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The purpose of this thread is to get all the information about starting a small scale cricket farm in one place.
We have done a lot of research on this subject, and the information is scattered all around the web, and it's usually incomplete. We will start off by listing a series of questions that we've had trouble finding concrete answers to, and we encourage everyone else who's interested to ask away, we'll try, hopefully with the aid of other forum members, to help with any inquiries that you may have. Our questions will be a bit more specific, but feel free to ask any and every kind of question you'd like answered.
We intend to use banded crickets (Gryllodes sigillatus)
Our questions are the following:
We're planning on using concrete block pens, 1.2 x 2.4 x 0.6m. What is the optimal way to construct them? Should cement be used for binding them, or is stacking them enough? Should the inside be modified in any way? eg. should the inside surface be covered with anything? What should we place on the bottom, we've read that people use different things, what are the pros and cons of usable materials, and what would you recommend for this pen?
What is the "optimal" way to organize the inside of the pen? eg. how many egg cartons, how would you organize them, should they fill the pen up completely, or should we leave some space in the middle? Where (on top of the egg cartons, on the bottom of the pen) would the water trays be placed, what size should they be and how many of them should we use? How is the feed given to the crickets (we've seen people put them on top of the egg cartons, are there any other ways the you would recommend for our pen?)
How is the feed given to the crickets (we've seen people put them on top of the egg cartons, are there any other ways the you would recommend for our pen)? How often should the feed be distributed, and how much feed do we give them per feeding cycle? Should the uneaten feed be changed, or do we just add new on top of it?
How many crickets can this kind of pen hold, if you can't give us an "exact" number? Could you tell us how much space is needed per cricket in order for the pen to not get overcrowded? We need our little fellas to be comfy.
How do we estimate the number of hatchlings ( when they mature enough) to put in a single pen when transferring them from incubation pens to big boy pens? Do we estimate the number by weight or do we just eyeball the amount? We assume that the latter would be the way when you get experienced enough?
How often should the pen be cleaned? We assume after every cycle. Any tips on pen hygiene?
If there's anyone who's got the knowledge that would like to help us a bit more extensively and in depth, please shoot us a pm, we're open to any kind of cooperation, and we're really looking forward to hearing from all of you.