Grow Your Own Bait - Crickets

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Grow Your Own Bait - Crickets Empty Grow Your Own Bait - Crickets

Post by Splash One on Thu 12 May 2011, 8:24 pm

Crickets are super easy to care for and they readily breed in captivity... All you need to create a colony of crickets, is a bucket of some sort, something for the crickets to hide in, water, food, and a small container with moist sand. You can catch crickets almost anywhere... they are under things suck as mulch, rocks, logs, and things used as garden and flower bed boarder. You can also go to your local pet store and purchase some crickets.

If you catch your own crickets, they are more then likely black crickets, which have a harder carapace and are more noisy then the brown cricket that is sold in pet stores.

Container - You want a container that is going to give the crickets room to grow. An old fish tank, a 5 gallon bucket, or a tub from Walmart. If you plan to grow several hundred, you will need a large container such as the one I have.. most importantly your container needs to have a lid that will allow airflow, yet keep your crickets from jumping out.

Grow Your Own Bait - Crickets IMG_20110510_210246

Hiding Places - You can use pretty much anything that creates a little cave. I have found that the more tunnels, cracks, and caves you have the happier the crickets seem to be, they breed more, and they also tend to fight less.. I have used cereal boxes, crumpled paper, paper towel and toilet paper tubes, rolled up cardboard, and 2x4s drilled full of holes..

Grow Your Own Bait - Crickets IMG_20110510_210322

- Crickets will eat just about anything, they will eat paper, cardboard, plastic, and of course real food... you want to provide your crickets with vitamin rich foods such as veggies, greens, apples, beans, fruits, nuts, and even bird seed mixes... I pretty much just feed them leftovers from dinner... if you don't eat healthy you can always go to the pet store and buy cricket food... but how ever you offer it you need to keep an eye on the wet foods so they don't start growing mold in your cricket colony.. You need to offer foods rich in protein and vitamins to "gut load" your females. The better they eat the more eggs they lay.

Grow Your Own Bait - Crickets IMG_20110510_210310

Water - The most important thing about raising crickets is making sure your water source goes through paper or a sponge of some sort. Baby crickets are about half the size of an ant when they first hatch and they drown very easily.. even if you have a tiny droplet of water they will drown in it because they are not strong enough to break free from the water's surface tension. It actually sucks them into the center of the droplet. You also need to make sure there is always a water source for the babies, be it water, or wet foods.. because they dehydrate and die quickly without water.

Breeding Box - You need to have some sort of container that has at least a 1/4 inch if sand, or sandy soil in it.. create a small entrance to the box, and keep the sand moist... the females will lay anywhere from a few dozen to several hundred eggs. The eggs take 3-4 weeks to hatch and the babies come out a translucent white color before their skin and shell parts harden.

Sexing - Knowing what sex your crickets are is somewhat important. If you have more males then females, you won't get a good yield of crickets, and the males will fight and kill each other in order to breed with the females... If you have plenty of hiding places, and more female then male crickets you will have so many crickets, you will be giving them away... Female crickets have a single long spike on their back side that looks like an antenna... it's actually what the female cricket uses to lay her eggs. She will work the spike down into the sand and deposit several eggs then move to another spot and lay more... Male crickets do not have this spike.

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Splash One
Splash One
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