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How to run a Cricket Farm for Carpenters?


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15 replies to this topic

#1 Offline CampoKing - Posted September 15 2018 - 3:05 PM

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I bought 250 banded crickets this week with a goal to breed them as long-term fresh protein for my ten carpenter colonies. (It's now clear they much prefer freshly-frozen over freeze-dried insects)

So what's the general way to raise crickets anyway?
One 10gal tank for adults and one 10gal tank for pinheads & eggs?

Probably use a coconut fiber bedding in the pinhead tank for their very high humidity needs?

Also, since I could only expect to keep maybe 1,000-2,000 crickets at a time, I can become a local free cricket source for reptile and ant lovers alike.

Feel free to discuss cricket farms for ants in general. I'm curious what others have tried in this subject

Edited by CampoKing, September 15 2018 - 3:46 PM.

Keeper of:
Camponotus (10x C. pennsylvanicus & 2x C. nearcticus)

#2 Offline sirjordanncurtis - Posted September 15 2018 - 5:05 PM

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I do know that a lot of pet stores put like a tray with some ice in it so the crickets can go there to cool down? somewhere near the side of the nest.



#3 Offline drtrmiller - Posted September 15 2018 - 9:03 PM

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I do know that a lot of pet stores put like a tray with some ice in it so the crickets can go there to cool down? somewhere near the side of the nest.

 

It is likely the substance you thought was ice, was actually water crystals.



#4 Offline CampoKing - Posted September 15 2018 - 10:09 PM

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I do know that a lot of pet stores put like a tray with some ice in it so the crickets can go there to cool down? somewhere near the side of the nest.

 
It is likely the substance you thought was ice, was actually water crystals.

Yeah those hydrogels don't make me comfy, as most are made of polymers of the neurotoxin acrylamide with no clear details on the release of those toxic monomers.
But water bowls with a plastic scrubby are good.
Keeper of:
Camponotus (10x C. pennsylvanicus & 2x C. nearcticus)

#5 Offline DaveJay - Posted September 15 2018 - 11:56 PM

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Damn, I forgot to grab a link while on pc, I will later. A guy called Arachnoclown has a good video on how he does it, the best method I've ever seen. You can probably find him on YouTube easily enough though.
I can tell you the basics. You keep them dry, oats,coco peat or some kitty litters as substrate. Place tubs of a moist substrate in there, can be a peat/sand mix or something like vermiculite. The adult crickets deposit their eggs in the tubs, you remove the tubs and put them into another enclosure to hatch and grow. You replace the tubs as you remove them, when the eggs have hatched you swap the tubs over again. You then have a constant supply of baby crickets. You can separate them as they grow, or let each batch grow up separately and have several hatching/growing enclosures being used in rotation, the enclosure with the largest crickets becomes the breeding enclosure with the preceding breeders being used as food. Their enclosure is then cleaned and set up for the next batch of eggs.
You keep the substrate dry and the tubs damp, feed them vegetables and perhaps some protein like dry cat/dog/fish food and you'll be fine. Decor is egg cartons and cardboard stacked to make as many hidey holes as possible to reduce cannibalism.
Given enough fesh vegetables they won't need water, it's more of a liability. I can't think of much else to add. That's what I've done in the past but crickets are much noisier than mealworms or roaches and require more heat so I don't bother anymore.
Arachnoclown does it differently, it's worth checking his video out, I don't know how he stands the chirping to be honest, it was annoying me just watching the video!

Edited by DaveJay, September 16 2018 - 12:04 AM.

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#6 Offline CampoKing - Posted September 16 2018 - 12:12 AM

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I like the chirps >_>

I'm *trying* to raise the slower-growing field crickets, cuz they sound better


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Keeper of:
Camponotus (10x C. pennsylvanicus & 2x C. nearcticus)

#7 Offline drtrmiller - Posted September 16 2018 - 7:14 AM

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I do know that a lot of pet stores put like a tray with some ice in it so the crickets can go there to cool down? somewhere near the side of the nest.

 
It is likely the substance you thought was ice, was actually water crystals.

Yeah those hydrogels don't make me comfy, as most are made of polymers of the neurotoxin acrylamide with no clear details on the release of those toxic monomers.
But water bowls with a plastic scrubby are good.

 

 

While I've found no evidence that toxic decomposition components are released during normal use, water gel safety for offering water to crickets, which are then fed to reptiles and amphibians, is well-established through several decades of use.

 

If you have another method you prefer and works for you, that's great. But avoiding the use of a polymer gel that's generally recognized as safe is kind of like avoiding microwaved food because you believe that vibrating water molecules somehow makes the food radioactive.


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#8 Offline Barristan - Posted September 16 2018 - 8:41 AM

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I kept mine in a 40x30x30 cm  plastic box. I did use any substrate. On one side of the box I had some egg cartons, this was also the side which was heated by a heating pad. The other side was free so I could offer there food.
 
As food I used:

  • Dry high protein food, like cat food, fish food flakes
  • Fresh food (fruits and vegetables) like apples, cucumbers etc). Make sure to clean it well or remove the skin because fruits or vegetables or often treated with insecticide

Make sure to remove any dead crickets quickly because they can smell an spread diseases to the others.
 
When you finally have some adults (males will start to chirp), add another box filled with moist soil and place it inside the large box. Make sure the crickets can reach the soil (for example by adding a small ramp). It is best to cover the soil with a mesh so the female's laying stinger will fit through it but other crickets can't dig and eat the eggs. Always make sure that the soil is moist but don't flood it with water.
 
When you see the first females laying eggs in there you can let the box in the other one for some days than you can remove it and place it into a new container (still keep it moist), you an add a new smaller box with moist soil to the box which contains the adults again. After some time the new crickets will hatch and the cycle begins again ;)
 
That's how my hatching box looked like 3 days after the first cricket had hatched:
 
IMG_1304.jpg

This picture shows how tiny the cricket nymphs are (it is a metric ruler):
 

IMG_1245.jpg

 


Edited by Barristan, September 16 2018 - 8:44 AM.

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#9 Offline CoolColJ - Posted September 17 2018 - 5:30 AM

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I've been keeping my pe tshop bought small crickets alive for the past few months, in their original container, but I swapped in 3 squashed toilet rolls, added a milk container lid stuffed with water soaked cotton for water, and a flat piece of polystyrene dish for fresh cut in half blue berry ( just one) or 1 slice of cucumber and dog/cat snack dry food.

 

They have molted several times already

 

But I am trying to get them all eaten before they chirp :)

 

And then repeat, only costs $5-6 AUD for a pack anyway, and only need to buy 2-3 times a year!


Edited by CoolColJ, September 17 2018 - 5:35 AM.

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Current ant colonies -
1) Opisthopsis Rufithorax (strobe ant), Melophorus Sp1. (furnace ant) red and black, Melophorus sp2. black and orange
Lots of Pheidole colonies....
Polyrhachis rufifemur, Rhytidoponera aspera gamergate colony
Journal = http://www.formicult...ra-iridomyrmex/

Nasutitermes fumigatus/dixoni subterranean pet/feeder termite colony journal = http://www.formicult...ournal/?p=96808
Schedorhinotermes intermedius termites - pet/feeder journal = http://www.formicult...feeder-journal/
Heterotermes cf brevicatena termite pet/feeder journal = http://www.formicult...feeder-journal/

#10 Offline Barristan - Posted September 17 2018 - 7:41 AM

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I've been keeping my pe tshop bought small crickets alive for the past few months, in their original container, but I swapped in 3 squashed toilet rolls, added a milk container lid stuffed with water soaked cotton for water, and a flat piece of polystyrene dish for fresh cut in half blue berry ( just one) or 1 slice of cucumber and dog/cat snack dry food.

 

They have molted several times already

 

But I am trying to get them all eaten before they chirp :)

 

And then repeat, only costs $5-6 AUD for a pack anyway, and only need to buy 2-3 times a year!

 

Yep this is also a good idea. Especially if you don't have a lot of large ant colonies to feed. Currently I have quite few ant colonies so I do the same as you. Buy the smallest size of crickets and feed them so they grow larger. I freeze some too, so I have fresh food for a long time.



#11 Offline DaveJay - Posted September 17 2018 - 6:58 PM

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I've been keeping my pe tshop bought small crickets alive for the past few months, in their original container, but I swapped in 3 squashed toilet rolls, added a milk container lid stuffed with water soaked cotton for water, and a flat piece of polystyrene dish for fresh cut in half blue berry ( just one) or 1 slice of cucumber and dog/cat snack dry food.

They have molted several times already

But I am trying to get them all eaten before they chirp :)

And then repeat, only costs $5-6 AUD for a pack anyway, and only need to buy 2-3 times a year!

hat's pretty much what I do now only I separate them into larger vented tubs when I get them. With my collection of critters I need all sizes so I'm always buying small crickets because after a few days they've grown too big and buying large crickets because they don't grow fast enough! When I first buy a tub of large crickets I cool them in the fridge then put them in a larger tub and remove all the males and feed them to the frogs.

#12 Offline CampoKing - Posted September 17 2018 - 10:59 PM

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Hmm, I guess just buying a $12 order of 250 every couple of months and not focusing on breeding might be easier.


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Keeper of:
Camponotus (10x C. pennsylvanicus & 2x C. nearcticus)

#13 Offline CoolColJ - Posted October 7 2018 - 2:45 AM

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I made a new cricket holding container this week.
I added 3 flattened toilet rolls, a thin layer of red dirt in a small but small container that is enough to stop them from jumping out.

Everything went well, apart how much dirt these critters move into the toilet rolls, and onto the milk container lid with a soaked cotton for water!

So I decided to add styrofoam slabs to hold the food and another for the water, thinking that this should stop them dirting up the water cotton.
Nope it's still red from the red dirt....

But I found it funny that two crickets, have dug a passage under one of the foam slabs.
The two of them crammed in there - LOL
Didn't think there was enough dirt for that....

Edited by CoolColJ, October 7 2018 - 2:46 AM.

Current ant colonies -
1) Opisthopsis Rufithorax (strobe ant), Melophorus Sp1. (furnace ant) red and black, Melophorus sp2. black and orange
Lots of Pheidole colonies....
Polyrhachis rufifemur, Rhytidoponera aspera gamergate colony
Journal = http://www.formicult...ra-iridomyrmex/

Nasutitermes fumigatus/dixoni subterranean pet/feeder termite colony journal = http://www.formicult...ournal/?p=96808
Schedorhinotermes intermedius termites - pet/feeder journal = http://www.formicult...feeder-journal/
Heterotermes cf brevicatena termite pet/feeder journal = http://www.formicult...feeder-journal/

#14 Offline CoolColJ - Posted October 8 2018 - 3:28 AM

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I think giving my new cricket container red dirt substrate was a bad idea, they completely covered the water cotton in dirt!

 

One also jumped up to the cotton wool I used to plug the holes in the top, and they seem to be pulling on the cotton...

 

These critters are smarter than you expect...


Current ant colonies -
1) Opisthopsis Rufithorax (strobe ant), Melophorus Sp1. (furnace ant) red and black, Melophorus sp2. black and orange
Lots of Pheidole colonies....
Polyrhachis rufifemur, Rhytidoponera aspera gamergate colony
Journal = http://www.formicult...ra-iridomyrmex/

Nasutitermes fumigatus/dixoni subterranean pet/feeder termite colony journal = http://www.formicult...ournal/?p=96808
Schedorhinotermes intermedius termites - pet/feeder journal = http://www.formicult...feeder-journal/
Heterotermes cf brevicatena termite pet/feeder journal = http://www.formicult...feeder-journal/

#15 Offline KBant - Posted October 8 2018 - 2:24 PM

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have you heard of youtube? why would you even make a topic for this.. seems pointless tbh. youtube has A LOT of how to breed cricket videos. 

 

also since youre interested, try dubia roaches over crickets. - they have more protein, don't smell- crickets smell bad!, don't make any noise!- crickets are annoying af, and are easier to raise.



#16 Offline TheRealAntMan - Posted October 9 2018 - 2:27 PM

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have you heard of youtube? why would you even make a topic for this.. seems pointless tbh. youtube has A LOT of how to breed cricket videos. 

This forum is supposed to be a place questions anyway.


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An ants' strength can be rivaled by few animals compared to their relative body size
 

 





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