Just like humans need calcium for bone and teeth health, reptiles also need calcium in their diet. Calcium is key for your reptile’s bone growth, metabolism, muscle function. Without adequate calcium, reptiles can develop metabolic bone disease (MBD) and parathyroid problems.
Most live feeder insects for reptiles are naturally low in calcium and require dusting with calcium powder to be nutritionally adequate. Not only is this an extra expense and step to feed your reptile, it is difficult to measure the appropriate amount of calcium supplement for your reptile. If you opt to not dust your low calcium insect feeders, gut loading is another option. Gut loading is force feeding the insects a calcium packed diet to temporarily fill their GI tract before feeding to your reptile. Gut loading products can be highly inconsistent, and there is no guarantee your reptile will receive the calcium as it can easily be offloaded to the feeder.
Switching your live feeder insect to a high calcium option eliminates the downsides of gut loading and calcium dusting. Black Soldier Fly Larvae (BSFL) are the perfect option for your reptile - they naturally contain up to 80 times more calcium than mealworms! BSFL contain a near optimal 1:1.25 calcium to phosphorus ratio and low in fat (4%) and packed with protein (18% weight weight, 50% dry weight).
Obie’s Worms are sustainably produced and a great staple live insect feeder that contain all the essential nutrients your reptile needs. With 3000ppm calcium- 10x the calcium content of crickets - Obie’s Worms fulfill your reptile calcium requirements in one easy step. Obie’s Worms are great for all sizes and types of insectivores, whether they are reptiles, amphibians, birds or mammals. Obie’s are also wriggly and lively with no chirping or escaping - making feeding time fun for your pet!
*MBD can be prevented by proper husbandry, proper UVB, proper nutrition, and a correct calcium:phosphorus ratio in feed.
Signs of MBD include:
- Poor appetite
- Weight loss
- Difficulty lifting body
- Ataxia, paresis and paralysis of hind limbs