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Old 03-22-2010, 01:07 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Freeze Dried Mealies = Bad?

I'm very confused about this. Some sources are saying the occasional freeze dried mealworm is okay, some are saying to "rehydrate them" (? Soak them in water?), some are saying not even one, ever. So I'm coming to the ultimate source. You guys haven't steered me wrong yet: Is the occasional freeze dried mealworm okay, or should I be buying live ones? (I would then freeze them. I can't handle feeding live wriggly things. )

On that note, do hedgehogs even need mealworms, or is it okay to give them other treats instead, and never give them mealworms?

Finally, if frozen alive is the way to go, anyone know of a good place in kingston to go get the live ones, or a good canadian mail-order website? Yellow pages hasn't been very helpful, and I never know who's trustworthy when I'm using google.

Thanks!
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Old 03-22-2010, 01:24 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Freeze Dried Mealies = Bad?

There was an article linked in one of the current threads that said the reason it's bad to give the freeze dried worms is because they no longer contain the enzyme that would help in breaking down the exoskeletons. I think if you froze them it would be similar to the freeze dried but I can't say for sure. Hopefully someone else will come along on this one
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Old 03-22-2010, 02:30 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Freeze Dried Mealies = Bad?

The freeze drying process is basically freezing something, and then lowering the pressure it is under while bumping up the heat until there is little to no moisture left. The lack of water can prevent some enzymes from working, and from what I understand, some of the enzymes that help break down the mealworm chitin are inhibited during the process. Since mealworm exoskeletons are hard to digest in the first place, this makes it very easy for undigested mealworms to pile up and cause an impaction (which can and have been fatal).

Since the mealies were frozen before drying, yes, they could be rehydrated but I wouldn't recommend it. Something about taking a moisture-empty dead insect, soaking it in water to get everything inside squishy again... I dunno, doesn't sound sanitary or appetizing.

Technically, if there is only mealworms and no other additives in the freeze dried ones they should not be dangerous if fed in very small amounts.

Hedgies don't absolutely require mealworms or other insects in captivity to survive, and can do well on a diet of cat foods, fruits, veggies, cooked egg, etc., though I think if they were built to eat them in large amounts, they should at least be offered insects once in a while.

Freezing live mealworms and then thawing them before feeding is just fine. Just make sure they don't sit un-thawed for a while, which will let bacteria build up and in general they will go bad.

Hope that helps a little- that's as much as I know on freeze dried mealies, I may be wrong.



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Old 03-22-2010, 07:59 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Freeze Dried Mealies = Bad?

I use dried mealies now and again becuase my other half doesn't like feeding live creatures. I've got some canned crickets at the mo. You could use tweesers if you don't like to handle them. you might enjoy breeding mealies, it's good, but it takes ages
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Old 03-22-2010, 08:07 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Freeze Dried Mealies = Bad?

Whatever you do, don't buy live mealies from the store on Bath road. I'll leave out the name. Go to my Rainbow Bridge page and read about our Luke to find out why. I don't go in that store anymore but last I was there things hadn't changed.

I have purchased them from Scotties on Middle Road. They are better quality than what I've got at Petsmart. You can also order them in larger quantities from Scotties. A friend of mine orders them online but I can't remember the name of the place so will ask her.
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Old 04-28-2010, 04:48 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Freeze Dried Mealies = Bad?

So i have a question, what do you guys think about buying bugs from this website? http://hedgehogsbyvickie.com/incrediblestuff.htm
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Old 04-28-2010, 05:09 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Freeze Dried Mealies = Bad?

For those type of bugs, I just buy them from a local pet store. They are usually cheaper, and you don't have to pay the shipping.
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Old 04-28-2010, 05:14 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Freeze Dried Mealies = Bad?

Oh Ok thank you : )
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Old 04-29-2010, 01:11 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Freeze Dried Mealies = Bad?

I was just going to say i went to pet depot and they had them and my hedgies like them better for some reason and they are easier to handle. Thank you for the advice, you saved me money : )
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