Breeding Lobster roaches
Cockroaches make an excellant live food, they are nutritious, have a good "shell/meat ratio" and are a natural food source (they are found all over the world, so to think that your pet is unlikely to eat them in the wild is silly).
Lobster roaches (Nauphoeta cinerea) are a very good soft bodied feeder roach. They get quite big, so a culture is going to contain many different sizes, which will appeal to most insect eating exotics. Their ownly drawbacks are their abilities to climb and fly. Their prolificness and ease of culture easily outweighs this however. If you can keep these alive then you can breed them, they're baby machines!
- A rearing tub (something like an old glass aquarium or a contico type tub) this must have a tight fitting lid
- Egg crates
- Food (see below)
- Vaseline, fluon or bug boundary (optional but recomended)
- 30-60 starter roaches (preferably sub adults)
Lobster roaches are very easy to culture, they will eat more or less anything you put in front of them. for the purposes of gut loading I recomend offering dry dog biscuits, cereals, etc. Then offer fruit/veg such as celery and carrots for moisture. Take the opportunity to introduce extra viatmins, minerals and nutrients in to their diet by offering additional "wet food" in the form of dark, leafy vegetables (think spinach and dark lettuces).
The moist food should be replaced every 48hours (more often if your using soft fruit like apples, banana's, peaches etc), the dry food can just be topped up.
Stack the egg crates ontop of eachother and sit them in the rearing area. If you've chosen to use vaseline/fluon/bug boundary then you want to add a line of it at the top of the tub, this will help prevent the lobster roaches from making a break for it. Using these does not however mean you can skip having a lid. Unless you like sharing your house with roaches that is.
Just add the roaches to this along with some food and be patient. Once they start breeding you won't be able to stop them
Just keep the food topped up and make sure its clean (replacing soiled egg creates as needed), thats all you really have to do. I would recomend leaving the culture alone until it reaches about 200 strong. At this point you can use the roaches as and when you need. As long as your not using them alot, they will recover any losses and keep on growing. They are so prolific you will probably find yourself with too any roaches, and you'll be giving them away to friends. If this becomes a real problem, try only feeding the females (this species is, as far as I am aware, sexually dimophic, a quick google search and you'll be able to tell the sexes apart) as this will greatly reduce the ammount of babies being born.