Feeding Your Land Hermit Crab

Sometimes it takes a while to bond with your crab. They might not feed from your hand from the first time you try but if you persevere and are patient, it will happen. Gently hold the back of their shell with thumb and forefinger, and hold a piece of fruit (fresh or dried), nut (especially almond) bread, popcorn or cracker near the crab's cheliped, or grasping claw, perhaps even brushing the food against it until your crab starts to become interested in the food and and they will responsively clutch at it and then want to taste it. You should then see your hermit crab happily breaking bits off the food and passing them to their mouth using 'feeding hands' known as maxillipeds, munching away.

Your hermit crab needs to feel completely at ease with you, and trust you implicitly. Slow, gentle movements and soft voice calming them as you coax them to eat works the best for me. Once you hit on their favourite foods you will have no problems with getting your crab to eat. They can be real little pigs at time and eat a tummy full (their stomachs are tiny so it might not seem like a lot) in a short time. Take some time to enjoy your hermit crabs and remember, hermit crabs are nocturnal so the chances are your hermies are feasting when you are asleep, they have been known to go without food for a few days and still be quite healthy. Just try to vary their foods as hermit crabs have been found to not like leftovers, that is, they don't like the same food day in, day out. I would suggest fresh foods in one day, dried foods in the next, a mixture the day after that, etc.

One final note of advice : some romaine lettuce with a small amount of peanut butter on it, or a sprinkling of coconut over dried food has done wonders for picky hermies! You will wonder where they put it all! Don't be disheartened if it doesn't happen right away. They only eat small parts at a time so it might not look like much to you but it is a lot to them. When you bring them home from the store they will be very active and want to explore their cage and get used to their environment. If you leave some food in a bowl they will take what they need during the night or day and they can go for many days without food.

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