A premade plastic container, <40 quarts (38 L)
Typically, a premade plastic container, ~50 quarts (47L). Easily moved.
A large, shallow container, typically custom-made and stacked on top of each other. Often around 2-4 m long, 1.2 m wide, .4 m tall.
A large, typically custom-made container. Similarly sized to a bed, but typically .6-1 m tall, and standalone units. Made from anything from plywood to plastic to concrete blocks. Typically not moveable, or rarely moveable.
A whole room that has been converted into one cricket rearing space.
When eggs are collected from a bin of breeding crickets, the eggs from that particular group are kept together for the entirety of their life cycle from eggs, hatching, growth/development, and eventual harvesting. When the eggs are collected into hatching bins, they are labeled (usually with blue painter’s tape and dark pens/markers) with the Batch number ( #____), date the eggs were collected (month/day/year), Bin number of origin (B___)), and the Origin of parent crickets (BCF, Top Hat, or Premium).
These are the metal trays that we fill with moist peat moss or coconut coir and place in the cricket bins for the breeding age crickets to lay eggs.
Paired appendages on the rear end of a cricket.
The natural internal physiological process of living organisms that regulates the sleep-wake cycle. Typically the rhythms originate from within the organism but they can be altered by external cues and like sunlight and temperature.
The second most common building block of organic life behind cellulose, chitin is a protein somewhat analogous to keratin, the protein we use for hair and nails and birds use for feathers, beaks, and claws. In the majority of humans, chitin is digested as a calorie-less dietary fiber; recent research suggests many more people than previously suspected have the capacity to digest chitin into usable protein. In their original form, crickets offer somewhat of a lower form of protein in comparison to more common vertebrate meat animals. There are various potential ways to soften chitin for improved digestibility.
These large white cricket bins do not have lids and are not meant to close shut as the bins for the younger crickets do. After the crickets have matured into young adults, they are moved into a cricket bin (one batch per bin) and remain there for the rest of their lives.
This is the coconut husk-based material that is used instead of regular soil as the bedding material for recently hatched crickets (eggs/pinheads) and for egg-laying material for breeding-age crickets.
Crickets do not regulate their own body temperature and fall into a hibernation-like state called, “diapause” when their environment is very cold. They can stay in diapause for hours and reanimate if taken out of the freezer too soon. Most food-grade cricket farmers have a good story or two about insufficiently frozen crickets reanimating in chef’s kitchens post-delivery.
When crickets mature to adults, they can no longer absorb all the water that they need from the humid air around them. We provide them with water with modified chicken water feeding dishes in the cricket bins. The systems are basically a water jug (or jar) that is screwed into a plastic dish so that the water is released slowly, instead of all at once. We only use RO water in these water-feeding dishes, just as with the sprayers. So that the crickets do not drown in the plastic dishes in pooled water, we place multiple layers of paper towels in the dishes to absorb the water. The crickets can drink the water more easily from these paper towels in the water feeding dishes, and you don’t have to replace the water in the cricket bins.
Food that has a low water content including chicken feed, rabbit pellets, and powders.
Process of applying powdered nutrient to a cricket.
Animals that are unable to generate internal heat, and obtain heat from their external environment (cold-blooded).
These are large egg cartons that help to create a cricket-friendly environment inside of the pinhead and cricket bins. Because of the way that crickets behave, they need to be able to climb, jump, and hide in nooks and crannies. By providing egg cartons in particular arrangements in their bins, the crickets are kept happier and healthier. BCF binds the egg cartons together in the large white cricket bins in groups of 12 with string to keep them orderly and to make the bins easier to clean.
The external skeleton that supports and protects an invertebrates body.
This is the general name for the waste products and by-products of the crickets. You’ll recognize frass as the “gunk” or the “stuff” that collects at the bottom of the cricket bins, along with some of the crickets who have died before harvesting. The frass is made up of cricket droppings, the molted exoskeletons, and the excess cricket feed that has been spilled in the bins. We save the frass and dead crickets that collect at the bottom of the pinhead bins and the cricket bins regularly and filter them into 2 different products with a frass filter.
This is a piece of equipment that separates the dead crickets and cricket molt from the cricket droppings and residual cricket feed. We will be selling these two materials—dead crickets + molt and cricket poop + residual cricket feed—as separate non-food grade products for a variety of uses such as animal feed, fish feed, and/or compost.
These are the smaller plastic trays that we place in pinhead bins and in the cricket bins to provide the crickets with food.
These bins are where we transfer healthy “food-grade” cricket batches that have been harvested. The information that was on the painter’s tape/label for each harvested batch of crickets should also be on the freezing bin for those same batches. The crickets will be frozen in these containers and after about 45 minutes of being frozen, will be dead. In order for the crickets to remain “food-grade”, they must remain frozen up until they reach the customer.
Is a measure of how easily a substrate can be broken into small fragments, crumbled or reduced to a powder (typically between your fingers).
High-quality food is fed to crickets to increase their nutritional content prior to being harvested.
Grow out container
Is a container which crickets grow and develop through their nymph stages to adults. It is not usually associated with breeding.
These are the small transparent plastic “shoebox size” bins with accompanying plastic lids. We place batches of eggs and COIR or peat moss that have been laid by our breeding crickets in these bins and create optimum conditions for the eggs to hatch in them.
Once a batch of crickets has been marked for harvest, we transfer them to a large blue plastic bin, called a harvesting bin. After a batch of crickets is in a harvesting bin the goal is to collect them into smaller bins for freezing. We carry out this transfer with the aid of a cricket tower.
These are the healthy crickets that have been intentionally collected and frozen by batch. These harvested crickets are considered “food-grade”, and should remain frozen until they reach the client.
This is the tower-shaped cardboard structure that we place in the harvesting bin when we want to concentrate many crickets in one area. The crickets climb onto the tower, and when enough of them are on there, we will take the crickets that are on the tower and put them into a freezing bin in preparation for freezing.
Material which transfers thermal energy from a higher temperature to a lower temperature.
Soil which repels water making water absorption difficult.
The room (or tent or external building) used for incubating eggs and allowing pinheads to grow in a hotter, more humid environment for the first 7-10 days of life. Typically a small fraction of the total floorplan.
Also known as an incubation room, hatchery.
Small flies that can move through normal fly screen.
Chemical reactions which sustain life processes such as growth, repair, and reproduction.
Shedding or casting off of part of the body like the exoskeleton or skin as a result of growth. This can happen at certain points throughout the year, or at a specific point in the life cycle.
Also known as sloughing, shedding, or in many invertebrates, ecdysis
A long tubular organ at the rear of the abdomen of the female that’s used to deposit eggs. It can be used to burrow into a substrate to semi-bury the eggs.
This is a type of bedding material/egg-laying material that can be used for the crickets instead of regular soil.
Once the eggs have hatched, the pinheads are transferred to a dark black/brown plastic bin with folding flaps instead of a lid at the top. The pinheads live in these bins until they are transferred to the cricket bins.
The main space where crickets grow from approximately their third juvenile instar until adulthood. Typically the largest space in a cricket farm.
Also known as main rearing room, rearing chambers, main production floor.
RO or Reverse Osmosis Water
This specially filtered water is what should be used for the crickets. At the warehouse, cricket water containers can be refilled from the RO water tank (pictured).
RO Water Sprayer
A piece of equipment used to moisten the COIR or peat moss for the eggs/young pinheads, and breeding adult breeding trays. This is also used to wet the paper towels that are placed in the pinhead bins to provide the pinheads with water. The sprayer operates by pressing a button at the base of the rigid part of the hose to “turn the water on”. When the water pressure is low, simply pump the handle on the sprayer several times, and the pressure should improve.