"It got really weird at one point", Jakub Dzamba admits. "When I was sort of... herding them."
Dzamba, a Canadian researcher, is describing the point at which he realised the crickets in his experimental farm had personalities. Observing his bugs intensely and making notes on their preferences, the cricket farmer and PhD student noticed that some preferred their own space, while others would follow the herd. He figured out how to encourage the crickets to move somewhere, rather than manually picking them up to transfer. The realisation translates into significantly lower labour costs when farming on a big scale.
It's these ingenious tweaks and ideas that give Dzamba's Cricket Reactor impressive results. While standard cricket farms (yes, there are a growing number in this booming industry) have a typical monthly yield of 1 pound of edible cricket per square foot, Dzamba says his model can produce 5 pounds. The initial countertop prototype has been developed into a much larger version, which can come pre-fabricated in a cargo container, or be modified to fit into whatever space you have free.
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