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Old 05-09-2010, 09:28 AM
 
Location: SW MO
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My husband bought a Mexican red-legs about a year ago.She is not yet full grown. She ate a couple crickets per week at that time. She has molted twice since then, most recently about a month ago. Her feeding slowed way down before the molt. We feed crickets that are on a calcium-enriched cricket feed. Since the molt, she has been voracious, generally a cricket every day. For a month! Is this normal? Is she simply making up for lost time? Or should we be limiting how often she eats? Is it possible to overfeed a tarantula, and how long can they go between feedings? Do they normally slow down during the short winter days (her cage is close to a large bay window)? We had another tarantula for 5 years but he was grownj when we got him and never went through this frantic eating. Is she just having a growth spurt?
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Old 05-11-2010, 10:32 AM
 
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Im no expert but most tarantulas will ignore food if they dont want to eat. So throw food in there. If they eat it then they must need the nutrients. If not they will ignore it and come back later for it.
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Old 05-11-2010, 03:19 PM
 
Location: California
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It's been years, since we last had one...but if I remember correctly, right after her molt...she would devour any and all crickets we gave her. She then would slowly wind down back to her normal amt of a few a week.
We made a move during the time we had her...She crossed country, her cage, seatbelted in the back of a van. It must have freaked her out...because she did not eat for months! Vet said they can slow down their metabolism to nil.
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Old 05-11-2010, 08:30 PM
 
Location: SW MO
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Thanks for your replies. Guess I will just keep throwing the crickets at Sophie till she turns them down.
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Old 05-12-2010, 07:04 AM
 
Location: California
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Quote:
Originally Posted by firebll31 View Post
Thanks for your replies. Guess I will just keep throwing the crickets at Sophie till she turns them down.
At some point, she'll just wrap and leave them.
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Old 05-12-2010, 09:28 PM
 
Location: SW MO
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Bought a fresh dozen crickets today, threw 2 in at once by mistake. They are already gone. She's one hungry critter!
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Old 05-18-2010, 12:27 AM
 
Location: vagabond
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my tarantula has been on a hunger strike since winter started. he stops eating every winter, but this season seems to be longer. he still drinks plenty of water though, so i suppose he knows what he wants.

he has gone through his share of gorging though (but hardly ever around molting); there were times when i could throw two or three crickets in his terrarium at the same time and they would all be eaten the same day. that is unusual because he is really picky, and normally if there are more than one cricket in there, he becomes irritated.
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Old 05-18-2010, 01:28 PM
 
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I wouldn't feed crickets that have enriched calcium to your T. Plain old gut-filled crickets are best for them. The Tarantula Keepers guide says not to add calcium.

After a molt, it's best also to wait 5-7 days before offering any prey since their exoskeleton and fangs have to harden first.

It's been said by many who are long into keeping Ts that it's best to regulate their food intake to just 1 and possibly 2 crickets per week. They seem to live longer with 1 only and will tend not to go into a fasting period when this is followed.
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Old 05-18-2010, 10:59 PM
 
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Before last year, I was a dedicated arachnid collector/keeper. I had to sell all of them due to a desperate and personal reason.

But anyway, like most animals, a tarantula WILL over eat if you let it. As to whether if there's any health risk to them or not is still a hotly debated topic among dedicated tarantula keepers.

On one hand, the argument against overfeeding them is common sense. We as people will get very unhealthy if we over eat.

But on the other hand, tarantulas are not people and as far as anyone has ever tried to observe there is no direct evidence of health problems associated with over eating.

The main real concern about allowing your tarantula to over eat is their abdomin would get too big and could easily rupture if they climb and take a fall. Such a rupture is a death sentence.

So... take it for what it's worth. Mexican redknees are fairly active, so I don't think there's much concern for a health risk. They're not so big and heavy like some tarantulas, so the risk of falling is fairly less than some of the bigger kinds.
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Old 05-18-2010, 11:03 PM
 
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Originally Posted by stycotl View Post
my tarantula has been on a hunger strike since winter started. he stops eating every winter, but this season seems to be longer. he still drinks plenty of water though, so i suppose he knows what he wants.

he has gone through his share of gorging though (but hardly ever around molting); there were times when i could throw two or three crickets in his terrarium at the same time and they would all be eaten the same day. that is unusual because he is really picky, and normally if there are more than one cricket in there, he becomes irritated.
Let me guess, you have a rosie hair (aka G. rosea). This species is very well known for its unusual eating pattern. What it will do is eat a large amount of food and then stop eating for months, sometimes up to more than half a year.

This is the number 1 reason why most g. rosea die in captivity. People, after seeing how their tarantula wouldn't eat, stop paying attention. And after a while, it's pretty easy to forget about it. This species can survive up to a year or more without food, but if there's no water it will dehydrate very quickly and will curl up and die. Through my years of arachnid collecting, I have heard many such stories.

In other words, you need to keep providing water.
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