For more than 40 years, Zoo Med has made it the company’s mission to supply quality exotic pet foods, reptile products and reptile habitats to pet owners. As a company made up of reptile hobbyists, Zoo Med provides the supplies and knowledge needed to successfully care for reptiles, amphibians, fish, insects and other exotic pets to keep them happy and healthy.
Zoo Med’s Can O’ Crickets is a convenient way to provide nutrition to a pet herp or bird — rather than having to store live insects until mealtime. Crickets (Gryllus linnaeus) are cooked in the can to lock in flavor and freshness. This process, called retorting, also softens the exoskeleton to make the cricket easier to digest. These adult-size crickets are ideal for most lizards and turtles (larger than 2 inches), as well as fish, birds and small animals. Every can is filled with 60 farm-raised crickets. Zoo Med also offers a Mini Can O’ Crickets with over 200 small-sized crickets in each can.
Zoo Med recommends that the 1.2-ounce can be sealed with the plastic lid and stored in a refrigerator, where it can be kept for approximately a week. The can should be discarded when a foul odor is noticed or visible mold starts growing on the crickets.
We selected Mikki, a 1-year-old bearded dragon, to test Can O’ Crickets. Since the crickets can be fed as a standalone meal or as a treat sprinkled on a salad (collard greens, beet greens, broccoli, etc.), we decided to offer the beardie both options.
We popped the lid to reveal dozens of whole crickets crammed in the can like sardines. There was a pungent smell of “cricket stew” that we would not describe as pleasant, but the aroma was not overpowering enough to make us want to lose our lunch. We used the spoon (that’s provided under the plastic lid) to scoop out the crickets. We then scattered some crickets on a few greens, plopped a few more at the base of Mikki’s favorite perch and one in the beardie’s tree. We took a cricket and held it in front of Mikki to be sure the herp knew it was being introduced to something special.
After a lick to check out the cricket, Mikki went back to meditating on its perch. We left the beardie alone, then checked back a few hours later to discover that it had consumed everything. Taking that as a sign of approval, Mikki’s owner included the crickets in all of its meals, emptying the can’s contents in just under a week. She reported that there were no signs of the herp having a bad reaction to the crickets.
Can O’ Crickets is a great alternative to buying and storing live food for a pet. It provides the same amount of nutrition as live crickets, but the convenience of having it in a resealable can is a big plus for reptile owners. You just have to accept the “cricket stew” odor each time you open the can, and also warn family members that a can full of dead crickets is sitting next to their lunch in the fridge.