Gut Loading and Dusting

Gut Loading

Gut loading is a method of boosting the nutritional content of your feeder insects prior to feeding them to your animals. This is accomplished by providing them with high quality foods to boost their nutrient, energy and moisture levels. Your animals then benefit through ingestion of these enriched crickets and cockroaches. Animals that have been relocated, are ill or under stress may particularly benefit from gut loading and dusting.

Most pet stores that sell reptiles are likely to sell a commercially available gut loading formula. As you only use a small quantity this is a relatively cheap option. Alternatively you can make it yourself as outlined in Dry Food page (Gut loading ingredients in brackets). It is recommended that you substitute lower grade foods (i.e. dog food) with higher grade kitten food which will generally have more animal proteins and higher fat content. A gut loading mixture can be mixed then stored into a separate container and used as required.

Providing energy rich fresh root vegetables (preferably not frozen) such as carrot and sweet potato will also provide a good wet food gut loading option. Be sure to provide a good supply of water either through a water dispenser or fresh fruit and vegetables.  Where possible feed the crickets gut loading foods at least 24-48 hours prior to feeding them to your animals. This will allow sufficient time for the uptake of nutrients and moisture.


Dusting is a process to add a nutritionally rich powder to the outside of your feeder insects. Again only a small amount is used so purchasing a commercially produced product is an economical way of adding nutrient to your animal’s diet.

Place the crickets into a plastic “zip lock” bag or into a small high sided container and shake until the crickets are completely covered.  Crickets and cockroaches should be fed to your animals immediately after dusting as they clean themselves on a regular basis.

Adding gut loading foods and/or dusting powders to your crickets and cockroaches are designed to “top up” nutrients and should not substitute feeding your animals a nutritionally balanced diet.  If crickets are fed a high quality diet, then dusting and gut loading for the most part will be of secondary importance to your animals (with the exception of a few trace nutrients which can only be provided by dusting).

Need More Information…

Below is a summary of the “Food and Water” sections of our cricket Breeding manual:

  • 4 different food/water dispensers to choose from which covers small and large scale production.
  • 18 pages detailing how to build a food try with removes all wet/dry food and water together for quick and easy maintenance.
  • Our automated feeding/watering dispensers, allows you to feed crickets for over 2 weeks unattended if necessary (i.e. good for going away on holidays). They are inexpensive to build, durable and designed not to spill. They dispense food at a controlled rate which saves money, reduces the frequency for refilling and improves hygiene.
  • 7 different methods/tools to feed crickets to your animals quickly and easily (and filter them to the right size).
  • Learn essential nutrients for cricket development, how to purchase food in bulk and store/process them properly to save wastage and money.  Food recipes for standard and fast growth, gut loading and dusting.
  • Tables outlining the nutritional content of key food groups such as dog, cat and chicken layer dry foods.
  • Detailed instructions and photos how to build containers.

© Zega Enterprises 2018 , ©  Photographs, diagrams and tables by Glenn Kvassay or as credited 2018