Producing one's own crickets

MagicPidge

Chirping
May 19, 2015
284
17
61
ACT
Howdy,

I was wondering if anyone here has had any experience raising/growing their own crickets. I have lizards and (as of this morning) some baby quail who both LOVE crickets. Up until now I've been buying them from the local pet store - though I've been deliberating breeding them on my own for a while. What was your experience with crickets? Are they worth breeding at home or is it more cost-effective to buy them when you aren't aiming to produce large amounts?

MP
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jak2002003

Crowing
Oct 24, 2009
3,146
1,265
396
Thailand
Howdy,

I was wondering if anyone here has had any experience raising/growing their own crickets. I have lizards and (as of this morning) some baby quail who both LOVE crickets. Up until now I've been buying them from the local pet store - though I've been deliberating breeding them on my own for a while. What was your experience with crickets? Are they worth breeding at home or is it more cost-effective to buy them when you aren't aiming to produce large amounts?

MP
smile.png
I used to have lots of reptiles and birds.... I so I used to breed my own crickets. Its really easy... but you need a lot for a constant supply.

I am sure you can find info online about how to breed them.

I used several large deep plastic tubs. I filled the bottom with wood shavings or sawdust... and on top of the put in lots of cardboard egg cartons.

You have to keep them dry... or they stink and get sick. I made fine wire mesh tops for the boxes.

Feed them dry fish flakes is great as they have lots of nutrients and they don't go rotten if they stay dry.

I also had a tray in each box with fresh food like greens and bread.

They need a container to drink from. They drink a lot of water. I used plastic lids from jars... and had each one on top of a brick that was higher then the cardboard egg boxes. You don't want spilt water to get the cardboard wet and soggy.

In each water 'bowl' I up in small pebbles . or you can use cotton wool... so the insects can drink but not fall in a down.

They will breed on their own... but you have to keep them warm. In my country its always hot so I did not provide additional head.. but in most places you may have to use a heat pad or lamp.. or keep the cricket cage in a hot room.. maybe over a water heater for example.

They are noisy!!! So don't but them in you bedroom!!!!!!!!!

They will lay eggs and breed on their own fine.. and you can harvest the largest ones to feed you pets... But always make sure you lave some big ones in there to give them chance to breed.
 

MagicPidge

Chirping
May 19, 2015
284
17
61
ACT
Wow, thanks jak2002003!
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I didn't think of the fish flakes - will definitely keep that in mind when I'm next at the pet store. I've only bought the medium sized crickets before though so this will be interesting... the big ones sure are noisy....
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jak2002003

Crowing
Oct 24, 2009
3,146
1,265
396
Thailand
Yes they are noisy.. but its kind of a nice sound. I kept mine in the house at first.. but got some escaped and they were breeding in the house... My partner was not happy with them scuttling across the kitchen floor.. and running under the TV in the living room...

So I moved the breeding boxes into an outside building.

Did you know the old name for these crickets is house crickets? They once were common in people homes in the UK. They were introduced by accident.. smuggling themselves in the country on boats bringing in supplies form warmer countries.

They could not survive the cold winters.. so they adapted to live in houses... where they would often be heard chirping on the warm stones around the fireplaces in the evenings.. and they fed an crumbs and dry foods in the kitchen.

I remembered reading about them from an old insect ID book when I was a child.

Just found this on the net too... interesting read.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/House_cricket
 

MagicPidge

Chirping
May 19, 2015
284
17
61
ACT
Wow, that is interesting. I didn't realise people kept the *crickets* as pets... rather than just a food source for their pets. Thanks again jak!
 

chickengeorgeto

Crowing
7 Years
Dec 25, 2012
8,047
4,190
431
Big Bend of the Tennessee River's Right Bank.
Howdy,

I was wondering if anyone here has had any experience raising/growing their own crickets. I have lizards and (as of this morning) some baby quail who both LOVE crickets. Up until now I've been buying them from the local pet store - though I've been deliberating breeding them on my own for a while. What was your experience with crickets? Are they worth breeding at home or is it more cost-effective to buy them when you aren't aiming to produce large amounts?

MP
smile.png

The best cricket feed is chicken food like layer crumbles. A baby chick waterier with marbles or gravels is the best water holder. Temperature is more important to crickets than to chicks, not too warm and not too cool, but right in the Goldilocks zone. A clean 55 gallon steel drum makes a good cricket pen. I don't know though how many steel 55 galleon drums that you'll need to supply your flock because crickets are very very small.... and did I mention tinny when they first hatch. I once grew my own crickets for fish bait. I seem to remember that the best temperature for growing crickets is 80 degrees and @ 90 degrees they stop laying or reproducing. Diseases can wipe a cricket colony out in a heart beat. Oh, and a 6 - 10 inch wide strip of enamel paint inside the drum at the top to prevent your crickets from escaping is a must. A cricket nest made from a 3 inch deep pan of wet (moist) sand is a must. The crickets will do the rest.
 
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