- Santa Barbara
Thank you for all of this advice. Anthropomorphism is truly a bad way to gauge feeding your pet. (think feeding dogs a grain-free diet because our society believes grains and gluten are bad. Now we have a slew of dogs with massive heart issues from a grain-free diet) I was really worried about my sling not wanting to eat after its last molt and I received some advice from this forum not to overthink it. Let my sling do its thing. Sure enough, when I went to check on it today it was out of its burrow and ready to hunt. I just need to learn to trust my little one and feed based on its cues. If it's hanging in its burrow and all covered up, I will let it be. When it opens up the burrow I will take that as a sign it wants to feed. I also think the crickets I am feeding might be too small now that it has molted. We will see as I plan to feed today. It has been almost 2 weeks since it last ate. It's good to know that they can go a bit without feeding.I am happy to share my observations, and philosophies, accumulated from keeping and feeding tarantulas in re feeding frequency.
If you read no further; less is more when it comes to feeding tarantulas.
Tarantulas are wild animals, they are not domesticated, and like most animals are opportunistic eaters. Animals in real life don't eat on a schedule like we do, and certainly not every day. Your tarantula will let you know when it's hungry, you just need to know the signs.
The pet industry is a 20 billion dollar a year juggernaut, and based on inventive and emotional marketing, we've been told our whole lives that our pets need to eat on a recurring schedule just like us. The more often they eat, the more money Big Pet makes. There are more overweight pets in first world countries like America and England than any other country in the world.
If you would randomly feed your dog and cat versus feeding them on a once to twice a day schedule, they would be healthier, live longer and not be "dying to eat" by X-o' clock every day. We have trained our animals to be as dependent on food as we are on their success. It's an emotional connection for us and we feel successful, and responsible, when we "meet" our animals needs. The needs that Big Pet tells us we should be meeting.
Skipping back to tarantulas, it's not unusual for an opportunistic eater to not see a food item for several days, or weeks, depending on their endemic circumstances. As long as you provide water, I guarantee you your tarantula can live for 2 months with no food. I am not intentionally telling you to skip feeding your animals and put them on a whenever you feel like it's schedule, but this is proof that less is often more.
If I forget to feed my slings for a week or two, they're more enthusiastic to receive a food item when I do feed them; however, if I feed them every 3 days they often could care less about the feeder wandering in their enclosure.
Feeding less often has these basic benefits:
1. Your T is much more enthusiastic about eating
2. Unless in premolt, your T is guaranteed to feed and eat the entire meal (if appropriately sized)
3. Your T will put on less weight and take longer in between molt cycles
4. Based on number 3 above, your T will live longer
5. Feeding less often requires you to purchase or maintain fewer feeders, saving you money
6. Feeding less often is a time benefit for you
7. Based on number 6 above, the time you save feeding and cleaning enclosures, due to excessive waste or rotting food items due to overfeeding, will allow you to spend more time with your family, increasing your quality of life
8. Based on points 4 through 7, you will enjoy owning your pets longer, and with less hassle, making the experience more rewarding overall
9. If we all took a page from this book, we would be less obese as a society, too. I guarantee you most of us reading (and writing) this post could afford to miss a meal or two a week and we would all be just fine.
There are often circumstances where people will want to power feed animals to get them to a certain point, or through a certain growth stage, and there's potentially a time and a place for that, too, however on the regular, less is more.
I have a question though. What is the best choice for food for a t. albo sling? I have only used crickets.