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Re: Question about silk worms and silk chow

PostPosted: Sun May 26, 2019 10:21 am
by kingofnobbys
JumpinJellyfish wrote: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?


When the worms are very small, the fras is like powder so I simply place the leaves (or chow) on paper toweling and simply replace food as needed and the paper toweling every few days (being careful to not harm the very delicate / fragile baby worms.

When bigger than 10mm I move to a 4L tub and do as indicated below.
A bit of plastic mesh cut to size with ends bent to keep the mesh off the bottom of the tub (which has a layer of paper toweling on it to help soak of moisture and fluids when silkworm expel their stomachs in preparation to pupate.
I used little short bits of paper toweling carbboard roll tube (squashed to make an oval about 10-15mm high to keep the mesh middle from sagging.
I also disperse short lengths of carddoard tube through the leaves or to drape chow sheets (about 3mm thick) over. Assists with good air flow and gives the big worms somewhere to form cocoons.

Works a treat. Some worms will crawl through the hexagon shaped holes and mingle with bits of leaf that drop through , but so long as you remove the fras each day (when the leaves are replaced or chow topped up / replaced and no mold is allowed to form the worms will be fine.
This is very similar to the stuff I use : https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/GUTTER-MESH ... Swy7lcutur
there's plastic mesh with smaller holes around , but I can't be bothered hunting it down since what I do seems to work and has been successful for me for several years now.

BTW I never make up more than 3 or 4 batches of 32g of chow (powder) make chow paste snags at a time and keep the chow that's been nuked and set as snags wrapped in clingwrap and simply unwrap and slice off short sections that I press flat between two sheets of cling wrap as needed.

Re: Question about silk worms and silk chow

PostPosted: Sun May 26, 2019 10:48 am
by kingofnobbys
kmwilson042182 wrote: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.

Kyle


Yep , nuking the chow is a fragrant process.

So is blanching fresh mulberry leaves prior to freezing them.

With the newly hatched silkworms , I've discovered they do best with the really new smaller tender mulberry leaves ( or failing that if out of season , chow made into very thin soft sheets ).
The baby worms will eat the soft stuff and leave the leaf superstructure.

The older mulberry leaves that are very dark green are also tougher (hard cell membrane walls) , these I use once the worms are bigger than 10mm long.

Re: Question about silk worms and silk chow

PostPosted: Sun May 26, 2019 1:19 pm
by JumpinJellyfish
kingofnobbys wrote: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?

When the worms are very small, the fras is like powder so I simply place the leaves (or chow) on paper toweling and simply replace food as needed and the paper toweling every few days (being careful to not harm the very delicate / fragile baby worms.

When bigger than 10mm I move to a 4L tub and do as indicated below.
A bit of plastic mesh cut to size with ends bent to keep the mesh off the bottom of the tub (which has a layer of paper toweling on it to help soak of moisture and fluids when silkworm expel their stomachs in preparation to pupate.
I used little short bits of paper toweling carbboard roll tube (squashed to make an oval about 10-15mm high to keep the mesh middle from sagging.
I also disperse short lengths of carddoard tube through the leaves or to drape chow sheets (about 3mm thick) over. Assists with good air flow and gives the big worms somewhere to form cocoons.

Works a treat. Some worms will crawl through the hexagon shaped holes and mingle with bits of leaf that drop through , but so long as you remove the fras each day (when the leaves are replaced or chow topped up / replaced and no mold is allowed to form the worms will be fine.
This is very similar to the stuff I use : https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/GUTTER-MESH ... Swy7lcutur
there's plastic mesh with smaller holes around , but I can't be bothered hunting it down since what I do seems to work and has been successful for me for several years now.

BTW I never make up more than 3 or 4 batches of 32g of chow (powder) make chow paste snags at a time and keep the chow that's been nuked and set as snags wrapped in clingwrap and simply unwrap and slice off short sections that I press flat between two sheets of cling wrap as needed.


Thank you! I'll see if I can put together a similar system.

Re: Question about silk worms and silk chow

PostPosted: Sun May 26, 2019 11:08 pm
by kingofnobbys
Here are some photos of the way I'm keeping the last of my large silkworms (moved them back into a 1L food tub from the 4L tub as the leaves as I'm down to about 20 big worms now)

mesh in 1L tub
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typical leaf
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big worms in tub
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note the vertical alignment of the bits of leaf - aids air flow and prevents worms from drowning each other when they start forming cocoons and eject their stomachs, also ensures fras falls through mesh rather than accumulating on bits of leaf.
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I'm not letting any worms form cocoons at the moment as I have literally 10s of thousands of eggs in ziplock bags in the fridge and will likely never hatch all of them , some are have been there for 12 months or longer.

lid and rubber bands on tub
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the lid keeps the worms happy and safe, and the rubber bands prevent accidents and helps with air circulation when I stack my tubs in a bigger tub.

More information here on how I farm my silkworms. viewtopic.php?f=76&t=222193

This same system I use for my crickets (which I sub-out from 1000 crickets order (arrives in a bag in a box or in a mailer tube) into smaller lots of 80 to 100 crickets per old recycled / reused Piscus Cricket tub ( it's my cricket quaranteen system ) - this way if any crickets are sick, I don't loose every one of them but might loss 3 or 4 tubs of crickets in a tub pandemic / die-off.

So I have currently
about 200 eggs to hatch soon (took out of fridge on weekend)
about 75 - 100 sml - medium silkworm in another 1L tub munching on leaves
and the last of my big silkworms (feeding out 4 per day , two each day to Caesar (who's a silkworm junkie ATM , he was a cricket junkie but suddenly decided he only wants silkworms), one each to George & Mildred).

I also have medium crickets (about 1000 arrived a week ago)
BSLF (about 100 g of large size)
Mealworms (for the water skink)
Superworms (for treats for the BTs and my dragons when they are older and bigger)

Ordered about 100 large woodies (roaches) to try my big boy Caesar on , since he's decided he no longer wants to eat crickets , if he turns his nose up at them (he's become a silkworm junky - only bug he wants to eat right now is silkworms - loves them (he's happily smash 4 large worms in a sitting but I'm restricting him to 2 per sitting in the hope he'll come around to the crickets again) , I'll simply offer them to the skinks and use some to start off a Woodie colony.

Re: Question about silk worms and silk chow

PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2019 10:41 pm
by BeardieSmaug
Well,

I bought 100 small worms about month ago.

It's been fun raising them :D

I feel like they are pets now... every time I feed an adult one to my beardie I feel bad now lol.