Which Cricket Breeding System do I Use

This manual covers two cricket breeding systems to choose depending on how many crickets you plan to breed or their end use (pet trade or for human consumption).

Container Size:

The size of the container will determine how many crickets it can house. You can choose any size container you like, however the figures provided below are based on 18.5 gallons or 25.59 inches by 16.53 by 15.75 (70L, 65cm long, 42cm wide and 40cm high).

1) Substrate Breeding System (Hobbyist or Small-Scale Commercial)- Part 3 (Chapter 9)

 Each substrate breeding container will generate approximately 1 pet store container of crickets per week (approximately 33 large crickets/container) using heat pads. 1.5 containers or more can be achieved using a heated room. The advantage of this system is that it is low maintenance and does not require spraying or separating crickets from one container to another.

  • The waste wet food generated from an average family (two adults, two kids) can produce enough crickets to support 4 substrate breeding containers. Additional containers will require wet food supplementation. Four containers will feed approximately 3 to 8 adult bearded dragons (depending on feeding regime i.e. balanced diet or 100% insects)- Refer to Section 8.4 (Economics) and tip below for further details.
  • More containers can be added as required until you reach 12 pet bought containers of crickets per week (approximately 400 large crickets/week). This equates to approximately 1200 large crickets/month. This equates to If you require larger quantities of crickets, then we recommend using a Batch Breeding System.
  • Further details of this system including advantages and disadvantages are outline in Chapter 9.0 (Zega Substrate Breeding System).
  • The Substrate Breeding System is suitable for producing insects for the pet trade but not for human consumption. To Breed Crickets for human consumption, refer to the Batch Breeding System (below) and Part 5- Breeding Insects for Human Consumption.

2)  Batch Breeding System (Medium to Large Scale Commercial Production Human Consumption)- Part 4 (Chapter 10.0)

 Where you want to produce more than 1200 large crickets per month, the Batch Breeding System is recommended. It is also the only method to be used for producing insects for human consumption (Part 5- Breeding Crickets for Human Consumption).

  • This system is more productive, producing more than 3 times the number of crickets per breeding container than the Substrate Breeding System. Six containers produce approximately 700-1400 large crickets per week depending on your heating system (700-heat pads, 1400-heated room), however it is more labor intensive, involves more components and needs to be actively managed.
  • Further details of this system including advantages and disadvantages are outline in Chapter 10.0 (Batch Breeding System).


Insects are high in fats and energy and overfeeding often results in animals (pet reptiles/amphibian, aquaponic fish) becoming overweight or malnourished. Be sure to familiarize yourself with the correct eating requirements of the species you are feeding. For example, a balanced diet for a bearded dragon requires alternating feeds with fresh fruit/vegetables, meats (with supplements), live insects and occasional fasting. Once you know how often your animal requires insects, you can estimate how many crickets you need per week.