the protein chronicles!


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agent A

the autistic flower mantis
Supporting Member
May 17, 2009
Reaction score
Fort Collins, CO
hey friends,
so I am gonna keep people updated on some protein offerings I'm giving to my feeders. I'll start with the roaches

so I have been trying to find a good, inexpensive dog food for my roaches
I went to walmart and got a big bag of Rachel Ray Noutrish Salmon and Sweet Potato. I have offered it to the roaches and there isn't much interest in it honestly. It does get moldy and disappear, but I am not sure if the roaches are eating it once it molds over (as the isopods often do to their food)
I may do an experiment where I toss some nymphs into a container with nothing to eat but the dog food for a week and see if they gain or lose weight, but that may be tricky because if I put in any egg crate, they will eat the egg crate, so I'll need to weigh the egg crate before and after as well. I probably won't do any statistical tests for this, as it's an informal little spat I'm gonna run
the crickets seem to eat that dog food without issue

now for the flies

I am experimenting with different wet dog foods to see what works best. I have tried the pedigree choice cuts variety pack and the resultant maggots were a bit undersized, maybe 15% smaller than the parents. The crude protein is only 8%. Oddly enough, I also used Nulo lamb, mackerel, and kelp formula which is 12% protein but the larvae aren't growing as rapidly, but it's possible they are being kept a bit cooler than the first batch. CGD, which is usually 18-25% protein, is sufficient to induce mating and oviposition in the adult flies. Duck liver is also an option

stay tuned!!
ok people so I weighed 30 random fly pupae obtained from Rainbow Mealworms and 30 random fly pupae I reared on the Nulo Lamb, Kelp, and Mackerel Dog Food and Jesus Christ the results are staggering
the average pupa weight of Rainbow Mealworms pupae was 46mg while the average weight of the Nulo-reared pupae was 80mg! A t-test found a SIGNIFICANT (p = 0.0000000000000022) difference in pupal weight, with the Nulo reared Calliphora vomittoria being heavier
now, the caveat is that the rainbow pupae were refrigerated but I am not sure how much they'd desiccate in the fridge
I weighed fresh RM pupae
I also weighed pupae I reared on Stella and Chewy's lil' bites duck and chicken stew dog food
NO SIGNIFICANT DIFFERENCE in pupal mass across the 3 diets
RM feeds fresh salmon meat to the flies they rear
The refridgeator removes moisture to cool, so the fridge will make them lose weight. You would hve to put both in right near each other to see the difference . I did not know the fruit flies would eat meat?