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Cricket breeding

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Posted by RayesReptiles on December 15, 2002 at 17:43:51:

In Reply to: Who here breeds there own Rhac food? posted by RhacsRsweet on December 12, 2002 at 20:37:08:

I've breed food for my leos and dart frogs for years (just got into cresteds) so when I got them I was already pretty good. Crickets aren't that hard, tho are more work than mealworms. Here is how I do it:

Get a bunch of prewing or adults. Usually adults have been bred by whoever sent them to you, I like getting prewings cuz it garentees I get all the eggs. Usually takes a weeek or two for them to shed and become winged adults. Make sure they have a food and water source. I use one of those new water pillow things (or just a petri dish/similar with cotton balls soaked with water, but you'll have to change it every day), a petri dish of dry cricket food (I use the stuff from its a great site) and slices of yams/sweet potatoes. Our you could just feed them lettece leaves and yams and skip the water and dry food.

Place an egg laying place in with them as soon as most become winged. This is basically a small container with moist dirt or similar substance on it. I use gladware for this. Make sure it stays moist (not wet!) and leave in for about a week or so. Think mini Rhac egg laying site :) Make sure the crickets can crawl into it, I rest some eggcrate against it so they can climb up and into it.

Incubate the eggs. I cut out a hole in the top of the lid and cover the hole with screening (try and get the finest you can, I use the screening used for fruit flies from I usually hot glue it. Place the container of eggs on heat mats (flexiwatt works great), make sure they don't dry out (spray daily or every other) and they should hatch in 14 or so days. THEY ARE VERY TINY!! Up to about one week old baby crickets are called pinheads, great for feeding to dart frogs. Make sure they always have a source of moisture (only use fresh lettece leaves, they will drown/stick to just about everything else) and yams/sweet potatoes as food. They grow really fast and you will have perfect sized crickets for baby geckos in about 1.5-2 weeks. The lifespan of crickets is about six weeks.

Since crickets are the main insect in all my insectivorous critter's diets, I constantly have a colony of crickets going. Since I've been doing it so long is really easy for me, I make one day a week critter food day (I set up fresh fruit fly cultures and clean out cricket bins and set up the newest hatching crickets in a bin), so basically the more you do it the easier it is, and you save a lot of money! Great if you have a lot of animals to feed, you can scale it down for only a few animals.

:I breed mealworms for some of my geckos. If you don't breed your own, you should, it's simple. I haven't tried crickets yet. Anyone know how to breed crickets? I've heard a few things about them, but not much.

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