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4 advice to improve your crickets farm
4 advice to improve your crickets farm

4 advice to improve your crickets farm

4 advice to improve your crickets farm

 

 

In this article, I won’t explain you how to install a cricket farm, because there’s already a lot online, like the method from Fluckerfarms or Melissa Kaplan. I’d rather give you some advice I got from people I met and from my own experience ; indeed I raised crickets in Vietnam.

 

The species we’re talking about is the House Cricket, not to be confused with the grasshopper or the migratory locust!

 

 

First advice : crickets vs humidity

 

It is very important not to let the humidity increase in the crickets tray, I mean REALLY important. Why ? Because adults crickets need 50% of humidity, which is quite low (contrary to the eggs that need almost 100% of humidity). If the humidity is too high, some virus will appear and moisture will develop on their feed.

 

 

How to keep the humidity low ?

 

  • Never let feed in decomposition at the bottom of the tray, and don’t put anything to create a floor, crickets don’t need one. Moisture could appear because of the excretions on the floor, even if it’s sand.

 

  • Change the dry feed (seeds, flours) and wash the feed container (or change it) once a week. Indeed crickets humidify their food by pooping while eating.

 

  • Don’t let vegetables more than 24h inside the tray.

 

  • Change the water point every day or two days.

 

 

Second advice : How to feed the crickets ?

 

Crickets are omnivorous so it’s easy to feed them, even if their small mouth doesn’t bite everything. They will not eat the leaf veins for example, or fruit hard peels ! The trick is to grind the driest food, and give them small doses of soft plants as a complement.

 

Here is a list of feed that crickets love:

 

crickets farming

  • Lettuce
  • Chinese cabbage
  • Carrots (also peel and leaves)
  • Apples (also peel)
  • Radish  (also peel)
  • Green banana leaves

 

Feed rich in protein 

  • Crushed cereals (Most of people use the feed preparation for chickens)
  • Crushed dried fruits
  • Crushed fried fish
  • Crushed fried leguminous plants
  • Perennial peanuts
  • Soy sprouts or germinated seeds (alfalfa)

 

 

Plants must be ORGANIC or at least free of pesticides !

 

Magic trick

To increase the protein content of crickets, you can give them a protein concentrate three days before harvesting them 😉

 

 

Third advice: water, a critical point

 

Do rickets need to drink water? YES !

 

Could they just use the water inside the plants they’re eating ? NO ! Not in a farm at optimal temperature, so between 25°C and 30°C and plus, they don’t eat enough plants to get the water they need in an industrial crickets farm!

 

How to give them water to drink?

Some people will use a piece of cotton soaked with water. However this method has a real harm : cotton rot quickly, and a putrid smell can emanate from it. Plus, a moldy cotton is for sure a source of diseases ! Others regularly spray crickets with water, but it increases the humidity, which can lead to diseases.

 

water supply is important in crickets farming

I’ll give you an other method I learned from crickets farms:

 

 

Equipment:

  • a material which can be soaked by water (sponge paper)
  • A plastic tray two centimeters deep
  • stones

 

After washing the stones, fill the tray with water, wrap it with the sponge paper and put it on the stones. That’s it ! Don’t forget to change water, and wash frequently the paper. As you can see on the picture, it doesn’t escape from crickets excretions !

 

 

 

 

Fourth advice: Egg boxes, right or wrong ?

 

Cardboard egg boxes can be perfect to raise crickets for several reasons :

  • It offers them a big surface to move.
  • It creates  some shadow areas where they can hide.
  • By tying boxes together, you can shake them off and collect the crickets once matures.
  • It is easy to find and quite cheap!

 

BUT…

Unfortunately, after few months raising insects on cardboard egg boxes, one can notice some complications:

 

  • Crickets bite the cardboard or even eat it. This is not supposed to be for animals or humans consumption and some chemicals molecules may therefore get into the crickets!

 

  • This kind of cardboard gets wet very quickly and if you put fresh vegetables on it, it increases the risk of moisture developments.

 

  • Once the boxes get bitten by crickets and soaked by their feed and excretions, it becomes harder to handle while harvesting.

 

  • Egg boxes must be thrown out after each crickets generation and therefore it increases the costs.

 

What should we do then? Here are some ideas to replace cardboard egg boxes:

 

  • Use egg boxes in plastic, a bit more expensive but washable and reusable ! But beware, crickets can’t grab onto plastic, so you have to “sand” it to make the surface rougher.

 

  • In China, cockroach breeders  use curved rubber surfaces. Is it really rubber ? The information must be verified…

 

  • A Mexican company, GriYUM, uses some thicker cardboard to create a 3D area. This picks up the idea of egg boxes but crickets can’t bite in it, and it doesn’t get wet by their excretions !

 

  • In Asia, cricket breeders use dried banana leaves, I used this method myself. Those are at least edible, and really easy to find !

 

 

crickets farming in vietnam by the bug trotters

 

Marie

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