The calcium to phosphorus ratio (Ca:P) of crickets
is inadequate to maintain the physiological mineral needs of
vertebrate animals. Feeder crickets need to be supplemented
with calcium or calcium rich feedstuffs. Many feeder crickets that are commercially available are
indicated as gut loaded, but it is not always clear weather these
crickets are gut loaded prior to packaging (meaning they are
theoretically only of value up to two days after purchase) or
are fed gut loaded foods in the containers they are sold in.
solely fed on chicken starter or growing mash are deficient in
calcium. Various greens and vegetables such as lucerne / alfalfa
(Medicago sativa), carrots, carrot greens and parsley can be fed
as feeder cricket gut loading foods. Fish flakes can also be used.
Even though crickets as gut loaded,
feeder cricket dusting with
an appropriate calcium supplement will still be necessary.
Never feed crickets total gut loading mixtures containing
more than 8% calcium as it will increase mortalities. Feeder
cricket gut loading should take place two to three days
prior to being used as food.