Feeding Crickets to Reptiles
Keeping reptiles as pets has become increasingly popular over the years, and while they may all have different dietary requirements, one common factor is the use of live crickets as food. Here’s a guide on how to breed crickets for your reptile.
Buy Cricket Eggs
Unlike crickets purchased from a pet store, breeding your own requires the purchase of cricket eggs. These are available from specialist reptile shops, or from online suppliers, and will give you several hundred eggs to work with.
Next, you’ll need a plastic tub, roughly 30x30x45 centimeters, with a few holes punched in the lid to provide ventilation. Place some crumbled paper at the bottom of the tub, then add a few lumps of clay. Sprinkle the eggs over the surface, and you’re ready for the next step.
Temperature & Humidity
Cricket eggs need a warm environment to hatch, so it’s important to maintain a temperature between 25°C and 28°C within the tub. Additionally, you’ll need to keep the humidity level at between 70 and 80%. If you can achieve these two conditions, then the eggs should hatch within 2-3 weeks.
Feeding the Crickets
Once the eggs hatch, and the crickets reach maturity, they’ll need a balanced diet. A good rule of thumb is to offer a combination of protein, carbohydrates, and vitamins, such as in the form of oatmeal and ground up dog food, supplemented with small amounts of fruits and vegetables.
Once the crickets are mature, they’ll need to be kept in a clean environment. Change the substrate in the tub every month, and clean out any moults or dead crickets. This will ensure that your crickets are healthy and free of any diseases before they are fed to your reptile.
When the crickets reach their full size, it’s time to harvest them. The simplest way is to use a fine-meshed net to remove the crickets from the housing container, before transferring them to the container that’s intended for your reptile.
Breeding crickets for your reptile is a relatively straightforward process, although it does require a little patience and knowledge. With the right conditions, you can provide your reptile with a consistent and healthy diet of live crickets.