of everything and they can eat what they want. I figure that's better than them coming up (especially from a molt), really needing some of X, but me not offering X because someone says that you only need to offer it 3 times a week, or 5 times a week or whatever.

    Zeaxanthin is important to crabs because it is the precursor to Astaxanthin. Both are carotenoids (organic pigments) that affect both crab coloring and maintenance of their body systems. Astaxanthin is the most important carotenoid for crabs, but they can convert others into it; Zeaxanthin is the easiest one for their bodies to convert into Astaxanthin. Zeaxanthin is found in a lot of foods, but Astaxanthin is best if you can find it. You can actually buy Astaxanthin powder at the Hermit Crab Addiction store - I bit the bullet and bought it (it's a wee bit expensive) and since I've been putting it on their food if nothing contains at least a moderate level of Zeax., my crabs' coloring has gotten WAY darker (PPs turning purple all over, Es getting really bright coloring on their 'accent legs') and they are much more active both at night and during the day.

    As for offering protein, I believe I talked about that in another thread but am too lazy to look it up. I offer both a dried bug/sea bug every day and a dried (and, on some days, fresh) 'regular meat.' Every time I make dinner with a meat that is crab-safe, I save a small piece or two, cook it, and then freeze it in a Ziploc bag. That way I have a store of foods for the crabs for the days when I don't eat crab-safe food (pre-prepared foods, etc.). The dried bugs/sea bugs are jars that you can buy at a pet store - I offer dried bloodworms, tubifex worms, mealworms, silkworms, krill, plankton, and baby river shrimp. Those are especially attacked when somebody comes up from a molt - the exos of all of those animals I just mentioned are made of the same things as our crabs, and so eating them will give the crabs extra nutrition to help finish hardening their exo as well as providing them protein. I only offer one of each kind of food nightly (one of each of the 2 proteins, calcium, veggies, fruit, etc.) and I have a thread organizer that I keep the food baggies in so that I can know when each food was last offered (I take it out of the front of the section and then put it in the back of the section once I feed it to them).

    My sources for this post were:

    http://crabstreetjournal.com/xoops/modules/news/article.php?storyid=42&keywords=Zeaxanthin

    http://www.hermitcrabparadise.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=545
     
  4. lovelylivelycrabs

    lovelylivelycrabs "Preparing For First Molt"

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    Wow Emma, thanks! This helps a lot. :D
     
  5. Hermies4Ever

    Hermies4Ever (Large Crab)

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    Don't forget to thank Peach!!! She contributed to the advice!!!
     
  6. cococrisp

    cococrisp "PM Jason For Custom Title"

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    I have a link to a cool site. it has a pyrimid saying what groups to feed how often and what items have them in them.
    HermitCrabCentral
    Well, I don't think the link came through but just peek around at hermit crab central.com and you will find some good info.;)
     
  7. emmac350

    emmac350 "Fourth Molt In Progress"

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    Why would you not feed all the food groups everyday? Wouldn't that be like saying that you only eat fruits or veggies on certain days of the week? I mean, you don't know if your crab really needs some fats or oils in its diet on a certain day (since you can't read your crab's mind), so are you not going to offer those every day and just deny him what he may need really badly?
     
  8. lovelylivelycrabs

    lovelylivelycrabs "Preparing For First Molt"

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    I deeply apologize. Thank you Peach ;)
    Thanks everyone, I'm figuring out their meal schedule right now and drawing up a shopping list.
     
  9. emmac350

    emmac350 "Fourth Molt In Progress"

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    Okay, I still don't understand. Why wouldn't you offer all the foods they might need to eat every day? Why say that certain foods only need to be offered every other day or whatever? I'm truly flummoxed, and I'm fairly well convinced that not giving them all of their possible nutritional needs can actually cause more harm than good.
     
  10. lovelylivelycrabs

    lovelylivelycrabs "Preparing For First Molt"

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    People have been told different things by different people, I guess. It certainly does make sense to offer every group every day, however it seems like a bit of a pain and more expensive too. It may not be, but that's just how it seems. :) Smiles, smiles everyone :D
     
  11. emmac350

    emmac350 "Fourth Molt In Progress"

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    It really doesn't seem to change the cost of feeding them, at least, not that I've seen. Maybe you might use up your nuts and oils faster, but I get all of those from the grocery store for way cheaper than I could find anywhere else (a $5 bag of nuts will seriously last me at least a year). Same with the oils - I just steal the little bit I need from my own pantry, and it's way less used than if I were cooking with them.
     
  12. lovelylivelycrabs

    lovelylivelycrabs "Preparing For First Molt"

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    I like your approach, emmac! :)
     
  13. vckums

    vckums Moderator

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    I'm on the same page as Emma. The amount of food you put in the dish is minimal. Crabs don't eat a lot, but they will only eat what they need. If you aren't giving them what they need, it's neglecting the animal.

    You could survive on twinkies, but you wouldn't be heatlhy.
     
  14. lovelylivelycrabs

    lovelylivelycrabs "Preparing For First Molt"

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    My mom just bought me "Hermit Crab Meal"... it's a powder, and it says it's okay, but that's just the label.
    Ingredients: Fish meal, copra meal, wheat germ meal, dried yeast, dehulled soybean meal, potato protein, corn flour, L-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate, calcium pantothenate, folic acid, and calcium propionate and ethoxyquin, both as preservatives.
    Are those preservatives okay? I vaguely remember a warning about ethoxyquin, but I really don't know.

    At any rate, I'm not going to tell my mom even if it could kill them, I just won't use it. I don't want her to be disappointed and not want to get anything out of niceness again. I want her to feel like she helped, even if she didn't.

    Oh, and by the way, how on earth would a crab eat powder? It doesn't seem like something they'd be able to pick up. :p
     
  15. cloie74

    cloie74 "Second Molt, A Success"

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    Lovely, here is an easy tip...
    On Mondays I take a small piece of Raw chicken and Raw Ground beef (About the size of a half dollar each) I take a 1/4 cup of long grain rice and 1/2 cup of water and mix it all together and microwave it on high for 5 minutes. It cooks everything together using the meat and chicken to flavor the rice.
    I use this all week as their BASE food, I give a teaspoon on their plate every night.
    But because crabs like variety and wont eat the same thing every night you have to trick them!
    so I mix in something different every night like squash, apples, honey, krill, shrimp and things like that.
    If you go to the HCA store and buy a few of the taster packs they will last forever doing this method and really offer your crabs a well balanced meal that they will actually eat every night! I also just throw random stuff in there for them like an apple core from an apple that I just finished eating or a banana that my son didnt finish.
    I have lots of veggies from my garden sliced and frozen for them for the winter I just warm up some bottled water and stick the veg in til it is soft and put it on the dish, super easy.
    It isnt expensive to feed them if you do it right, 1 eggplant sliced and frozen will last me all winter and then some, make a frozen fruit salad, apples bananas grapes and strawberries, chop it all up put it in a bag and freeze it, just take out what you need for that night, it lasts a long time!
     
  16. emmac350

    emmac350 "Fourth Molt In Progress"

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    Lovely, ethoxyquin is not crab safe, unfortunately. Honestly, I don't know what the obsession is with feeding powders to crabs - they have claws, and they can break skin when they pinch people, so why can't they break off their own food?

    Also, that's a great idea, Cloie! I kind of do like some of your things you said...I have a bag in the freezer full of sandwich bags full of crab food. The days where I make a fruit salad, I save a few pieces of each fruit and it goes into the fruit salad bag in there. I also have bags of shrimp, veggies from when I make casserole, etc. When I'm cooking some sort of meat for dinner, I slice off enough for at least 2 crab feedings and cook it and freeze it.

    I also took a very brown banana almost a year ago, froze it, cut it into chunks (it's easier to cut if it's frozen), and put it back in the freezer. I still have at least half of it at this point, I just give them a chunk when they haven't had banana in a while. Same with my pound of shrimp I've had over a year - still have a TON of those guys left. Cost me about $8 when I bought them, plus a dollar for a lime, and I sauteed in olive oil and squeezed lime juice and fruit pieces over them when they were done cooking, then froze individually (a pain in the butt, as there were over 50 shrimp to put into their own bags, but it's nice to be able to take out a single baggie and not have to try to chip off a single shrimp when you need it.

    I do like the idea of cooking the rice and meat then mixing in the dry stuff for variety. How big (approximately) are all of your crabs? Because a teaspoon seems like a very small amount, but then again, if you're mixing stuff in...
     
  17. lovelylivelycrabs

    lovelylivelycrabs "Preparing For First Molt"

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    That is a REALLY good idea. I'll make an effort to pick up some chicken and ground beef at the grocery store (we actually eat out like every night of the week... sometimes 2 or 3 times a day... no wonder I can't lose weight :rolleyes:) :)
    Haha, I don't understand it either... They eat baby carrots just fine...

    I agree. I'll pick up some fruit and some meat and freeze it so I can have a supply of food for them. Last night they had sardines... Next time I'll break it into portions before I freeze. I had to defrost it in the fridge overnight because I didn't want a warm fish smell in my kitchen *ick*

    Awesome, I have a very brown banana now. Should I peel it, or do they like the peel? I'd imagine they'd like the peel, but you never know with my crabs. They dragged the cuttlebone into the food dish last night, I guess they wanted to eat it in the dish? They LOVE maple leaves, I put in a fresh (dried) on every couple days, and they do their best to decimate it. Luckily the EE kind of absorbs and decomposes the leaf pieces (the ones the crabs broke off) . They really did like their sardine last night... the food dish actually looked like someone ate something for the first time since franklin died. I wonder if they were in mourning...
    I don't know if I'd have to increase the recipe, because I have two large crabs but neither eat much (and I've never seen the small one eat anything. She barely peeks out of her shell when I'm around. She's got to be eating something, though!)
    :) Thanks for your help and ideas, guys. :D
     
  18. deedeeiam

    deedeeiam "First Molt, A Success"

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    LoL. This is basically what I do...except in reverse. I create my own dry food with basically a balanced meal, then I add something fresh and different each day - a little apple here, a pomagranate there, etc. I like your way a bit better, gives more variety.

    It's sad I cook more for my crabs than I do myself..
     
  19. cococrisp

    cococrisp "PM Jason For Custom Title"

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    Well, that's usually what I TRY to do. I ended up mixing all my grains together but it's just good to know all the different types of food and what food have them in. And you know that if you feed only cereal which is strong in only one catagory that is less important to feed less of that etc. It's just helpful for me. I don't know about other people.
     
  20. cloie74

    cloie74 "Second Molt, A Success"

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    my crabs are all small/med I have 9 of them but they dont all eat every night either and I over feed them lol I meant to also say a tablespoon, not a teaspoon.
    and that is JUST the meat/rice mix, with everything else added in, veggies, fruits, seeds, dried leaves, it ends up being about 1/3 cup of stuff in there lol
    They make a mess and always drag the coconut back to bed, they are addicted, i think I need a coconut itervention, it is like Crabbie crack lol
     
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