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Silkworms as pets
02-23-2012, 12:21 PM, (This post was last modified: 04-13-2012, 10:44 PM by Ram.)
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Ram Offline
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Bug  Silkworms as pets
When I was kid, I've kept silkworms as pets. Even now, I think they make great pets for little kids.

I still remember how I used to look for mulberry trees all over the neighborhood with other kids (I gave them baby silkworms). When I finally found one, I would get as much leaves as I can in a large plastic shopping bag, then store it in the fridge.

It was fun to watch them eat, and grow, molt the skin, eat, grow again. When they become big, white, and fat, I would make small boxes with hard paper, and stick toothpicks slightly into the bottom. It was exciting to watch them finally making cocoons, some between the toothpicks, some at the corner of the paper box. Once two silkworms even made one single huge cocoon, that was rare.

When they came out of cocoon, the males would go after the female and connect their rear together while vibrate their wings, although they couldn't fly at all. Then they'll lay eggs on the paper, and I would wait for the next generation.

Good old memories!

Anyone else had kept silkworms as pets?

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02-24-2012, 10:48 PM,
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Ram Offline
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RE: Silkworms as pets
I looked it up on Youtube. I was definitely not alone. Silkworms make great pets for little kids who can also learn responsibilities of taking care of other creatures.







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04-30-2012, 02:13 AM,
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Fishbone Offline
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RE: Silkworms as pets
I raised silkworms once, but, they were actually as a feeder insect. They are very high in protein, the calcium:phosphorus ratio is pretty closed to balanced, and they are fairly low in fat. They are cute little buggers though, and the moths are actually cute too. And they contain an enzyme called serrapeptase, which has all kinds of beneficial qualities. There are a number of pharmaceutical companies trying to create synthetic versions of it.
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04-30-2012, 02:52 AM,
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Ram Offline
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RE: Silkworms as pets
You made them sound more delicious than cute. Everything to you is a feeder. :p
Who did you feed the silkworms to?

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04-30-2012, 08:52 AM,
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RE: Silkworms as pets
I've always wondered how difficult it must be to raise multiple types of creatures as pets, and lots of others as feeder food. Surely it must be very time-consuming. In any case, they look like fun little critters to raise. I've never heard of anyone keeping them as pets, though.
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04-30-2012, 11:44 AM,
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Ram Offline
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RE: Silkworms as pets
It is extremely easy to raise silkworm. All you need to do is to put them in a paper box with unlimited supply of mulberry tree leaves. Although you have to use the very young leaves for the newly hatched silkworms, or they won't be able to eat it. As they grow, you need to add more mulberry tree leaves multiple time a day, because they eat like pigs. All it takes is about a month or so for them to start building cocoons. Their life span is short. All they do is to eat, grow, build cocoons, become moths, lay eggs, roll over and die...all in less than 2 months. I feel sorry for them. Life like that must suck, no TV, no internet, no party, etc.
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04-30-2012, 11:57 AM,
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Fishbone Offline
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RE: Silkworms as pets
(04-30-2012, 02:52 AM)Ram8349 Wrote: You made them sound more delicious than cute. Everything to you is a feeder. :p
Who did you feed the silkworms to?

Yeah, maybe I should stay out of the insect forum, and the rodent/small mammal forum Smile That is the one thing to having allot of reptiles. They eat things, lol. I was telling my youngest daughter about how to feed her hamster, reasons why we don't use cat food, etc... And my older daughter says "you know why he knows the best thing to feed them, right? So their more nutritious." LOL.

I feed them to all insectivores. They really might be as close to a perfect food for an insectivore as possible. Coastal silkworms has been dry lately, which hasn't been fun, they are the largest supplier of silkworms in the US. I haven't been able to get silkworms consistently in months.

Here is a good site with lot's good info on the silkworms/silkmoths. There is also some info on wild american silkmoths.

http://wormspit.com/
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04-30-2012, 12:04 PM, (This post was last modified: 04-30-2012, 12:05 PM by Ram.)
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RE: Silkworms as pets
Naw, it is perfectly ok for you to stay in the "feeder" sections, haha!

Silkworms reproduce quickly and easy. All you really need is just one or two mulberry trees in your own yard. A single female can produce hundreds of eggs and it is easy to store, because the eggs would stuck on a piece of paper and you can put them away until the next hatch season. I actually was giving them away in hundreds to my classmates when I was a little kid, because I couldn't keep that many. I started it with only 7. Two of them were female.
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05-01-2012, 10:48 AM,
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RE: Silkworms as pets
I know, I just have to be careful. While I do know allot about how to properly care for and feed many other animals, the conversation always sways towards humane methods of cervical dislocation and ways to make a homemade co2 chamber in a 10 gallon tank or rubbermaid tub...

They actually make a mulberry chow now for the silkworms. You can buy it in bulk in powder form and cook it up your self, or buy it already prepared. It works well raising hornworms too. And yes, it does make them very nutritious... Rolleyes
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05-01-2012, 02:22 PM,
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RE: Silkworms as pets
They are replacing every natural food with "chow". Is it better than fresh picked mulberry leaves?

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05-01-2012, 03:36 PM,
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RE: Silkworms as pets
I don't know that it is "better". But it certainly is good and it works. I used both, and the fresh mulberry leaves took a bit more work.
There are a variety of pre made mulberry foods available now.
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05-02-2012, 01:35 AM,
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Ram Offline
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RE: Silkworms as pets
Pre made mulberry food is something new to me. When did it all start?
Picking mulberry leaves used to be a part of the fun for me. In fact I used to look for mulberry trees with my friends all over the neighborhood when I was a kid. It was like some kind of adventure. Good old memories. Smile
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05-25-2012, 07:11 AM,
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RE: Silkworms as pets
The mulberry food became popular as they became popular as a feeder insect. I really couldn't give an exact date, but it's been more than a few years. It's just dried ground mulberry leaves with a little bit of vitamins added. I've actually got three cocoons now, so I guess I shall let them hatch. Damn male beardie has decided he isn't a large fan of the silkworms any more. The geckos like them, 1 female in particular, but there are only so many those guys can eat Smile
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05-25-2012, 12:56 PM,
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Ram Offline
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RE: Silkworms as pets
Let them hatch, and you can have hundreds eggs if you get just one female out of the 3 cocoons.
Order a mulberry tree too for your yard. Smile You can have unlimited supply of silkworm easily. It really doesn't take much effort.
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05-25-2012, 02:19 PM,
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RE: Silkworms as pets
That's kind of what I was thinking. Except I am not going to buy a tree, it's time to start scouting the nieghborhood Big Grin
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05-25-2012, 02:34 PM,
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RE: Silkworms as pets
(05-25-2012, 02:19 PM)Fishbone Wrote: That's kind of what I was thinking. Except I am not going to buy a tree, it's time to start scouting the nieghborhood Big Grin

Hey be careful lol.
It was ok for us when we were kids. It might not be ok for full grown adult man walking into someone's yard and start picking leaves off a tree. Big Grin
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05-26-2012, 02:18 AM,
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RE: Silkworms as pets
So your saying I shouldn't dress in black and crawl through the neighbors yard? Smilie_sn

Actually I have quite a few county & state parks within easy driving distance. There are quite a few white mulberry, Morus alba, trees around. Those are the trees originally used in China to raise domesticated silkworms. There is also a more native mulberry, the red mulberry, Morus rubra, that is common in the southeastern US. Supposedly those will work as well. I'd rather find a white mulberry if I can, because, well, a few Milena of Chinese silk farming can't be wrong.
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05-26-2012, 02:53 AM,
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RE: Silkworms as pets
my chameleons LOVE to eat silkworms Wink
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05-26-2012, 06:53 AM,
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Ram Offline
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RE: Silkworms as pets
(05-26-2012, 02:18 AM)Fishbone Wrote: So your saying I shouldn't dress in black and crawl through the neighbors yard? Smilie_sn

Actually I have quite a few county & state parks within easy driving distance. There are quite a few white mulberry, Morus alba, trees around. Those are the trees originally used in China to raise domesticated silkworms. There is also a more native mulberry, the red mulberry, Morus rubra, that is common in the southeastern US. Supposedly those will work as well. I'd rather find a white mulberry if I can, because, well, a few Milena of Chinese silk farming can't be wrong.
Don't get shot at. Big Grin

I never knew there are different types of mulberry trees. You can easily plant one. The tree isn't demanding at all. If you are patient, get the seeds. I've seen many small baby mulberry underneath a large tree. Must be from the seeds I saw on the tree.



(05-26-2012, 02:53 AM)amanda509 Wrote: my chameleons LOVE to eat silkworms Wink
As always lol. Lizards people love worms, as pet food. Tongue
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07-02-2012, 05:07 AM,
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RE: Silkworms as pets
Where can you get a silkworm? I'd like to get one, they seem very cool.
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07-02-2012, 09:02 AM,
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RE: Silkworms as pets
(07-02-2012, 05:07 AM)Kronos Wrote: Where can you get a silkworm? I'd like to get one, they seem very cool.

Depending where you are, you can get them at most reptile specialized pet stores. They are sold as feeders, but you can raise them up, and even have the moths breed and hatch the eggs if you want. This is one of the biggest breeders and retailers of silkworms & eggs in the U.S.. You probably won't be able to buy just 1 worm, but they have pretty much everything you need.
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07-02-2012, 11:29 PM,
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RE: Silkworms as pets
I would also like to add that having only one silkworm is quite useless as it will not breed without a mate.

When I was a kid, I got mine from a kid who used to live near my grandma's place. I started out with only 7 silkworms. There were 2 female and 5 male out of the 7, but somehow one female and one male silkworm decided to make a single cocoon together. That extra large cocoon turned out to be too thick and they were unable to chew their way out of it alive. By the time I cut the cocoon open because it was way overdue, the two moths inside were already dead with one clearly a female. So I left with just one female and it laid hundreds of eggs.

The next spring I was able to give away most of the small second generation silkworms to many of my friends.
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