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Seperating Pinheads

I have a cricket farm already started, the way I have it set up is I have one big bin for breeding, sixteen small bins for hatching, and another eight fairly large bins for rearing. When I remove the egg tray from the Breeding Bin I pour the dirt out into the hatching bin where it becomes a thin layer and easy to keep fully moist. My main issue I am having is after my eggs hatch I am trying to separate the pinheads from the dirt so I can get accurate measurements for my rearing bins. At the moment this is a full day process as I take the Hatching Bins I am moving and simply tilt them on their side and let the crickets walk off the edge into a plastic bin with some food in it. This results in many of the pin heads getting buried, which does not hurt them but prevents them from going off the edge into my other bin. I am just wondering if anyone has any ideas to efficiently collect all of your pin heads? Or is it normal to just leave the stubborn ones behind?

Also as a side note I am having issues providing water for my crickets, I had a tray that I filled with a sponge and just kept wet, they seem to cram themselves into the crack on the sides of the bin, usually resulting in their eventual death and contamination of the water source. They also seem to enjoy laying their eggs in the spongey areas and have a tendency to eat the sponge itself. For the time being I have defaulted to providing fresh potatoes on a daily basis as a water source. Other than that their diet consists of Kirkland Dog Food mixed with Skim Milk Powder.



  • edited February 2017

    Hi CnC- I don't rear crickets so am not responding to pinhead issue.

    For water try a thin layer of beeswax on it, the crickets supposedly ((from an old research technique)) can get their water this way, but I am not sure if this applies to all ages. Another researcher teams tactic is using marbles in the water container; the crickets stand on a marble so they don't fall into the water. Maybe these 2 methods might both be useful, with one tactic over the other proving more suitable for a different stage in their life cycle.

  • Thank you very much, that is absolutely helpful

  • I am not farming crickets yet, still organising things for that but i think you shouldnt empty the hatchling bins. You could just put it into the new container and let it stay there for as long as it takes for all to hatch, couldnt you? The pinheads will live inside the egg cartons then or other things and you can just remove the hatchling bin then.

    For water you could try something like this

    and put cotton wool or some old piece of cloth inside where the water comes out.

  • Thank you for the input Carni, I have tried not removing the dirt in the first place but then the trays dry up at the bottom, I have seen the idea of putting a funnel into the dirt to create a route for the water to go directly to the bottom, I felt like I was losing a lot of crickets to the bottom of the egg tray drying out, this paired with the fact that the crickets seemed to create tunnels throughout the dirt and would not reliably leave the egg tray, even with the food outside of it. I have modified a large portion of my process though and I may have better luck doing just that with these new hatching bins.

  • Also in reference to the water idea the crickets are absolutely ravenous with what they will consume, they have even torn a part my styrofoam bins and forced me to layer the inside of the bins with Tuck Tape. They will chew through cloth or most any kind of fabric. But the chicken drinker + the idea above with the marbles or even Aquarium Gravel would work fantastically.

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