Cicadas as food ( update)

Skip K

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I was initially pretty happy at an abundant free food source...cicadas. I’m reevaluating my opinion on this. Most of the boxies and one of the redfoots have become cicada junkies...ignoring greens and pellets. I’m not thrilled that cicadas are mostly protein. Since there are hundreds of thousands...though my enclosures keep most out...many still find a way in..and they are still coming out of the ground IN the enclosures. I hope I don’t have to deal with breaking a bunch of fat turtles and tortoises of the habit after they have gone away.
 

ZenHerper

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Nature provides foods seasonally. When the supply runs out, animals have to choose other things to eat.

As long as your gang is well hydrated and otherwise healthy, let things run their course. Once every 17 years, eh? lol

Continue offering fruit and vegetation so the choice is there. Soak anyone you suspect is not taking full advantage of swimming/drinking pools.
 

Skip K

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Nature provides foods seasonally. When the supply runs out, animals have to choose other things to eat.

As long as your gang is well hydrated and otherwise healthy, let things run their course. Once every 17 years, eh? lol

Continue offering fruit and vegetation so the choice is there. Soak anyone you suspect is not taking full advantage of swimming/drinking pools.
We get a few cicadas every year. But the 17 year brood is hard to imagine unless you witness it. They are so loud you can’t have a convo outside. If I sit on my covered patio for say...30 minutes...maybe 15 cicadas will land on you...with dozens more crawling around on the floor. The trees and bushes look like they have hundreds of Xmas tree ornaments on them. Something to see, alright. I put the herd outside and the male Redfoot musta eaten 10 in just a few minutes...and was searching for more when I left. Lol...the wood frogs that live in the boxies enclosure look like bowling balls. My main concern is the high protein content of the cicadas. Not so much the boxies...but the redfoots have never been fed a super high protein diet ( just slightly more protein than our grassland group). At least the leopards and sulkies aren’t interested in the cicadas.
 

ZenHerper

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My personal sense of RFs is that they opportunistically eat as much protein as terrestrial turtles do.

I hear ya that the load is perhaps a pressure their kidneys are not used to for your routine. Soak, soak, soak. Serve more watery fruits (melons) as dessert. Maybe chamomile flowers for the kidney tonic effect.

Cicada contain roughly 100 grams protein per pound...you'd have to collect up a bunch and weigh them to realistically decide how much protein your torts are taking in.

Cicadas are also chock-full of antioxidants - they're a super food!
 

Skip K

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We get a few cicadas every year. But the 17 year brood is hard to imagine unless you witness it. They are so loud you can’t have a convo outside. If I sit on my covered patio for say...30 minutes...maybe 15 cicadas will land on you...with dozens more crawling around on the floor. The trees and bushes look like they have hundreds of Xmas tree ornaments on them. Something to see, alright. I put the herd outside and the male Redfoot musta eaten 10 in just a few minutes...and was searching for more when I left. Lol...the wood frogs that live in the boxies enclosure look like bowling balls. My main concern is the high protein content of the cicadas. Not so much the boxies...but the redfoots have never been fed a super high protein diet ( just slightly more protein than our grassland group). At least the leopards and sulkies aren’t interested in the cica
My personal sense of RFs is that they opportunistically eat as much protein as terrestrial turtles do.

I hear ya that the load is perhaps a pressure their kidneys are not used to for your routine. Soak, soak, soak. Serve more watery fruits (melons) as dessert. Maybe chamomile flowers for the kidney tonic effect.

Cicada contain roughly 100 grams protein per pound...you'd have to collect up a bunch and weigh them to realistically decide how much protein your torts are taking in.

Cicadas are also chock-full of antioxidants - they're a super food!
The redfoots do go in the mini pond frequently and they do love their mud. But I’m gonna follow your advice and feed a little more fruit. I usually only feed fruit about every two weeks...because I’m not comfortable with sugar and possible parasite blooms...since they eat whatever they find in their pens as well as what I feed them. But as you mentioned...possible kidney issues because of protein...I’ll make sure of hydration. As a stated before about protein in their diets...the only accurate numbers I have come from the zoomed diets. Grassland is 8.5% and Forest is 12%. Hard to judge what they might have gotten naturally foraging outside. My leopards love clover which is also higher in protein than I like...which I try to monitor. I try to strike a proper balance...but it isn’t easy. As you probably realize...I’m not a big proponent of fast growth. To be honest...the boxies are the easiest to deal with. They live outside year round...and besides a once a week feeding of zoomed box turtle food..they eat what ever they find or daily fruit, veggies or greens scraps my wife gives them from preparing meals. Worry free Chelonia! Lol
 

ZenHerper

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Redfoots eat fruit in the wild. They evolved in places where fruit plants are varied and plentiful. They don't have the digestive and metabolic intolerance that other species do. Some keepers use fruit as fully half their diet.

Increase wet rations slowly to avoid shocking the digestive organs in that way, but don't be afraid of fruit sugars or proteins with RFs and YFs. They are much like terrestrial turtles in their lifestyle and eating habits.
 

ZenHerper

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Holy Moly.

We usually get them later in the summer season up this way...even here in the woods it does not sound too bad, but yikes!

People say they taste shrimp-like. The more you eat this year, the fewer you have to listen to next cycle!

 

Cathie G

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Holy Moly.

We usually get them later in the summer season up this way...even here in the woods it does not sound too bad, but yikes!

People say they taste shrimp-like. The more you eat this year, the fewer you have to listen to next cycle!

That's doubtful since they're having a great party. And pairing up with the prettiest and loudest. I'm sure they make due cause they keep coming back.😁 I just wonder if their protein is different because it has to be made from sap of the roots of trees.
 

ZenHerper

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That's doubtful since they're having a great party. And pairing up with the prettiest and loudest. I'm sure they make due cause they keep coming back.😁 I just wonder if their protein is different because it has to be made from sap of the roots of trees.
Cicadas do convey all 9 amino acids on their predators.

They themselves depend on several species of gut bacteria to manufacture amino acids from sap.

Here's a sort of distressing tl;dr (depending on how you stand on extinct insect species):
 

Cathie G

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Cicadas do convey all 9 amino acids on their predators.

They themselves depend on several species of gut bacteria to manufacture amino acids from sap.

Here's a sort of distressing tl;dr (depending on how you stand on extinct insect species):
That's an interesting article. Everyone hates bag worms on their trees and suggest to cut them off and burn them. One year around my home they were everywhere. It was awful. You couldn't walk through my yard without crunchy ness. I also read in a really old book that lots of bag worms was a forerunner of a bad winter. Later that year we did have a really bad winter but I watched the birds clean up the bags of worms and even the bags when they didn't have anything else to eat. They ate all of it. So I do hate to hear that brood x is having problems. But it doesn't surprise me.
 

Skip K

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It only gets better...lol. Yard work day. Cutting grass with the lawn tractor, weedeating and planting in the boxie enclosure. Musta had 30 cicadas land on me mowing. In my hair...arms, legs, face...crawling up my shorts. Brush up against bush or low hanging branch = shower of cicadas. I don’t care if you are a “ bugs don’t bother me” person. Eventually them landing all over you the entire time you are outside...is kinda creepy. Lol
 

Skip K

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A few more pic of the little bast**ds.
 

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