Equipment Comparison: Feeding Systems
Feeding systems keep feed in while letting a maximal number of crickets eat at the same time.
Important attributes of a feed tray
- Surface Area: A larger surface area
- Lip: A 2” (5 cm) lip surrounding the feed will greatly reduce the amount of feed crickets will kick out of the tray.
- Service Time & Ease: an ideal feed tray can be filled with one or two passes of the arm (assuming manual feeding). Many small trays may greatly increase your time to service each feed tray.
- Cost: The cheaper the better!
- Reusability & Cleanability: Over time, accidents will inevitably occur, feed will get wet, and rot in the tray. A tougher tray material can withstand this and be cleaned; a weak or porous tray will crumple or retain mold spores.
- Duration: How long will you be able to go between filling feed trays?
Things to Avoid
- Bridges: and other things that reduce the flow of crickets in and out of the feeding trays. Crickets, particularly larger females, will tend to cluster around the bridge ends and defend the feed trays from smaller crickets.
Common feed trays:
- Cafeteria trays
- Long wooden troughs
- Egg cartons
Contraindicated Feed Trays
- https://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/product/harris-farms-chicken-feeder-7-lb – Probably too little surface area.
- Anything made from styrofoam
- Tupperware- too expensive
Feeding Robots/Automated feeders, Archimedes screw-type, Robotic arm
There are a couple of types of feeding robots, including the Archimedes screw-type and the robotic arm feeder. None have been adequately vetted and found to provide substantial value-add compared to human labor.