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  1. #1
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    Default Cricket feeding routine (not the usual questions, I think)


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    I'm getting ready to switch to the feeding routine listed here, but I'm confused on the optimal schedule leading up to the feeding.

    Specifically, if you're on the 1yr+ schedule, so feeding 3/wk, when do you buy your crickets? How far in advance do you buy crickets. Do you keep everything in the same cricket box? Or do you try to pull out a few for gutloading in a different box? Are people buying at local pet stores? Is there a good online place where you can setup a recurring automatic shipment.

    I've been gutloading with Flukers orange cubes, but my crickets weren't lasting more than 4 or 5 days even though there were plenty of cubes left. Today I threw in some carrot slices which the crickets swarmed over so maybe that helps.

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    Hi winterminute ~

    I'll be replying to your other thread soon. Try keeping your crickets similar to the way I recommend in link 112.

    I feed my crickets a wholesome dry diet 24/7. I usually feed them finely ground Zoo Med's Natural ADULT Bearded Dragon Food. I don't gutload them separately prior to feeding them to my geckos. Some of cricket keeping is just trials. I completely clean the cricket box whenever I get a new order.

    Fluker's Orange cubes just don't provide enough nutrition 24/7. Carrot slices are excellent! I suggest feeding crickets ProGutload dry diet by Professional Reptiles. Add chopped high calcium/low phosphorus leafy greens (collard, mustard, turnip) or pesticide-free dandelion flowers/greens in a small ridged lid next to the cricket food. You'll find that specific link within the following document.

    1/2 grown crickets are much easier to keep alive and growing than 2/3 grown crickets are, even when I only order 250 2/3rds grown. I've had mixed results with 2/3s grown.

    You may be dependent upon pet stores. My recent order of only 1,000 1/2 grown crickets from my regular supplier cost $49 for 1,000. The actual crickets cost $24.
    Last edited by Elizabeth Freer; 01-10-2019 at 06:20 AM.
    "If you can hear crickets, it's still summer." ;)

    "May the peace that
    You find at the beach
    Follow you home"

    Click: Leo Care Sheet's Table of Contents

    ===> No plain calcium, calcium with D3, or multivitamins inside an enclosure <===

    Oedura castelnaui ~ Lepidodactylus lugubris ~ Phelsuma barbouri ~ Ptychozoon kuhli ~ Cyrtodactylus peguensis zebraicus ~ Phyllurus platurus ~ Eublepharis macularius ~ Correlophus ciliatus ~ (L kimhowelli) ~ (P tigrinus) ~ (P klemmeri) ~ (H garnotii)

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    I get my small-medium crickets from petsmart and It always has a gutloading cube in the container which lasts untill they are gone.

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    Keep in mind some gutload products actually harm the bug and will eventually kill it, which is why you should feed the gutloaded bug to your gecko within 1-3 days after it's eaten the gutload product. I have noticed crickets die quickly after being fed orange cubes. Dubia roaches on the otherhand are more resilient. I no longer use Fluker's products and have switched to Repashy Superload for gutloading. But when I gutload my bugs they are also given bananas, apples, broccoli and carrots with a bit of Repashy Superload dropped over the fruits and veggies. Meanwhile, the bugs that aren't being gutloaded yet, are fed Repashy Bug Burger, which is just plain ol' bug food...not a gutloader.

    Anyway, the more variety of gutload fruits and veggies your bugs consume the better. Just make sure you're not feeding them certain fruits and veggies because some are harmful. Ask Elizabeth for a list of gutload fruits and veggies just to be sure. What I've listed above is safe for your bugs and gecko.
    Last edited by GeckoFanboy; 01-18-2019 at 08:23 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Elizabeth Freer View Post
    I completely clean the cricket box whenever I get a new order.
    I have gotten into the habit of cleaning my bug containers every 3 days. I do it in my kitchen at the sink. I just herd the crickets out of their critter cage into a Ziploc baggie and seal it with some air until I'm done washing their cage out in hot water (no soap). It's a pain to do regularly, but I know I'm feeding my gecko "clean" crickets. Cricket cages can get real nasty in just 2 days time...dead crickets, lots of cricket poo and a horrible smell. The crickets are the messiest bug to maintain. Mealworms being the easiest.
    Last edited by GeckoFanboy; 01-18-2019 at 08:30 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GeckoFanboy View Post
    Keep in mind some gutload products actually harm the bug and will eventually kill it, which is why you should feed the gutloaded bug to your gecko within 1-3 days after it's eaten the gutload product. I have noticed crickets die quickly after being fed orange cubes. Dubia roaches on the otherhand are more resilient. I no longer use Fluker's products and have switched to Repashy Superload for gutloading. But when I gutload my bugs they are also given bananas, apples, broccoli and carrots with a bit of Repashy Superload dropped over the fruits and veggies. Meanwhile, the bugs that aren't being gutloaded yet, are fed Repashy Bug Burger, which is just plain ol' bug food...not a gutloader.

    Anyway, the more variety of gutload fruits and veggies your bugs consume the better. Just make sure you're not feeding them certain fruits and veggies because some are harmful. Ask Elizabeth for a list of gutload fruits and veggies just to be sure. What I've listed above is safe for your bugs and gecko.
    GeckoFanboy shares a couple potential interpretations of the word gutload. "Formal" gutloads are super high in calcium and give bugs or worms short lives after those bugs are consumed.
    • Make sure that what you're feeding your bugs and worms 365/24/7 is actually a 365/24/7 diet. For instance, Mazuri Diet Hi-Ca Gut Loading product is ONLY for 24 hour (feeding bugs/worms before the feeders are fed off to geckos) feeding to insects and worms. Those directions state: "Use as the ONLY bedding and the ONLY food source for bug prey for 24 hours. Then feed the prey to your pet. Offer water to the bugs in a safe manner also. Keep this product at room temperature."

    • For 18 click: Gut Loading Clarifications


    It's a bit confusing. That's why I'm sharing.

    Here's the chart with recommendation by GU's Olimpia:

    "A commercial gutloading food like Bug Burger or Superload (both by Repashy), Cricket Crack, Dinofuel, etc. is going to make your life easier AND provide a nutritious diet to your crickets at the same time. Avoid Fluker's gutloads, as they are super feeble in their formulas."

    "If you opt for making your own gutload at home, here is a list of great ingredients to use:
    Best: mustard greens, turnip greens, dandelion flowers & leaves, collard greens, escarole lettuce, papaya, watercress, and alfalfa.
    Good: sweet potato, carrots, oranges, mango, butternut squash, kale, apples, beet greens, blackberries, bok choy, and green beans.
    Dry food: bee pollen, organic non-salted sunflower seeds, spirulina, dried seaweed, flax seed, and organic non-salted almonds.
    Avoid as much as possible: potatoes, cabbage, iceberg lettuce, romaine lettuce, spinach, broccoli, tomatoes, corn, grains, beans, oats, bread, cereal, meat, eggs, dog food, cat food, fish food, canned or dead insects, vertebrates."
    Click: https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/search/list
    Last edited by Elizabeth Freer; 01-19-2019 at 04:12 AM.
    "If you can hear crickets, it's still summer." ;)

    "May the peace that
    You find at the beach
    Follow you home"

    Click: Leo Care Sheet's Table of Contents

    ===> No plain calcium, calcium with D3, or multivitamins inside an enclosure <===

    Oedura castelnaui ~ Lepidodactylus lugubris ~ Phelsuma barbouri ~ Ptychozoon kuhli ~ Cyrtodactylus peguensis zebraicus ~ Phyllurus platurus ~ Eublepharis macularius ~ Correlophus ciliatus ~ (L kimhowelli) ~ (P tigrinus) ~ (P klemmeri) ~ (H garnotii)

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    Elizabeth, when I wrote to Repashy they told me Bug Burger is just bug food to keep your bugs alive and healthy. It's NOT a gutloader, it's just bug food, period. Repashy recommends Superload as a gutloader (not daily bug food - i.e. Bug Burger). Repashy Superload contains the nutrients your leo needs to keep it healthy. Bug Burger doesn't have all the necessary nutrients for your gecko...just the necessary nutrients to keep the bugs alive and healthy.

    For instance, my 20 dubia roaches ran out of Bug Burger today. Tomorrow they will be hungry, so I will give them another two slices of Bug Burger, just to keep them hydrated and fed so they don't croak on me (I do Bug Burger as a gel). BUT, before I give them that food I will remove two of the biggest dubias, place them in a separate container, and give them some small slices of apple and carrot, and sprinkle these with Superload. They will then be loaded with not just a great gutloader, but some fresh fruit and veggies as well (they always eat the Superload dust first - I don't do Superload as a gel). The next day (or the day after), I will feed these two dubias to my gecko. That is how I've been doing it and Scooby's doing great...although he likes to overeat and he needs to be put on a diet, LOL, but he's healthy as an ox.

    Interesting observation:
    I can "gutload" dubias repeatedly and they stay alive...say if Scooby goes on a 4 day hunger strike, LOL. Sometimes, if he's just not eating, I'll place the gutloaded dubia back in with his Bug Burger eating friends. He lives for another day to be gutloaded again. Crickets on the other hand...once I gutload them with Superload, they only live 5-6 days max and will croak, BUT they can eat Bug Burger forever and it doesn't bother them. I have read that gutloaders aren't always great for your crickets...good for your gecko, but not your crickets. But who cares? They're just leo food, right?

    Just a note -
    I know of a breeder, who has really nice healthy leos, and he NEVER uses gutload powders or products. He just gutloads his bugs with fresh fruits and veggies daily, and dusts his bugs (w/calcium D3) everytime he feeds them to his leos. He puts a small cap of calcium without D3 in their tank for them to lick. It works for him and his leos are in great shape. I guess you can approach things differently as long as your leo is somehow getting good nutrition. Seems like everybody does it differently.

    PS - I have read elsewhere that broccoli is good to feed crickets. Crickets love broccoli! My dubias won't touch it though. Why do you say broccoli is bad? Also, I have read elsewhere to be careful with oranges, as the citric acid can cause your leos bowels to get upset and runny. I have read it's okay in moderation, but not to use it regularly.

    Most importantly - wash off ALL of the fruit and veggies you feed your bugs with just lukewarm water, as pesticide residue is often on them. It can't hurt us, but it can affect your leo...and prematurely kill your bugs.
    Last edited by GeckoFanboy; 01-19-2019 at 02:56 AM.
    Thanks Elizabeth Freer thanked for this post

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    PS - I have read elsewhere that broccoli is good to feed crickets. Crickets love broccoli! My dubias won't touch it though. Why do you say broccoli is bad? Also, I have read elsewhere to be careful with oranges, as the citric acid can cause your leos bowels to get upset and runny. I have read it's okay in moderation, but not to use it regularly.

    Most importantly - wash off ALL of the fruit and veggies you feed your bugs with just lukewarm water, as pesticide residue is often on them. It can't hurt us, but it can affect your leo...and prematurely kill your bugs.
    Not a good answer: Broccoli is on Olimpia's list of "avoid foods". We could google broccoli for additional information.

    Maybe when the USDA Foods List is up and running we can find out more info. Someone "out there" probably knows.
    "If you can hear crickets, it's still summer." ;)

    "May the peace that
    You find at the beach
    Follow you home"

    Click: Leo Care Sheet's Table of Contents

    ===> No plain calcium, calcium with D3, or multivitamins inside an enclosure <===

    Oedura castelnaui ~ Lepidodactylus lugubris ~ Phelsuma barbouri ~ Ptychozoon kuhli ~ Cyrtodactylus peguensis zebraicus ~ Phyllurus platurus ~ Eublepharis macularius ~ Correlophus ciliatus ~ (L kimhowelli) ~ (P tigrinus) ~ (P klemmeri) ~ (H garnotii)

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