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How to breed wood roaches (Woodies)

Discussion in 'Diet and Feeding' started by bushy, Aug 20, 2010.

  1. bushy

    bushy Hatchling Turtle

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    Central Coast, NSW
    I was wondering if anyone knew how to breed wood roaches or other insects that are easy to save on food bill.
     
  2. Daniel

    Daniel Adult Turtle

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    A wood roach colony is very easy... I have one going and it is more then enough for the chicken, turtles, birds, lizards and hermit crabs.


    All you need is:
    • 60ltr tub
    • egg cartons
    • woodies
    • fluon or vaseline
    • carrots
    • dog food
    • A heat pad (optional)
    Setup the tub by stacking a number of egg crates on top of each other, doesn't matter how many you have but having a lot helps. Then apply a THIN layer or fluon or vaseline around the top. This keeps the woodies in as they can not climb over it. It's important to have this as you need to keep the lid off to provide ventilation (humidity a big killer).

    Then just provide carrot or potato for moisture and dry dog food for them to eat. No water is needed as they will drown in it and it will the raise humidity. If you want, you can throw in kitchen scraps for variety.

    If you live in a very cold climate and want them to breed over winter, then a heat pad will keep them breeding.

    Once the tub is set up buy about 100 or more woodies. I bought 100 woodies for only $6.95, don't buy from pet shops as they are a lot more expensive. Online is always cheapest.

    After the woodies are in you have to wait. It can take up to 3 months to start a continuous breeding cycle but once it happens, they breed very fast. The breeders are the woodies with wings.

    The good thing about woodies is they live up to a year and breed better with less care.

    Hope all gos well with your woodies!
    Definitely a money saver!

    Daniel:)
     
  3. BradW

    BradW Adult Turtle

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    That sounds like a good setup you have there Daniel, I think I might try it & see how I go.
    Brad
     
  4. Craig

    Craig Founding Member/Administrator/Public Officer
    Staff Member Gold Level Supporter

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    I have also been breeding woodies for almost 15 years now, and have never had to buy any in that time. I have 3 colonies like the one pictured below. Old pizza cartons and egg cartons are great for an additional source of food and somewhere for the woodies to hide. Wood shavings in the bottom of the container will provide good hiding and breeding areas for them as well.

    Pumpkin can also be used as a source of moisture instead of carrots.

    I use packing tape around the top of the dive tub covered in Vaseline to stop the woodies escaping. I've heard that fluon is carcinogenic.

    I also use the dive lids with the plastic cut out and replaced with metal fly screen to prevent escape as well. Ventilation is very important and you shouldn't use a solid lid or too much humidity will build up which can destroy your colony.

    pic001.jpg
    pic003.jpg
    pic006.jpg
    pic004.jpg
     
  5. enragedinfidel

    enragedinfidel Adult Turtle

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    Excellent, that seems really easy to set up. Now to get permission from my girlfriend (she runs and screams whenever she even sees a cockroach so this may be difficult.)
     
  6. Craig

    Craig Founding Member/Administrator/Public Officer
    Staff Member Gold Level Supporter

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    You just have to explain that they're bush wood roaches, not cockroaches. Even I cannot stand Cockroaches.
     
  7. enragedinfidel

    enragedinfidel Adult Turtle

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    I am not quite sure that will make a difference.
     
  8. Shellshocked

    Shellshocked Sub-Adult Turtle

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    If the breeder woodies have wings do they have the ability to fly out of the breeding box?
     
  9. Daniel

    Daniel Adult Turtle

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    I've never had any "fly" but I have had a couple that flutter when they fall.
     
  10. Bec

    Bec Sub-Adult Turtle

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    I have woodies breeding under my fridge after I dropped a box in my kitchen! (:dontknow)

    But of course I can't feed them to my turtles because I can't guarantee they are not contaminated.

    I am now very keen to set myself up a breeding box!

    Another trip to Bunnings in now on the cards... Lucky I get family discount! :rolleyes:

    Bec.
     
  11. steve.w

    steve.w Juvenile Turtle

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    I believe there's a way to see if they are female or have eggs or ???
    i.e. should I just grab any one to feed the turtles or try to avoid the females?

    They do smell a little musky and when you grab them they squirm just as much as a real cockroach. :)
     
  12. enragedinfidel

    enragedinfidel Adult Turtle

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    I plan to catch them with a fork.
     
  13. bushy

    bushy Hatchling Turtle

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    Not one of my turtles touched any of the wood roaches I put in the tank tonight.

    I dropped 10 in and the fish ate them and the turtles just swam past them.
     
  14. Bec

    Bec Sub-Adult Turtle

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    Remind me never to come to your house for dinner.... :p
     
  15. Daniel

    Daniel Adult Turtle

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    Not sure how to tell females from males but to avoid feeding the ones with eggs, don't feed the ones with wings. These are your breeders so it's best to keep them.
     
  16. Brian Mercer

    Brian Mercer Adult Turtle

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    I think I need to buy some more to get the breeding off the ground. I recently put some fly wire in my lid but may have been too late as I have had so many dead. What are the little maggots that are in with them?

    I thought to catch some I would just shake an egg container into a container then pop it in the freezer for 30 minutes to slow them down before feeding the turtles.

    All sounds good just have to breed some to catch. :laugh:

    Brian.
     
  17. enragedinfidel

    enragedinfidel Adult Turtle

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    :D I think I may have to have a dedicated roach catching fork. lol
     
  18. jas

    jas Hatchling Turtle

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    I have been breeding them for a few years now but it is taking them about 9 months to get a bit of size on them, does anyone know how to speed up their growth?
     
  19. Craig

    Craig Founding Member/Administrator/Public Officer
    Staff Member Gold Level Supporter

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    Yes, feed them a good grade dog kibble like Supercoat and put the tub on a heat mat set to 25degrees. C.

    Make sure you give them plenty of carrot and pumpkin for moisture.
     
  20. *kimi*

    *kimi* Juvenile Turtle

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    I just wanted to add a few things about breeding woodies.

    I can't stand touching them so I use disposable gloves.....this gives a lot more control when trying to catch them.

    Another benefit of using the screen lid is that you keep unwanted bugs out!

    Sawdust/wood shavings are great for the bottom of the colony, as Craig said, because it keeps them nice and dry.

    Lastly, the screen lid is easy to make - all you do is get some metal fly screen and a hot soldering iron and just gently press the screen into the plastic.....as you could see in the pic, Craig did 3 rows to ensure that there were no gaps that the roaches could get out of.