How To Raise Healthy Crickets
Raising Healthy Crickets
Whether you’re raising crickets for yourself or that special scaled someone in your life, there’s quite a bit that goes into the care of these active arthropods. Let’s take a quick look over the whole affair, and see if we can’t get you started on the right path.
Crickets are a bit of an odd creature, when you compare them to mammals. They don’t really need a whole lot, but they do jump and keeping them enclosed can sometimes be a rather large pain. The main thing is to make sure that it’s able to be solidly shut and that it still allows for airflow.
You’ll probably want about five gallons of space at the minimum, but most people can comfortably fit ten gallons into their home. Reptile terrariums are great since they already close properly and allow you to see your new insect friends but they can be expensive.
You’ll want to keep things around 86°F for their lifecycle to be completely optimal, but the hardy little insects we call Achetus domesticus can withstand a pretty wide variety of temperatures.
If you’re intent on breeding them, you’ll need somewhere for the females to lay eggs. They prefer to do so in soil, and a dish with a few inches of sterilized soil is a great way place for the female to stick their ovipositor. You can switch out the dish on occasion, since the pinhead crickets are a bit more vulnerable than their parents, within a month or so you can move the now-mature crickets back into the main enclosure without issue.
Crickets do chirp, and you might want to move the enclosure somewhere the noise won’t bother you if you don’t enjoy it. The chirping is actually a good thing to hear though, it’s how the males attract the females so they can do their thing and you end up with a healthy colony.
Food and Water Sources
Crickets will eat pretty much anything, but the best foods available for them are the commercial ones in most cases. They usually come in the form of a gel, and they’ll handle pretty much all of your cricket’s nutritional needs.
If you don’t feel like shelling out the money for a commercial preparation, scraps of vegetables are another great option. Denser vegetables like carrots and potatoes are a fantastic option, since they also provide a lot of water. Providing dietary water to the crickets is the ideal way to do things, since
A lot of owners like to place water in the enclosure, but that’s usually a mistake. Crickets aren’t the brightest creatures and have a tendency to drown in all but the shallowest water. If you are completely intent on adding water, a very shallow dish is the best idea.
Remove any food that becomes moldy, since you don’t want to kill off your friends or have the entire enclosure develop smells.
Prepping Them to Be Devoured
Most of us don’t raise crickets in order to name them and have them try to guide us through life so we can keep our noses from growing. We raise them for either us or our pets to eat.
You can add a bit of extra nutritional value to your arthropods by gut-loading them. Essentially, you make sure they have the healthiest diet possible before you introduce them into your pet’s cage.
There are multiple commercial preparations that exist for just this purpose, but some burgeoning cricket farmers don’t care for the costs. If this is the case, leafy greens like spinach dusted with a calcium supplement are fairly ideal for most lizards and frogs. People have tried pretty much everything over the years, but the common strand is just to make sure they eat like crazy for a couple of days before you drop them in with your animal.
Human consumption is a bit different though, you’ll want to put them in the fridge for awhile in order to slow them down and then boil them for about two minutes. If you’re squeamish about doing this, a couple of hours in the freezer will kill them. This will ensure they’re clean, and you can store them in the freezer like anything else when you’re ready to eat them.
As long as you keep all of this in mind, you’re well on your way to a successful time raising crickets. It’s a rewarding activity, and one which can keep you from spending unnecessary money and time procuring them from pet stores and will allow you to maintain the highest quality crickets you can. Give it a shot, it’s a lot easier than it sounds.