If you tire of buying crickets to feed to your pets then it might be time for you to look into raising crickets. They are relatively easy to raise. Additionally, once you get started, you can save money on your animal food. If breeding and raising crickets for reptiles appeals to you then read on to find out how to do it!
The first step in breeding crickets is to make sure that you have places for the crickets. You’ll need to buy a few large plastic totes for this. Smooth sides will be difficult for them to climb up and you can easily cut ventilation holes in the lids. Make sure to cover the holes with wire mesh to keep the crickets in, and purchase totes that are large enough. You don’t want the crickets to eat each other!
Put vermiculite on the bottom to give the crickets a floor to walk on and to keep down the odors. You will have to replace this over time. The female crickets will need a place to lay eggs. You can provide this by putting a small container with loose, damp topsoil in it into their container on top of the vermiculite. Placing a screen over top will keep other crickets from eating the eggs, and the female can lay through the holes in the screen.
Get Your Crickets
Fifty crickets is a good number to start with when breeding. You will need to be versed in cricket care to make sure that you keep them alive. Feed them a varied diet, including cat food, fruit and vegetable scraps, or even fish food. (For Gut Loading information, see the article Gutloading Insects: How and Why?) Remove leftovers before they rot. The crickets will also need fresh water and heat. You will need to make sure that they always have adequate water to drink and are warm enough to breed and to keep the eggs alive.
Breeding and Hatching
Breeding takes about two weeks. Eventually, you will see eggs in the topsoil and will then need to transfer that container to another tote. Keep it warm and damp and they will begin to hatch in about fourteen days. Finally, remove the freshly hatched crickets to another tote to grow up. This keeps them from eating eggs and from being eaten by larger crickets.
Over time you will become quite adept at breeding crickets for reptiles. You may find that you enjoy not only the savings but also the whole process!