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Live Insect Nutritional Analysis

20675 Views 21 Replies 16 Participants Last post by  Vivalahedgielution

Ca:p refers to the calcium-phosphorus ratios.[attachment=0:c82p7y09]insectanalysis.htm[/attachment:c82p7y09]


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When you're talking about the percentage of certain nutrients in food, you should also consider how much moisture/water is in the food. For instance, if the guaranteed analysis chart on the label of your dry cat food reads "28% protein" and that on your canned cat food reads "9% protein", you may think the canned cat food has much less protein. However, to compare these two different types of food properly, the two should be compared on an equal basis. The best way to do this to take out all the moisture/water in the food and then compare each ingredient value.

If you take all the moisture/water out of the two samples I used above (using 10% for dry food and 78% for canned food for moisture/water), the numbers change to 31.1% protein for dry food and 36.3% for canned food. This basis used to compare the nutrients of different types of food after taking out moisture/water is called Dry Matter Basis or DMB [see How To Calculate the Percent Dry Matter in a Pet Food for details].

I think the chart posted here could be a bit misleading as it's not based on DMB. My fear is that someone looking at this chart will think, "Oh, mealworms have only 12.70% fat. That's not bad," when in fact, using DMB, the fat content in mealworms amounts to a whopping 33.42% (58.42% DMB for waxworms)! :shock:

So please use careful judgement when you're deciding to choose feeder insects as a treat for your hedgie. ;)

For those who are interested, you can read and compare different bugs for insectivorous house pets based on DMB values in the following academic paper.
Feeding Captive Insectivorous Animals: Nutritional Aspects of Insects as Food
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That is very true. People definitely have to consider the amount of moisture in a food (or insect, in this case). Just looking at the analysis for live mealies vs. freeze dried mealies there is an enormous difference.
I feed my bearded dragons superworms, silkworms, and hornworms.
Was planning on using supers/silks as a treat food.
Can you break down with out moisture the superworms fat% vs Protein%?
Also for a Silkworm?
The hornworms at $2 a piece, will be a very occassional treat. Silk and Super, I have hundreds on hand any given day. (AS A TREAT! 2-4 a day MAX, I have not fed any yet)

Some clarity would help me make an informed decision.

On a DM basis, superworms come out as 43% protein, and 45% fat. Silkworms came out as 266% protein, and 44% fat. I hope I did the math right...

I just used the link hedgieMate provided ( http://www.thepetcenter.com/imtop/dm.html ) and calculated from there. I hope this is along the lines you were looking for. :)
LizardGirl said:
On a DM basis, superworms come out as 43% protein, and 45% fat. Silkworms came out as 266% protein, and 44% fat. I hope I did the math right...
Heehee, "266% of protein"? :lol: Let me guess, LG, math isn't your forte, is it? You do other things very well, so it doesn't matter though. ;)

I don't have time to check the accuracy of the info I have at hand, but according to it, the nutritional analysis of silkworms is something like: 75% moisture, 10% protein, and 6% fat. These numbers translate to 40% protein DMB and 24% fat DMB.

For hornworms, the analysis is like: 9% protein, 3% fat, and 85% moisture. If this data is accurate, the numbers will be 60% protein DMB and 20% fat DMB.

Keep in mind that many vets and hedgehog experts believe too much protein is harmful to hedgehogs causing various degrees of renal damage on the long term.

Furthermore, while it's important to know the values of protein, fat, fibre, and moisture in your hedgie's food, other nutrients such as ash, calcium, phosphorus, and fatty acids also contribute to your hedgie's overall health but they're rarely listed on a pet food package. So try doing some research and find out the nutrient values as much as you can before feeding any food to your hedgehog. :)
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I thought the 266% was outrageous too, but the original values I was using were 10.6% fat, 63.8% protein, and 76% water. I got the values for the chart listed from a reliable herp site, but perhaps they got it wrong, or a typo. 63.8% is quite high. :?
Thanks for sharing this useful information.
sorry if this is a repeat but newbie here: what is the idea calcium phosphorus ratio?
From a document I have from the Go Hog Wild hedgehog show of 1998 it states that Wendy Graffam recommended
Commercial Diets - Calcium Suggested requirement - 0.9%
Commercial Diets - Phosphorus Suggested requirement - 0.9%

Other than her research, we really don't have much additional or updated information on hedgehog nutritional requirements.
I'm considering raising my own meal worms and using a gut-load as their moisture source, has anyone done this?
There are plenty of us who raise them. They are quite easy to raise. I use carrots or apples to feed them.
This is great, thanks a lot! My hedgie is 2 months old, is it okay to feed her worms?
vasogoma said:
This is great, thanks a lot! My hedgie is 2 months old, is it okay to feed her worms?
My hedgie is 7 weeks and I just started him on some dry canned mealworms - he loves them... hope it's not too early... :?
I haven't read about an age limit to when you can begin feeding mealworms. But as moxieberry mentioned to you in another thread, live is definitely better. I saw that you were planning to order some, so that's great! :)
jerseymike1126 said:
dubia get no love in the chart?
Dubia roach is 61% moisture, 36% protein, 7% fat, and 2% ash. (I have no idea what 'ash' is, lol.)
moxieberry said:
(I have no idea what 'ash' is, lol.)
Ash is a pokemon master.
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