Cricket breeding as a business first started out as a source of live animal food for exotic pets like geckos and snakes. Customers are zoo and wildlife park operators, pet stores and even private individuals with a penchant for exotic pets. Reptiles are inclined to feed on smaller animals such as bugs, crickets, frogs, and fish, but prefer to feast on live preys.
Raising crickets in farms turned out to be a lucrative venture, because for one, crickets aren’t dangerous to humans. Even more advantageous is that the insects are capable of multiplying rapidly.
A single female cricket can lay as màny as 100 eggs at the least, and up to 1,000 eggs at the most in a span of 1 week. Once the eggs hatch, the new breed of crickets attain sexual maturity on the fifth and sixth week, all ready to mate and subsequently lay eggs on their 7th and 8th week. However, the number of eggs produced depends on the condition of the crickets and the temperature of the environment in which they thrive. That being the case, a breeding farm can have an abundant supply of crickets at any given time.
Since the demand comes from a limited sector, it needed other types of consumers, humans. The potential of broadening the cricket market by offering the insects as alternative source of protein supplement, found support in a 2013 report published by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (UNFAO).
Broadening the Cricket Market to Boost the Demand for Breeds
In light of the diminishing buying power of low income families to buy meat as main source of protein, the FAO upholds the idea of culturing crickets for the mass production of a sustainable source of protein. In some Western countries, consuming insects like crickets is no longer unappealing, but instead considered as novel and exotic.
One can find cricket-based protein bars made from cricket flour. Snack food items called cricket chips can give junk food manufacturers a run for their money. Not only does this type of cricket food presents a healthier source of protein, they are also budget-friendly because of the low cost cricket ingredient.
Drawbacks of a Cricket Breeding Business
Still, before setting one’s sight in starting a cricket breeding business, be in the know of the drawbacks related to this venture. Keep in mind that thousands of crickets chirping in unison every night can produce a tremendous volume of noise. Moreover, the smell of rotting fruits and vegetables creates an unbearable stench, whilst attracting flies. If a disease carrying microbe known as Cricket Paralysis Virus infects a breeding farm, it spreads a disease that can eradicate all crickets being cultured and raised.