Lesson 3- New Low Maintenance Cricket Breeding Methods
Introducing the Zega Substrate System
In the last lesson we covered conventional methods which need to be actively managed. These methods are very productive for large scale production however most people eventually tire of this when they are just feeding a few bearded dragons and the system then crashes. Now lets look at a low maintenance yet productive method that is perfect for private use or small scale commercial called the Zega Substrate System.
As outlined in the link provided in the last email (How many crickets can I produce), this method is best suited to people who want produce around 1000 large crickets/month or to feed 4-12 bearded dragons (depending on feeding regime).
The Benefits of this Method…
This Cricket Breeding method is unique for the following reasons:
- Only requires one container (not 8 like conventional methods);
- Needs no active management (No spraying, no rotating crickets etc);
- Collects waste for you;
- Food/ water dispensers which attends to your insects for 7-14 days or more;
- Requires only 3 minutes maintenance every 7-14 days (less time than standing in line at the pet store)
- Each 20 Gallon (70 L) breeding container can produce one container of adult crickets from a pet store each week.
- The average 2 child family can produce enough scrap vegies to feed 4 breeding containers, which is enough crickets to feed 4-12 bearded dragons (depending of feeding rate). That’s around $1400/year (Au) you are currently throwing away!!.
How does it Work?
As outlined in the video this design has 4 separate zones within a single breeder container;
1) Food Zone
- Automated food and water dispensers feed your animals even when you go on holidays.
- Our unique feeding tray houses dry food, wet food and water in a single unit which saves space and prevents spills. It also saves time cleaning as all 3 components come out together.
- Our external feeding port allows you to drop in wet foods without even opening the lid. This feature allows you to compactly store multiple containers in a shelf saving space and increasing the number of containers you can store in a given area.
- The feeding port and automated food stations means there is no need to open the container lid until maintenance time (every 7-14 days).
2) Detritus Collection Area
- This Zone collects all the waste the crickets produce and allows you to easily remove it.
- One of the main reasons for low productivity in traditional methods is fungus and bacterial infections of the eggs caused by contaminated substrate. So the detritus collection area not only saves you time, it eliminates odors and disease; increases egg viability; and increases cricket production.
3) Breeding Zone
- This dedicated zone is designed to maintain constant humidity and high temperatures which are ideal for egg production and rearing.
- We have structures that prevents pinheads from being eaten and allows them to safely move to the housing zone.
- With traditional substrate techniques, detritus makes contact with the substrate and forms a hardened capping on the surface. This reduces the ability of the female crickets to lay in the substrate, and baby pinheads from hatching and leaving the substrate. The detritus collection system removes these impediments.
4) Housing Zone-
- Cannibalism is a significant problem when crickets are placed in high densities. We have minimized cannibalism in the housing zone by:
1) The compact design of the above zones;
2) the high surface area of the housing area;
3) and automated food and water dispensers
- In a conventional breeding system the high humidity means you need to replace the cartons regularly. We have a controlled release of humidity to the housing areas which means you only need to replace them every 9 months (normally you would need to replace them every 7-14 days).
Each of the 4 zones works together and provides additional benefits to you:
- As large crickets are removed they are quickly replaced with a plentiful supply of pinheads generated from the large surface area of the substrate.
- As there is less maintenance and hassle, your consistency increases which increases productivity and success over the long term (I have been doing this system for 13 years now with minimal effort).
- Eliminates odors as their detritus does not mix with wet substrate (i.e. no fermentation).
- As the substrate has high humidity all the time, you only need to wet the substrate once every week or two. This enable you to go on one/two week holidays without the system crashing.
- This system is perfect for kids to earn extra pocket money or to learn how to start a small business for themselves.
You really can produce more insects with much less effort. Its time to work smarter, not harder! You can see why we are pretty proud of what we have achieved.
Now that you know the different methods to breed cricket, in our next lesson we will start to look at the general set up in more detail (Building a Container).
Of course there is a lot more to learn, luckily we have all our methods available in an easy to read book with more than 240 color photos and diagrams. Every cricket breeding book comes with free videos to show you how to make the Zega Substrate Breeding System. To purchase our book visit Our Products page.