We have a breeding colony of crickets in our lab (for Hyla versicolor food) and we have a really simple set up: rubbermaid tubs with a few holes drilled in the lids with one or two egg crates inside for the crickets to hide in. You might also want to put a strip of clear packing tape around the inside a few inches up to keep the crickets from climbing all the way up the walls of the container. We put in a small dish of cat food with powdered cricket chow on top every 3 days, and give the crickets one or two baby carrots and some cabbage every 2 days (for water). We change out and wash the bins once a week. This is a very clean and easy way to keep them. If you have a tub of adults you want to breed, just put a few deli cups full of moist vermiculite in and the females will deposit the eggs there. After about a week remove the cups, stick a lid on them, and keep them in a warm dark place until they hatch. We keep the hatchlings/pinheads in the same setup as adults, but also add a small vial of water with cotton in the end for extra water.
I used to farm crickets when I was breeding Old World Chameleons.
One thing I need to warn you of is the noise, the smell, and the cost. Crickets will cannibalize each other readily if there is not ample food and water available. You will have multiple escapes, and the males will sing constantly every night. Cricket feces exudes an odor in large numbers that cannot be described. Their food is pretty easy, just about anything, but it quickly goes to rot even with the best husbandry practices in place.
For a home hobbyist, I would recommend one of the many cricket delivery subscriptions you can get if you need that large of an amount.
The "noise" never bothered me, as I think it's pleasant, but I don't much care for the smell. I've thought of trying to get a colony going too, but I end up just buying 500 or so once a month at the local reptile swap meet, and then keeping them fed and watered in a large bin while I slowly feed them off. I've had feeder crickets lay eggs in tropical scorpion terrariums, though, and found myself with pinheads quite inadvertently....
Even with the best care, the smell is something that can linger in a small room for YEARS after you stop keeping crickets if you keep a large number of them and it is STRONG, and they can't seem to get rid of it. And yes, there were escapees, since there were no special cages for them back then. (I am not exaggerating...It's going on 15 years now since I have kept them at my parents' house when I was a teen and it STILL smells in that room.)
I just keep 20-30 at a time in one of those new "Kricket Keepers" that they sell and clean it every time I need to buy new ones and I don't have the smell at my place. (My poor parents have to live with the smell from when we used to keep a lot more there!)
I just wanted to let you know...you might be in for a little more than you bargained for if you decide to keep a lot of them!:lol:
I keep crickets for quiet a few years now,specially for the sound they make.
It,s the Gryllus campestris so the"singing"is mostly during daytime,they are also
slower than the other ones.(easyer to catch for my sally,s)
After they lay't there eggs and died,I just buy new ones.The young ones I feed
to my juveniels.
I clean them every week and then they are not smelling to bath also.