Non-Bug Protein Sources?

Posts and questions relating to ant diet & nutrition. Let us know what you’re feeding your ants.

Moderator: ooper01

Ecksters
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2016 7:49 pm
Location: Provo, UT

Non-Bug Protein Sources?

Post: # 24799Post Ecksters
Sat Jul 15, 2017 4:35 pm

I'm sure many people have asked this, but the requirement of regularly purchasing, or breeding another species of bug in order to keep ants is perhaps the biggest annoyance for me when it comes to taking care of them. Has anyone experimented with alternative protein sources to see if an Ant Colony can thrive on them?

If Dairy(whey) protein, for example, was sufficient, this would make ant keeping super cheap and super easy. Any experience with this? Do ants simply not recognize it as a protein source?

JosephBIC
Posts: 11
Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2017 2:44 pm
Location: Indionapolis Indiana

Re: Non-Bug Protein Sources?

Post: # 25400Post JosephBIC
Mon Jul 17, 2017 9:46 pm

Hello. I know some websites sell protein sources like protein jelly from ant kit, or Ant Juice from Tarheelants. Ant juice is not meant to be used as a primary protein or food source. I don't know much about the protein jelly, but it seems expensive. If you're looking for something to last a while, I can assure that mealworms will be your best bet. I bought 100 mealworms from a local pet store, and they have lasted quite a few months with plenty left. Some websites sell them in bulk for a relatively low price. The last thing you should know though is that you should always be changing your ant's diet. Feeding an ant colony by mealworms for years won't give your ants the variety of nutrition they need.

User avatar
Serafine
Posts: 428
Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2016 10:23 am
Location: Germany

Re: Non-Bug Protein Sources?

Post: # 25424Post Serafine
Tue Jul 18, 2017 3:22 am

If you want ants that are super easy to feed get harvester ants. They mostly eat seeds (grass, dandelion, also larger seeds like sunflower if they have majors), canary bird food and nuts (and almonds). They still do better with some additional insects added from time to time (they produce more majors and alates then) but it's not required.
"We should respect all forms of consciousness. The body is just a vessel, a mere hull."

Join the Antkeeping Discord chat: https://discordapp.com/invite/ZXFTVzD

hiitsmeiambored
Posts: 23
Joined: Sun Jul 23, 2017 6:53 am
Location: Southampton

Re: Non-Bug Protein Sources?

Post: # 26777Post hiitsmeiambored
Tue Jul 25, 2017 12:43 pm

I feed my ants reptile protein jelly that I get from my local pet store. If you live in the uk you should have a pets at home near you that sells a pack of 6 pots (each about 2 inches tall) for £5 but if you're somewhere else you can usually get something cheap off amazon
Trying to start lasius niger colony. Hoping to keep myrmica rubra and lasius flavus in the future and considering mealworms. Current keeper of 3 evil monsters aka rabbits

JadamJedi
Posts: 35
Joined: Tue Jul 25, 2017 4:16 pm
Location: Georgia, USA

Re: Non-Bug Protein Sources?

Post: # 27348Post JadamJedi
Sat Jul 29, 2017 11:17 am

I just grab a spade and spend about an hour or two every Sunday digging around or overturning logs.

Ants love termites, termites are everywhere btw. Oh and spiders are everywhere two.

But my colony isn't past the first workers yet.

I have been keeping wolf spiders and brown and black widows, however, and you'd be surprised how many bugs are out there just waiting to get eaten lols
A warrior keeps warrior pets. There is no finer warrior than the ant.

idahoantgirl
Posts: 847
Joined: Sat Sep 12, 2015 11:52 am
Location: Idaho, USA

Re: Non-Bug Protein Sources?

Post: # 27352Post idahoantgirl
Sat Jul 29, 2017 11:28 am

I would not recommend feeding bugs from out doors. It could prove fatal for your colony. A founding colony definitely should have insects as it's main protein. After they have a larger amount of workers you can bounce between insects, meats, egg, dog food, ect. But make sure that they are still getting insects as at least a supplement. They probably won't thrive quite as well as if they were being feed a fully insect diet for protein, but they should be fine. I buy a package of mealworms or crickets and freeze them. (fruit flies work great for a very young colony) And then I freeze them (except for the fruit flies which will produce flies for a couple months. I would dump some fruit flies into a big jar every couple of days and freeze them, but leave the culture to produce more.) When my colony is hungry, I take out a mealworm or cricket and cut it up to make the juices easily accessible, and stick it in a testtube inside the outworld.
Proverbs 6:6-11

Go to the ant, you sluggard;
consider its ways and be wise!
It has no commander,
no overseer or ruler,
yet it stores its provisions in summer
and gathers its food at harvest.

Keeper of Tetramorium Sp. E, Lasius Neoniger

JadamJedi
Posts: 35
Joined: Tue Jul 25, 2017 4:16 pm
Location: Georgia, USA

Re: Non-Bug Protein Sources?

Post: # 27364Post JadamJedi
Sat Jul 29, 2017 1:15 pm

Why do you not recommend outdoor insects?

Diseases and mites?

If it is that, don't ant species quarantine their own?

I am a rookie with ants, so this is news to me lol!
A warrior keeps warrior pets. There is no finer warrior than the ant.

User avatar
Jadeninja9
Posts: 586
Joined: Tue Feb 14, 2017 9:00 pm
Location: SF Bay Area, California

Re: Non-Bug Protein Sources?

Post: # 27389Post Jadeninja9
Sat Jul 29, 2017 8:11 pm

JadamJedi wrote:
Sat Jul 29, 2017 1:15 pm
Why do you not recommend outdoor insects?

Diseases and mites?

If it is that, don't ant species quarantine their own?

I am a rookie with ants, so this is news to me lol!
Pesticides
Keeper of:
Camponotus Hyatti
Founding:
10x Lasius alienus queens

idahoantgirl
Posts: 847
Joined: Sat Sep 12, 2015 11:52 am
Location: Idaho, USA

Re: Non-Bug Protein Sources?

Post: # 27455Post idahoantgirl
Sun Jul 30, 2017 10:26 pm

Yeah. Some pesticides can settle on the exoskeleton of insects and not harm them, but they can harm your ants. It is best to purchase feeder insects from a shop.
Proverbs 6:6-11

Go to the ant, you sluggard;
consider its ways and be wise!
It has no commander,
no overseer or ruler,
yet it stores its provisions in summer
and gathers its food at harvest.

Keeper of Tetramorium Sp. E, Lasius Neoniger

User avatar
Serafine
Posts: 428
Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2016 10:23 am
Location: Germany

Re: Non-Bug Protein Sources?

Post: # 27480Post Serafine
Mon Jul 31, 2017 12:35 am

It really depends on your environment. If you know that there are no pesticides used nearby it's not an issue at all - I regularly feed spiders from the woods or around the house and never had any issues. Actually my ant's primary food source are frozen bee pupae I got from a friend and no problems so far.
"We should respect all forms of consciousness. The body is just a vessel, a mere hull."

Join the Antkeeping Discord chat: https://discordapp.com/invite/ZXFTVzD

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest