Off Grid Living: How to Raise Crickets for
Food for Chickens, Ducks, Fish and Reptiles
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Raising Crickets for Food for Chickens, Ducks, Fish and Reptiles
New Mexico – Breeding crickets is surprisingly easy and a great way to have different sizes on hand for feeding an array of animals. In this blog, we’ll run down the supplies needed and the techniques we use to breed and raise crickets.
How to Get a Cricket Farm Started
First, you’ll need to order in some crickets – you’ll want to order 3/4”, as most adult crickets have already been bred before they are shipped out. This base of crickets will set you up for success and get the life cycle moving quickly.
How to Build Houses for Crickets
Your crickets housing is up to you. Some have great success with 10 and 20-gallon tanks, and others prefer plastic tote bins. Whatever you use is up to you, just make sure the sides are high enough crickets can’t jump out, or provide a well-ventilated top.
Set up the 3/4” crickets as you would any other crickets – egg crate for climbing and hiding, then a food and water source. Josh’s Frogs cricket food and Insect watering gel is the easiest way to go as these items wont spoil like fresh vegetables will.
You’ll want to maintain crickets at a temperature of 85-89 degrees Fahrenheit with low humidity. This can easily be achieved with a low-watt light suspended above your cricket housing.
How to Know If Crickets Are Laying Eggs
After crickets are mature, in generally 1-2 weeks, you’ll hear plenty of chirping. This is an indication your crickets are ready to breed and it’s time to provide them with a place to lay their eggs.
At Josh’s Frogs, we use sandwich containers containing 2 ½ cups of vermiculite and ¾ cups water. Any shallow container will work, so long as it can hold the vermiculite and water. Using a container that you can pop a top onto is ideal.
Place the egg laying container on top of a piece of egg crate in your crickets enclosure, then use a smaller piece of egg crate to make a ramp up to to the container. Leave the container in place for a couple days to give your crickets plenty of time to lay their eggs. Then remove it for incubation.
How to Incubate Cricket Eggs
Cover half of the egg container’s top with paper towel to catch condensation, then put on the top. Incubate the egg laying bin at 89F for 8-10 days. We’ve modified freezers as incubators at Josh’s Frogs, or you can purchase an Exo-Terra Incubator for easy use.
What to Do When Baby Crickets Are Hatched
After the pinhead crickets hatch, place the bin in a container the pinheads cannot escape from and provide them with a bit of egg crate to act as a ramp.
You can feed out the pinheads to your animals, or raise them up to a larger size before feeding. Younger crickets require a higher level of humidity than older crickets.
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