Properly Storing Food Animals For Reptiles

Anyone who keeps reptiles, such as bearded dragons, as pets must of course ensure that they are kept as species-appropriate as possible. However, this does not only apply to accommodation in a naturally furnished terrarium, which is also large enough. Diet also plays a particularly important role. Feeding prey animals is essential for many reptiles. They not only serve as a particularly important supplier of nutrients but also serve to support the natural prey behavior of your animals. House crickets, mealworms, and the like are used a lot as feed animals. However, since the feed animals are not bought new or individually several times a week, but are obtained in large quantities in small plastic boxes, you should find out about the keeping of the feed animals and their storage worry until feeding. In this article, you will learn how best to store the food animals and what you need to consider in order to offer your reptiles the best possible food.

The right accommodation for crickets and Co.

Due to the fact that in pet shops you usually only get the feed animals packed in plastic cans and in larger quantities, it is important to store them correctly at home in order to continue to offer your own reptiles only high-quality food. In addition, the food animals live much longer. The boxes in which the animals are stored in the shop should therefore only be used for transport. As soon as you come home with the purchased insects, you should move them directly into a suitable container.

The optimal keeping of the feed animals

Especially when keeping house crickets, it is important to ensure that there is optimal air circulation, so it is important that the container is not closed all around. Nevertheless, you have to make sure that the lid has been designed in such a way that there are no openings through which the small animals can escape. Furthermore, the container should be the right size so that too many feed animals are not kept in a confined space. A good guideline is a container measuring 50 x 30 x 30 cm, which can be used for around 500 adult crickets or optionally for 1000 growing crickets.

You should also pay attention to hygiene in any case, because feed animals should not be kept in a torturous state either. In addition, hygiene also plays a very important role when it comes to the health of the feed animals. For this reason, the container of the feed animals should be cleaned thoroughly once a week. Incidentally, the odor nuisance also remains very low. If the house crickets, crickets, etc. get sick, you may not notice it early enough, for example. So you would be feeding sick animals to your reptiles which can cause your animals to get sick too.

Crickets in particular are quite simple when it comes to the remaining criteria for keeping them. So they prefer it dark and the temperatures should be between 18 and 24 degrees. So you don’t need to buy separate lamps or heat sources, which of course also makes keeping them nice and cheap.

The container for feeding animals

As already mentioned, the container itself should not only be big enough but also made of suitable material. Since many food animals are good climbers and you certainly do not want them to be everywhere in your home, it is advisable to choose a container with smooth walls. However, it does not matter whether you choose glass or plastic. In addition to aquariums or small terrariums and fauna boxes, there are now boxes of different sizes specially developed for keeping feed animals. These are created in such a way that removing the food animals is much easier than in a terrarium or aquarium.

In addition to the container, the equipment should of course also not be forgotten. This applies to the substrate, among other things. This should be selected so that it can absorb humidity effectively and for a long time. This applies, for example, to wood chips, sand, or bran. You should also make sure that the house crickets can hide. Egg cartons or crumpled newspapers are particularly suitable for this. If these are then too dirty, they can be easily replaced with new ones. In addition, these once again cost nothing to purchase.

It is also advisable to always set up two containers so that the feeding animals can be relocated directly during cleaning. Incidentally, it helps to cool the animals down a good hour before removal with a lower room temperature, so that they become sluggish and easier to remove. Temperatures between 12 – 16 degrees are ideal. Nevertheless, it is advisable to always carry out the transfer outside of the apartment. If you don’t have a balcony or garden, you should do the transfer in the bathtub so that crickets and the like don’t get away so quickly.

Feeding the prey animals

Furthermore, the food animals must of course also be fed in order to survive and stay healthy. Take advantage of the opportunity to make the feed animals for your reptiles even more valuable and rich in nutrients. For this, you should always reach for particularly high-quality food. For example, you can feed them with a particularly high vitamin or mineral content. These vitamins and minerals, which are absorbed by the food animals, ultimately benefit your reptiles. You can easily pass water and food in shallow bowls. The feed animals and then help themselves if necessary. Mainly fruit and vegetables should be fed. In addition, there are of course also preparations that can be mixed with the feed. Ultimately, these feed animals then represent a particularly high-quality and nutrient-rich diet.

After two hours, the food that is left over should be removed again. This prevents mold from forming in the container. Fruit and vegetables can be given every 2 days. In addition, the administration of water can be dispensed with if you give enough juice feed. For example, cucumbers, tomatoes, and carrots can be served. With fruit, on the other hand, you can have anything except citrus. Since it should be a balanced diet of wet and dry food, the dry food should not be missing either. You can use oatmeal or wheat bran for this, for example. Grass, wild herbs and the like are also ideal for use as fodder and can be freshly collected outside. If you don’t have the opportunity to do this, you can of course also buy special food for feed animals in stores or order it online.

How are feed animals fed?

It is often not that easy to catch the house crickets out of the containers and then feed them to your own animals. Special tools are suitable here, such as feeding tongs or tweezers. How often these need to be fed depends, of course, on the individual needs of the reptiles you keep. Before the food animals are thrown to the reptiles, you should feed them a good amount of fruit and vegetables again. Incidentally, it is also possible to dust the food animals with preparations such as mineral powder to prevent deficiency symptoms in your own reptiles. So this is eaten directly by the reptiles including feed animals.


If you keep reptiles, you should also take good care of the food animals they are fed. This is the only way to ensure that your pets get high-quality feed and stay healthy. Keeping and feeding prey animals is very easy. Regardless of whether it is house crickets, mealworms, or other food animals, it is best to look at the natural needs of the animals in order to be able to take care of them accordingly. Also keep the feed animals species-appropriate, so that they live a particularly long life and do not get any diseases. If you observe everything, you can ensure that your reptiles get the best food and that they are supplied with all the important vitamins and nutrients.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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