Leech care, information, and personal leech adventures!

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Anonymous asked: if i wanted to raise a seperate tank of leeches, just in case friends got interested or something, what can i feed them aside from my own blood. Im worried about cross contamination even though my blood is clear.

Yes, do not share leeches! And some problems can arise from feeding leeches your own blood. For example: my leech bite wound didn’t stop bleeding for 2 days after a feeding. Though, this could have occurred because the leeches fed so close together. Anyway,

Leech feeding alternative: blood sausage.
(Some leeches might eat chicken livers or other things like that, but I haven’t had luck with feeding medical leeches that way.)

How to make “blood sausage.”
-Buy some blood from your butcher. (Mine was only $15 a gallon, and was special ordered. Make sure to order unseasoned!)
-Buy some sausage casing. (Cheap.)

1. Make sure to rinse out the sausage casing, as it is covered in salt.
2. Tie on end of sausage casing, and then fill with the blood like a water balloon. Tie off other end.
3. Warm it in the microwave for just a few seconds. I always kept my blood frozen, and then thawed every time they needed to be fed. So just make sure it’s a little warm before you plop it in the feeding container or the leeches won’t be interested.

Also, I recommend you feed your leeches in a separate clean bucket or something than you keep them in. It’s kind of messy and blood is really gross when it’s not cleaned to pristine conditions afterwards. :)

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Anonymous asked: HELP! My biology teacher is giving her leeches away tomorrow (she told us today) and I said I would give some of them a home. She said to use spring water and feed them chicken liver. She had kept them in a beaker in a dark place. I don't think I can procure a tank or do the blood sausage method you suggested with such short notice. So I was wondering what you suggest and if any of the information she said of was inaccurate.

I’m not sure what type of leeches they are, but if the chicken livers have worked in the past, I’d say stick with it! They don’t necessarily need a tank, but more leeches + less space means needing the change out the water more frequently. Don’t worry too much about being able to feed them right away, the leeches I’m familiar with only eat every few months or so. I’m glad the leeches are going to a conscientious home! :)

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Anonymous asked: Do people ever eat Leeches ???

A few years ago, I came across a video where two guys cooked up leeches. I can’t find the video any more, but I have my old post about it: http://leechqueen.tumblr.com/post/12962885056/leech-recipes
(You have to kill the leech in a certain manner or it will regurgitate all its blood.)

Now when I search Youtube there is a lot of live leech eating for shock shows, like Fear Factor. Considering the leeches’ nervous system is very similar to ours, it’s pretty inhumane to eat them live like that.

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Anonymous asked: Hi. Not sure if u got my other asks? Also wondering - I took one of my leeches out of his tank and he started regurgitating pretty much all the blood in him. Why? Defensive mechanism? He doesn't latch on for feeling well. How often can u feed them? Thanks!!! Love your tumble!

After a recent feeding, handling should be kept at a minimum because this can happen. I would usually wait 2 months minimum between feedings, to be sure they would all be hungry. (You never want to keep a recently fed leech with one that could possibly become hungry, because they will definitely eat each other.)

And thank you, glad you like it!
My internet’s been down lately, I will try and get through more questions! I try not to answer all at once, so I don’t spam dashboards with leech questions.

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Anonymous asked: Recently I emailed leechesbiz and asked how large their typical leeches were when sent out and exactly which species they were. They never responded- but I ordered some anyway. They arrived nice and healthy- and disappointingly small. How long, on a good diet, will it take for them to get larger?

After 1 meal their size will increase significantly! Sometimes leechesbiz sends out smaller ones, but after a feeding or two your leeches will be pretty big.

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Anonymous asked: Hi I bought leeches online, and they just arrived. I put them in the glass bowl that I had waiting for them, and they are sitting at the bottom of it not moving. Are they dead? I literally just got them in the mail. Please help!!!

They might be cold. Leeches like their environment on the cooler side, but if your water is room temperature I’m not sure what might be ailing them. (Or they could be resting. They are not active all the time.)