Developed by Susan James, Don Wells, and Ken Lopez, DVM 

used with permission

gutload - the process of filling the feeder insects with nutritionally valuable food before offering them for consumption.

Links to Ingredients

The James/Wells/Lopez Insect Gutload

This diet recipe is solely owned by the creators (Susan James, Don Wells, and Ken Lopez, DVM) and is allowed for private use only. Commercial reproduction of this recipe by individuals is not allowed without the written permission of the creators. Reproduction of the lists contents and the recipe therein is not allowed without written permission of the creators.

Copyright December 2000

Dry mix

1 large box dry milk (8 quart size)
1 box rice baby cereal
8 oz. raw unsalted sunflower seeds
1 cup wheat germ
1 cup of chaff from loose alfalfa or 3/4 cup alfalfa powder
1 1/2 cup fresh bee pollen
1/4 cup powdered spirulina or Klamath Lake algae
http://www.algae-world.comLink will open in a new window.
1/2 cup crushed fine quality monkey chow (not Purina)
1/4 cup dried sea kelp
*1/4 cup dried egg yolk (or add freshly cooked egg yolk to wet mix (see below)
1/2 cup mixed unsalted nuts
1/4 cup coconut
1/16 cup brewer's yeast
1/8 cup dried dandelion flowers (optional)

The above should be pulverized using a food processor, blender, or coffee grinder. The texture should resemble a "chunky" powder.

Wet mix
Prickly pear cactus (opuntia)
A mix of sweet potatoes, yams, organically grown carrots, orange/yellow squashes and carrot tops
Mixed dandelion, turnip, mustard, collard greens, kale, and watercress greens
Citrus fruit, melon, grape leaves

*If dried egg yolk is unavailable for the dry mix, add to the wet mix:
1 fresh egg yolk, cooked

Note: Measurements are approximate and may not reflect actual measurements used. The authors assume no responsibility for misuse of this recipe.

2001 adcham logo - This link opens in a new window ADCHAM.COM

Storing Cricket Diet:
Freeze what you will not use within a week, last for up to 3 months.
Refrigerate what you will use within the week. Change food daily in cricket feed bin because of the few perishable product content.


These are as important as the protein source and will fill the insects with even more nutrients your herp needs.

Prickly pears (Vit C)
Citrus fruits (Vit C)
Mustard greens (Vit C, beta-carotene)
Carrots (beta-carotene)
Squashes (Vit C, beta-carotene)
Other fruits and veggies but avoid spinach and broccoli which are calcium binders.

Place fresh foods in disposable cups in cricket bins and alternate food types from carrots to greens to squashes etc to vary the vitamins the reptiles are absorbing from the insects.

This works for mealworms and waxworms as well as crickets. Just put the worms in a feeding container with the dry food mixed with wheat germ the night before you are going to feed them so they gut-load themselves.

Feeder insects should be constantly constantly gut-loaded for the best health of your herp

Cricket GUTLOAD Ingredients Sites

http://www.turtlecafe.netLink will open in a new window. prickly pear, calcium, calcium and kelp will open in a new window.  specifically prickly pear cactus will open in a new window. Bee Pollen will open in a new window. will open in a new window. eggs will open in a new window. you have to look but many of the items are here will open in a new window. Spirulina (you may have to do a search but it's here) will open in a new window. USDA database to research gutload ingredients

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