Saturday, September 29, 2012

What Do Our Hermit Crabs Eat?


Have you ever stopped to wonder what do hermit crabs eat? Well you may be surprised to learn that they eat pretty much anything they can get their hands, or rather pincers, on! In the wild they are termed as foragers and live on a diet of fallen fruit, plants, grasses and tree bark. They also have cannibalistic tendencies and will eat small dead crustaceans!
If you long to own an exotic pet and are wondering what do your little hermies feed on, then you can rest assured that they are NOT picky eaters. In fact, if I was given the choice between feeding a fussy adolescent to that of feeding a little hermie, I would definitely choose the latter.
The hermies can be fed solely on commercially produced crab food which also contains essential supplements such as carotene, calcium and a variety of antioxidants, but because it is well documented that your new little buddy enjoys a varied diet, I would suggest that you combine this with a diet of fresh food. The hermie is naturally omnivorous, like us humans, which means they eat meat, fish, fruit and vegetables. So, in effect, you need never suffer a headache from wondering what do you feed your little hermie because you can pick up all of their requirements, when you do the weekly supermarket shop!
When feeding your "hermie" make sure to wash and rinse all of his food in clear water and then leave it to dry naturally. He likes to munch with a crunch so try not to let his food get soggy. Try giving him small pieces of meat or fish, but make sure they are not covered with any type of sauce, together with a variety of vegetables. You can follow this with a fruit dessert of may be mango, papaya or coconut, such as he would have in the tropics, although he will be equally as happy with citrus fruit. The great thing when wondering what do hermies actually consume is that the answer really is pretty much anything and you won't have to spend hours and lots of dosh, sourcing expensive special exotic food.
A baby crab will learn what do other hermies or adult hermies eat by watching his peers as well as using his antennae to sniff out food. You can have fun by serving up a new "dish of the day" and watching him rush to his food bowl with his antenna poised. Like many humans, your hermi would like an occasional junk food fix and is also partial to chocolate. Just be careful, though, not to over indulge this habit. He also loves peanut butter and popcorn.
If you are not using commercially produced crab food you will need to ensure that your crab is getting enough of both calcium and carotene. The latter can be found predominantly in carrots and corn and is vital to your crab's well being. A crab who is carotene deficient, will lose his lovely vibrant color and turn a mushy grey. He may also experience difficulties when next molting. Although calcium can be provided by offering a small amount of dairy produce, an easier way is to give your crab a piece of cuttlebone. This can be grated and added to your crab's food. You can source this in the bird section of your local pet store - so no problem there.

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