Welcome to your Cricket Breeding Training Course
Lesson 6- Dry Food, and Gut Loading
This topic has a lot to cover which we have condensed for you. Of course there is a lot more to it than we can include in a single lesson, you can find the full details in our Food and Water chapters of our book.
The key requirements for growth in cricket and cockroaches is protein, calcium, and energy. Researchers studying locusts and other insects found that they would continue to eat relentlessly until their daily protein requirements have been met. Once a locust has eaten a set amount of protein, it stops eating even if other food is provided. The same concept works for a variety of other animals and crickets. If you provide high quality food with high protein, their overall food consumption drops which saves you money. Having a sufficient calcium intake, is important for an animal which removes calcium on a regular basis by shedding its skin (moults).
A wide range of pellet dry foods can be used to feed crickets. Some people use, cat/dog/chicken layer/guinea pig/rabbit pellets. This becomes confusing when you go to a pet store and are confronted with this wide range of food types and different brands. Our manual provides the nutritional content of a range of different dry food types (ie, adult dog food, puppy dog food, cat food, chicken pellets etc), and provides some basic rules to help you choose best nutritionally and the most cost effective.
Our preference is cat or dog dry food mixed with Chicken Layer pellets. The chicken layer pellets have high calcium as they are used by laying chickens for egg production.
Gut loading is a method of boosting the nutritional content of feeder insects prior to providing them to your animals for consumption. The nutritional and moisture content of crickets can be increased by providing them with high quality foods to boost their nutrient, energy and moisture levels. Your animals then benefit through ingestion of these enriched crickets and cockroaches. Animals that have been relocated, are ill or under stress would particularly benefit from gut loading and dusting.
It is recommended that you substitute lower grade foods (i.e. dog food) with higher grade kitten food which will generally have more animal proteins and higher fat content. A gut loading mixture can be mixed then stored into a separate container and used as required.
Providing energy rich fresh root vegetables (preferably not frozen) such as carrot and sweet potato will also provide a good wet food gut loading option. Be sure to provide a good supply of water either through a water dispenser or fresh fruit and vegetables. Where possible feed the crickets gut loading foods at least 24-48 hours prior to feeding them to your animals. This will allow sufficient time for the uptake of nutrients and moisture.
Dusting is a process of adding nutritionally rich powder to the outside of your feeder insects. Again only a small amount is used so purchasing a commercially produced product is an economical way of adding nutrient to your animal’s diet.
One common method to dust insects is to place the powder into a plastic bag and shake.
Information in Our Manual…
Our manuals show a number of techniques how to quickly and efficiently grade your crickets (sort them into different size groups), gut load/dusting and how to store them temporarily so they are readily available at all times. Below is a summary of the “Food and Water” sections of our cricket Breeding manual:
- 7 different methods/tools to feed crickets to your animals quickly and easily (and filter them to the right size).
- Learn essential nutrients for cricket development, how to purchase food in bulk and store/process them properly to save wastage and money. Food recipes for standard and fast growth, gut loading and dusting.
- Tables outlining the nutritional content of key food groups such as dog, cat and chicken layer dry foods.
- Detailed instructions and photos how to build temporary storage containers and filtering devices.
- 4 different food/water dispensers to choose from which covers small and large scale production.
- Our automated feeding/watering dispensers, allows you to feed crickets for over 2 weeks unattended if necessary (i.e. good for going away on holidays). They are inexpensive to build, durable and designed not to spill. They dispense food at a controlled rate which saves money, reduces the frequency for refilling and improves hygiene.
If you want to learn how to feed your animals high grade food the easy way, you can purchase our manuals from Our Products page.