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Old 03-06-04, 01:14 PM   #4 (permalink)
Tara Garratt
Join Date: Feb-2003
Location: Southey Sask.
Posts: 114
I keep my own crickets. The method I use is to put a petri dish of very moist peat moss in the tank of mature crickets
(they chirp). I leave the dish there for a couple of hours or until they start to scatter the peat moss.

I then remove the dish.

I mist the top of the peat moss, put the lid on the dish and then use masking tape along the seam to seal the dish.

For the next 12-14 days I keep the dish on a warm surface (not hot). At which time the eggs start to hatch. Do not remve the tape until you have hatched as many as you want, but do not leave it for more than 24 hours.

I then open the petri dish over top of a large prepaired jar that will house the babies for the next 2-3 weeks. The jar is prepared by having very fine mouse food on the bottom and then grated carrot or a leaf of romaine lettuce for moisture. The jar size is one of those huge pickle jars (Costco size). The type of lettuce can be important because the chemicals that are on head lettuce do not wash off and will kill your hatchlings.

I use a piece of nylon to cover the jar so I have no escapees. The nylon allows for air flow. Too much humidity will cause mould and kill crickets.

I set the jar in front of a directed light (60 watt) that is on 24/7.

Fresh lettuce or grated carrot is added daily for moisture.

When the crickets are about 2 weeks old they move to a critter keeper. They still stay in front of the light, but the larger space is needed. Now for moisture they get oranges or grapefruit (cut in half and set in) and more grated carrot. I continue to feed the mouse food on the bottom of the keeper, but it no longer needs to be ground fine.

At 3 weeks or so I move the crickets to a 10 gallon tank with mouse food on the bottom. I use cardboard egg cartons so they can climb and have more space. They get grated carrot, oranges and access to water (a dish of rocks with water in it--not too deep or they will drown. They must be able to touch the rocks at all times). They get no lettuce at this stage as I am gut loading them for feeding and for again using for breeding (all my creatures eat either pinheads, or adults. I don't have anyone who eats the juveniles).

When the males start to chirp, I start the whole process over again.

It sounds complicated, but it is really easy as long as you remember to give something for moisture daily to the hatchlings. They dry out quick because the jar is so warm.

Good luck!
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