Like you, we are firm believers in raising crickets for food (especially for our pets).
This is why we have written this simple cricket breeding guide.
But first, can you breed crickets for bearded dragons or reptiles? Of course, you can. Breeding crickets at home is a sustainable source of food for the pets you raise.
Are you tired of visiting the pet store, again and again, to buy crickets every week to feed your squirmy, tailed friend?
Here comes the question of how to breed crickets? In the article, we have provided in detail the whole process of breeding. Would you please read it to know about the crickets’ breeding process?
How to Breed Crickets for Bearded Dragon
Here is a simple cricket for bearded dragon step-by-step guide:
- Place 10-30 crickets in an enclosure. You can use a cricket breeding starter kit to begin.
- Then a heating bulb or pad is needed too
- A thermometer: This will be used to measure the temperature of the enclosure and maintain a perfect breeding temperature of 85°F.
If the temperature ever falls below 70°F, the crickets will breed less, while if the temperature rises above 95°F, they will start to die.
You might want to ask how do the crickets breed then? Here is a quick answer. Ensure you follow the steps to successfully complete the breeding process for crickets:
- Simply place the nesting container in the breeding container but without the cover. Then, place the jar covers with water gel and food for the crickets.
- Once the crickets breeding setup is complete, place your crickets in the breeding container and close it with a screen cover to prevent escape.
- In 4-7 days, the female crickets would have laid eggs in the nesting container, which is to be removed now.
If you want, you can place them in another nesting container in the breeding container to keep the crickets breeding and prevent male crickets from eating the eggs.
- Remember to cover the nesting container. Plus, remember that it should contain holes so that the moisture can get out.
Now you just need to put the resting container into a rare container at a temperature of about 85°F to 90°F to make sure the substrate keeps moist. If required, you can spray water on it.
- In the next 4-5 days, the eggs will begin hatching now. Then you can provide them with some food. Take away the sandwich tub cover and place some lettuce and greens inside.
- As soon as the babies are ready, just put the water gel and some food in the rearing container using jar covers.
- Lastly, place the egg flats inside the rearing container and the toilet paper that goes from the substrate to the bottom of the earring tub. The paper will help the babies get out of the nesting container.
- Once the babies leave the nesting container, could you remove it from the rearing container?
- When you see the crickets get about ¼”, put them in the breeding container to start breeding again.
ALSO SEE: Crickets Breeding in Lizard Tank? HOW TO GET THEM OUT
Pros and Cons of Breeding Crickets
Here are the advantages of breeding crickets at home:
|You have access to a consistent supply of crickets for your beardie.||Crickets are noisy insects, so you should place them in a place where this won’t become a problem|
|It is cheaper and you save more. Buying them from pet stores costs more.||Some mischievous crickets might escape while transferring them from one container to another.
This is why we recommend putting some insecticides pallets like those used for killing earwigs in the room.
This will prevent escape and serious cricket infestation.
|You can sell the extra’s to make some money.||Crickets can smell. But as far as you keep their environment clean, the smell can be reduced.|
Now, as you know, the pros and cons of reading crickets, let’s move forward to understand crickets’ breeding setup.
Crickets Breeding Setup at Home
Breeding crickets at home is easy if you know to do. A cricket farm consists of breeding, nesting, and a rearing container.
This is the first step in our how to breed crickets guide.
- The breeding container is where crickets live and breed. Also, these crickets are the ones you will use to feed your bearded dragons or other reptiles.
- The nesting container is where the crickets lay eggs.
- The Rearing container is where we place the nesting container for the eggs to hatch. Also, it is the container where crickets stay until they go into the breeding container again or are sold off.
Setting up a breeding place is easy and the following are needed:
- Egg Flats
- 20 Gallon Rubbermaid Tub with cover
- Aluminum mosquito screen
- Hot Glue Gun
- Jars for water and food
Lack of ventilation is a major issue in home or commercial cricket farming. So, ensure you provide a breeding container with lots of air.
Personally, I cut big holes on both the ends of the Rubbermaid tab and on the cover for a proper ventilation system. While cutting the vents, remember to leave a 3-inch border at the top.
This prevents crickets escape too when the container is opened.
Now, proceed to cut a piece of aluminum mosquito screen for both holes. Keep in mind to cut the screen pieces is more significant than the holes to be glued easily.
Use the hot glue gun out to fix the screen to the tub.
Once the ventilation system is set, we just glue 3 or 4 egg flats together. This will make it simple to handle.
Lastly, leave the exit in the breeding container.
For proper nesting, do the following:
- Sandwich tub
- Something to make holes on the sandwich tub cover
- Some substrates like Eco-Earth
A nesting container is way more comfortable to set up than the usual one.
All you need to do is fix the substrate inside, leaving about half an inch from the top soil to the container’s rim.
Now drill holes into the sandwich top cover.
The following is what you need for setting up rearing container:
- Packing tape or cello-tape
- Medium sweater box
- Egg flats
- Something to make holes on the sweater box cover (drill).
- Jar covers for water and food
Drill holes on the sweater box about 1 inch apart. That will prevent baby crickets from escaping the sweater box.
Lastly, for extra security, strip a white cello tape of packing tape around the container’s entire rim.
Feeding your Crickets
Let’s move on to the step-by-step guide on raising crickets for food.
When malnourished, crickets either die or will turn on one another to survive.
If the quality of food you feed in your cricket farm is not good, then the crickets won’t be good for your bearded dragon or other reptiles.
What do Crickets Eat?
Crickets can eat:
- Commercial foods like Fluker’s High Calcium Crickets Feed or Nature Zone Crickets Food Bites
- Domestic recipe that involve mixing commercial dried cat food in a tub with ten part part-skim milk powder with one of the good-quality calcium supplements required by reptiles and amphibians. Now shake it so that the Powder coats the cat food well.
What do they drink?
- Use a commercial product like Fluker’s Crickets Quencher or Nature Zone Crickets Water Bites
- Homemade water gel by mixing water crystals with water.
NEVER USE water bowl as that can drown the crickets.
ALSO SEE: Cricket Breeding Kit Review
How many Crickets to Feed a Bearded Dragon?
- For adults beardie: Feed 10-20 crickets per day during singe breeding.
- For baby/Juvenile bearded dragon: Feed 30-80 crickets per day.
ALSO SEE: Breeding Crickets Vs Dubia Roaches for Beardies
How many Crickets should a Baby Bearded Dragon eat?
A baby bearded dragon should be fed 5 times a day and allow them eat as much as they want in a 5-19 minutes per session.
The older babies must be fed less protein with more greens to prepare them for their adult diet.
Is Breeding Crickets Worth It?
Absolutely! You should breed your cricket for safety and economical reasons! Besides, it is a fun project too!
Can I Breed Store Bought Crickets?
Yes, you can.
You’ll need to provide food, water, heat and an enclosure. Once these are provided, they will breed profusely.
They typically take about 2 weeks to breed and lay the eggs in the soil.
How Fast Do Crickets Reproduce?
Crickets reproduce as fast as 3-4 days of maturity.
The females lay eggs at 8-10 days old, and will lay a batch of 50-100 eggs every 2-3 days over a period of two months.
How do You Know If Crickets Are Mating?
Both males and female crickets make loud repetitive songs at night to encourage mating. So, once you begin to hear that sound, mating is sure happening.
How do You Tell If A Cricket Is Laying Eggs?
A pregnant cricket will have eggs on the backside. So, missing eggs indicate they have been laid somewhere in the enclosure.
Why do Crickets Like Egg Cartons?
Crickets like egg cartons because it can be used for hiding and it serves as a safe source of fiber.
How many Eggs Do Crickets Lay at A Time?
Female crickets are capable of laying about 5-10 eggs each day, for a total of around 100 in their life.
This does not mean the only live 10-20 days just that they will lay up until they reach 100 give or take).
Do Crickets Lay Eggs in Houses?
Home crickets lay eggs in house cracks and crevices on walls and flooring located within dark, warm and moist areas.
The process of crickets breeding can be quite the challenge. But, here in the article, we have tried to present in the easiest way possible.
The information and the process described above are enough to raise feeder insects for bearded dragons.