Questions About Feeding

For any and all questions about feeding, diet and different foods. Questions and posts about purchasing from stores should be made in the Shopping section.
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Moonlightdreams
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Questions About Feeding

Post by Moonlightdreams » Wed Jan 17, 2018 8:14 pm

I've been feeding my two PPs, Sheldon and Peanut, FMR Hermit Crab food, which I desperately want to change. I'm in the market for a new, better commercial food, one with no chemicals or preservatives. I'd like to feed them more (safe) human food than commercial food, but I'd like to have a pre-made mix for convenience.

I was looking into the Hermit Crab Crunchies from Zoo Med for treats/snacks, and I have a box of Fluker's Instant Powder Treat on its way. I was hoping it would get here today, but it didn't. I guess I shouldn't have promised the boys new snacks without checking the snow forecast first. :P

I was considering making them food, and I've been reading up on it. I have a bag of birdseed for wild birds, and I was thinking of mixing that with a little bit of dried fruit (probably dried in my oven, as the dried fruit we buy is sweetened), and some dried leaves. Is this possible, and if so, what else should be added or removed? :) I can post the ingredients from the birdseed later, but I don't remember seeing any preservatives or chemicals.

They seem to really enjoy honey, and I give it to them 1-2 times a week. Is this too much? I'm worried it's too much sugar, but they don't seem to like eating much of else. Last night it was freeze-dried shrimp and coconut oil, and I didn't see any of it eaten. I've given them a little bit of oatmeal (Quaker Instant Oats - I wasn't sure if it was harmful to them or not, so they've only had it once or twice), and they seemed to like it, but more so when I added a drop of honey. I've tried lettuce with Sheldon to no avail; in fact, he seemed scared of it. :P I tried apple and banana, and he turned his antenna up. Grape was acceptable the first time, but he didn't touch it the second or third time. Carrot? Nope. They poked at the blueberries and cranberries, but honey definitely seems to be the crowd pleaser.

We don't buy much organic produce, and we tend to eat canned vegetables instead of fresh. The canned vegetables all have salt, and since it doesn't specify if it's sea salt or not, I haven't wanted to feed them any. (I'm hesitant anyway, because of possible chemicals and preservatives.) I'm struggling to find food in my house that doesn't have added salt or sugar that's safe for them to eat.

I read on the Safe Food List that acorns are safe for hermit crabs - how should they be prepared? We have plenty of oak trees in our yard, and we have plenty of acorns on the ground. Should they be picked fresh, and if so, does the same go for oak leaves?

Any help is greatly appreciated! :) I'm sorry for all the questions, I just want my hermits to be happy! :wink:
Loving owner of two hermit crabs and two dogs! Call me Moon, Icy, Kermit, or anything you'd like! sheldon_and_peanut (hermit crabs) and sisterchins (dogs) on Instagram.


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Re: Questions About Feeding

Post by niccolyas@gmail.com » Thu Jan 18, 2018 12:26 am

I am by far no expert in the matter but acorns do need to be pesticide free, so watch just going out and grabbing them from any where. Leaves of any kind also need to be pesticide free and I have heard, too nervous to try, I just put them in the tank like a moss pit. I've always read honey was more of a great or a booster, than an everyday food. As far as ready made food try the hermit crab garden they have a variety pack that will last 2 crabs well over a year,(I keep mine in a tubberware in the freezer) for about 30 bucks. Boiled egg is great, she'll and all. I normally just take one out when I make them, pop it in the processor an freeze, take out dime sized pieces to put on the fresh Food plate. It thaws in the tat, and is the only thing guarentee come in the morning, although they didn't touch it the first 2 times. Smh. Silly crabs. Idk if u have a heath food store but bee pollen is pretty cheap, good for them, and they love it. U only give it like every 2 weeks,but it's always gone too. Pp' s are know for liking vegetation, I always have a meat dish that doesn't Sean to get touched near as much as, say, my flower dish. But this is just my crabs. This site has a wonderful good soiree section, I should check it out.

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Moonlightdreams
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Re: Questions About Feeding

Post by Moonlightdreams » Thu Jan 18, 2018 10:12 am

Yes, I read that honey should be given sparingly, so I won't feed it to them as often. :) We never use pesticides on or around our trees, so the leaves and acorns should all be safe.
Loving owner of two hermit crabs and two dogs! Call me Moon, Icy, Kermit, or anything you'd like! sheldon_and_peanut (hermit crabs) and sisterchins (dogs) on Instagram.


karlys
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Re: Questions About Feeding

Post by karlys » Thu Jan 18, 2018 1:38 pm

Hello!

Glad to hear that you're interested in switching out that commercial food. My biggest suggestion for safe ready-to-eat mixes come from a lot of the places listed on the Shopping Resources page (I'll put the link at the end of my post for convenience). You can also go on Etsy and just search "hermit crab food" and a lot of good stuff will pop up.

Personally, I have only ever ordered from The Hermit Crab Patch and Alaska Hermit. The Hermit Crab Patch has a BUNCH of different mixes and even offer a sample pack. I ordered that sample pack first, figured out what my crabs liked the most, and then reordered that stuff (and eventually more). Alaska Hermit is more of a place where you can order bags with individual items-- mostly the various types of leaves, flowers, and berries found in Alaska but also things like dried fish, bugs, and pieces of crab shell (like king crab, not hermies).

The crabs are surprisingly good at knowing what they want/need to eat so you can go ahead and offer them honey as much as you'd like. And, just because something was popular (or better yet, not popular) yesterday or last week, doesn't mean that they won't change their minds next time. If you already buy something for yourself, it doesn't hurt at all to offer them a little every time you buy it even if they didn't eat it last time. Also, try to remember that they eat very little (compared to most animals) and it can be hard to tell that they touched something.

I learned this from someone else on here but you can totally go to a place like Whole Foods or Sprouts or similar where they have the bins with the scoops to buy minuscule amounts of nuts, seeds, grains, dried fruits, etc for the crabs. Like, I just go with what looks like it would last a while, which ends up being around 0.015 lbs of each thing, so it often costs less than $5 to get a wide range of things for them to try. Also, don't be afraid to ask the butcher for one squid or just a couple pieces of shrimp. I open with the fact that it's for my hermit crabs and that either prompts them to ask questions and be interested or they don't care and get me my meat lol.

Finally, I didn't notice much calcium in your post so please try to get them some more of that, as it is very important. Egg shells and cuttlebone (in the bird section of a pet store) are easy to get locally and the Hermit Crab Patch has several calcium powders. My guys LOVE the Honey Coral Calcium but also eat their cuttlebone and egg shells when offered. Egg shells can be offered in many ways-- naturally by themselves, ground up into a powder, served scrambled into an egg, or on a hard boiled egg.

If I missed any of your concerns or questions, let us know and I (and everyone else here) are happy to help. Good nutrition for these little guys is essential!

Here's that Shopping Resources page:
http://www.hermitcrabassociation.com/pa ... pping.html

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GotButterflies
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Re: Questions About Feeding

Post by GotButterflies » Thu Jan 18, 2018 1:43 pm

I just wanted to mention that trees / plants on the safe list need to be pesticide AND fertilizer free :)

The shopping resource page needs to be updated - there are a few shops on there that are no longer in business that need to be removed.

There are shops on Etsy, Ebay and other sites that you can find great mixes on. Just make sure they are reputable :)

As far as the acorns and leaves - I give mine fresh, frozen, and baked. The acorns are best if broken open :)
Truly blessed to have incredible creatures, wonderful friends and my amazing family in my life!! I'm very thankful & grateful for all of them! www.thehealthyhermit.com

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Re: Questions About Feeding

Post by Moonlightdreams » Thu Jan 18, 2018 3:57 pm

Okay, thank you for all the help! :D Yes, I'm definitely looking at getting some cuttlebone the next time I go to the petstore - definitely within the next few weeks. I was definitely considering the Hermit Crab Patch. The prices look good, but my mother and I are concerned about the shipping costs. What do you usually pay for shipping, if you don't mind me asking? :)

If the shipping costs are a little out of our price range, we may stick with premade mixes we can buy at the pet store, but I'm still very interested in making a mix from dried fruit/leaf litter/birdseed. (Our trees are neither fertilized nor sprayed with any chemicals - we just let them do their thing. :) )

The acorns have been lying around for a few months, would they still be safe to feed? I'd assume so, but I don't want to do anything without knowing for sure.
Loving owner of two hermit crabs and two dogs! Call me Moon, Icy, Kermit, or anything you'd like! sheldon_and_peanut (hermit crabs) and sisterchins (dogs) on Instagram.

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Re: Questions About Feeding

Post by Moonlightdreams » Thu Jan 18, 2018 4:08 pm

Also, the only Whole Foods I know of is over an hour away from me, so not very convenient. :P We live in a small town with a Walmart and a Food Lion, and, unfortunately, no pet stores. But we do go into the city at least once a month, so I can grab what I need then.

My mother is allergic to egg yolks, so the only eggs we eat are Egg Beaters, and I'm not so sure the crabs can have that. If we had any eggs around the house, though, I'd love to give them some.
Loving owner of two hermit crabs and two dogs! Call me Moon, Icy, Kermit, or anything you'd like! sheldon_and_peanut (hermit crabs) and sisterchins (dogs) on Instagram.

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Re: Questions About Feeding

Post by Moonlightdreams » Thu Jan 18, 2018 4:23 pm

I just checked the birdseed, and the ingredients are: Grain products, millet, sunflower seeds, calcium carbonate. Would this be safe for the crabs? :)
Loving owner of two hermit crabs and two dogs! Call me Moon, Icy, Kermit, or anything you'd like! sheldon_and_peanut (hermit crabs) and sisterchins (dogs) on Instagram.

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Re: Questions About Feeding

Post by aussieJJDude » Thu Jan 18, 2018 4:28 pm

Yep, ut be fine.

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Re: Questions About Feeding

Post by karlys » Thu Jan 18, 2018 4:28 pm

I went back and looked at my invoices for The Hermit Crab Patch and the shipping seems to depend on the weight of what you order. I've been charged as little as $4.10 and as much as $7.50.

Another suggestion, if you have to stick to local pet stores, is that you can get a lot of freeze dried stuff in the reptile and/or fish sections. Locusts, mealworms, crickets, shrimp, little fish, blood worms, brine shrimp, etc. but also vegetables (usually marketed towards bearded dragons). Most of them are safe and, even if you only got a couple, would add good protein and variety. :)

Personally, I only eat egg whites because I prefer the taste but we still have normal eggs in the house for my boyfriend and the crabs. I looked at my carton and it says 100% egg whites but I don't have the Egg Beaters brand. Look to see if there's any additives to yours and, if not, it's safe! You can fry them up a little egg white omelet lol.

Sorry I can't comment on anything to do with stuff you find outside. I live in Arizona where there aren't many crab safe trees to begin with, plus I live in a condo community where all the landscaping is taken care of by the HOA and they spray weed killer often. I have to order all my leaves and flowers online.

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Re: Questions About Feeding

Post by Moonlightdreams » Thu Jan 18, 2018 4:36 pm

Good to know, thanks! ^^ I'll see how they like birdseed, then.

That's a good idea about the freeze-dried food, thank you! I'll look around the next time I'm at a pet store and look for some with no additives. :D I don't think there are any chemicals or additives in Egg Beaters besides flavouring, which probably isn't good for them. I usually order egg whites when I go out to eat, though, so maybe they could have a bite of my leftovers?

I'll look into the Hermit Crab Patch, thank you! :D
Loving owner of two hermit crabs and two dogs! Call me Moon, Icy, Kermit, or anything you'd like! sheldon_and_peanut (hermit crabs) and sisterchins (dogs) on Instagram.

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Re: Questions About Feeding

Post by aussieJJDude » Thu Jan 18, 2018 5:12 pm

karlys wrote:I went back and looked at my invoices for The Hermit Crab Patch and the shipping seems to depend on the weight of what you order. I've been charged as little as $4.10 and as much as $7.50.

Another suggestion, if you have to stick to local pet stores, is that you can get a lot of freeze dried stuff in the reptile and/or fish sections. Locusts, mealworms, crickets, shrimp, little fish, blood worms, brine shrimp, etc. but also vegetables (usually marketed towards bearded dragons). Most of them are safe and, even if you only got a couple, would add good protein and variety. :)

Personally, I only eat egg whites because I prefer the taste but we still have normal eggs in the house for my boyfriend and the crabs. I looked at my carton and it says 100% egg whites but I don't have the Egg Beaters brand. Look to see if there's any additives to yours and, if not, it's safe! You can fry them up a little egg white omelet lol.

Sorry I can't comment on anything to do with stuff you find outside. I live in Arizona where there aren't many crab safe trees to begin with, plus I live in a condo community where all the landscaping is taken care of by the HOA and they spray weed killer often. I have to order all my leaves and flowers online.
You have cholla dont you? (And also manzanita, great for fish tanks/crabby climbing places!)

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Crabs || Fish || Shrimp || Snails || Plants || Insects

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I've never had any problems with 'Impulse Buying'... They're just things I forgot I had planned to get || Self Designated 'HCA Pic Fan' 2012+


karlys
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Re: Questions About Feeding

Post by karlys » Thu Jan 18, 2018 6:52 pm

We do have cholla! But they're incredibly spiky like a cactus until they die and I live in the middle of the city so I'd have to drive 30-45 mins out to the desert to look for some that wouldn't be potentially sprayed. I haven't seen any manzanita but I would suspect they're up further north than where I am. We have a lot of mesquite and palo verde but I wouldn't take any from my neighborhood due to the spraying issues. It gives me the piece of mind to just buy plant matter for my crabs, even if I have to save up or wait. I just have grape wood, mopani, and cork in my tank.

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Re: Questions About Feeding

Post by curlysister » Thu Jan 18, 2018 10:04 pm

I have ordered from the Hermit Crab Patch a number of times. The shipping for my most recent order was about 9.50 (shipped to North Dakota). I thought that was quite reasonable, and feeding both those foods and fresh foods, it lasts quite a while!
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Re: Questions About Feeding

Post by robinwhiskers » Fri Jan 19, 2018 11:56 am

I did a big first order from the Hermit Crab Patch a year ago this month and I'm yet to even being close to running out of the foods I bought, and that's saying something because that's what I feed my crabs (a variety of course) 95% of the time. Definitely recommend, crabs go crazy for their food!
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