Our roach chow is a convenient, tasty, nutritionally complete blend of dry ingredients that keeps well in most enclosures until consumed. The feeding instructions below will help you get the most from your roaches and your feed.
A well-formulated dry chow is the cornerstone of a healthy Dubia roach diet. Compared to fruits, vegetables, and fresh-cooked foods, it is safer, more versatile, and more convenient. Dry chow doesn’t spoil quickly, it doesn’t increase moisture in a properly maintained Dubia colony, and it is highly versatile.
This is not to say that fresh foods aren’t healthy or don’t make a positive health impact on Dubia or other roach species. They are, and they do, but these other foods are high maintenance compared to dry chow. They come with inherent risks and can be used regularly, but with caution.
Feeding roaches dry chow is a basic task. After establishing that mold and excess moisture aren’t issues in the enclosure, it’s usually just a matter of adding enough chow to last a few days or a week, then replenishing as needed. This highlights a particular advantage of dry feed, which is that it tends to not increase the risk of mold. It may absorb moisture, but this happens gradually over time.
- Check the colony for problems
- Address any issues
- Feed your roaches
- Add more roach chow as necessary
- Watch for problems
- Add fresh whole foods, if desired
First, make sure the colony is healthy and conditions right for a dry roach chow diet. Check for excess moisture in the enclosure. Look on walls, in frass, under objects like food bowls, and in egg crates or other objects made of permeable material. Roach enclosure environments can fluctuate substantially, so look for signs of previous moisture build-up like crusty, caked frass, mold or discoloration, the smell of ammonia, and brittle egg crates.
Consider taking this opportunity to look for other potential issues too. We created a comprehensive list of roach-keeping hazards and tips for dealing with them in our article about Dubia roach die-off. Some of the hazards are food-related, so you may be interested. Consider bookmarking it if you’re not. The article is basically a deep dive into the myriad potential roach colony troubles, and it can help you out of a jam if your colony develops a problem – as they do.
With that done…
If you find problems, fix them. The article linked above can help with that. So when everything looks OK…
Give them enough food to last a few days. Serve it in a dish – not on the floor of the bin. Check daily for signs of moisture accumulation or food avoidance. This probably won’t happen in just a couple days, but start here if you don’t already have a sense of the enclosure’s conditions. Be mindful of how the environment responds to dry food and how dry food responds to the enclosure’s environment. For example, if the food becomes wet and moldy before the roaches eat it, you need to know this happened and figure out why.
Increase the amount you give your roaches at each feeding until you find a routine that works for you or until you run into problems. In the absence of problems, how much and how often you feed them is entirely up to you.
So how do you know when there’s a problem? Easy. One sign is slower food consumption. While roaches tend to like decaying foods, and in many cases may even prefer it, decayed is different from rancid. Bacterial growth can be OK (roaches love yeast), or it can be not OK (think rancidity). Avoid rancidity. It’s bad news. A foul smell is another sign of problems. Consider that roaches live and eat where they poop and die, and associated problems are amplified by confined, heated, dark, moist spaces.
The bottom line is that roaches usually alert to problems with their food by slowing down or backing off entirely. If you see this, take it seriously. Throw out all uneaten food, then find and fix the problem. Then, start again with a fresh batch of roach chow.
Assuming the conditions are right, you can grow and maintain a thriving colony of healthy, vigorous, and nutritious Dubia Roaches on our dry food alone. This is actually what it’s designed for. However, roaches seem to do a better with at least a little fresh food. This can be as simple as some over-ripe bananas (that you would have otherwise thrown away). Or, it may be unused apple, carrot, or potato trimmings. Or, you could even try leftovers from last night’s dinner. Whatever. We encourage experimentation, and it can be fun. It doesn’t have to be a chore. Find foods your roaches like, avoid foods they don’t, and keep an eye out for any of the issues mentioned above and in our Die-off article (linked above).
Feeding roaches can be as simple or complicated as you make it. For most people, and for a variety of reasons, a base diet of mostly dry roach chow is a wise choice. If you wish, you may supplement the diet with whole fruits and vegetables. Or, you could go wild and create elaborate concoctions with some combination of dry and fresh ingredients. Or, you may opt for something in-between or even nothing at all. With Maximum Nutrition Everyday Roach Ration, how far you go is up to you. That’s the point of it. And, you avoid many problems that may come with relying on a whole food diet, or dry dog or cat food. That’s the point of it too.
So to sum it up, a diet based on dry food increases colony health with proper nutrition, reduces the risk of mold and bacteria growth, and increases convenience. It is a safe base from which to operate. Fruits and vegetables can and should be added when practicable, but dry chow is the safe base from which to operate. How much you venture out is entirely up to you. This is by design. This is the purpose of our dry roach chow.
The Next Level…
So these are the basics. Our roach chow contains ingredients your roaches need to grow big and strong. There’s no need to feed them anything else, but they will probably appreciate it if you do. And, they may even reward your efforts with gains in growth and nutrition. Try it and see! But be sure to follow these instructions as best you can to avoid common problems.
To read more on this topic, check out our post about tweaking roach chow for improved roach health and feeder nutrition. The article can help you take it to the next level. Going “next level” is fairly easy, but we have some useful tips and a list of useful things to know. This includes problems to watch out for, what to try, what not to try, etc. We wrote this guide to help you provide the healthiest feeders possible for your animals.