Too Many Kegos

A friend sent me eggs, and he sent WAY too many. I usually only raise 2 or 3 hundred at a time this late in the season, and I have well over a thousand hatchlings now. Probably close to two thousand. Some of my hatchling trays look like an anthill that somebody kicked.

If anybody would like to have some, I’m happy to give them away. As it is, I’m going to have to start killing off the extras in order to be able to keep them fed.

I have four different strains; two different whites, one with golden yellow cocoons, and one with peach cocoons. I’m in Dallas; I live in Farmers Branch, and work in Market Center.

They need mulberry leaf, but that’s it. The baby ones will need tender leaves. Mulberry is a common trash tree around here, and with a little scrounging it’s not too hard to locate a tree you can trim. If anybody wants more mature ones, they’re welcome to have a few of those, too, but it’s the babies that I’m trying to get rid of.

34 replies
  1. selkie_b
    selkie_b says:

    *pout* it’s going to snow up here this week already. We even have mulberry just down at the park and at a friend’s house. But it’s a bit of a commute down to fetch them from you, and all the trees are loosing their leaves at a great pace.

    One of these years I think I may have to try this.

  2. selkie_b
    selkie_b says:

    I will definately do that… I had a *DOH* moment too… I kept thinking all this time “wtf would I feed them?” *LAUGH* Of course there are TWO types of mulberry around here… *DOH!*

    Like I need another hobby of course – but helping out the monarchs probably gives me a teensy bit of experience – haven’t had one die on me yet!

  3. admin
    admin says:

    The silkworms are much more tame – it’s like the difference between raising sheep, and raising deer. If you don’t have trouble with monarchs, you should be *fine* with silkworms.

  4. sclerotic_rings
    sclerotic_rings says:

    Very seriously, if you ever end up in a situation where you need to cull silkworms, please let me know. They make a wonderful food for most reptiles (including box turtles, one of my specialties), and I’d rather not see them wasted if you had no other options but to get rid of them.

  5. admin
    admin says:

    Right now, the ones that I’m having to cull are TINY – three to four days old. What I’m trying to avoid, is getting to a point where I have thousands of tiny mouths to feed, and not enough leaf. I’ve been cullout out several dozen a day over the past few days, just by leaving behind the lazy ones, etc. – but if you want a few, or a lot, you’re more than welcome to them!

    I have fewer of the larger ones, but you could certainly have some of those as well. My fall crop is usually aimed at seed production, rather than massive amounts of silk – ideally, I want to have about 30 – 50 healthy moths of each type. Right now, I have about 3-400 of each type, and probably a thousand or more of the white ones.

  6. sclerotic_rings
    sclerotic_rings says:

    Even the tiny ones work: those itty bitty ones are still the perfect size for freezing and then feeding to Venus flytraps and other small carnivorous plants. I’m still interested, even if the Czarina looks at me strangely for keeping containers of frozen silkworms in the freezer, but I’d still prefer to be an absolute last resort. After all, if anyone else should be able to take them and use them for silk production, so much the better.

  7. mys_ebrel
    mys_ebrel says:

    i’d be scared to see your reaction to some giant spider.

    i know you are grossed out by the sight of that caterpillar but i found your comment to be exceptionally funny.

  8. admin
    admin says:

    Yeah – particularly if I mention that I’m usually killing them off with hot water, because just tossing them in the trash to starve seems more cruel. 🙂

  9. loveisagypsy
    loveisagypsy says:

    I was just in Dallas Saturday adopting yet another Great Dane. I could KICK myself for not trying to meet up with you somewhere. I guess these guys can’t live in the wild? I’m just curious. My old man has acres and acres but no mulberry tree. I’ll have to look into that. If mulberry trees will grow in Texas, I’ll get one started so we can help you out next time. They’d just be wild pets though 🙂

  10. carbon_scoring
    carbon_scoring says:

    Someday, I’d be wicked keen to try my hand at raising silkworms. I only wish I had the space, time and mulberry now 🙁

    Hope you find good homes for your babies.

  11. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    Oh, they may not be pretty, but…

    I think they have a certain charm to them. And what comes out of them is the amazing thing.

    I’d love to have a couple hundred of them, and I even have an overgrown mulberry trash tree outside my loft… just not sure how to get them from Texas to KC.

    -Ames

  12. admin
    admin says:

    Hee. They’re pretty domesticated – they require hand feeding at least twice, preferably four times, each day. They just die in the wild.

    I wish you’d said something! I could have taken you out for lunch or coffee.

  13. admin
    admin says:

    Re: Oh, they may not be pretty, but…

    Ames,

    There’s no real good way to get them up there, as caterpillars – express mail would work, but it’s so expensive. In the Spring, let me know and I’ll send eggs.

    In related news – I just ordered two kilos of cocoons, so I’ll have 300 of them for you as soon as they get in!

  14. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    Re: Oh, they may not be pretty, but…

    Yahoo!!

    I already made the trip to Home Depot for my pulleys and all the rigging for reeling. Just need to get a crock pot…

    BTW, I’ve got my blog started http://warp-n-woof.blogspot.com/ — so far it’s just my huge rant over having to fix my AVL loom, but I’ll branch out and be much nicer and more interesting soon…

    -Ames

  15. san_simeon_girl
    san_simeon_girl says:

    Re: Oh, they may not be pretty, but…

    Hey, I express-mailed a banana slug and its eggs from Saint Paul, MN to Muir Woods in San Francisco once.

    The slug made its way here via a shipment of salal, a green leaf only grown in the pacific northwest region and commonly used in flower arrangements. My SO, a florist, brought it home to me because he knows of my slug-love 🙂 I tried to keep it, and set it up with a real nice terrarium, but it kept laying eggs, and I knew I couldn’t manage that kind of population… so, I express-mailed it to California.

    Actually, I’ve done that twice now… I’m such a sucker for a slimy face! LOL

  16. san_simeon_girl
    san_simeon_girl says:

    PS–what do you do with them, exactly?

    I mean, I raise cecropias just cuz they’re huge, and pretty, and I like to look at them and then let them go. But you get some actual use out of these worms?

  17. admin
    admin says:

    Re: Oh, they may not be pretty, but…

    LOL. I’ve mailed LOTS of eggs, and even cocoons – but the baby caterpillars are a little fragile. It’s still getting up past 90’F a lot of days here, and I’m afraid they’d roast. Once they’re bigger, they’re more sturdy – but these are five-day old or less caterpillars; it doesn’t take much.

  18. admin
    admin says:

    They do yield silk, although I have to admit, I’ve only sampled with them a little, haven’t made any projects yet.

    If you have empties to get rid of, though, I’d be happy to take some off your hands!

  19. san_simeon_girl
    san_simeon_girl says:

    Sure… when I have a bunch of them, I’ll get your address and send them on 🙂 I only have a few at the moment, I think. I just could never bring myself to dispose of them… I’m glad there’s a use for them!

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