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Thread: Flyer Protein Options/Amounts

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    Default Flyer Protein Options/Amounts

    After losing Teenie at such a young age a few months ago, Iím trying to be extra careful with this new baby that arrived unexpectedly.

    Heís being raised inside, so it will be easier to monitor his portions. Teenieís mate and two daughters still have the large habitat, and eat from a community feeding station . So itís hard to know who eats how much.

    They never cared for mealworms; only the wax worms . But recently I read somewhere that these are very fattening? I used to put out the worms very generously for the four, before he died. Now, Iím wondering if they should be limited?

    They get daily veggies , limited fruit, Henryís picky blocks and Harlan 2018.

    What amount of worms do most here feed daily per flyer? I wonder now, if too many contributed to his weight gain and premature death
    His family never liked boiled eggs, or chicken or yogurt. Sometimes will eat the dried crickets/grasshopper stuff. And random bugs and moths that get in their porch.

    I want to try to raise up Tater Chip (I like that name, Crittermom! ) to be less picky, hopefully??!

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    Default Re: Flyer Protein Options/Amounts

    I wouldn't overfeed them, say 1/2 Tsp. daily if a dried source. I found that the only reason a gray squirrel took issue with the dried mealworms was because they didn't like the pincers. When the pincers were cut off and the worms cut, the squirrel went right form them without any hesitation. With the live grubworms, sometimes even flyers reject mealworms for then the pincers actually work! Dried is good though, as then there is no escapees. https://vita-mealie.weebly.com/dried...-listings.html

    As you know, since any protein source is very high in P:Ca ratio, calcium should be increased to that which is at least (2.3:1) higher than the amount of phosphorus that the source provides by specific measure; this as not to lower the the (Ca:P) ratio total for the whole diet. For support for the measure for calcium send me a PM.

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    Default Re: Flyer Protein Options/Amounts

    Yeah, the problem with meal and wax worms is the calcium to phosphorus levels. A lot of people dust the worms with calcium powder before feeding them, but I see that as an issue in itself. I treat "bugs" as treats only. Living where I do, availability is limited, since they will die in shipping in very cold or very hot conditions, so the only local place I can get them, which is my Petco, limits their orders frequently since getting in containers of dead worms doesn't help anybody.

    When I have access to them, Laz (and MoMouse who is a honorary flyer) get 3 meal or 2 waxworms a day until they run out. Often they get none for weeks or months. Both of them eat HHBs - the high protein ones would be a perfect fit but I have been unsuccessful at getting ANYBODY to eat them. Both get picky and hazelnut blocks - Laz gets one a day, carefully sliced into three slices or he won't even consider them, MoMouse gets about 1/3 of a block cut into little tiny cubes. Both get salads which are very popular. Nobody is interested in doing anything but hide the Teklad blocks though they are available. And hidden. Laz won't even consider things like chicken, chicken jerky, or any other protein sources I am willing to provide (No, Laz, I WILL NOT make you bacon). Laz just turned 9...

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    Default Re: Flyer Protein Options/Amounts

    Oh wow. Back when Teenie first arrived , and I scoured for info , I saw there was a lot of emphasis for protein. So I guess that translated into a generous bowl of gross moving things for the whole gang every night.
    And, I lightly powdered them every night. But by sounds, way too many

    I even stressed if we ran out because the wax were the ONLY “meat” they will eat well.

    To be sure they get the block, I’ve always had to resort to boo balls. These have formula in them , per the recipes here. So I guess as long as they get these, they are getting enough protein? In case one of the three (Big Mama) tries to hog all the worms?

    It would be ideal (but nasty) if I could hand feed the worms , but only 2/3 of his family will take food from my hand. I’m trying to work with their youngest DD.

    But Tater , he’s going to be raised right Just didn’t realize the protein (worms) needed to be in moderation. There just aren’t as many discussions about Flyer Diets and percent/portions; or I guess I just missed them/misunderstood. I’ll guarantee that’s what did him in. He probably hogged the worm dish
    The girls are starting a strict worm diet immediately.

    If they would eat chicken, or ground turkey etc, do these need to be limited? Is there a detailed thread somewhere that gives a better guide on portions of each food group a healthy flyer needs?

    Heck, if Laz is 9, send me his menu!! You must be doing it right

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    Default Re: Flyer Protein Options/Amounts

    Well, they likely do need more protein than the other tree squirrels, but it is also likely that the insects that flyers eat in the wild have very different nutritional makeup than what we have available through the pet trade. First, they are larvae. Once the wax worms turn into moths and fly away, is their makeup different? Who knows. The mealworms are larval darkling beetles; most beetles don't get eaten too much because their hard exoskeleton offers so little in the way of food. Given that flyers are nocturnal, you can bet that moths make up a big part of their protein diet. You can also bet they don't consume that much in the way of larvae - why would they dig around in leaf litter when there are moths flying all over?

    I honestly don't think anyone REALLY knows what all flyers eat in the wild, nor what kind of amounts of protein, fat, and vitamins and minerals exactly they need. It is way harder to observe them in their natural surroundings - they are tiny, blindingly fast, and can freaking FLY. I strongly think that like so many things we don't really know about, if one person says "X is true" and that person is trusted on the subject, it will be repeated again and again until it becomes dogma, and even once clear, incontrovertible fact becomes known, the dogma will be repeated ad nauseum forever and many will stick to it. Someone, once, around the dawn of recorded history, decided you should use pedialyte instead of water to mix up puppy formula and now, a million years later, people are still doing it! LOL.

    So I try to present Laz with a healthy variety of foods and hope he knows what he is doing. He is very seasonal. He will chow down on everything - his salad and his HHBs - like a champ for months. Then suddenly he will stop eating his salad for a couple months. He still gets it; he just doesn't eat it. Then one day he will eat his salad like a good boy...and stop eating his blocks. I will turn myself inside out trying to convince him but nope, he hides them and I have to go hunting and get rid of them every morning. Then one day he suddenly begins eating everything again. He has done this for nine years. I can only assume he needs different things at different times of year and adjusts his consumption accordingly. He is a healthy, happy boy with lovely fur. But he is a total mystery to me (Laz, Squirrel of Mystery).

    Now he would gorge on his worms every day of the year if he could. He meets me at the front cage bars every morning to beg goodies - he only gets treats in the morning (and by morning I mean between 4 and 5) because I want him to eat his healthy stuff at night. He leaps delicately to the front bars and swipes at the air outside the cage with his ridiculous little hands, begging. Petco didn't have worms for several months this winter, and when they got them in, well that leaping delicately thing went right out the door. He HURLS himself at the front of the cage as soon as I stagger out there with such force I expect him to knock the entire thing over. I actually pick the morning worms out the night before and put them in a plastic container on the table on the 2nd floor landing where his cage is with some tweezers so they are there immediately because I am afraid he would have a heart attack waiting for me to stumble downstairs and get them then. So do they LOVE them? Oh, hell yeah! Are they GOOD for them? More complicated.

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    Default Re: Flyer Protein Options/Amounts

    I've seen a video on the board of flyers going for slightly warmed dark turkey meat right off the bone!

    Cold baked poultry meat isn't as appealing.

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    Default Re: Flyer Protein Options/Amounts

    Quote Originally Posted by CritterMom View Post
    I honestly don't think anyone REALLY knows what all flyers eat in the wild, nor what kind of amounts of protein, fat, and vitamins and minerals exactly they need.


    Quote Originally Posted by Diggie's Friend View Post
    I've seen a video on the board of flyers going for slightly warmed dark turkey meat right off the bone!

    Cold baked poultry meat isn't as appealing.
    I give them chicken bones... usually the drumstick.. but I break them open to provide access to the marrow. I am sure turkey bones would be just as good, just have not done this personally (yet). I have been known to give steak bones, rib bones, etc. as well. I try to soak these overnight and rinse very well to get the seasoning (salt) out to the extent I can.

    Have you tried the Pure Bites freeze dried chicken? They are really dog / cat treats. I have good luck with those but like everything, they tire of them after a while.

    I rotate chicken bones, eggs, Pure Bites, wax worms (but never meal worms for me) and then of course any grasshoppers, mayflies and any others I happen upon. Woodlouse are great if you can find them (in the wild, under logs and what not) because they have high Ca and mine always eat them when offered... I am sure they would tire of these if I ever fed them over a period of consecutive days. My focus on the "extra protein" for flyers is 2 - 3 nights a week, but that is just me. Maybe switching it up and the protein being absent a night or two makes it more enticing for them? :dunno


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    Default Re: Flyer Protein Options/Amounts

    Quote Originally Posted by Spanky View Post




    I give them chicken bones... usually the drumstick.. but I break them open to provide access to the marrow. I am sure turkey bones would be just as good, just have not done this personally (yet). I have been known to give steak bones, rib bones, etc. as well. I try to soak these overnight and rinse very well to get the seasoning (salt) out to the extent I can.

    Have you tried the Pure Bites freeze dried chicken? They are really dog / cat treats. I have good luck with those but like everything, they tire of them after a while.

    I rotate chicken bones, eggs, Pure Bites, wax worms (but never meal worms for me) and then of course any grasshoppers, mayflies and any others I happen upon. Woodlouse are great if you can find them (in the wild, under logs and what not) because they have high Ca and mine always eat them when offered... I am sure they would tire of these if I ever fed them over a period of consecutive days. My focus on the "extra protein" for flyers is 2 - 3 nights a week, but that is just me. Maybe switching it up and the protein being absent a night or two makes it more enticing for them? :dunno


    Wait a minute. Wait just a gosh darned minute.

    THEY EAT PILL BUGS?

    I mean, the idea that Laz will eat poultry, on the bone, off the bone, flambe, a l'orange, fried, roasted, or in piccata is to laugh and you are telling me THEY EAT PILL BUGS??? And they are "good" for them (just threw up a little in my mouth)? If I go down in my basement and pick up anything that has sat on the concrete floor for more than an hour I will find a ton of them. My house backs up to hardwood woods and it is pill bug central.

    REALLY? You wouldn't mess with me, would you?

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    Default Re: Flyer Protein Options/Amounts

    This is amazing ! Thank you so much ,

    Iím putting these posts in my notes !!

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    Default Re: Flyer Protein Options/Amounts

    Quote Originally Posted by CritterMom View Post
    Wait a minute. Wait just a gosh darned minute.

    THEY EAT PILL BUGS?

    I am only sharing my experience... I will mention the woodlouse I find around here are the flatter and more grey than the ones I grew up knowing. These don't roll into a perfect ball like the ones in Michigan which were almost black. Not sure if that matters? And the woodlouse feedings are probably less then once a month.. maybe once every 2 - 3 weeks... Just depends if I happen across them outdoors.

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    Default Re: Flyer Protein Options/Amounts

    Even though my Conker isn't a flyer he loves chicken, scrambled or boiled egg
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    Default Re: Flyer Protein Options/Amounts

    I bought some wings and mini drumsticks; going to give these a try, and if Conker likes them , I’ll see if some of my NR greys do as well

    I had no idea; I apparently took the protein requirement too seriously. And thought they needed it daily. And sadly, I guess I’ve been too generous out of fear they would die without a huge daily offering to nibble from. My remaining three “Teenie” survivors will hopefully live longer now that I’m cutting back on these fatty worms

    And Tater Chip will be getting his first tiny piece of chicken tonight

    We have those pill bugs here too… Everywhere. But with my luck, being in the south they probably have some sort of spicy, flaming ingredient in them , like the fire ants . Those things are evil!!

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    Default Re: Flyer Protein Options/Amounts

    Then again Conker likes everything 😂
    I daily give a variety they never eat it all and I feel they eat what they need👍

    What the heck is a PILL BUG 🤔😂

    FYI fire ant bite, wet skin apply baking soda poof burn gone 😀
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    Default Re: Flyer Protein Options/Amounts

    Quote Originally Posted by Snicker Bar View Post
    I bought some wings and mini drumsticks; going to give these a try, and if Conker likes them , Iíll see if some of my NR greys do as well

    I had no idea; I apparently took the protein requirement too seriously. And thought they needed it daily. And sadly, I guess Iíve been too generous out of fear they would die without a huge daily offering to nibble from. My remaining three ďTeenieĒ survivors will hopefully live longer now that Iím cutting back on these fatty worms

    And Tater Chip will be getting his first tiny piece of chicken tonight

    We have those pill bugs here tooÖ Everywhere. But with my luck, being in the south they probably have some sort of spicy, flaming ingredient in them , like the fire ants . Those things are evil!!


    Do I sniff wings, hot sauce and a cold one? The gang and I may show up any time soon. Just so you know!



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    Default Re: Flyer Protein Options/Amounts

    Sure! We could grill some extras

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    Default Re: Flyer Protein Options/Amounts

    Ok now I'm hungry for WINGS 😋
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    Default Re: Flyer Protein Options/Amounts

    More on the woodlice:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lbty-Kz5bQ0

    "Woodlice", , are not blood sucking insects as their name would lead one to assume; but a terrestrial isopod much like shrimp and lobsters are. "Woodlice" commonly known as: (potato bugs, sow bugs, pill bugs), are commonly found at the base of trees and lawns where decaying leaf litter and grass litter which contains high levels of calcium accumulates. Noted in John Gurnell's book, "The Natural history of Squirrels"; Woodlice" are a food source consumed by the E. gray squirrel. In a lab study on feeder insects and bugs referenced in this book, the carapace of woodlice is noted to contain 24 % calcium carbonate.

    "Woodlice" are known to spray an ammonia excretion in their defense. This leaves me with the question as to whether they are eaten live, or after they die as to consume the remains?


    Raising woodlice can be done by providing a continual moist natural organic wood substrate with fruit, sweet potato or yams for them to feed upon. By adding calcium carbonate to the mash, it can simulate the decaying leaves and grasses rich in calcium content that this bug consumes in the wild. There is though concern over not just the immediate area where they are found, but also the surrounding area, as to whether or not it has been treated with herbicides (organophosphates), pesticides, GMO (glyphosates), or synthetic nitrogen fertilizers; since these toxic compounds pose a significant risk for rodents developing cancer exposed to them, let alone when consumed by them. Better to know than not.

    https://wellnessmama.com/61297/fulvi...acid-benefits/
    Last edited by TubeDriver; 05-11-2022 at 03:01 PM.

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    Default Re: Flyer Protein Options/Amounts

    Like all insects and bugs, beyond the issue of wild insects and bugs caring potentially harmful parasites in their gut and organs; woodlice are known to accumulate copper and lead, cadmium and other heavy metals; yet also efficient at excreting these compartmentalized heavy metals in their body in their excrement. Because of these issues, it is a safer choice to provide grubworms and bugs that have been farm-raised outside of the wild where their diet is controlled. Raising, "Woodlice" is an option to bypass the use of native soils that contain parasites and perhaps higher levels of heavy metals.

    "Camilles Vita-Mealies" provides a variety of naturally farm raised grubworms and insects. Their, "Superworms" were given to a gray squirrel who relished them. It may though be needful to remove the pincers (hard structures) of mealworms, for squirrels to accept them.

    https://vita-mealie.weebly.com/dried...-listings.html

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