Conventional Food and Water Methods
The most basic method for providing food and water is placing a food/water bowl to one end of the container. Another method is placing the food/water bowls in the middle with cartons on both sides. This makes access to food easier, but you have to cut more cartons.
Crickets and cockroaches will drown in water if something is not placed in the water. Some people place pebbles, cotton wool, sponge or hydration crystals (used to provide water for plants-found at nurseries) in the water to prevent cockroaches from drowning.
The disadvantage of these methods is that they often get dirty and unhygienic quickly, or need to be regularly topped up for a large active colony. An active colony in a 70L (18.49 gallons) container will drink 500-700ml (16.91-23.67 oz) of water/week in hot weather. Hydration crystals quickly dehydrate (shrink in size) and require regular top up otherwise they stick to the container making them hard to clean.
General Set up requirements are outlined in How to Breed Cockroaches Page.
Efficient Food and Watering Methods
To reduce ongoing maintenance and the overcome the issues described above we have developed automated feeding/watering dispensers have been developed to minimise feeding and cleaning. This includes a food tray that holds both food and water dispensers within the same tray. The advantage of a tray system (as opposed to individual food/water containers) is that all components can be removed together, reducing maintenance time, space and potential spills.
Automated dispensers allow food and water to be dispensed as required, with refilling occurring only 7-14 days as required. If you go away for extended periods (up to 10-18 days) the size of the reservoirs can be increased to cater for longer periods without the need for refilling.
Purpose built food and water dispensers have the following advantages:
- It is more cost effective as food is let out at a controlled rate and consumed on demand. Food is controlled to minimise wastage, and crickets are less likely to flick or move food from trays. Food flicked onto the floor creates hygiene issues.
- A food dispenser is more hygienic as fresh food is dropped in from above on regular intervals and does not stay long enough for microbes to develop or crickets to lay eggs in them.
- The food reservoir keeps the food fresher for longer as it reduces the surface area exposed to moisture (only the surface of reservoir is exposed to air).
- Food kept off the ground in a plastic reservoir keeps longer than food immediately above the moist substrate. In a substrate system, the vinyl floor prevents moisture from making direct contact with dry food, making it last longer.
- You can store large quantities of food in a dispenser and do not have to replace the dry food as often, which is useful for large colonies. If required you can add a larger reservoir if you plan to be away for extended periods (10-21 days). This good when you go away for holidays.
- As food and water is stored vertically in a reservoir, the dispenser can be more compact leaving more room for cartons and greater production.
- Water and food consumption peaks when crickets reach medium/large size and in the heat of summer. At these times food and water consumption is substantial for large numbers of crickets. A reservoir system is the only practical way to keep up with peak food and water consumption.
Dispensing Wet Foods
Wet foods can be placed into the container by either:
a) Opening the lid and placing the food directly into the tray or;
b) Placing the food through our unique feeding port. This feeding port allows the quick and easy placement of wet foods to your animals without you even having to open the lid. This is really useful in intensive cricket breeding where containers are tightly packed on shelving where opening the lid is difficult.
Need More Information…
Below is a summary of the “Food and Water” sections of our cricket breeding manual:
- 4 different food/water dispensers to choose from which covers small and large scale production.
- 18 pages detailing how to build a food try with removes all wet/dry food and water together for quick and easy maintenance.
- 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.
- 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 containers.
© Zega Enterprises 2013 , © Photographs, diagrams and tables by Glenn Kvassay or as credited 2013