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Anyone know what method commercial cricket farmers use to keep their pinhead crickets hydrated?
It seems they do it with a freeze dryer, very expensive, very high power consumption...
I assume polyacrylamide powder, which turns to a surficant gel in their drinking bowl when water added & does not favor growth of bacteria/mold so holds down smell. Gelatin powder could probably be substituted where polyacrylamide is unobtainable or costly.
Again, I don't rear crickets so am not relaying 1st hand experience on this issue. In terms of how much polyacrylamide (discussed elsewhere in Forum) one needs, figure 1,000 full size crickets drink about 0.5 cup water between them in a day.
Thanks Carni and gringojay.
@JButera - moist paper towel and sliced vegetables such as potato are commonly used
Thanks andrew, and I've been using that method. Just wondering if there's a more efficient way that the big breeders might be using.
Do you give them raw potato or cooked? Because some of my house crickets were suddenly dying, laying on the back and struggling, some already dead.
I am trying to analyze why that happened and i remembered that i fed them raw potato peel a few days earlier. There could have been some green spots on those - i think they are kind of poisonous aren'T they - the solanine?
@Carni - you should definitely remove any prone crickets immediately in case they are carrying a pathogen that could be passed on to the rest of the colony. Transfering the rest of the population to a clean container with clean substrate would not be a bad idea either.
Generally crickets don't like potato peels, so there's probably something in it that's bad for them regardless of whether they are green or not. also the peels are more likely to have pesticide/herbicide residues. Usually raw potato is given, but the whole potato (you usually don't have to peel because they crickets will preferentially eat the flesh)