The demand for house crickets as a source of food or feed is increasing. Meeting this demand will require efficient production systems. House crickets are often fed a combination of dry feed and fresh plant material. Supplying fresh plant material could improve growth and development, but also increases labour and costs. Two experiments were conducted to verify that provision of fresh plant materials has a beneficial effect on house cricket performance. In the first experiment, house crickets were provided with an ad libitum supply of chicken feed, a water dispenser, and with carrots at different frequencies: (1) daily; (2) three times a week; (3) first week daily then three times a week; (4) two weeks daily then three times a week; and (5) no carrots. When the first cricket in a container reached adulthood, all crickets in that container were harvested. Survival, development time and body weight were determined. In a second experiment feed conversion efficiency of house crickets, either provided with carrots daily or not at all, was compared. No effects of carrot provision on survival, development time, body weight or feed conversion efficiency were found. The outcomes of these parameters were similar to other studies in which crickets were provided with chicken feed. The results indicate that supplying carrots in addition to a suitable dry feed and water does not improve house cricket survival, development time, body weight and feed conversion efficiency.
- Edible insects
- Water content