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Why Raise your own Crickets?
Whether your have lizards, frogs, birds, tarantulas or even sugar gliders, If your pets go through a lot of crickets, then ordering in bulk and keeping them for food or even breeding and raising them yourself is a good option.
Getting them set up, especially for breeding, will take some time and effort, but once a colony is established, it is pretty easy to maintain.
There are some things you should keep in mind if you decide you would like to raise your own crickets
You will definitely have some escapes but if you enjoy having the odd cricket under your bed "singing" all night long this should not be a problem. If you own any cats this may not be an issue :)
Crickets can be rather noisy, try to keep them in an area that is away or closed off from the main living spaces if this noise bothers you but I find it rather relaxing.
They can have a strong smell if they are not kept clean and properly maintained, make sure you dont leave any rotting food or dirty water dishes as these can be a main cause of odor.
Where to get your crickets
I have mail ordered my crickets with great success but you could always pick some up at a pet store or local breeder.
Its cheaper to order them in bulk but remember that they only live for a couple weeks so dont order more then you think you can use up in a 2-3 week period.
If you intend on breeding them get yourself some extra so that you will have some left over after feeding your pet to use for breeding
Ok I've got my Crickets, Now what?
What you will keep your crickets in depends on the amount of crickets you plan to keep at the same time.
If you will only have a small supply you can purchase a Kricket keeper or something similar.
If you plan on having a large number of them, you will need something bigger.
You can make yourself a nice cricket container out of a plastic container and some screen. Cut a square hole in the top of the lid and glue your screen over the opening. Place some egg cartons in the bottom and there you have it.....a nice, big, cheap solution!
This is the perfect option if you only keep small amounts of crickets at home or if you wish to separate a few to gutload them
Not the right size? - You can search Amazon for smaller or larger Kricket Keepers
Feeding your Crickets
What you feed your crickets can be pretty important for 2 reasons
- You want them to be healthy and live a long time
- You want them to be nutritional for your pet
You can feed your crickets a diet of cat food, reptile vitamin, calcium and kitchen scraps or buy store bought food for them.
Crickets will eat many of the things we have on hand in the kitchen such as apples, potatoes, carrots and may other vegetable scraps.
Your goal should be to change and clean your crickets home before it starts to smell.
I do mine anywhere from 2 weeks to a month depending on how many crickets I have at the time.
The best way is to have a second cricket container that you can transfer them into while you clean the one they were in.
Wash out your container and let it dry out.
You want to be sure to change out all the old egg cartons and put fresh water or gel in for them