Cockroaches for ackie Monitor

Joshherp

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Hey, I resented got my 2 adult ackie monitors and am wanting to breed some cockroaches for them to save a bit of time and money. I got everything I’d need for them like a tub, egg cartons, water crystals and food but can’t seem to find where to get them in wa as the feeder roaches at my local pet store are all females. Do any of you have any advise or experience on where to buy them?thanks
 

Bluetongue1

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All female? I live in Perth and I have not seen that before. They are only easy to sex as adults but not before. So I suggest you buy some sub-adults and you’ll be guaranteed to get a mixture of sexes. Add a container of all females and you’ll be breeding them in no time.

So much of the stuff I have come across on the net totally over-complicates keeping these critters. So I’ll add a bit of personal experience info which you can read or ignore.

I’ve seen the set up of a commercial breeder and he feeds only carrot and a bit of greens for extra moisture. I’ve had a colony going for nearly 10 years now and all I feed them is carrot and nothing else. I keep mine in the plastic take away containers that they sell them in, which have small holes in the lid. This provides ample humidity and I found adding greens to these caused problems with too much humidity. I place a folded piece of paper towelling on the bottom of the containerand put in two half egg cartons, cut back a bit to fit and stacked together for sheltering in. They are stored in a couple of drawers to provide darker conditions, which keeps the roaches happy to come out and wander. You should not need water crystals for moisture. Given that most of these are starch based I suspect the roaches will eat them, which would be good for the store that sold them to you but increases your on-going costs.

Their rate of growth is very much temperature dependant, About 30 to 35 degrees will produce maximum growth but I would not go any hotter. Even as adults they cannot fly. So they can be kept in an open tub or aquarium with something to stop them crawling out the top. A teflon paint called fluon can be used to paint a 2 cm or so wide strip along the inside edge of the top of the container to stop them escaping. It does need to be re-done every few months. A smear of thick grease or even vaseline can also be used, but it is too messy for my liking. I’ve heard that wide cellotape is also effective, but you’d need to check that out as woodies can climb up glass. I reckon a lid with holes or fine mesh placed on the tub is desireable - to maintian the humidity and exclude unwanted flying insects and other potential problem bugs.

EDIT: I forgot to mention gut loading prior to using them as food. The roaches can be fed high quality pet food for a couple of days prior to feeding them to your critters. I use tropical fish flakes and aquarium protein crumbles, but there are numerous pet pellets and biscuits fortified with appropriate vitamins and minerals which are relatively cheap. And juicing carrots are a lot cheaper than the usual and no different in quality.
 
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Sdaji

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Don't be too resentful about your two ackies.

If you think they're all females it's just because you're confused about sexing them. I guarantee no one has bothered sexing the roaches before selling them and if they did go to such an extreme extent, they'd be selling males, not females.
 

Flaviemys purvisi

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Woodies are easy... set and forget... they thrive on neglect.. I breed them indoors and outdoors... indoor tubs are just 50 litre tubs layered with egg cartons and covered with mosquito netting... these roaches are fed exclusively on supercoat dog biscuits and carrot.... nothing else.
7574-uploadfromtaptalk1388437352057-1.jpg 7574-uploadfromtaptalk1388437385117.jpg

My outdoor setups are old 240 litre wheelie bins converted to compost bins... these roaches are fed everything from egg shells, orange and banana peels, apple cores, celery tops, all scraps from fruits and salads, stale bread, you name it... anything except meat and dairy... I've had these colonies going strong since 2012.... started them off with a single purchase of 30 woodies from Brian's worms. I introduce new blood to the colony once a year by grabbing a few containers of juvies from petbarn or the likes and releasing them into the colonies.
20160501_172038.jpg
20160515_171619.jpg

After dark is when you get an idea of the population.
20170928_181145.jpg

I also breed crickets by the thousands. A lot more work though.
[doublepost=1598087178,1598086929][/doublepost]One of my tubs of pinhead crickets less than a week after hatching.
20140329_074243.jpg 20140329_074301.jpg 20140329_074254.jpg
 

dragonlover1

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I also breed my own woodies, feed them on cheap dog biscuits and veg scraps/left over dragon food. 1 thing Brian taught me was not to use too much wet food as they seem to die quickly. Especially if you want to transport them you should cut back on wet food. I used to think if there was no wet food then chuck in some more but this couldn't be further from the truth
 

Bluetongue1

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In case you were not aware, if you want to sort your woodies for whatever reason, then put them in the fridge for an hour or more. This will slow them right down and you can pick them up without them scurrying everywhere. At one stage I got distracted and completely forgot about several containers of woodies I’d put in my in fridge. They were there for two days and I fully expected to find them dead. They initially looked rather lifeless and took a while to warm up again but all of them were still alive.

With respect to your original question, if I knew what area you are in I could likely suggest where to get some that have not been sorted into one gender.
 

Flaviemys purvisi

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I got distracted and completely forgot about several containers of woodies I’d put in my in fridge. They were there for two days and I fully expected to find them dead. They initially looked rather lifeless and took a while to warm up again but all of them were still alive.
Woodies are pretty tough, my outside bins drop to below freezing in winter for days on end and it's never hurt them... makes catching them easy.
 

Tobe404

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I have my own tub of Woodies too. Just put Vaseline around the top every so often and they can't/don't even try to climb out (no lid or netting/mesh needed). Fed on left over veggie/fruit scraps and occasional dry dog food. Heat mat under tub set to 27-30c and they seem to be breeding like rabbits.
 

Flaviemys purvisi

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I have my own tub of Woodies too. Just put Vaseline around the top every so often and they can't/don't even try to climb out (no lid or netting/mesh needed). Fed on left over veggie/fruit scraps and occasional dry dog food. Heat mat under tub set to 27-30c and they seem to be breeding like rabbits.
The only problem with your method is the adults have wings and can fly. The Vaseline or any barrier is a waste of time hence why I cover my indoor tubs with fine mosquito mesh. The outside bins I don't even worry about trying to keep them in... frogs a d geckos visit the bins nightly for a free feed, doesn't put a dent in them at all.
 

Tobe404

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The only problem with your method is the adults have wings and can fly. The Vaseline or any barrier is a waste of time hence why I cover my indoor tubs with fine mosquito mesh. The outside bins I don't even worry about trying to keep them in... frogs a d geckos visit the bins nightly for a free feed, doesn't put a dent in them at all.

Yeah I know but buggered if I've ever seen any actually fly. Maybe on very rare occasions off my hand or something to try and get away quicker than running. But I've never seen them try to the fly out of the tub. Not once. If we started finding random Woodies around the house. I'd know about it. Haha.
 

Joshherp

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All female? I live in Perth and I have not seen that before. They are only easy to sex as adults but not before. So I suggest you buy some sub-adults and you’ll be guaranteed to get a mixture of sexes. Add a container of all females and you’ll be breeding them in no time.

So much of the stuff I have come across on the net totally over-complicates keeping these critters. So I’ll add a bit of personal experience info which you can read or ignore.

I’ve seen the set up of a commercial breeder and he feeds only carrot and a bit of greens for extra moisture. I’ve had a colony going for nearly 10 years now and all I feed them is carrot and nothing else. I keep mine in the plastic take away containers that they sell them in, which have small holes in the lid. This provides ample humidity and I found adding greens to these caused problems with too much humidity. I place a folded piece of paper towelling on the bottom of the containerand put in two half egg cartons, cut back a bit to fit and stacked together for sheltering in. They are stored in a couple of drawers to provide darker conditions, which keeps the roaches happy to come out and wander. You should not need water crystals for moisture. Given that most of these are starch based I suspect the roaches will eat them, which would be good for the store that sold them to you but increases your on-going costs.

Their rate of growth is very much temperature dependant, About 30 to 35 degrees will produce maximum growth but I would not go any hotter. Even as adults they cannot fly. So they can be kept in an open tub or aquarium with something to stop them crawling out the top. A teflon paint called fluon can be used to paint a 2 cm or so wide strip along the inside edge of the top of the container to stop them escaping. It does need to be re-done every few months. A smear of thick grease or even vaseline can also be used, but it is too messy for my liking. I’ve heard that wide cellotape is also effective, but you’d need to check that out as woodies can climb up glass. I reckon a lid with holes or fine mesh placed on the tub is desireable - to maintian the humidity and exclude unwanted flying insects and other potential problem bugs.

EDIT: I forgot to mention gut loading prior to using them as food. The roaches can be fed high quality pet food for a couple of days prior to feeding them to your critters. I use tropical fish flakes and aquarium protein crumbles, but there are numerous pet pellets and biscuits fortified with appropriate vitamins and minerals which are relatively cheap. And juicing carrots are a lot cheaper than the usual and no different in quality.

thanks so much this was really helpfull. So is no water bowl or pellets needed? I’ve also heard that fish flakes can cause the roaches to perish as they are to high in protein, is this true or not?
[doublepost=1598184279,1598183818][/doublepost]
Woodies are easy... set and forget... they thrive on neglect.. I breed them indoors and outdoors... indoor tubs are just 50 litre tubs layered with egg cartons and covered with mosquito netting... these roaches are fed exclusively on supercoat dog biscuits and carrot.... nothing else.
View attachment 329790 View attachment 329791

My outdoor setups are old 240 litre wheelie bins converted to compost bins... these roaches are fed everything from egg shells, orange and banana peels, apple cores, celery tops, all scraps from fruits and salads, stale bread, you name it... anything except meat and dairy... I've had these colonies going strong since 2012.... started them off with a single purchase of 30 woodies from Brian's worms. I introduce new blood to the colony once a year by grabbing a few containers of juvies from petbarn or the likes and releasing them into the colonies.
View attachment 329792
View attachment 329793

After dark is when you get an idea of the population.
View attachment 329794

I also breed crickets by the thousands. A lot more work though.
[doublepost=1598087178,1598086929][/doublepost]One of my tubs of pinhead crickets less than a week after hatching.
View attachment 329795 View attachment 329796 View attachment 329797
Woodies are easy... set and forget... they thrive on neglect.. I breed them indoors and outdoors... indoor tubs are just 50 litre tubs layered with egg cartons and covered with mosquito netting... these roaches are fed exclusively on supercoat dog biscuits and carrot.... nothing else.
View attachment 329790 View attachment 329791

My outdoor setups are old 240 litre wheelie bins converted to compost bins... these roaches are fed everything from egg shells, orange and banana peels, apple cores, celery tops, all scraps from fruits and salads, stale bread, you name it... anything except meat and dairy... I've had these colonies going strong since 2012.... started them off with a single purchase of 30 woodies from Brian's worms. I introduce new blood to the colony once a year by grabbing a few containers of juvies from petbarn or the likes and releasing them into the colonies.
View attachment 329792
View attachment 329793

After dark is when you get an idea of the population.
View attachment 329794

I also breed crickets by the thousands. A lot more work though.
[doublepost=1598087178,1598086929][/doublepost]One of my tubs of pinhead crickets less than a week after hatching.
View attachment 329795 View attachment 329796 View attachment 329797
Woodies are easy... set and forget... they thrive on neglect.. I breed them indoors and outdoors... indoor tubs are just 50 litre tubs layered with egg cartons and covered with mosquito netting... these roaches are fed exclusively on supercoat dog biscuits and carrot.... nothing else.
View attachment 329790 View attachment 329791

My outdoor setups are old 240 litre wheelie bins converted to compost bins... these roaches are fed everything from egg shells, orange and banana peels, apple cores, celery tops, all scraps from fruits and salads, stale bread, you name it... anything except meat and dairy... I've had these colonies going strong since 2012.... started them off with a single purchase of 30 woodies from Brian's worms. I introduce new blood to the colony once a year by grabbing a few containers of juvies from petbarn or the likes and releasing them into the colonies.
View attachment 329792
View attachment 329793

After dark is when you get an idea of the population.
View attachment 329794

I also breed crickets by the thousands. A lot more work though.
[doublepost=1598087178,1598086929][/doublepost]One of my tubs of pinhead crickets less than a week after hatching.
View attachment 329795 View attachment 329796 View attachment 329797

ok hadn’t thought of using something as big as bins but sounds good as I have some lying around. Any if it’s not to much hassle could you tell me more about your cricket breeding as a lot of the info I’m finding is American and varying between sites. I’ve heard it’s pretty hard as they perish easily but what’s your experience with that.

Edit: didn’t mean to reply like 5 times
[doublepost=1598184539][/doublepost]
In case you were not aware, if you want to sort your woodies for whatever reason, then put them in the fridge for an hour or more. This will slow them right down and you can pick them up without them scurrying everywhere. At one stage I got distracted and completely forgot about several containers of woodies I’d put in my in fridge. They were there for two days and I fully expected to find them dead. They initially looked rather lifeless and took a while to warm up again but all of them were still alive.

With respect to your original question, if I knew what area you are in I could likely suggest where to get some that have not been sorted into one gender.

I live in canigvale if thaT helps.
 

Flaviemys purvisi

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Crickets are easy to breed, they lay thousands of eggs, I don't have a lot of trouble breeding them it's just that they are a lot of work, you can't forget about them for a week or 2 at a time like you can woodies, they'll all die. You constantly have to separate them out according to size as they grow as they will devour any crickets smaller than themselves and or the same size as themselves if they're overcrowded and food isn't available. Breeding and raising crickets is a lot different to woodies, start with 30 woodies, end up with 5000, start with 5000 crickets, end up with 30. LOL Crickets lay eggs whereas woodies give birth to live young. Crickets are cannibalistic whereas woodies are not, woodies live for 12-14 months, crickets live for 12-14 weeks, woodies are silent, crickets as I'm sure you're aware chirp... relentlessly... Nutritionally as feeder insects woodies are superior to crickets simply because they will eat absolutely anything and everything, crickets are a lot more restricted in their diet. The only reason I actually breed crickets is because I prefer them as feeders for my Tarantulas, scorpions and centipedes and if I'm too lazy to tong feed my green tree frogs woodies, I'll throw crickets into their enclosure. Woodies will just scurry away and hide and get to places in the enclosure where the frogs can't get them whereas crickets will happily roam about in the open chirping away until they're all gone. Crickets move a lot more than woodies do, I mainly use woodies for all my turtles and crickets for everything else.

My cricket rearing tubs are just layered with an inch deep substrate of raw oats, and I feed them fish flakes, ad provide either carrot, a piece of apple or grapes for moisture and pieces of egg carton for shelter. Unlike woodies, crickets HATE being on the ground, they will avoid it at all costs if they can.
 

Bluetongue1

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thanks so much this was really helpfull. So is no water bowl or pellets needed? I’ve also heard that fish flakes can cause the roaches to perish as they are to high in protein, is this true or not?
I know Pet Magic at 8/1500 Albany Hwy, Cannington sell woodies. If you need it, I can make a few enquiries to determine if there is a closer supplier.

I personally would not feed woodies fish flakes as a staple diet. Yet I have seen it recommended on a website - https://dubiacolony.com/about-us/du...approximately 15,times during their life span. What I was talking about is feeding them this for a couple of days before you feed them to your ackies, so your ackies benefit from the protein in the insect gut – a common practice, known as gut loading. If you Google “gut loading cockroaches” you get the following paragraph straight up: “Regarding intent: “Gut loading” means giving Dubia roaches food intended not for them but for the animals that eat them. The distinction between gut loading and regular feeding is at its greatest when you feed the roaches something that is actually bad for them but good for the insectivore.” And that site is all about gut loading and woodies – worth a read.

You could also look at culturing mealworms and king worms to add a bit of variety. Sweeping an insect net through long, tall grass, or similar vegetation (that has not been sprayed with chemicals) will usually get grasshoppers, which ackies love. There are also some simple ways of trapping insects and other arthropod in your own garden or vegie patch, if you have one. If you have an aviary, you could easily breed king quail and using their eggs as food.
 

Joshherp

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I know Pet Magic at 8/1500 Albany Hwy, Cannington sell woodies. If you need it, I can make a few enquiries to determine if there is a closer supplier.

I personally would not feed woodies fish flakes as a staple diet. Yet I have seen it recommended on a website - https://dubiacolony.com/about-us/dubia-roach-care-breeding/#:~:text=Dubia roaches have approximately 15,times during their life span. What I was talking about is feeding them this for a couple of days before you feed them to your ackies, so your ackies benefit from the protein in the insect gut – a common practice, known as gut loading. If you Google “gut loading cockroaches” you get the following paragraph straight up: “Regarding intent: “Gut loading” means giving Dubia roaches food intended not for them but for the animals that eat them. The distinction between gut loading and regular feeding is at its greatest when you feed the roaches something that is actually bad for them but good for the insectivore.” And that site is all about gut loading and woodies – worth a read.

You could also look at culturing mealworms and king worms to add a bit of variety. Sweeping an insect net through long, tall grass, or similar vegetation (that has not been sprayed with chemicals) will usually get grasshoppers, which ackies love. There are also some simple ways of trapping insects and other arthropod in your own garden or vegie patch, if you have one. If you have an aviary, you could easily breed king quail and using their eggs as food.

that’s really I haven’t been thier yet but I think I know where your talking about. Thanks for the insight my ackies will love for it.
[doublepost=1598262908,1598262758][/doublepost]
Crickets are easy to breed, they lay thousands of eggs, I don't have a lot of trouble breeding them it's just that they are a lot of work, you can't forget about them for a week or 2 at a time like you can woodies, they'll all die. You constantly have to separate them out according to size as they grow as they will devour any crickets smaller than themselves and or the same size as themselves if they're overcrowded and food isn't available. Breeding and raising crickets is a lot different to woodies, start with 30 woodies, end up with 5000, start with 5000 crickets, end up with 30. LOL Crickets lay eggs whereas woodies give birth to live young. Crickets are cannibalistic whereas woodies are not, woodies live for 12-14 months, crickets live for 12-14 weeks, woodies are silent, crickets as I'm sure you're aware chirp... relentlessly... Nutritionally as feeder insects woodies are superior to crickets simply because they will eat absolutely anything and everything, crickets are a lot more restricted in their diet. The only reason I actually breed crickets is because I prefer them as feeders for my Tarantulas, scorpions and centipedes and if I'm too lazy to tong feed my green tree frogs woodies, I'll throw crickets into their enclosure. Woodies will just scurry away and hide and get to places in the enclosure where the frogs can't get them whereas crickets will happily roam about in the open chirping away until they're all gone. Crickets move a lot more than woodies do, I mainly use woodies for all my turtles and crickets for everything else.

My cricket rearing tubs are just layered with an inch deep substrate of raw oats, and I feed them fish flakes, ad provide either carrot, a piece of apple or grapes for moisture and pieces of egg carton for shelter. Unlike woodies, crickets HATE being on the ground, they will avoid it at all costs if they can.

thanks but after all that it sounds like it’s more effort and work to breed them than jut. Buying a box every now and then especially as they won’t be the main food source anyway. Thanks for the insight tho
 

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