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Hello, Open Bug Farm enthusiasts! (my condolences for the elections results :/ )
I am a final year MEng Product Design Engineering student in the UK and chose food of future as the topic of my final big project, concentrating on Entomophagy. I decided on breeding crickets, but first I had to overcome my really bad phobia of insects. I managed to eat my first bugs here - (some people find it amusing). And you can see how I'm still not very good at handling live crickets and my setup here -
What I actually want your help for is for solving the concept for small scale automated cricket farm for people's homes. I have some ideas about automated handling - cleaning and sorting, but any ideas are welcome!
The thing I have most difficulty with is figuring out the best way to cyclically breed them and how to calculate volume of the farm for volume of output per given time. So I don't want to have to wait the whole cycle - once the system is in equilibrium harvest should be possible couple of times a week but I'm really struggling to figure out how to control the population or what's smarter - eat all teens before they start mating and leave just few adults to lay eggs, or eat adults but just hatch as many eggs as needed and discard the rest?
And I'm thinking of potentially adding a module to produce cricket flour, what is better - slow warm drying, or freeze drying?
Soo, it's just a concept but I want to have legit calculations and potentially have examples of - a fridge-sized cricket farm will give you this amount of dead ready to cook crickets per this amount of time / or cricket flour, whereas a water dispenser-sized on - this much, a food processor-sized one - this much and so on. I know it really depends on the design and walkable surface, but also the whole continuous cycle makes it difficult for me to do my calculations.
I would really really appreciate your help :)
p.s. my project is similar to this, I guess - http://www.livinstudio.com/farm432/