How to start a roaches farm?

Perla Adams

New Member
Hello:

I live in Saudi Arabia. My local pet shops don’t sell live cricket (not even dry crickets) or any other kind of insects. My Chameleon is very thin. I hunt flies (not easy to find and catch). The employee from a cafeteria (yes, from a cafeteria) provides me with small roaches, (I think they cannot spray the restaurant to for safety reason, I don’t know, but he find some and pick it for me, still in small quintiles, perhaps 10 per week and are small).

So, since I am determine to keep my chameleon alive, I want to try to farm my own roaches, ( I will do it with crickets, but I do not see where I can find some alive to start), so I can provide my chameleon with the proper nutrition ( gut load the roaches).

Have some of you knowledge about how to start a “roaches farm”. The ones found in the restaurant are very small. (Attach picture of one frozen). I freeze them in order to feed the chameleon in a closed tank, that one die because was over freeze, usually I only sleep them in the freeze to be able to placed them in the tank, otherwise they scape, are super-fast.

Thank you very much.
 

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Dgood

Established Member
Can you identify what kind of roaches those are? I cant tell by the picture
 

nightanole

Chameleon Enthusiast
Most roaches do well at 30-35C in a plastic tub with a screen top, filled with cardboard or egg cartons. Then you just throw in fruits and veg and take it out 24-48 hours later before it goes rotten. You can also do that with high nutrition grains (something other than oats and rice). if the roaches can climb walls you coat the tub with oil, i use coconut or olive oil.

You might want to try to raise some roaches that cant climb or are a bit bigger (you can always feed your cham the babies). The only other variable is if the roaches leave egg sacs or if they are live bearing.
 

laurie

Retired Moderator
I will assume a roach is a roach. Save a few each time you get them. I know you want to feed them all to your cham but you have to save some to start a colony. Put your saved roaches in something where they can not escape. I use an aquarium with a tight fitting lid. Put some thing in for the roaches to crawl on. I use eggs flats, but you can also use empty toilet paper holders or empty paper towel holders. Sorry that I don't know what you have available to you. The reason they need something to crawl on is the body heat on them on top each other will kill them, and they like to hide and not be seen. They need to stay warm. I would keep them around 32 celsius. They need water and food. Lots of people use a very wet sponge for water, but you have to change it every day and they are messy. I use a lot of wet vegetables, such as squash, zucchini, and lettuces. I also use things like sweet potato, carrots, collard green, mustard greens for the nutrition your cham will need.

It is going to take you a while to get your colony started. As they reach adult you will want to look closely and see if you can determine which are female. Keep more females than males. I use a 1 to 6 ratio 1 male for every 6 females. Feed off the extra males. This is going to take a while to get your colony started, so be strong and don't feed off all the roaches you get. Roaches multiply fast so once you start seeing baby roaches, just let them grow for a while and soon you will have a colony to feed your Champ. I would tell you how long it would take your type of roach to breed but I am not sure which kind you have.
 

Kate

Established Member
Just a thought Perla, instead of trying to find live food in pet shops, have you tried shops that sell fishing tackle? Your idea of roaches is very good.:)
 

Perla Adams

New Member
Hello:

Thank you for the advice, I think I can do it. Tomorrow, I will build the farm Next time I get roaches, I will save a group.

What is fishing tackle? Worms? I saw people fishing in the golf. I live in Al Khobar, it is costal city. I will investigate.

Thank you very much
 

Yak

New Member
hello,
try to get a bucket, put some cardboard inside for them to live. try dog food, to get them going and to get them to survive.
drill a bunch of little holes on the lid to ventilate.
good luck
 

Kate

Established Member
Hello:

Thank you for the advice, I think I can do it. Tomorrow, I will build the farm Next time I get roaches, I will save a group.

What is fishing tackle? Worms? I saw people fishing in the golf. I live in Al Khobar, it is costal city. I will investigate.

Thank you very much

They may have worms, flys, maggots. If you can get something, gutload them for several days before feeding Champ. Fishing tackle is the equipment used for fishing with a rod and line.:)
 

Perla Adams

New Member
Hello:

Here picture my Roaches Farm # 1. I know, there is many room for improvement, so this is the Experiment #1. I am ready to take suggestions.

I bought an medium size container ( Lock and Lock). I did a hole in the top and glue an small metallic sister. Inside the box, I placed some toilet paper rolls, haft box of egg (I only had transparent in home) , two small containers, one with a mix of grains and seeds ( Hamster food), I add barley, brown rice and few grains of corn, in the second dish I places a date and some carrot peeling. I placed a bottle with water ( I guess the water will evaporate to keep humidity) also, I wet a piece of paper towel so there is water to drink but not too much mess ( I can spray the towel true the hole).I brush olive oil around to prevent climbing.

I did all in a hurry because today I was lucky to receive 7 cockroach. I feed two for the chameleon and the rest to the tank. I think they are 3 females and 2 male, One female has a sack ( I think an egg, picture below).
I keep the box inside a cardboard box to make a dark environment. I hope will work. The box is outside because is warm, but I have a heating pad to keep the farm indoor during the night.

What do you guys think? Any suggestions?

Thank you.
 

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pssh

Avid Member
It sounds like you are doing well. I, personally, would only keep the adults roaches in the tub for breeding for now and feed off the smaller ones if you can. Have you tried looking into some roach traps for catching live roaches? Maybe your friend can put it in the cafeteria for you so that you can catch more than just 10 or so a week?

Here is a link to a page where you can make a water bottle roach trap (I also use this kind of water bottle to catch flies when I have some in the house.) You can also just use olive oil to coat the inside of the bottle. I sometimes catch various roaches outside this way.

http://www.k12.hi.us/~rkubota/digiphoto/cockroach/roach.html
 

Perla Adams

New Member
Kara, thank you for the link,

Today, I will make a couple of traps and take them to the cafeteria. I notice that I have 7 roaches in my farm. I hope they progress.

Bye, bye
 
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