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Re: Live Foods Digest V3 #324

> Date: Tue, 19 Mar 2002 14:08:29 -0700
> From: "Trevor Holyoak" <trevor at holyoak_com>
> Subject: Crickets?
> Does anyone have any advice on breeding crickets? I have a couple of
> fire-bellied toads that are costing me about $5 a week to feed, and I'd like
> to raise my own crickets and save some money.

Crickets are a real pain to raise.  I feed my fire-bellied toads
earthworms, both the red wiggler composting worms and 'wild' ones
I get from my no-pesticides garden.  Red wigglers are effortless
to raise, and more nutritious than crickets.  My FBTs spawned twice
last summer on this diet, and I raised altogether too many toadlets.

FBTs will eat other invertebrates too.  I occasionally give them small
garden slugs just because it is so hilarious watching them eat them.
The slug slime gums up their mouths so after they eat one they yawn and
wipe their lips, then look for more.  Reminds me of a cat I once had
that loved peanut butter.

One thing about red wigglers is that unlike regular earthworms they
secrete a bad tasting alarm pheromone, so you have to feed them whole.
The regular worms you can cut up to feed to small toads.  The one time
I tried feeding small cut up red wigglers to my toadlets, they attacked
them eagerly, then spat them out and leapt into the water with their
mouths gaping open!