I wouldn't use fish or chicken. You can use mealworms and crickets though...and through in some earth worms or some waxworms too. If you use a variety your animal should be ok, but to have to pick one to exclusivly feed is not great. Most of my terrestrial salamanders switch from week to week as either earth worms or crickets being their staple diet. I substitute it with mealworms (and their beatles) and baby mice now and again.
wtf BABY MICE!!! do u only feed them baby mice when they have no fur or something?but wouldnt a mice be full of diseases and stuff. And as for andy i recon fish is good because they are bound to eat it lots in there natural environment. i also feed my axolotls fish sometimes because they would also be bound to eat it in there naturall environment.
The only thing that really is cause for concern with small guppies, reds and goldfish (depending on the size of your newt) is that they are prone to disease and parasites. If you do choose to feed your newt fish, which I feel is the most natural food for them and most entertaining to watch as they hunt, keep a separate small tank that is filtered with a *thin* layer of gravel that is cleaned frequently. Do not feed your newt with your recently purchased livestock until several days later when any ill fish will have passed and problem fish may be quarantined. Guppies frequently breed in captivity, and you can ensure a unadulterated feeding source of fish by breeding your guppies and removing the eggs/fry before they would have an opportunity to obtain any diseases carried by their parents. They will look like little specks in the water, and may be fed with brine shrimp and other very small aquatic foods. All in all, feeding fish can be a worthwhile but initially costly venture. It is definitely worth it, though, for a primarily aquatic creature. If you have a more terrestrial animal such as a sallie you may prefer to stick to dry foods...OH YEAH...and you can easily hand-feed larger newts fish. It helps the first few times to hold the fish out of the water for a while to weaken it a bit, as some of the larger ones can put up quite a fight and even continue to squirm once swallowed. Try tweezers to begin with, but soon you can put the fish up to kiss your newt's mouth and he'll take it right from your fingers! Best of luck! (I would not recommend feeding pinkies. While newts/sallies have much more effective digestive systems than reptiles, there is a lot of raw bone matter and difficult material in the mice, and they are rather large for anything other than a full-grown tiger as noted in earlier posts.) Bloodworms are a GREAT treat for newts/sallies as they do not die in the water, eat wastes in the gravel, and seem to be easy to digest. Much higher nutrition than waxworms, but you can't gut-load them like crickets. Ok, this post is way long enough. Let me know if you have any questions about the fish...
There is many posts on here about mice. Diseases was not one of the arguments against. Baby mice with no fur is what I use yes..they're called pinkies...and since they're bred by people for snakes all the time the chance for diseases is minimized.
I'm not sure where the information that caudates have a more efficient digestive tract than reptiles originated, can you provide information backing up that statement?
With fish it is possible that parasites and other disease vectors can be transmitted vertically through the populations. Some nematodes are documented to do this in other species. One of the major problems with the use of fish as major source of food is that if the fish are dead or frozen thawed is the lack of thiamine in the diet causing problems in the long run. Also many caudates do not live in water that contains fish so the automatic assumption that fish are a natural part of the diet is in error.
Hi Ed, I think the more effective digestive system statements comes from the fact that salamanders on average are able to turn a far higher percentage of their food directly into new body mass than other terrestrial vertebrates. If I remember correctly, duskies can even be as high as 96-98% while most reptiles were 20% and under...I've seen the data before in a Herpetology text, I'll track it down for you this week.
I'd also like to point some things out about sal diets. There's a lot of "variety is best" statements floating around with regard to sal care. But I'd also like to point out that while many sals are generalist feeders, a great many others feed nearly exclusively on only one or two organisms. Ringed salamander adults for instance have never been found with anything other than earthworms in their stomachs. Aneides vagrans on Vancouver island has been found to eat ants virtually exclusively. So I guess what I'm saying is, don't generalize, and research your particular species.
Thanks I'd like to see that information. I'm curious to see if they took into account resting metabolism rates into those figures as many caudates have low metabolic rates due to temps ect and may have more of the nutrients available for growth.
Hi Ed, found the textbook. It gave the reference for the information as F. H. Pough  The American Naturalist 115(1):92-112. I tried looking up this paper, but inexplicably, my Uni library copy of The American Naturalist for 1980 is missing all of volume 1...so I'm not sure of all of Pough's details. For those of you who don't have access to journals, here's what the text said:
Efficiency of biomass conversion by tetrapods calculated as
Variety is best is based on the fact that it's sometimes the only way to get people to stop feeding pellets or freeze dried items to their caudates.
It's not only important that your caudate eats the right foods, but that the foods are eating and healthy too. It doesn't realy matter what type of herp you're caring for. Most bait shop earth worms are farm raised so they've been on a good healthy diet of worm chows to get them to grow fast and large.
I feed my crickets everything from comercial cricket food to shredded carrots to oatmeal. Also that cricket gel water is great too, flukers even ahs a calcium fortified type.
mealworms can also eat the things listed above for crickets. I bed mine in oatmeal.
Anyway, my point is that what you're feeding should also be fed well too.
For those who like night crawlers for feeders, but aren't too wild about their size. BeaverBait.com sells a worm called "Red Devils". These aren't red wigglers, but juvenile night crawlers. They have made a wonderful addition to my T. Shanjing's diet. I think it's approx. $12 plus shipping for 250, which last you a very long time.
My axie is acting woerd he was a rescue as stated in a different post he got better and now seems to be deteriorating again...again all tank conditions are OK and as should be. He seems to have some black dapple like pattern under his bottom lip? Is that normal? And his two back feet have a little wierd growth? Almost? Tiny tiny tiny lump. His capillaries in his feathers also appear darker and more visible. Any help would be appreciated
Hi...I used to have a Doctor Fish business...I closed about 3 years ago, but still have lots of big, chunky filtration rocks (lava) how could I clean a few of these to use with my Lottie, please? Would they help or hinder overall tank health? don't want to cause her any problems...love my girl to bits!! many thanks in advance. xx