Question about silk worms and silk chow

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Question about silk worms and silk chow

Postby BeardieSmaug » Sat May 11, 2019 1:29 pm

This is my first time getting silk worms, I got 15.
Are silk worms naturally very slow? I think they are the slowest worms iv ever seen. Not even horn worms are this slow, and of course superworms being fast.
But sometimes I see some that are not moving at all, then I poke them and they start moving again. I take a closer look and they sometimes dont appear to be moving their mouths when they eat, but are still facing down on their chow and moving. But sometimes one would be upright, not moving at all, but upright. And as i said, when i poke them (very softly) or move them they start moving again. Horn worms are almost 99% eating non stop, and these are eating most of the time, but some of them are away from the food. I got them 3 days ago, they are still relatively small, so im letting them grow for a week or so. None of them have died, so thats good, means temps are fine and their chow is fine. Which bring me to my next topic:
They came with their silk chow already mixed and in there for them to eat, but they also gave me for free some silk chow to make. The powder. So I followed the instructions to making it, 1 part chow 2 parts hot water, microwave until solid, then refrigerate. The show is semi-wet, but not too wet that its paste, but solid enough to make a ball like play doh. so I laid their chow kind of as their substrate . So just wondering if im doing this right.

Some are growing fast, some slower. The bigger ones turning more white, and smaller ones a bit darker in color. Does this all seem right?
[Click image to enlarge]


Thanks! :)
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Re: Question about silk worms and silk chow

Postby JumpinJellyfish » Sun May 12, 2019 9:10 am

Yes, all normal. They're like tiny little aliens, aren't they? They move and grow slowly, especially compared to hornworms, but oh boy can they eat! Just try to keep their box clean and don't let humidity build up in it.
Never knew I could get so happy about poop, or so comfortable with bugs. :-D
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Re: Question about silk worms and silk chow

Postby BeardieSmaug » Mon May 13, 2019 4:29 pm

JumpinJellyfish wrote:Yes, all normal. They're like tiny little aliens, aren't they? They move and grow slowly, especially compared to hornworms, but oh boy can they eat! Just try to keep their box clean and don't let humidity build up in it.


Thank you!!
One last question: I notice that silkworms, hence their name (duh), actually make silk! Or these weird, white/greyish sticky substance. I assume that is safe for my beardie to eat right? And how about their chow, is it safe for my beardie to accidentally eat a little bit of the silk chow that the worm might be a little bit covered with?

I just fed one to my beardie, and he absolutely LOVED it! im so excited, i cant wait to let them grow big and...put them to their death? (lol sounds cruel) and feed them to my beardie :)

EDIT: And yes, thank you. I;v been cleaning their box every couple of days to get rid of all the feces and apply more chow on the bottom. :) thx for the reply! I think im going to start ordering a lot more, since this 15 will go VERY fast.

I'm so happy, since my beardie is VERY picky with food. Literally only likes collard greens and super worms.. with the very rare dubia roach and squash. So now that im gonna alternate between supers and silk, itll be a much healthier diet :). He is a very good boy when it comes to eating his greens, so i havent been too worried about supers being his staple bug for a while now. But I always gut load (even though supers dont rlly get very 'gut loaded') my supers with squash and carrots, and feed them with the usual multi-vitaming and calcium powder.

[Click image to enlarge]

bonus pic :)
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Re: Question about silk worms and silk chow

Postby CooperDragon » Mon May 13, 2019 7:44 pm

The silk is fine for them to eat. The chow isn't harmful either. It's just a mixture of mulberry leaves in I think (that's what silk worms eat).
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Re: Question about silk worms and silk chow

Postby kmwilson042182 » Tue May 14, 2019 11:46 am

If you do decide to go silks as a sort of staple, which I highly recommend, check out ordering them as eggs and hatching and raising them to feeder size. I started buying the actual worms some time back, and after a few goes at that and learning the care started buying the eggs. You can get 1,000 eggs for under $20 and they are very easy in my opinion to raise. I do use a still air incubator to hatch, but I don't think it's necessary. Just avoid touching them at all costs. When they go still and raise their heads, that means they are about to shed. They do it a lot. When I want to check to see if they are alive I blow on them softly and they wiggle around. If you want to know more about starting from eggs, let me know I'd be glad to answer any questions. Working on breeding the moths now and getting my own eggs. Just recently had about a dozen moths hatch, my adult male thought the moth was the greatest thing ever besides maybe a hornworm. Pretty amusing to watch although I understand they aren't that nutritious.

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Re: Question about silk worms and silk chow

Postby BeardieSmaug » Tue May 14, 2019 4:27 pm

kmwilson042182 wrote:If you do decide to go silks as a sort of staple, which I highly recommend, check out ordering them as eggs and hatching and raising them to feeder size. I started buying the actual worms some time back, and after a few goes at that and learning the care started buying the eggs. You can get 1,000 eggs for under $20 and they are very easy in my opinion to raise. I do use a still air incubator to hatch, but I don't think it's necessary. Just avoid touching them at all costs. When they go still and raise their heads, that means they are about to shed. They do it a lot. When I want to check to see if they are alive I blow on them softly and they wiggle around. If you want to know more about starting from eggs, let me know I'd be glad to answer any questions. Working on breeding the moths now and getting my own eggs. Just recently had about a dozen moths hatch, my adult male thought the moth was the greatest thing ever besides maybe a hornworm. Pretty amusing to watch although I understand they aren't that nutritious.

Kyle


Thank you. i'll look into that. I did realize that ordering them 25 count at a time is expensive in the long run.
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Re: Question about silk worms and silk chow

Postby claudiusx » Tue May 14, 2019 6:00 pm

I too buy the eggs and hatch them.
I am contemplating letting a few grow out and trying to breed the moths. Haven't decided yet. There really isn't that much info out there on how to do it. At least when compared to other feeders.

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Re: Question about silk worms and silk chow

Postby kmwilson042182 » Tue May 14, 2019 6:16 pm

Yeah it is definitely hard to find solid info on how to breed them but I have researched quite a bit and through trial and error now have moths. It’s really about keeping a very sterile environment for them and if you do that and just keep feeding them they eventually spin a cocoon. I carefully move the cocoons once they are spun and place them all in a container on paper towels. This last batch I moved I only had a 50% hatch rate so far but a couple more hatched today. When the males come out of the cocoon they shoot out some pheromone stuff (you can see it on the paper towel). The pheromone attracts the female and they mate. They attach to each other like love bugs. Once they do that you can detach them and put a toilet paper roll over the female and she will lay her eggs in a perfect little circle on the paper towel. You don’t even have to detach them though you can leave them attached and do the same thing from my understanding. This is where I am at in the process and what I’m working on. Definitely a trial and error thing, but if I can get free silkworms I’m all in lol. The eggs in my incubator right now are tiger striped silks so I am gonna go real hard at trying to get eggs from them. Assuming my baby beardy doesn’t eat all 1,000 of them I would like to let like 50-100 cocoon.

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Re: Question about silk worms and silk chow

Postby BeardieSmaug » Tue May 14, 2019 10:26 pm

Thank you guys!!
I'm gonna buy eggs from mulberryfarms.

Talk about stench!! When making the silk chow..my goodness, lol. I'v done it at night when people are asleep. And leave windows open. But man, stench for a few hours in the kitchen, lol. Any advice on how to reduce the smell? It's mainly when I put it in the microwave for a min, as the instructions say (1 part chow 2 parts hot water, microwave, refrigerate)
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Re: Question about silk worms and silk chow

Postby kmwilson042182 » Wed May 15, 2019 3:13 am

Ha! Yeah it is a strong smell. I haven’t noticed it linger that long though. When in season you can also order Mulberry leaves and avoid the chow. If you can find a tree in the wild, you can also get them free food. One place I know that does sell leaves is TC insects. I have also seen bundles of leaves for sale on EBay too. I will say the tiny hatchling worms do better on the chow at first cause their mouths are so small they can have trouble eating a regular mulberry leaf. But once they are a little larger they mow through those leaves no problem.

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Re: Question about silk worms and silk chow

Postby claudiusx » Wed May 15, 2019 5:00 am

Yeah stunk up my house for a day too. Almost made me not want to do it anymore lol.

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Re: Question about silk worms and silk chow

Postby JumpinJellyfish » Wed May 15, 2019 2:44 pm

BeardieSmaug wrote:Thank you guys!!
I'm gonna buy eggs from mulberryfarms.

Talk about stench!! When making the silk chow..my goodness, lol. I'v done it at night when people are asleep. And leave windows open. But man, stench for a few hours in the kitchen, lol. Any advice on how to reduce the smell? It's mainly when I put it in the microwave for a min, as the instructions say (1 part chow 2 parts hot water, microwave, refrigerate)


After making Repashy Bug Burger, the silkworm chow smells positively delightful to me! 🤣
I make the chow in small batches, like 1/8 c. Chow/ 1/4 c water, so maybe that helps?
In any case, if you put a mug of water with some lemon juice into the microwave after and boil that for a minute or two that should help battle the food smell.
Never knew I could get so happy about poop, or so comfortable with bugs. :-D
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Re: Question about silk worms and silk chow

Postby BeardieSmaug » Fri May 24, 2019 10:22 pm

JumpinJellyfish wrote:
BeardieSmaug wrote:Thank you guys!!
I'm gonna buy eggs from mulberryfarms.

Talk about stench!! When making the silk chow..my goodness, lol. I'v done it at night when people are asleep. And leave windows open. But man, stench for a few hours in the kitchen, lol. Any advice on how to reduce the smell? It's mainly when I put it in the microwave for a min, as the instructions say (1 part chow 2 parts hot water, microwave, refrigerate)


After making Repashy Bug Burger, the silkworm chow smells positively delightful to me! 🤣
I make the chow in small batches, like 1/8 c. Chow/ 1/4 c water, so maybe that helps?
In any case, if you put a mug of water with some lemon juice into the microwave after and boil that for a minute or two that should help battle the food smell.



Thank you, I'll try the water with lemon juice to mask the smell :)
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Re: Question about silk worms and silk chow

Postby JumpinJellyfish » Sat May 25, 2019 8:12 am

I'm only on my 2nd (purchased as worms) batch. Those of you who raise them, how do you keep them separated from their poop? I have used the plastic mesh they come with, but they go right through the holes and hang out in the poop pile. I tried a mesh with smaller holes, but they're too small and don't let the poop fall through. Oy. I tried making a pod cup, but the food doesn't gel solidly enough to stay put at the top (bottom of cup, but cup upside down). I'm afraid tp try raising from eggs until I can at least manage to keep the worms properly. I clean the poop out every day and the worms grow and thrive, but I really want them to not camp in the poop. Ideas?
Never knew I could get so happy about poop, or so comfortable with bugs. :-D
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Re: Question about silk worms and silk chow

Postby claudiusx » Sat May 25, 2019 9:02 am

I would like to know what others do too.

I just keep them in a plastic container and once or twice a week I remove the worms and clean out the mess. It's been working fine it's just kind of annoying lol. Especially since they spread their silk everywhere and the poo gets stuck to it and they all get stuck to it.

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