This is our Dubia roach chow, and it’s where the magic happens! This is the good stuff — where the rubber meets the road, as it were. It serves as the foundation of our Dubia roaches’ diet, and we consider it the cornerstone of our Dubia production.
We call it Maximum Nutrition Everyday Roach Ration (MNERR for short), and we designed it to do two things:
- Maximize Dubia roach growth and reproduction, and
- create nutritious feeders.
We accomplished this in two ways.
First, we thoroughly researched, tested, and refined the ingredients over many roach generations.
While this may sound simple, it’s actually quite complex. There is a large body of research on insect rearing, and most of it focuses on diet and nutrition. Cockroaches are forgiving insects, but they present certain challenges for roachkeepers. With respect to productivity, nutrition matters. Getting their diet right versus wrong can mean the difference between a successful breeding project and an unsuccessful one.
We run a productive Dubia roach breeding operation thanks in large part to this roach chow. But this wasn’t always true. We’ve had many ups and downs. In the scientific literature, it is common to see a 100% difference in productivity among roaches fed different diets. This is huge! And these were not “garbage” versus “ideal” diets. They were comparisons between two or more diets scientists reasonably expected to succeed.
The lesson is that when rearing insects, you must get nutrition right. Undernourished Dubia roaches grow slower and produce smaller batches of less viable offspring. And because adult Dubia roaches depend on nutritional reserves acquired as nymphs, poor nutrition at any stage of development can cause a multi-generational cycle that is hard to break.
In fact, research suggests cockroaches don’t ever recover from early-life nutritional deficiency. Once deficiency exists in nymphs, they never catch up to their healthier peers. What they lost is gone forever, and they don’t even recover when they receive adequate nutrition later in life.
And what about adults? It’s the same thing. Once roaches reach adulthood, their health and future productivity is essentially set. What they will become as breeders or feeders is a function of what they are as nymphs, and you can’t change that retroactively.
Yikes! We think this is a strong argument for the power of nutrition. Never neglect your roaches! If you do, they may end up irreversibly unhealthy and unproductive. They may also live shorter lives.
We’ve seen these highs and lows in our colonies during early testing. For us, the evidence is clear: Nutrition matters, and this is why we developed MNERR. It’s also why we use it in production. Our breeding operation depends on high productivity. And we get the productivity we want from our roaches thanks in large part to this Dubia roach chow.
Second, Dubia roaches have specific nutritional needs at different life stages. While these needs vary by stage, they also vary within stages. The roaches manage their needs with dietary “self-selection,” which means they choose to eat foods with the nutrients they need, when they need them.
Self-selection is a well-documented trait (external link) in Dubia roaches. MNERR takes advantage of this innate ability.
Our Dubia roach chow addresses all these issues and more. Based on our research, it has the right amount of protein. It has all the nutrients Dubia roaches need, and it has them in the right amounts. And also in the forms they can use.
In short, our Dubia roach chow helps grow healthier, more productive Dubia roaches.