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Raising Crickets for Bearded Dragon Food

February 21, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 164

To ensure that your bearded dragon is receiving the very best nutrition, some beardie owners have now chosen to raise crickets to give to their unique pet. Raising crickets yourself is also a great way to save money, as a bearded dragon can sometimes eat 100 crickets during a single growth spurt, and ordering them online can become quite costly. Here is a guide on how to raise crickets for bearded dragon food.

Setting up the perfect cricket breeding environment. You'll want to make sure that you choose a container that is large enough to house all of the crickets that you intend to have. A plastic container or wooden box is usually an ideal enclosure, as long as it can withstand the heat from a small household light bulb. This light bulb is used to keep the conditions within the container between 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit, as these temperatures will keep the crickets alive. You will also need to place a couple of water dishes in with the crickets and at least one breeding dish. The water dishes should be rather small, to prevent the crickets from drowning, and the breeding dish should contain damp potting soil.

How to gut load your crickets. Crickets need an adequate source of protein to grow and thrive, so you'll need to provide them the nutrients they need. Also, keep in mind that your bearded dragon will, essentially, be consuming whatever you feed the crickets, so make their food calcium and vitamin rich. You can make your own gut load by combining a variety of pet foods, such as dog, cat, and rabbit food, and adding it to a mixture of oats, bran, and milk. Or, if you so choose, you can simply buy gut load at many local pet supply stores.

Creating an incubator. Once the crickets have laid a fair amount of eggs in the breeding dish, then you'll want to remove those dishes and place them in another large container. This incubating container should be between 80 degrees and 90 degrees Fahrenheit, and should contain a small cut in the lid to help with airflow and to make room to place a light bulb in the container. You will also want to tape up the lid of the container, as baby crickets are able to climb. Remember to spray the soil daily to ensure it stays moist.

What to do when crickets begin to hatch. Once you notice that the cricket eggs are beginning to hatch, which should be within a few weeks, you'll want to slightly open the lid of the container to provide them with more air. Continue to spray the soil within the container, even after most of the crickets have hatched, as there may still be more cricket eggs within the soil. Place gut load and potatoes within the hatchling container and replace daily, as mold can kill the cricket hatchlings. When these hatchlings are around 3 or 4 weeks old, you can then place them within the main breeding container and start the cycle again.

Raising crickets for bearded dragon food can save you time and money, as you will have a constant source of insects for your beardie for a fraction of the cost of ordering them online and waiting for them to be delivered. Not to mention, that breeding your own crickets ensures that you have control over their food source. This allows for you to provide your bearded dragon with the best nutrition possible.

With the right care your bearded dragon will be a wonderful pet and great addition to your family. I've devoted a website to the basics so you can get off to the right start - and have a resource. Please visit and bookmark the site - you'll want to visit frequently as we offer new free reports, and update information frequently.

Source: EzineArticles
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Bearded Dragon Diet


Feeding Your Bearded Dragon


Raising Crickets


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