Trials and Tribulations


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Holy smokes...what a morning I had today. Well, last night I moved my male Ambilobe from his juvenile set-up to his new permanent home that I built.

Today was the first feeding...and boy was it memorable. Considering that his new cage is about 10 times bigger than his starter cage, I was worried that he'd have a hard time finding his food, especially because there are so many hiding spots for the crickets. I considered cup feeding, but wanted to give him some incentive to hunt and explore his new habitat. I normally only feed 5-6 crickets at a time. Considering the size of his new cage, I decided to supply 12. Well, of course my wife was anxious to see the little guy eat in his new cage, so we had an audience.

So, about 30 seconds after I drop all 12 crickets in the cage, one of them finds their way right out the top and plops onto the floor at our feet, at which point I start scratching my head...hmmmmmm. Shortly there after, a second cricket is scurrying by my feet, then I look up and see one crawling on the drapes over the window that the cage is next to....oooops. Luckily my wife is understanding and simply walks away saying, "I don't want to be listening to crickets chirping in the living room all night"....understood, I think to myself.

***side note: Well, I found a fundamental flaw in my cage design...I made the top of my cage out of a chicken wire type metal screen to provide maximum penetration of lighting...which the crickets can easily fit through...derrrrrr***

I spent the next 45 minutes waiting for each of the crickets to find their way out...or make themselves visible enough that I could catch them. I almost had a heart attack at one point. One of the crickets was walking on the rim of the top side of the cage,...and my cham was about to try to shoot it through the metal screen! I had horrible images of his tongue getting ripped off. I quickly reached my hand inside cage and scared him away from his attack as I tried to catch the cricket.

Well after I rounded all the little buggers up, I found a piece of tupperware that they couldn't jump out of, put them in it, and placed it in the cage...of course he's wanted nothing to do with it all day.

Hopefully he'll take to it. I was thinking I'll move it around to keep him foraging for his food at least. I'm curious to see how this plays out....hmmmmmmm. :confused:
Have you tried hand feeding? It's another daily chore but I think it's worth the time. After a day or two of no new food (might be a few in the cage) try sneaking into the area without an audience and offer a bug from your fingers. I have found cham phycology to work for me in this situation, avoid eye contact/stay out of view/hide behind leafs/branches offering a bug by twirling it and catching your chams eye with subtle motions of the bug. In most instances the cham will take the easy food. If you are successful this will be a repeatable event. None of my cages are bug proof but hand feeding seems to keep stray feeders to a minimum for me.
awol crickets are a daily routine at my place, when you have a variety of herps and you're a bit carefree (read 'clumsy'), like me, there are always escapees taking a tour of the house!
Fortunately, we're a noisy family anyway, most nights are filled with the chorus of both our captive whites tree frogs and a colony of wild perons tree frogs right outside our bedroom window (where I was silly enough to put our turtle pond), so crickets discussing
escape plans and those partying elsewhere in the house are not to much bother, though they can scare the crap out of you climbing your leg while watching a movie! :D
Fortunately 'inspector wuffles', my daughters foxy terrier, is always on patrol and enjoys both catching and eating them! :D
Haha yeah Jo, I am in your boat. I get clumsy and have escapees, for the most part I can find them in my bedroom but there is the occasional cricket that makes its way under the door and out into the living room. We have 3 cats too so they never last long out my room. I don't play around with the roaches though, I make sure everyone that I take out the colony is eaten.
LOL, you guys are kill'n me!!! If I drop a cricket I am almost never able to catch it. I think they know it too and so taunt me regularly by walking around my floors casually. They are watchful little buggers, they can tell when I've spootted them so no matter how stealthy I attempt to be they always jump out of my grasp. They're as*holes!
I did try once, catching them, a soda bottle with some cricket food and a few peices of carrot inside did catch a few, but with the numbers that escape me it was a waste of time! :D
just a quick idea if you were to make frame out of thin plexi glass about 4 inchs wide and set it down before the wire the crickets wouldnt be able to get over to the open part they would just fall off.( sort of a plexi top with a big hole ) and you could leave the middle open for good light penn,
Well, I guess he got hungry enough. When we checked the cup earlier, 6 were missing. I still think I'll end up pitting some sort of cricket proof lip around the top though. I'd still like to let him hunt.
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