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I'm raising crickets and looking for advice on grinders. I've burned up a couple small units from the crickets binding up inside and wondered if anyone has experience they can share? Thinking maybe a hammer mill is the best option.
Hi SymbiBiological -I don't rear crickets & so waited for a breeder to answer you. It seems you have not yet gotten any input after some days.
Aaron Dossey filed a patent "Insect products and methods of manufacture and use thereof" referred to elsewhere in the Forum. It has some practical details you can read via link http://www.google.com/patents/US20150132433.
A. Dossey, in his simplest method, shows he can use an auger feed peanut grinder set on it's lowest sizing to initially make a paste with semi-defrosted frozen crickets. Water was added to the ground up cricket mash & then the slurry passed through a centrifugal spinning vegetable juicer. The "teeth" & basin screen of the centrifugal juicer catch the chitin exoskeleton particles. The slurry that came through the juicer's screen can be dried for use.
Above method's specifics are in patent's "Example 12" , which can be found when scroll down filed document & in left hand margin see the light grey print coded "". Product brand names of mechanical apparatus used in production which the patent mentions are given where see in left hand margin the grey printed code "".
This is what one of the above patent mentioned & best made (you can find cheaper) centrifugal juicer looks like = http://www.ebay.com/itm/ACME-SUPREME-JUICERATOR-FRUITS-VEGETABLES-COMMERCIAL-GRADE-JUICER-6001-MCM/262587074114?_trksid=p2047675.c100005.m1851&_trkparms=aid=222007&algo=SIC.MBE&ao=1&asc=38702&meid=40e0ed95ac14405d8b1e4fd0238eb521&pid=100005&rk=3&rkt=6&sd=272353332409
This is what one of the above patent mentioned auger feed peanut grinders looks like (you can find other auger/screw drive grinders that are cheaper) = http://www.ebay.com/itm/OLDE-TYME-PN2-PEANUT-BUTTER-NUT-GRINDING-MACHINE/222215240772?_trksid=p2047675.c100005.m1851&_trkparms=aid=222007&algo=SIC.MBE&ao=1&asc=38702&meid=3192c42906004d44953128ff3b6ab477&pid=100005&rk=3&rkt=6&sd=172120373191
Thanks of the reply. Peanut grinder is appealing as a first step. I'd like to grind dry and I think a peanut grinder might be able to handle the crickets better than a coffee grinder. I sent off a sample to Pleasant Hill grain to see if a commercial disc mill would work, but they got back to me and said the crickets bound up the machine. That's why I'm leaning toward a hammer mill. I will send more samples out to a few manufacturers and let you all know what I find. If you're curious to see what I've tried so far, you can visit my blog at symbibiological.com. I work for an educational foundation and do not sell stuff there. It's an open source effort to share and de-risk farming and ranching practices for farmers and ranchers who don't necessarily have the time or resources to figure some of these things out. I look forward to being a part of this forum and thank all of you for the wonderful info!
@SymbiBiological - awesome blog, great synergy with Open Bug Farm! Please do share your findings (or at least links to them on your blog)! We do know that hammermills are used successfully for grinding dried crickets so long as the fat content isn't too high