Roaches and gout (uric acid)

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Ducktown, Jan 1, 2018.

  1. Ducktown

    Ducktown Songster

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    Here's a question, I'm asking myself, and you, poultry gurus out there.

    People with spiders, reptiles, exotic birds, fish,... etc, etc, often feed roaches to their animals. Dubia roaches have extremely good nutritional value.

    65.6 (%) moisture
    23.4 (%) Protein
    7.2 (%) Fat
    1.2 (%) Ash
    2.9 (%) Fiber
    800 (mg/kg) Calcium
    2600 (mg/kg) Phosphorus

    Dubia roaches are relatively easy to breed, they are clean, can't infest your home, don't stink, they are quiet and grow quite large, so you can offer them as a treat to your ducks or chickens. They enjoy them at least as much as they enjoy eating a slug.

    There is something that bothers me, though! Roaches store their food in form of uric acid buildup if they are fed with high protein food. When you buy them, you can't really tell, what kind of food they were given, so they can have some sort of uric acid level. They (roaches) can transform that uric acid into protein when the food is scarce and it also allows them to store water.

    Poultry as far as I know, doesn't have an option to digest uric acid and it needs to be removed from their body. If you feed ducks high protein feed, they produced some uric acid themselves already, so additional could possibly become harmful. Is uric acid that gets ingested easy to remove or not? I'm not an expert on duck digestion, but there is a possibility that uric acid never absorbs into their blood stream at all, and doesn't harm the bird. Causes of gout in birds are usually too much calcium in their feed or feed with too high protein content. Ducks also drink A LOT of water which effectively removes the uric acid from their body. I would assume that waterfowl would have less issues with high protein feed than chickens for example. Same goes for possible uric acid intake from a food source.

    Anyone knows more about it? I'd be interested to learn about it :)
     
  2. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia John 3:16

    Maybe @casportpony?

    As for me no way could I have any kind of roach in my house being raised as food for my ducks. Being from Florida originally and having those huge flying roaches fly onto you if you walk outside at night and turn on a light. Oh my gosh about to get an anxiety attack just thinking about it. I have seen pics of those Dubia roaches that is close as I want to get, my flock will have to be happy with dried mealworms plus all the bugs they find when weather is warm. Hopefully casportpony can answer your question about the uric acid.
     
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  3. CayugaJana

    CayugaJana Free Ranging

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    I agree with Miss Lydia. Using roaches even for just treats doesn’t sound like a good idea. Just from a health standpoint. They can carry diseases that transfer to humans. There would be no way to raise them in quantities to have treats without some of them getting in your house or duck coop. I read a little about them and they eat fruits and grains so I’m not sure how the sites selling to you can claim they won’t infest your house. One more thing to think about is the cost. It will probably be pretty expensive to maintain them. I also shutter at the thought and I’m usually up for any science project.

    Is there a specific reason you feel led to grow roaches as opposed to other insects?
     
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  4. Ducktown

    Ducktown Songster

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    Roaches, grown in captivity don't have a chance to get any of the diseases they can carry. They should be even better than locusts and stuff the ducks find outside, because rhey are isolated from everything inside their plastic boxes.
    The roaches I mentioned can not climb smooth surfaces, can't fly and breed only when temperatures are above 26°C. We live in temperate climate, so they would have no chance to breed, they would survive for a while, but would fail to breed.

    Why dubia roaches? I don't know, they are very high in protein, don't need much attention, eat veggies and fruit scraps, they are large enough so tat the duck won't just swallow it whole (I like watching them munch their food and when they run after each other to steal their prey). They don't stink like most of other insects, they are quiet, breed fast and throughout the year. They native environment is in the tropics, so they could only thrive during the warmest 3 months around here. Not even enough to get one generation of roaches, or hardly. They take quite some time to mature.

    Quantities would definetely be an issue at first. They start slowly, but as soon as you get to 1000 breeding adult females, supply should be sufficient. I did quite a lot of reading, so I sound like a roach sales promotor. one female gives birth to 20 to 30 tiny live nymphs. In around 2 months, they get large enough to use them as feed, but you can get them to adult size. By feeding nymphs, the issue with uric acid is also prevented, because they don't have it as much (if any) while they are actively growing.
    I think for 5 ducks I (intend to) have, if each gets 5 roaches, I would need somewhere around 50 adult roach females. They like to be crouwded in their box, so it would only take two relatively small plastic boxes to accomodate them before feeding off their adult sized nymphs when they reach that size.

    That's what was processing in my mind and led me to the issue of uric acid buildup. I like to process as much input, before I do anything stupud.
     
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  5. CayugaJana

    CayugaJana Free Ranging

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    Ok I’m on the same page as you! I did a lot of research on raising mealworms but realized they were too much work so I understand doing your homework. If you are going to give them as a treat, I wouldn’t worry about the uric acid. The amount would be so minute. I’ve seen my ducks eat plenty of wood roaches while free ranging. If you decide to, keep us updated!
     
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  6. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia John 3:16

    Oh my gosh just hearing one of my birds crunch a huge roach would send me :sick

    But I am all for you doing it. lol
     
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  7. Ducktown

    Ducktown Songster

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    I'll make a video, live feed stream. And live feed roach as well. :D
     
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  8. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia John 3:16

    Be sure to put graphic first. lol
     
  9. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Crossing the Road

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    Roaches certainly carry a certain stigma. I'll take you at their word that they can't escape and invade the home. And I'll take you at your word that they do not smell bad. And I'll take you at their word that they can't be vectors for disease.

    All that being said, no thanks. I'll not have any roaches in my home. (not that they'd want to live here anyways, in the arctic climate we have going on!) I've tried meal worms. (raising them, that is!) I found them to be too slow and way too stinky.

    If I lived in a more southern climate, I'd be setting up a BSF bin. They reproduce quickly, thrive on many different options of food, a BSF bin actually decreases the fly population in a yard, so I've been told. The adults have no mouth parts, and I'm told that there is no way for BSF to be a disease vector. A properly set up bin can be a self feeding BSFL dispenser. They are high protein, and also high calcium. I find myself wondering if a prolific colony of BSF would allow the flock owner to move away from the milled feed option, and use whole grains with addition of Fertrell Nutribalancer. Perhaps saving a bit on the feed bill.
     
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  10. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia John 3:16

    Let us know if you do the research what you find out we're all into trying to save some money and keeping our birds healthy
     
    onaharley likes this.

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