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Feeder Cricket Gut Loading


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.

Crickets 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.

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