Feeding with Canned Insects

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This month we take a look at canned whole-feeder products from Zoo Med. These diets make feeding your herps easier and more exciting than ever. Now you can offer your pets all sorts of insects, snails, and even shrimp!

All Zoo Med canned insects are cooked whole in the can to ensure the highest level of nutrition and palatability. This unique cooking process also softens the exoskeleton, making the food more easily digested by even young animals.

WHOSE FOOD One of the greatest things about canned feeders is that most any herp will learn to eat them. Some animals, such as bearded dragons or blue tongue skinks, will readily consume canned insects or snails straight from the can or off of a feeding plate.

Herps that normally hunt live prey may need to be enticed to try canned foods at first by moving the food around in front of them. Use a pair of feeding tongs to gently wiggle food, giving it a life-like appearance. Plastic tongs, like Zoo Med's Plastic Feeding Tongs, are ideal, as the plastic tips are less likely to injure an over zealous eater!

Aquatic turtles will quickly learn to accept nearly any type of food offered to them, and Can O' products are no exception. Dietary variety is a cornerstone of aquatic turtle husbandry, and with Can O' products, turtles can be offered a much wider range of prey than would be available as live feeders.

Reptiles and amphibians are not the only animals that will enjoy Zoo Med's canned insects. Freshwater and marine fish will also eagerly eat these diets. They can be free fed or even trained to accept individual pieces from feeding tongs! Other small pets such as hedgehogs and sugar gliders will also eat Zoo Med canned insects as an alternative to, or in addition to, live foods.


For some reptile keepers, watching their pets hunt is all part of the thrill. However, others would rather not have to deal with finding, caring for, and handling live food. For these individuals, canned insects make keeping some insectivorous herp species a viable option for the first time.

Additionally, by purchasing feeders in a can, there is no need to "gutload" prey items to increase their nutritional value. In fact, they do not need to be fed or watered at all. They can just sit on the shelf until you are ready to feed your pet. Once opened, these products remain good for up to a week if refrigerated.


Zoo Med offers a wide variety of food items in their Can O' products line. Large grasshoppers (a bearded dragon favorite), caterpillars, crickets, mealworms, superworms, shrimp, and snails (great for skinks and box turtles) are all available. The mealworms and crickets are available in two different sizes to meet the needs of herps of all ages and sizes.


If you have any insect-eating or omnivorous herps, you really should give Zoo Med Can O' products a try! They are readily accepted by most species, and the variety of types available allows for the provision of a naturally diverse diet. Next time you go feeder shopping, pick up a can or two. Your lizards, turtles, and fish will thank you!