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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been looking for a cricket gut load recipe, and haven't been very impressed with the one I've found so far (mainly it uses bee pollen and lots of other expensive, hard to find ingredients and Ed says they don't even really digest bee pollen which makes it seem pointless). If anyone knows of any reliable gut load recipes, I would greatly appreciate it, trying to stay away from just throwing cat food or chicken mash in their tank.
 

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I would recommend any dark green lettuce type veggies along the lines of collards, mustard greens or Kale,mixed with shredded carrots or sweet potatos. The greens will provide calcium and other nutrients while the carrots/sweet potatos provide beta carotene. The benefits are that they are cheap, easy to find and are readily eaten by crickets. Fish food as Julio suggested is also a possibilty but can get expensive if you are gut loading large numbers of crickets.
 

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What kind of gut loading do you want to do? Are you looking to modify calcium to phosphorus ratios in the crickets or just to simply supply the cricket with good food so it restores lost fat and nutrients during shipping? There are significant differences in how those two need to be handled.

Ed
 

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Okay, well you won't be replenishing a number of vitamins since insect metabolism doesn't use D for calcium metabolism or A... I'd have to look at the others.. many plant feeding insects need vitamin C and most of the B vitamins but other than tocopherols not the fat soluble vitamins. Many insects if given access can accumulate significant levels of tocopherols.

In general, what you want to do then is feed the crickets a good food source that isn't high in calcium for at least 48 hours. If you give them a food source that is high in calcium (many gut loading diets sold in pet stores) you can't give them anything else as the crickets will eat anything else and the high calcium diets begin to kill the crickets after 48 hours.

Your best options are to use oranges for a water source as this supplies vitamin C and water at the same time. Ground up good quality dry dog, cat, rodent blocks or chicken feed (crumbles) all are good inexpensive dry food sources. These dry foods are good sources for most of the vitamins that the crickets will utilize.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks Ed, I guess I'll start checking the feed stores and looking up protein and fat content for the different foods. I used to buy this homemade gut load that was ground up lentils and grains with vitamins and calcium added in, but was thinking of doing that myself now that I'll be mixing up fruit fly media anyway, but I can just use my rhino iggies left over veggie bits from when I chop up his salads and some dry food.
 

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Fat content isn't as important as the crickets will convert excess calories into fat as protein.

Dry dog and/or cat food is easier as unless you get a small 5 llb bag of chick starter, you'll be looking at a 50 lb bag of chicken feed. The reason you want to purchase it in small amounts is because the food will go "stale" over time which means the nutritional value has gone down and you'll want to replace it at that time. You should replace it around every six months just like your supplements. You can break it down in a food processor (it'll be noisy).

Ed
 
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