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Discussion Starter #1
I read in several old posts here that ratties love crickets, so I decided to give them a shot with the girls.

I looked around the garage, armed with a Glad® container and and a piece of cardboard.
I found a regular, black chirpy type of cricket first and after a few scrapes and a gash to the knee, was able to catch it.

Next I saw a cave cricket behind the washing machine (big, light brown, curvy body, really long legs and they don't 'chirp') and managed to get him in the same container without further injury to myself.

I took the container back in the house, gently shaking it to make the crickets jump and get tired. Crickets get tired after 10 jumps or so and will start walking instead. At this point, I put the container up to the girl's igloo and shook the crickets into their bed.

In retrospect, it may have been a bit rude to put these jumpy little critters in with farm bred ratties that may have never seen a cricket in their lives, but all turned out well.

First Mocha jumped on the cave cricket like it was the sweetest, most tender yogurt treat ever made, she took off with it with very obvious happiness and went nuts.

I had to re-catch the black one by hand, as he made his way out of the cage fast, but upon re-entry, he was met by a very eager Ratchel (Ray - Our rat food connaisseur) who didn't bother to wait, and consumed her treasure right where she stood.

The girls left me NO doubt that they liked the treat by franticly searching for more afterwards.

I know some of you are squemish about catching bugs, or afraid they may get loose in the house (try giving them in the bathtub), but I promise you your ratties are missing out on some serious good eats without this treat!!!!

I wouldn't plan on feeding these as a regular diet, but a protein rich treat can't hurt every once in a while. Besides, if you have a son, he will likely rise to the occasion when asked to catch a bug!!!
 

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I wouldn't feed them any more crickets from the wild/or around the house.

Who knows if they didn't eat pesticide or if they are carrying parasites or what not. If you want to give your rats crickets, I would suggest purchasing some from a pet store.
 

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be careful when getting them from pet stores
some have none to have mites in the cages which get passed on to what eats them
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I considered the pesticide issue before setting out on my venture tonight. I think farmed crickets would be just as likely to contain chemicals from their food and environment, as farmers would be more volume driven than environmentally alert.
I think an 'organic' cricket source would be expensive, while being no less likely to encounter chemicals than one from my back yard.
 
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