Keep these at average room temperatures but not to hot or they will begin to pupate. If any waxworms start to darken / turn black remove them from the rest of the waxworms or they will spoil the others. To gutload make up a sticky mixture of honey and cereal and add any dusting powders as per your reptiles requirements.
Housing - I use a large plastic crate, such as the ones that you can buy from Homebase stores. I do not use a lid for Dubia, but a well ventilated lid is required for Turkistans and Lobster roaches as is a smear of Vaseline around the top inner crate sides to prevent Lobsters and Turks climbing out. Turks can not climb smooth surfaces. Alternatively you could use a plastic tank with a snap on lid such as the exo terra plastic faunariums.
The roaches are kept at a temperature of 75-80f. I place my crates on top of a heat mat, no mat stat required. Alternatively you could place them in a warm room or in the airing cupboard!
Egg cartoon flats are placed in the crate as the roaches like to hide underneath these, I do not use any form of substrate as this makes cleaning them out easier.
I clean mine out monthly and any left over food daily. Do not allow food to go mouldy or moist food to be mixed with dry food.
Feeding - Mine are fed: fresh washed greens such as romaine lettuce, fresh fruit, slices of apple and orange, white grapes cut in half and wheat bran. They enjoy all of these and as the colony grows you will need to feed them daily.
A very light fine spray of water over the egg cartoons can be given daily, I use a plant sprayer. DO NOT OVERDO THIS!
Breeding -The adult female will give birth to approx 30 - 40 live young each (Turks lay egg cases) month. Nymphs take 3-6 months to reach maturity dependant upon species. They can all be housed together. The time they take to establish will depend upon the initial size of the colony that you have.
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Livefood for Bearded Dragons
Do I really need to feed livefood?
A not uncommon questions is 'do I really need to feed my bearded dragon on livefood?' Of course, the simple answer is YES.
It's not their sole food source - bearded dragons should also have vegetables available, but when they are growing rapidly from hatching to adult they will be eating mainly livefood, and about 20% vegetables and fruit.
When bearded dragons are fully grown they will be mainly vegetarian, and their diet should consist of no more than 20 - 25% livefood. Too much protein once they've stopped growing will overload their internal organs.
But you can get freeze dried crickets, I hear you say, and special bearded dragon food. Yes, you can, but I've yet to find anyone's dragon who will eat them! If you don't like the idea of handling live food then a bearded dragon is not for you. However most people do get used to them.
For a really good guide on how to handle crickets without touching them read this photo guide.
The most common live foods are crickets, locusts and roaches, with wax worms being given as an occassional treat.
Caring for livefood
To get the very best from your live food and to make sure that it's nutritious for your bearded dragon you should gut load it. This means feed it with vegetables, fruit, bran etc. This way you can keep livefood healthy for a few days and it will be at its best when fed to your pet.
For a long time I've got my live food from Rick's Live Foods Rick has kindly provided the information (and pictures) on this page.
Rick's guide to live food
Our reptiles deserve high quality foods, therefore how we care for our livefood and how we gutload is of great importance. If we do not care correctly for our livefood we end up feeding rubbish to our reptiles!
Food for thought! Did you know that if locusts and crickets are kept at too low a temperature then the food that they eat does not digest properly within their systems? Therefore they do not receive or ingest correct nourishment and the undigested food just rots in their stomachs. Not nice to feed to your pet!
Housing - Any plastic tank will do, but it must have a well ventilated lid, Exo Terra Faunariums are ideal, Lees Cricket Keepers are also good. The larger the housing the better for the livefood.
Place an egg carton in the tank vertically for the crix locusts to hide/live on, feed
on either wheat or oat bran as a staple diet. Feed fresh washed greens/fruit every day - not to much just enough to be eaten in one day, this helps them molt (shed) and ingest moisture. Romaine Lettuce, green leafy cabbages, winter/spring greens, apples, are all good food items. Do not allow their tank to get damp and remove any leftover greens/fruit at the end of the day otherwise you will end up with a damp and mouldy environment for your livefood. This in turn will create problems and encourage harmful bacteria and mould. After a while you will soon gauge how much wet food to feed daily without any waste. Do not overcrowd your livefood in it's tank, crickets especially hate to be overcrowded and you may well suffer losses if overcrowded.
Temperature - Crickets approximately 80-85F, locusts 90-105F. Very importan t- keep crickets / locusts at correct temperature else they will not digest their food correctly. Either invest in a small heat mat place under tank to cover one third of base and use mat thermostat and set temperature to 85f crickets, 90-105f locusts or find a warm place for them to live.
Gut loading - There are three approaches to livefood gutloading; via food intake, via supplement powders, or a combination of food intake and supplementation. I prefer the third method. I feed my livefood on high quality food items and ensure a variety is given - experiment to see what your livefood will eat. I also supplement using various dusting powders, specific to the reptiles needs, using a separate calcium only powder (used more often than vitamins/minerals hence why I use a separate powder) in combination with specific vitamin/mineral powders. The supplementation regime varies depending upon; age of bearded dragon, if gravid, if recovering form an illness and so forth. There are many articles to be found on the Internet relating to individual reptile needs, to much information to fit on this website.
Roaches are Ideal for the majority of reptiles: they are high in protein - higher than crickets - soft bodied, low chitin content so can be fed off oversize, ideal for awkward feeders and they do not smell. They are prolific livebearers and will not bite your herp! Easy to care for and culture.
If you start a roach colony you can become self sufficient in livefood and save a fortune on feeding your beardie.