Oh the crickets...

KaineSoulblade

Arachnoknight
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May 24, 2007
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I threw in a cricket this morning for one of my T's. I went to check on her about an hour or go to see if the little bugger was gone yet... Well it was in the fangs being eaten. I was satisfied, happy my girl was enjoying her meal and I noticed movement. ‘The dirt is crawling’ kind of movement. First thing that came to mind was mites. But I’ve never had a mite problem and never let anything decay in their spider dens. Un eaten food goes back to the cricket keeper at the end of the night.
So I busted out my sure-fire light and examined closer. To my surprise it was crawling with a good 3 to 4 hundred baby crickets. Probably about 2 or 3 millimeters long. I suppose the cricket I threw in this morning had released them in the 6 or so hours before she got snatched up. They are everywhere, each nook and cranny there is. Even dug down about a half inch through the top substrate. I just kept thinking "Why couldn't you have done this an hour earlier in the cricket keeper!" I think I even shook my fist at its limp body, dangling from the tarantula’s mouth.

So I have spent the last hour with spoon in hand, flashlight in the other meticulously scooping out tiny crickets into another keeper. There are more in the tank still but I grow tired of spotting them out. I have probably about 200 or so crawling about in the cricket keeper, a good majority of them.

I have never had the desire to raise my own feeders, but I don't see why I should waste these little guys. Anyone who raises their own feeder crickets, feel free to give me some input. How should they be kept and what should I feed them to optimize growth. I feed the crickets I buy potato wedges to keep them from cannibalizing.

Anyone out there had this happen? Out of all my years tending T's this is a first.
 

Brad Ramsey

Arachnoknight
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Jun 18, 2007
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Most likely a cricket you tossed in a couple weeks ago took the "substrate opportunity" and laid her eggs.
Keep a moist paper towel and some grated carrot, apple, romaine lettuce or
collard greens in with them.
Do not let that towel dry out. pinheads die fast from dehydration, but don't keep it too wet either....they drown in half a drop of water.
Yeah! Free food!
They won't take too long to get big (only about an 8 week lifespan).
Oh, they'll appreciate some dry oatmeal or crushed up cornflakes too.

-Brad
 

Drachenjager

Arachnoemperor
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Jan 23, 2006
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water jell and fish flakes lol
i always have some baby crix cause when i get new ones i put some damp peat in there so i can mazimize the cricket dollars worth lol


oh and that cricket did NOT drop live hopping babies i promise. Sometime before a female cricket laid eggs and they hatched and became pinheads in your t tank.
 

KaineSoulblade

Arachnoknight
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May 24, 2007
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177
water jell and fish flakes lol
i always have some baby crix cause when i get new ones i put some damp peat in there so i can mazimize the cricket dollars worth lol


oh and that cricket did NOT drop live hopping babies i promise. Sometime before a female cricket laid eggs and they hatched and became pinheads in your t tank.
Great now I'm going to feel like a dad at the dinner table when I put crickets in for feeding. Watching them like a hawk to make sure no eggs are dropped.

"Quit playing with your food. You're not going back to your hide untill you've finished your dinner and that's that!"
 

mr_x_plosion

Arachnopeon
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May 28, 2007
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45
A friend of mine has this happen to him, was nightmare getting all the babies out, I feel your pain.
 

AubZ

Arachnoprince
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Why not leave the crics in there & tranfer the T into new enclosure? Then once all the crics have been used you have your enclosure back.
 

JMoran1097

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this is the main reason why I always carefully observe my inverts immediately after I drop the cricket in. if the cricket goes and hides, I immediately get a "prodding tool" and kinda coax them into the hide where the invert is waiting. it allows me to see that they fed and ensures that the cricket didn't lay any eggs. i know i should let the T hunt naturally, but I don't think they'll really care if I help them a little bit.
 

KaineSoulblade

Arachnoknight
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this is the main reason why I always carefully observe my inverts immediately after I drop the cricket in. if the cricket goes and hides, I immediately get a "prodding tool" and kinda coax them into the hide where the invert is waiting. it allows me to see that they fed and ensures that the cricket didn't lay any eggs. i know i should let the T hunt naturally, but I don't think they'll really care if I help them a little bit.
Ironically, I do this too. But this just so happened in my old Rose's den. She is the only one out of my T's that will not eat on the spot. Even if i prod the food to her she won't necessarily take it. I think I've gotten her to eat from hand maybe three or four times ever. So when I know she is hungry or needs to eat I have to toss the cricket in for a couple hours and she eventually gets around to it. But that's a rose for you, they can take it or leave it.

I'm just trying to figure out why pin head babies, if that's what these are, are in this tank. I feed her medium crickets. The only guess I have is that the pet shop had a few mixed or maybe mistook a large pin head for a small medium.
 

Drachenjager

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Great now I'm going to feel like a dad at the dinner table when I put crickets in for feeding. Watching them like a hawk to make sure no eggs are dropped.

"Quit playing with your food. You're not going back to your hide untill you've finished your dinner and that's that!"
take the female crix and cut off the ovipositer before dumping into the T tank probvlem solved.

also get a shallow dish and set about level wiht top of substrate and put a very wet paper towell in there and the crickets should hop on it then yo ucan remove them.
 

JMoran1097

Arachnoangel
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Ironically, I do this too. But this just so happened in my old Rose's den. She is the only one out of my T's that will not eat on the spot. Even if i prod the food to her she won't necessarily take it. I think I've gotten her to eat from hand maybe three or four times ever. So when I know she is hungry or needs to eat I have to toss the cricket in for a couple hours and she eventually gets around to it. But that's a rose for you, they can take it or leave it.

I'm just trying to figure out why pin head babies, if that's what these are, are in this tank. I feed her medium crickets. The only guess I have is that the pet shop had a few mixed or maybe mistook a large pin head for a small medium.
you should keep a whole bunch of those pinheads and use them later for sling food.
 

Amanda

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Jan 20, 2006
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I only drop the female crickets in my bone-dry enclosures, and only with my Ts I KNOW will chomp them immediately. The rest get the males.
 

AubZ

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My rose never passes the up the chance to grab the cric. Only if she is not hungry will she leave it. I also prod the cric to her, but that's cuz I've only had T's for about 2 months now & I still get joy in watching her catch her supper. However, if I was surprised with some baby cric's, I would leave them in the T's enclosure & move my T. That way I will have some free food.
 

KaineSoulblade

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My rose never passes the up the chance to grab the cric. Only if she is not hungry will she leave it. I also prod the cric to her, but that's cuz I've only had T's for about 2 months now & I still get joy in watching her catch her supper. However, if I was surprised with some baby cric's, I would leave them in the T's enclosure & move my T. That way I will have some free food.
My rose is an old maid now. She's eleven years old and only eats on a whim. I always offer just in case, but she takes her time in getting it, if she wants it. And she only eats about once a month.

I scooped all the crickets out and have them set up in their own keeper now rather than take the T out and empty the contents into a keeper. Had I done the latter, I would have a bloody mess. My rose is in a luxurious ten gallion tank with all the fixins'. I would be wasting substrate as well, I have moss and forest/jungle bedding in there and its too expensive to waste on crickets. Plus I dont like destroying all her webbing and she has it all dug the way she likes it.

Instead, I took the time to finally dig all the buggers out. Took some extra effort and patience on my part but, I'm sure she's much more grateful.
 

AubZ

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Well done. I forgot to mention that if your T was in a big or nicely setup enclosure, my idea would not have worked. :)
How often do you change her substrate or do you just leave it??
 

KaineSoulblade

Arachnoknight
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Well done. I forgot to mention that if your T was in a big or nicely setup enclosure, my idea would not have worked. :)
How often do you change her substrate or do you just leave it??
between 8-10 months. Depending. Since she eats little and doesn't make a big mess there is little waste.

The other get changed when needed, sometimes 4-6 months.
 

dukegarda

Arachnobaron
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Mar 22, 2007
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Cutting the ovipositor off does nothing. They still will lay eggs. The best thing to do it, is to clamp them in half and make a crease. That way no eggs can pass through the ovipositor.

If you really want to get rid of the pinheads, capture a few jumping spiders and those should consume them, it'll take some time, but it would work... slowly.... HAHA
 

Skulnik

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You can always rely on the soldier-like precision of the grizzly jumping spider. {D
 

KaineSoulblade

Arachnoknight
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May 24, 2007
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Well I don't think ill be cutting or clamping crickets for feeding time. I've made it 10 years without having to so far, so unless this becomes a new trend, I think I'll refrain from cricket surgery.
 

icenola

Arachnopeon
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Jun 9, 2007
Messages
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As far as feeding the crickets? They will live forever on plain Oatmeal...not the flavored variety pack..just the plain Quaker Oatmeal in the cylinder box.
They go nuts over it and its easy to handle..and won't stink anything up. Mine have gone for months and months on the stuff..they can't get enough of it...
 
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