Feeding baby crickets
How to Feed Crickets and What to Feed Them
Written by WebMD Editorial Contributors
Reviewed by Kathleen Claussen, DVM on July 07, 2021
In this Article
- Cricket Diet
- Common Concerns Feeding Crickets
Crickets, also known by their scientific name of Acheta domesticus, are insects known for their ability to jump high and for their trilling, chirping sounds. Some people keep crickets as pets. Most often, they are kept in the home to be fed to reptiles as prey. Crickets can be bought in bulk from pet stores or can be bred at home with proper set-up.
Whether you are keeping crickets as feeder crickets for your reptile or as pets, it is important to feed them a high-quality diet. If your crickets are feeder crickets, a proper diet will also help provide your reptile with proper nourishment.
Crickets are omnivores. This means that a natural cricket diet consists of plants and meat and includes protein, grains, and produce. In the wild, crickets will consume a wide-ranging diet including insect larvae, aphids, flowers, seeds, leaves, fruit, and grasses.
If your feeder crickets are healthy, then they will provide your reptile with the most nutrient-dense meal possible. Their diet in captivity should provide them with the same nutrients that they would find in the wild.
What crickets eat. If you are keeping crickets as food for another pet such as a gecko, snake, or bearded dragon, keep in mind that whatever you feed your crickets will also be providing nourishment to your pet. The process of feeding prey crickets nutritious food is known as "gut loading." When feeding your crickets, you can select from a variety of nutritious foods, including:
- Fruits, such as apples, oranges, and bananas
- Vegetables, including carrots, potatoes, squash, and leafy greens
- Grains, such as alfalfa, wheat germ, and rice cereal
- Other packaged pet foods, including fish flakes, dry cat food, dry dog food, and reptile food
- Commercial food made specifically for crickets
If you are feeding your crickets pure fruits, vegetables, and grains, and no supplemental pet food, provide them with a nutritional supplement of some kind to make up for any gaps in the diet. A reptile nutritional supplement can be sprinkled over the cricket's food supply.
How to feed your crickets. Ensure that your crickets have consistent access to food and clean water. Crickets will self-regulate their food intake. There is no need to measure exact quantities of food. Be sure to check at least every 2 days to make sure your crickets still have plenty of food and water. Whole vegetables and fruits can be placed in the cage. Dried pet foods and grains can also be served in shallow dishes or lids.
Common Concerns Feeding Crickets
There are a few best practices to keep in mind when it comes to feeding crickets. These will help your crickets remain as healthy as possible and provide a nutritious meal for your reptile. You will want to ensure that you provide a living situation free from mold and humidity, and that your crickets have safe access to food and water.
Preventing mold and humidity. Crickets require proper air circulation and fresh food to thrive. When humidity levels are too high, your crickets may not survive. It is recommended to store your crickets in a deep container or terrarium with a lid and proper air ventilation. The ideal temperature for crickets is between 70 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
To keep your habitat as hygienic as possible for your crickets, dedicate one side of the habitat to food and water. Check frequently to make sure that the food is still fresh and free of mold. Grains and dried pet food can be provided consistently. These will not mold as quickly as fresh produce, which should be offered more moderately.
Providing a safe drinking and eating environment. Crickets are not very tall, and can easily drown if drinking water is too deep. To provide a safe drinking environment for your crickets, consider filling a shallow lid, such as one from a yogurt container, with a few small rocks or fish tank pebbles and some water. This will provide the crickets with a safe way to access their drinking water while keeping a firm footing on the pebbles.
Some cricket owners will submerge cotton balls in water and place those in the habitat. This provides crickets with a safe way to stay hydrated. For food supply, it is recommended to keep the food separate from the water source so that grains and dry food do not become damp and more prone to mold.
How To Raise Baby Crickets – The Critter Depot
Posted by Feeder Crickets on
Table of Contents
- cricket tub
- cricket egg bedding
Whether you accidentally placed an order for the incorrect cricket size, or are actively breeding your feeder insects, the care for your pinhead crickets can be a bit of a mystery. Baby crickets are quite tiny, generally tiny enough to escape from the usual enclosures one might use for their bugs, and so there’s a little bit of specialized care that goes into caring for them.Pinhead Cricket The Enclosure
As we all know, even with the best of enclosures, sometimes your crickets will figure out something you didn’t think of. This goes double for the newly-hatched guys, unlike mammals bugs hatch with pretty much all the smarts they need and their tiny size can put them at a pretty large risk of flight.
One of the first things you might want to try is to line the tub they’re in with something smooth so they can’t climb it like they would normal plastic. A lot of people recommend using packing tape since their feet won’t be able to grip it.
Closing the lid while providing adequate ventilation can be hard with the smaller crickets. Your best bet is to get a container deep enough they can’t jump out of, but screens can also come in handy here. If you use a screen, try to stick with metal, as crickets are able to chew through fiberglass and you can end up with quite a commotion on your hands if it happens and takes some time for you to notice.
Some people recommend using saran wrap for the top and poking tiny holes, but if you have the time and patience for it dotting the tops of the enclosure with a heated leather sewing needle is probably a better permanent solution. Alternatively, you can put normal sized holes and place some amount of steel screen material over them to ensure your youngsters can’t escape.
You can raise the temperature to around 82-84°F in order to help them grow a bit faster as well if that’s your goal. If you’re using the pinheads to feed smaller critters and don’t want to encourage growth a temperature of about 72-74°F is appropriate as it will keep them active without actively making them larger.
The final thing to keep in mind for their enclosure is that you’ll have much better results with a highly humid environment, something like 85%. This will help keep them hydrated and you’ll see a lot less of these fragile babies dying off.Food and Water For Pinhead Crickets
Pinheads will eat just about anything that the adults will eat, but for the best results you’ll want to feed them something high in protein to encourage healthy growth. You can also add some fresh fruit like oranges to supply moisture and help keep the humidity levels up enough that they’re good for the babies.
You might want to look into commercial food and hydrating gels as well. The important thing is that you might want to grind up any dry foods you put in. Try a mixture of different foods, things like dog food and fish flake are ideal and by grinding them together you can provide quite a varied diet.
Remember to remove any food that begins to smell, and any vegetables or fruits that are showing signs of rot as soon as it happens, pinheads are a little bit more susceptible to disease than the adult form and it’s just good critter keeping practice anyways.
As you can see, raising pinheads is mostly about securing the enclosure and maintaining adequate humidity. With those two factors in place, you’re sure to be able to get your crickets off to a healthy adulthood, or even just make them some healthy treats for your pets. It doesn’t take much extra effort over raising regular crickets and you’re sure to have some healthy adults.
- Tags: baby crickets, buy feeder crickets, pinhead crickets
Keeping and Feeding Bearded Dragons
- Keeping Bearded Dragons
- Feeding Bearded Dragons
The Bearded Dragon is a stunningly beautiful reptile that is great for keeping in a city apartment, good contact with people and can become a real pet.
In the wild, these lizards live in the deserts of Australia. Almost all agamas that can now be bought are bred in captivity. The average life span of bearded dragons in captivity is 10-15 years.
Keeping a bearded dragon
Before you bring your dragon home, prepare a place for it. Of course, like any reptile, dragons are cold-blooded animals, so they should be kept in a terrarium. For agamas, it is better to purchase a horizontal glass terrarium, the optimal size is 180 cm wide, 50 deep and 50 high. The terrarium must be closed with a lid so that the lizard does not escape.
Since bearded dragons are hermits, they need a humidity level of 30-40%. The temperature in the terrarium should be at the level of 26-29gr. C, temperature under the heating lamp 36-38gr. C. For this, you can use incandescent lamps or ceramic lamps, you need to hang them at a distance of 45 cm from the place of heating, so that the agama cannot get burned. To monitor the temperature, you need to attach a thermometer to the wall of the terrarium, and you can also use a thermostat.
An ultraviolet lamp must be lit along with the heating lamp throughout the day. Reptiles require UV A and B spectrum lamps. These lamps are available from terrarium and aquarium stores. Day mode: 14 hours - daylight hours, 10 hours - night time.
Sand and pebbles at least 10 mm in diameter are most often used as soil. Sand is poured in a layer of 10 cm, so that, if desired, the lizard can burrow into the ground. There are also ready-made terrarium mats that are sold in pet stores (not rubber mats).
The terrarium should be equipped with branches (no bark), rocks (from the pet store) and a shelter where the dragon can hide if desired. It is better not to put artificial and live plants in the terrarium, as the agama will eat them.
To improve life processes (prevention of diseases, help with molting), the agama can be bathed in a small bath, so that the head is always on top, with a water temperature of 29-32 gr. C. This procedure should be done 1-2 times a week.
General cleaning in the terrarium is enough to carry out once a month (wash the entire terrarium, equipment, change or clean the soil). Food and faeces should be removed as soon as they appear.
Bearded dragon feeding
In the terrarium, you can put a container with water to maintain the optimal level of humidity, a drinker, but not all lizards drink from it. You can spray the agama once a day, and she will lick the droplets from her body, or give moistened greens.
Bearded dragons are omnivorous lizards. In nature, they eat everything from leaves and stems to small mice and chicks. Therefore, at home, it is quite easy for them to choose the right diet.
For plant food, leafy vegetables (Chinese cabbage, lettuce, spinach), vegetables (carrots, green beans, peas, peppers, tomatoes, zucchini, eggplant), fruits (pitted apples, bananas, grapes in small quantities) are suitable for them. , juicy green food (dandelion, clover, wheat leaves, germinated oats).
Mealworm, zoophobus, crickets, cockroaches and newborn mice are suitable for animal food. All these "products" can be bought at the pet store. For feeding worms, you need a bowl with high edges so that they cannot crawl out and burrow into the ground. It is better to feed crickets and cockroaches in a separate small terrarium or a plastic jig, a basin is not suitable for this, as crickets can jump out. You can also feed insects with tweezers. You just need to do it carefully so that the agama does not bite on the tweezers themselves, otherwise it can break its face.
Ready-made food for lizards and vitamin-mineral complexes for reptiles can be added to these feeds as top dressing. In Russia, such drugs as Reptilife (Agrovetzashchita), Reptolife (Tetra), Wordley (Calcium and Multivitamin) are common.
Young bearded dragons (up to 5 months old) should be fed 3 times a day so that animal food makes up more than half, and vegetable food less. "Teenagers" can be fed once a day, adult agamas (after 18 months) should be fed every other day so that they have less than half of animal food, and more vegetable food.
Feeding meerkats, feeding meerkats at home
In nature, due to the different availability of food, the diet may change from day to day. Basically, meerkats feed on insects, in addition, their diet includes lizards, snakes, spiders, centipedes, scorpions, bird eggs and some plants. According to some reports, the daily diet of a meerkat consists of 82% insects (butterflies and moths, beetles, termites, grasshoppers, insect larvae, crickets, ant larvae - they are especially fond of). Insects are an excellent source of food as they reproduce very quickly and are always in abundance, 7% are arachnids, 3% centipedes and centipedes, 2% reptiles, 2% amphibians and 1% small birds.
Meerkats are significantly less sensitive to reptile and arthropod venom. They are resistant to many deadly poisons, making their natural diet more varied than that of other native predators. The diet also includes worms. 3% can be plant foods - eating gourds, root crops and tubers increases during the dry period.
Sometimes meerkats collect food for babies and nannies and carry it to their den. Toddlers learn to forage by following adults and expand their diet. A pup that makes a loud call gets the most food from adults.
In captivity, they can eat live foods that are available in pet stores (mice, worms, food insects, etc. ). The industry does not produce special feed for meerkats. From dry food, only high quality products are suitable. Meerkats do not tend to overeat, so automatic feeders are suitable for them. But still, insects should be included in the diet, at least as a treat. Forage insects - forage crickets, cockroaches, zoophobas, flour worms, etc. One liter of zoofobas is enough for one month for one meerkat (about 50 larvae per day).
The diet of a meerkat may include meat - rabbit, domestic chicken meat, beef (not often), quail, small lizards ... Baby meat puree (rabbit, chicken, without milk and sugar). But remember that it is impossible to feed an animal only with selected meat, there is a lot of protein in it, and there are not enough other useful substances, vitamins, minerals. You can’t feed meerkats with pork, lamb, lard, duck, goose, any fried meat, sausages, smoked meats and other purely human food containing salt, spices, etc. are also prohibited.
You should be careful with fish, this is an unusual food for a meerkat and many varieties of fish contain components that are harmful to them (trimethylamine oxide and thiaminase - a substance that destroys vitamin B1 in the body).
As an additional source of nutrition, you can ask boiled chicken eggs (half, once a week), weaken meerkats from raw chicken eggs, quail eggs (two or three times a week, you can raw), dried tendons (rarely, as a treat).
Milk is not given to adult meerkats, but sour-milk products can be useful, but are offered to animals only in the form of fat-free products. Cottage cheese, kefir, live yoghurts. Remember that milk and sour cream should not be given to meerkats.
Plant foods, as in nature, should not form the bulk of the diet. Fruits and vegetables are cut into small pieces or grated. Vegetables can be mixed with minced meat - carrots, pumpkin, tomato, sweet pepper, cucumber, broccoli, cabbage, zucchini. Meerkats shouldn't eat potatoes at all. Fruits - banana (except dried), mango, avocado (very rare), apple, pear, melon, watermelon, persimmon, grapes (very rare and limited), cherries and cherries (pitted), strawberries, strawberries, gooseberries.
Also, meerkats should not be given mushrooms, nuts, onions, garlic, food from the table (soups, cereals . ..), salty, spicy, sweet, sour, spices, spices, soy products, products with preservatives, as well as cookies, chips, popcorn, etc.
Depending on the type of feeding, age and condition of the body, the animal may need additional preparations of vitamins and minerals, consult your veterinarian at the clinic about this.
About the frequency of feeding - cubs up to five months of age are fed four times a day, older ones up to ten months old - three times a day, and adult meerkats are fed twice a day.
Veterinary clinic "Umka"
for the health of their pets
You can contact our clinic at the address:
. Novomostitskaya, 2, tel: 067-100-34-75 from 9.00 to 21.00
prosp. Minsk, 10, tel: 098-598-57-28 from 9.00 to 21.00