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How to Breed Crickets

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Authored by Crystal Crowder in Pets
Published on 09-30-2010

Breeding crickets isn’t overly difficult. Many people breed crickets in order to provide food for their animals or to sell to other people. Crickets can be sold to pet stores or through your own business. Another reason to breed crickets is to sell or use as bait. No matter what the reason, you can breed your own crickets at home.

Items Required

Before you start breeding crickets there are several items you’ll need. See the list below for items and their uses.

  • Two jar lids for food and water
  • 20 gallon fish tank or larger to keep crickets in
  • Cloth to cover fish tank to prevent crickets from escaping
  • Heating lamp or heating pad to keep temperature around eighty-eight degrees Fahrenheit
  • Slices of fruit and vegetables
  • Cloth to dampen with water
  • Small nesting containers such as soup containers or toilet paper tubes lined with peat moss
  • Incubator or separate heated tank or box for eggs

Preparing for Breeding

You’ll need approximately ten males and ten females to start breeding. Place the crickets in the fish tank. Place a jar lid of food in the tank. Cricket food includes slices of fruits and vegetables, ground oatmeal, minced fruit and chicken laying mash. Place the second jar lid in the tank. Place a dampened cloth or paper towel in the lid for water. Placing water in the lid may cause the crickets to drown.

Cover the tank with cloth to prevent escape, but ensure the cloth is breathable so the crickets don’t suffocate. Place a heating lamp near the tank or a heating pad under the tank to keep the temperature warm. Use a thermometer to help monitor the temperature.

Place nesting containers around the tank for females to lay eggs in. Line any containers with peat moss or damp soil. This allows the eggs to stick to the nesting material.

Incubating Eggs

Remove nesting materials approximately every seven days. Place the materials in your incubator. You can use an actually incubator or use a smaller fish tank or even a plastic box for an incubator. If you’re using an alternate incubator, keep the temperature warm in the alternate at approximately eighty-eight degrees Fahrenheit. Cover the incubator, but be sure the incubator is ventilated. Place food and water in the incubator.

Removing Babies

Crickets can be removed from the incubator when they’re approximately ¼ inch long. Either sell them or place some back into the original container to restart the breeding process.

Maintain Records

Keep a record of each batch. This will prevent mixing. Keep each batch separate until fully grown. Crickets are sold based upon size. You’ll need multiple tanks and incubators to maintain a continuous cycle.

Things to Keep in Mind

Females lay approximately five to ten eggs per day. Most females lay around one hundred eggs. To tell the difference between males and females, look at their backs. Males have two extrusions on their backs. Females have fully developed wings and three long extrusions.

Breeding crickets is easy if you keep batches separate, tanks clean and eggs out of the main tank. Crickets can be sold as pet food, to others for breeding or as bait.

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