Crickets are the most common and widely available feeder insects, and they also happen to be the best feeder option for pet owners. Crickets are fed to insectivorous reptiles, amphibians, and invertebrates. They're easy to keep, very nutritious for your pets.
Crickets are nutritious
Crickets offer your pet a complete protein, meaning they contain all of the essential amino acids. This is critical because your pet's diet should be balanced to maintain good health and promote growth. And unlike other insects which are deficient or missing certain amino acids, no nutritional deficiencies can occur with crickets as a feeder source.
Crickets also provide a variety of other nutrients, including B12, Omega-3s, Omega-6s, and others. Vitamin B12 is critical for healthy nervous system function, as it's a key nutrient in the maintenance of your pet's brain. Omega-fatty acids are also important because they support cardiovascular and nervous system health among other things.
Crickets are such a good source of nutrients that humans all around the world consume crickets. Cricket products, such as cricket flour, are popular with those with alternative diets looking to get a rich source of protein.
Crickets also contain quite a bit of water content. This makes them a good source of hydration for your pet, which is important because some pets don't drink enough water.
Crickets are easy-to-raise insects
Insects kept as feeders can be a challenge to keep because they often require specialized equipment and sometimes constant care. But not with crickets! Crickets don't need any additional heat or UVB lighting, nor do you have to provide them with fresh vegetables every day.
Crickets can be fed a commercially available feeder chow which will help them thrive. The most important part of feeding cricket chow is making sure they have plenty of water since their food contains little moisture content. And as with any pet, you'll want to make sure your insects are properly housed and cared for so that they survive and thrive.
With that said, keeping crickets is simple. You don't need any additional equipment or supplies. They can be kept in a simple plastic bin with some air holes for ventilation, paper towel rolls for them to hide in, and food/water dishes, which is all you'll ever need to keep them thriving.
Live crickets keep your pet active
Crickets add a lot of interest into feeding time. This can be especially beneficial if your pet is not as active or tends to get bored with its food.
Animals such as reptiles, spiders, and frogs need stimulation for their nervous system, which can be achieved by keeping them active during feeding times. Crickets are a great way to provide this type of mental stimulation because they're an interesting feeder insect with lots of movement and jumping around.
Because of their size, your pets will be eating more individual crickets than other feeders such as mealworms. Crickets will scatter in your pet's habitat, so they'll have to hunt which will keep them active.
When feeding with live crickets, you'll probably be spending more time at feeding time with your pet, which is a good thing because it gives you quality bonding and interactive playtime that will ultimately strengthen the bond between you and your pet. Of course, if you're in a hurry when mealtime comes, you can always skip the play and just drop some crickets in and your pet will be occupied hunting them.
Different cricket breeds are available to pet owners to purchase. They differ in size and nutrition, but also in how active they are. This means you can make sure your pet gets the most out of feeding time by picking a breed that is best suited for your pet's hunting habits.
Crickets are inexpensive
Compared to other feeder insects, crickets are the most cost-effective food for your pets.
Crickets can be purchased in bulk which makes them an inexpensive option for feeding your pets live food. But even when bought in smaller quantities, crickets are still cheaper than other options.
Crickets are easy to "gut load"
Feeder crickets feed your pet whatever is fed to them. Whatever you fill your crickets with, your pet will also be getting.
"Gut loading" refers to feeding crickets a specific diet so that your pet receives the benefits of that diet as well. This is beneficial because it gives your pet a wider range of nutrients, not just what's available in standard feeder crickets.
It’s very easy to fill the crickets with the supplements you want your pets to have. Simply feed them to the crickets about 24 hours before you feed them to your pet.
Crickets are easy to handle
Since crickets have exoskeletons instead of internal skeletons, they're easier for your pets to digest. Crickets don't usually bite or sting, so they're very easy to handle and put in your pet's habitat. Crickets can be eaten whole by most animals with ease.
Crickets are also less fragile than other feeder insects such as roaches or mealworms, which means you don't have the risk of them breaking apart while trying to remove them from their container.
Crickets come in many sizes, which allows you to feed a wide range of pets from tiny spiders and frogs all the way up to large reptiles or birds. The size also makes them easier for handling because they're not as intimidating for your pet when it comes time to eat.
The bottom line
Live crickets are an inexpensive, easy-to-handle feeder insect that can be gut loaded with nutritious foods. They're also great for stimulating your pet's nervous system and keeping them active during feeding time while providing quality bonding opportunities. As long as you keep your pets' size in mind when purchasing live crickets, they'll work well for any of your small or large animals.