What Should I Look For In A Cricket Egg Supplier?
Eggs coming from a reputable supplier should be:
- Free of dermestid beetles, egg mites, and other parasites.
- Disease-free and from a facility that regularly tests for cricket densovirus.
- Hatch rate from shipped eggs will typically be 35-55%
- Short lead time to minimize your downtime.
- Short shipping time to minimize risk of crickets hatching early.
- Package size and weight should be minimized. Review your supplier’s instructions carefully: some will send ready-to-go egg pans (which are easy to use, but heavy and therefore expensive to ship), others will send concentrated eggs that need additional substrate upon receipt (much lighter and easier to ship, but more opportunities for things to go wrong).
- Cost is definitely important, but more expensive eggs may have better hatch rates, yields, or genetics.
- Adapted for your conditions, if possible. Crickets bred in carefully climate-controlled spaces will often run into problems in chicken barns and vice versa. Crickets raised in your local microbiome will typically do the best, if they’re available. If sourcing climactically-adapted crickets is too difficult, expect higher mortality rates for the first several generations as natural selection adapts your overall population to your space.
Things That Seem Like Problems, But Aren’t
White, stringy mold/fungus: anecdotal evidence suggests this may increase hatch rates. Gently break it up to prevent mold from taking all open space in the breeding tray, but a little bit is fine.
Things That Are Problems
- Ammonia smell: often indicates the presence of fly larvae
- Dermestid larvae
- Manure-like smell