Breeding crickets?

snitz427

Chameleon Enthusiast
Its true - crickets suck. Breeding them isnt too bad, but compared to every other option they are by far the biggest PITA. They stink, die often, cannibalize, chirp, escape, are more likely to carry disease or parasite, etc.

Breeding is kinda easy - it just takes more space than others as you will ideally seperate the babies. This makes sizing them easier (otherwise you’ll end up with pinheads and adults in feeder runs - ie escape artists at every feeding). it also prevents adults from eating the baby pinheads.

Our setup is a bin with a screen lid and a metal hvac vent on top (to protect from heat lamp). We then have a 75-100 watt reg light bulb right on top. Inside the bin is either bare floor (best fornus) or vermiculite, along with 2 stacks of egg crates (dont want egg crTes too close to light).

We put in a container of soil and mist it daily. Feed the crickets and theyll do their thing. We havent gotten eggs since adding vermiculite... Id skip it and just leave the bottom bare. Remove the soil container to a deep hatching bin - mist daily and keep temps around 85-90. Pinheads are easy to miss but we got babies anywhere from 2-8 weeks after laying - so dont throw out the old soil!!
 

KobaOregonherper

Chameleon Enthusiast
Its true - crickets suck. Breeding them isnt too bad, but compared to every other option they are by far the biggest PITA. They stink, die often, cannibalize, chirp, escape, are more likely to carry disease or parasite, etc.

Breeding is kinda easy - it just takes more space than others as you will ideally seperate the babies. This makes sizing them easier (otherwise you’ll end up with pinheads and adults in feeder runs - ie escape artists at every feeding). it also prevents adults from eating the baby pinheads.

Our setup is a bin with a screen lid and a metal hvac vent on top (to protect from heat lamp). We then have a 75-100 watt reg light bulb right on top. Inside the bin is either bare floor (best fornus) or vermiculite, along with 2 stacks of egg crates (dont want egg crTes too close to light).

We put in a container of soil and mist it daily. Feed the crickets and theyll do their thing. We havent gotten eggs since adding vermiculite... Id skip it and just leave the bottom bare. Remove the soil container to a deep hatching bin - mist daily and keep temps around 85-90. Pinheads are easy to miss but we got babies anywhere from 2-8 weeks after laying - so dont throw out the old soil!!
I tried again recently. I moved the egg bin with the mesh into a seperate tote that I had prepped for pinheads and came back to it a week later... it looked like some shaved a blue chewbacca in the bin. I didnt know that much mold could gro that fast. (I used vermiculite) Needless to say I gave up for good.
 

Rst_Cham

Chameleon Enthusiast
Its true - crickets suck. Breeding them isnt too bad, but compared to every other option they are by far the biggest PITA. They stink, die often, cannibalize, chirp, escape, are more likely to carry disease or parasite, etc.

Breeding is kinda easy - it just takes more space than others as you will ideally seperate the babies. This makes sizing them easier (otherwise you’ll end up with pinheads and adults in feeder runs - ie escape artists at every feeding). it also prevents adults from eating the baby pinheads.

Our setup is a bin with a screen lid and a metal hvac vent on top (to protect from heat lamp). We then have a 75-100 watt reg light bulb right on top. Inside the bin is either bare floor (best fornus) or vermiculite, along with 2 stacks of egg crates (dont want egg crTes too close to light).

We put in a container of soil and mist it daily. Feed the crickets and theyll do their thing. We havent gotten eggs since adding vermiculite... Id skip it and just leave the bottom bare. Remove the soil container to a deep hatching bin - mist daily and keep temps around 85-90. Pinheads are easy to miss but we got babies anywhere from 2-8 weeks after laying - so dont throw out the old soil!!
Would you be willing to post a picture of this setup?
 

snitz427

Chameleon Enthusiast
Here was our original bug rack setup - its changed quite a bit. Lack of lids worked fine but better make sure that lamp is secure... I like lids with metal vent better. The three bins were : breeding age crix, 2-4wk crix, and a baby/hatching bin.

I also put roach bins on shelf directly above to get the ambient heat rising from cricket bins. Keeps sealed roach bins around 85.

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snitz427

Chameleon Enthusiast
I dont like the vermiculite. We havent had good success since adding it - but it has cut down on smell and maybe even deaths.

I also have some darkling and buffalo beetles living in there. No water or food bowl. Just drop carrots and orange chunks right in - only water I add is to mist the lay bin. We did add a small papertowl we would squirt at one point but it seems unnecessary if they have fresh food daily (esp oranges)
 

Rst_Cham

Chameleon Enthusiast
Do you have any pics of how the metal vents and lights are? I like that idea just can't seem to picture it.
 

snitz427

Chameleon Enthusiast
Do you have any pics of how the metal vents and lights are? I like that idea just can't seem to picture it.
I took these this morning - sorry for the crappy pic, I couldnt get close enough to get a good one as I have made a mess while re-arranging the racks. We cut out a large square from The lid. On the underside there is a screen taped to the lid, and then the hvac vent was screwed in on top to create a platform for the light. You can see where the lid melted a little - which was from the light not being centered on the vent... no issues if on the vent or over it.

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FEBE51B4-9888-4217-A46B-FD78680AB2EA.jpeg
 

Rst_Cham

Chameleon Enthusiast
I took these this morning - sorry for the crappy pic, I couldnt get close enough to get a good one as I have made a mess while re-arranging the racks. We cut out a large square from The lid. On the underside there is a screen taped to the lid, and then the hvac vent was screwed in on top to create a platform for the light. You can see where the lid melted a little - which was from the light not being centered on the vent... no issues if on the vent or over it.

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Thanks so much, that really helps me out a lot!
 
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