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Monday, February 22, 2010

Winter time and available of live food source

Winter time is a time that live food is scarce and hard to find one in large quantity. It is always hit hard for hobbyists who keep insect eating animals such as lizards and insectivore bird right about after mid-winter passed, near spring time. This is the time that most feeder insect (such as crickets, mealworms, waxworms,etc.) farm did not have enough supply to sell. One of the reason is because of insect in generals need great deal amount of warm to be able to grow and breed, and winter time cause them to slow growth and slow down the breeding cycle. Another reason is that winter is also a time of rain, and with the low temperature and high humidity combined, this combination can cause disease in insect's colony and kill them off in large quantity. Winter storm in certain area can hinder the shipping of those crickets across country. Since the farms produce less quantity of feeder insect they either they raise the price up which none of the farms want to do, keep the same price but sell less quantity than what suppose to be (which they usually do), or they sell in very limited quantity per customer. Some farm might have to shut down for few weeks because they didn't have enough to sell. In addition, the farm also charges higher shipping cost due to they have to add head pack to keep the crickets alive or we must pay premium shipping cost (usual 2 day guarantee delivery) so that the crickets can be sure still alive when arrived at our home. This is happens to few of us last week as the farm we usual buy did not have any crickets to sell due to some kind of disease cause most of the farm's cricket to die. Because we usually buy enough supply for two week at a time, so most of us did not have crickets to feed our birds for two weeks. Luckily, I have back up source to buy crickets with reasonable price, mealworms as addition live food source, and still have few thousands of B. lateralis in the garage so I have no issue. With about a dozen of insect eating birds, few days of no live food is ok, but few weeks of no live food is devastating to the birds. Because the demand of live insects is so large in the U.S and there are several of insect farms across the country, there is rarely a time that we as a hobbyist could not buy those insects such as cricket in this hard winter time but we might have to pay more than usual due to shipping cost of extra heat pack. So having back up source of live food to buy, feed the bird additional live food source, and/or raising few of the live food source yourself can guarantee that the birds have constant supply of live food to eat and more importantly, no extra money to spend! :)

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