Home-made Axolotl/Newt Pellet Recipe

firedreams

2010 Research Grant Donor
Joined
May 31, 2009
Messages
243
Reaction score
7
Points
0
Location
Toronto, ON
Country
Canada
Display Name
Lydia
Hi all,

I was recently lucky enough to add 3 Ambystoma Mexicanum juveniles (currently approx. 5 months old) to my collection of Caudates. Upon seeing what enthusiastic and opportunistic eaters they are, I have become a tad paranoid about the possibility that they might unexpectedly exhaust my live food supply in the dead of winter, and so have been researching pellets as an occasional dietary supplement / emergency food source. While I do have access to commercially available newt/salamander “bites”, I suspect that a homemade pellet would be healthier (and also, frankly, I am keen on controlling exactly what goes into the food that I feed to my axolotls). After looking over the recipe for Johnny’s Axolotl Pellets, I decided to try my hand at making my own pellets. Instead of following Johnny’s recipe to the letter (I didn’t want to make * that * many pellets, and I did not have access to all of his ingredients), I elected to create my own recipe, inspired by his. Here it is:

Ingredients:

85 large crickets (place in freeze 1 hr before blending)
25 wax worms
10 butter worms
2 dozen night crawlers
2 dozen red wigglers
1 package frozen blood worms (defrosted)
1 package frozen tubifex worms (defrosted)
2 cups frozen “salad shrimp” (defrosted, rinsed and soaked in dechlorinated water for about 2 hours)
1 tbsp calcium powder
2 unflavoured gelatin packets (dissolved in 2 cups of dechlorinated water, and heated to a boil)

Instructions:

Blend all ingredients in electric blender until mixture has the consistency of thick gravy. Using an icing dispenser (or a zip-lock bag with a small hole cut into one corner), dispense mixture in long lines onto cookie sheets covered with wax paper. Let mixture dry in the sun, or in an oven set on warm. Do not dry too much! Ideally, the mixture should be the consistency of chewed bubble gum (minus the elasticity). Cut the lines of mixture into small bars, approximately 1-2cm long and 1-2mm wide. Spread the bars out on a wax paper covered cookie sheet and place them in the freezer for 3 hours. Remove from freezer, and divide the frozen pellets up into freezer bags and return to freezer. (Pre-freezing on the cookie sheet will prevent the pellets from freezing together in a giant ball when placed together in a freezer bag). The pellets should be good for at least 1 yr in the freezer.

All of my Axies seem very pleased with these pellets. I also offered one to my adult P. Chinensis – a notoriously picky eater – and even he was happy to take one! I do not intend these as a replacement for live food, but hope that they can be a nutritious occasional supplement.

Attached are pictures of the process.
 

Attachments

  • 554336_10100242699235949_36815130_46492085_850305918_n.jpg
    554336_10100242699235949_36815130_46492085_850305918_n.jpg
    51 KB · Views: 1,128
  • 163555_10100242699265889_36815130_46492086_388318080_n.jpg
    163555_10100242699265889_36815130_46492086_388318080_n.jpg
    54.3 KB · Views: 1,507
  • 319735_10100242699330759_36815130_46492087_896132132_n.jpg
    319735_10100242699330759_36815130_46492087_896132132_n.jpg
    81.3 KB · Views: 5,931
  • 380341_10100242699375669_36815130_46492088_1770417961_n.jpg
    380341_10100242699375669_36815130_46492088_1770417961_n.jpg
    50.6 KB · Views: 1,745

Northern Forest

New member
Joined
Jul 2, 2011
Messages
5
Reaction score
1
Points
0
Country
Canada
Display Name
Arie
I have two young axolotls and living in Northern Canada, I have also been worried about running out of fresh, live food in the winter. Also, our pet store is very limited in the variety of food it carries (basically no variety - they only have crickets and frozen blood worms) and so I have to rely on mainly earthworms and the occasional treat like butter worms and wax worms that a friend of mine brings up when she visits (she is from a much larger city). I was really happy to see this post as it offers an emergency food source, and a bit more variety, so I thought I would try it out!

Unfortunately, my first attempt did not turn out quite right. I think it was because I didn't add quite enough gelatin to account for the moisture from my worms -- I added in more nightcrawlers and used fewer red wigglers. Also, I would recommend letting the mixture partially set before pouring onto the pans so it would hold its shape more (make sure you can still pour it though). Mine flattened into a sort of thick 'flake', rather than a pellet. That being said, my axolotls still really enjoyed their homemade 'flakes'! It was also really nice to know what was going into my axolotls' food. I would definitely make Firedreams' recipe again. Thanks for posting it!
 

firedreams

2010 Research Grant Donor
Joined
May 31, 2009
Messages
243
Reaction score
7
Points
0
Location
Toronto, ON
Country
Canada
Display Name
Lydia
Thanks for the feedback, Arie! I agree, and definitely recommend letting the gelatin set prior to pouring the mixture. I suspect that adding more gelatin would also be an improvement (perhaps 4 gelatin packets instead of 2). I will be testing this assumption in a few weeks when I make pellets again, and will be sure to post my results!
 

AlienFirefox

Banned
Joined
Apr 8, 2012
Messages
81
Reaction score
2
Points
0
Location
Sydney, Australia
Country
Australia
and hope ur kid doesnt come home thinking its chocolate biscuits.
waxworms are impossible to find hee maybe chafer worms would be better
 

mshine1217

New member
Joined
May 26, 2012
Messages
75
Reaction score
3
Points
0
Location
SW Montana
Country
United States
Display Name
Karen aka mshine1217
I'm curious about how much your recipe makes. From the pictures that you posted it appears that it make enough for one cookie sheet, the three plastic bags worth?
 

firedreams

2010 Research Grant Donor
Joined
May 31, 2009
Messages
243
Reaction score
7
Points
0
Location
Toronto, ON
Country
Canada
Display Name
Lydia
Hi all,

Thanks for the responses! Re: the yield of the recipe - the amount of product pictured in the blender is the approximate amount that the recipe yields. Depending on how thick your "pellet lines" are, and how close you place them, the number of cookie sheets will vary. I used approximately 8 cookie sheets.

I should mention that the pictures posted here were from my first attempt at making pellets, and I must admit that I accidentally spoiled at least half of the batch during the drying stage. I tried drying some of the pellets in the oven and some on my porch in the sun. Unfortunately I did not hear the timer go off for the oven and overcooked that half of the batch (about 4 cookie sheets). So... if you are drying them in the oven, learn from my mistakes and keep a very close eye on them! This is also why the yield of chopped and bagged pellets pictured is less than what you should expect from this recipe.
 
  • Like
Reactions: kay
General chit-chat
Help Users
  • No one is chatting at the moment.
  • Chat Bot:
    RobynB27 has left the room.
    +1
    Unlike
  • Lilith:
    Does anyone know if aquacare general tonic is ok for axolotls as a treatment for bacterial or fungal infection?
    +1
    Unlike
  • faebugz:
    Hi Lilith, you can check the medications page for a list of axolotl safe treatments. Although if the infection is mild, I would stick with fridge and salt baths!
    +1
    Unlike
  • faebugz:
    I believe the fridge gets to about 54°, so if you can replicate that in the tank, it might be okay. I personally would fridge just to make catching them easier, and if the infection is something in the water column at all, it will hopefully die out while they're AWOL (I'm thinking like ich for fish, not sure if axies have an equivalent)
    +1
    Unlike
  • Lilith:
    Ok, thank you!
    +1
    Unlike
  • chitoos:
    My three inch axolotl was having trouble pooping up to a few days ago. I wasn't feeding her as often because I was scared I would just add to her constipation. I fridged her until she pooped (twice), and then began to feed her around 6 bloodworms every other day. she's been pooping everyday now, but she's at that age where you can see through her stomach and I always see poop ready to come out but has not yet passed. I don't think she's constipated anymore, but I'm not sure and i don't want to over or underfeed her... any advice?
    +1
    Unlike
  • Chat Bot:
    xxianxx has joined the room.
    +1
    Unlike
  • xxianxx:
    Feed it chopped worms chitoos, its big enough and bloodworm is nutritionaly deficient.
    +1
    Unlike
  • xxianxx:
    Freeze dried , live or frozen bloodworm.
    +1
    Unlike
  • chitoos:
    Oh ok thanks! I thought she might be ready for something more. do you have any advice about the apparent poop problem?
    +1
    Unlike
  • xxianxx:
    @Lilith, fridging is not required for fungus treatment. Read my thread on treatment.
    +1
    Unlike
  • xxianxx:
    Feed it more, six bloodworm isnt much, dont use freeze dried foods
    +1
    Unlike
  • xxianxx:
    Feed daily , remove uneaten food
    +1
    Unlike
  • chitoos:
    Gotcha, Thank you!
    +1
    Unlike
  • xxianxx:
    Its probably not pooping because its hardly beign fed, it pooped in the fridge because the lower temp caused it to purge itself. If it stays constipated you can pm me
    +1
    Unlike
  • Chat Bot:
    xxianxx has left the room.
    +1
    Unlike
  • Chat Bot:
    xxianxx has joined the room.
    +1
    Unlike
  • Chat Bot:
    xxianxx has left the room.
    +1
    Unlike
  • Audrey22:
    Hi guys. Quick question. I have newly morphed eastern newt efts. They lost their gills but they still prefer the water. I have coconut fiber, moss, hidey holes and some food in the temporary habitat for them (waiting for the other newts to morph as well). But they still run back to the water. Is it the wrong substrate? Do they prefer something other than coconut fiber? I've been doing everything else properly (According to my research) but just wondering why they haven't ventured up. Have any ideas?
    +1
    Unlike
  • MVM1991:
    My guess is they simply have no reason to leave. Do they still get enough food in the water? Maybe humidity is too low?
    +1
    Unlike
  • Audrey22:
    I spray mist the place every day. And I do still feed him. One of them has finally come out. But now I have another problem. They don't look like eastern newts! I am posting pictures on a thread I've started. If you can, take a look for me and see. :)
    +1
    Unlike
  • Chat Bot:
    Herphunter has left the room.
    +1
    Unlike
  • tammyaxie:
    Hi guys. Can someone please tell me the sex of my axolotl. I thought I knew for the past four years but a breeder told me I was wrong. PayPal: Your security code is: 138208. It expires in 10 minutes. Don't share this code with anyone.
    +1
    Unlike
  • tammyaxie:
    I'm sorry, please disregard the last part. Thought I pasted a photo
    +1
    Unlike
  • Chat Bot:
    NewbieAxie has left the room.
    +1
    Unlike
    Chat Bot: NewbieAxie has left the room. +1
    Top