Breeding Silkworms.

hammerhead

Established Member
I couldn't find a thread that discusses breeding silkies from worm to egg. This is what I have done so far.

I cut a few paper towel tubes into 2" pieces.
I glued a piece of paper towel onto one end
I picked out the largest silkworms I had, Most where over 2" long. Ares cant eat them that big. I hate to toss them into the bushes if I can find a use for them.
I placed them all into a small tub with a few paper towels covering it. I will check daily to see which ones have started to spin thee cocoon and flip it over.
I have attached a few pics. If anyone has any ideas to help the process please feel free to post.
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hammerhead

Established Member
That def helps.. I had no clue eggs had to be stored in the fridge for 2 months. The directions on the 1st egg batch I got said to grate the chow. The only way to do that is with dry chow. I think that caused some babies to die.
 

snitz427

Chameleon Enthusiast
That def helps.. I had no clue eggs had to be stored in the fridge for 2 months. The directions on the 1st egg batch I got said to grate the chow. The only way to do that is with dry chow. I think that caused some babies to die.

Idk how anyone grates chow, its too soft. I just flake off the tiniest pieces I can. Like the size of a grain of rice or smaller.

You store them to trick them into thinking they are hatching in the spring. The refridgeration acts like a false winter. You *might* get eggs to hatch during the summer but if not they’ll wait for spring.
 

bobcochran

Chameleon Enthusiast
If they're only 2 inches you have some work to do before they start cocooning. Maybe 3 inches plus. Might as well keep them together for a couple more weeks. Don't make it difficult.
Take a large brown grocery bag and cut the top half off, put all the largest worms in. Feed them all they can eat, in a couple of weeks they will start cocooning inside the bag. the larger the worms get before cocooning the more eggs they will lay. Wait a couple of days for their cocoons to harden, then take another large brown grocery bag, cut the top off and put the cocoons in it, keep them warm and the moths will develop sooner. As soon as the moths have hatched place them in another brown paper bag with the top cut off. The moths will breed and lay their eggs in the paper bag (the eggs adhere to the paper bag) and die soon there after (you can feed off the moths after they breed). All the fertile eggs will turn dark, the white eggs are not fertile. I then cut the paper bag around the fertile eggs to a size that will fit into a zip lock baggie. Write the date on one of the pieces of paper and store in the refrigerator for 2 months. I take out the number of eggs on the paper I want to hatch and keep the rest in the fridge for later use. The eggs are good for at least 2 months in the fridge.
 

hammerhead

Established Member
There all as big as the pics shown in other threads mentioned here. Info in those threads say 2-3" is when they go to spin bins. So unless im reading that wrong im good on size. They are all in the same bin. I made a few changes I put there spin tubes on there sides and put in chow. So when thee ready they can find a tube themselves.

Is grease proof paper the same as Parchment?.
 
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Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
There all as big as the pics shown in other threads mentioned here. Info in those threads say 2-3" is when they go to spin bins. So unless im reading that wrong im good on size. .
With mine unless you could see the vein running down their back pulsing they were not ready to spin. Once I saw the vein that is when they started spinning. Mine were closer to 3 inches.
 

hammerhead

Established Member
All the largest Silkies are in a medium bin with everything they need to spin. They will stay there from now on. What is that black plastic stuff called?
 

snitz427

Chameleon Enthusiast
There all as big as the pics shown in other threads mentioned here. Info in those threads say 2-3" is when they go to spin bins. So unless im reading that wrong im good on size. They are all in the same bin. I made a few changes I put there spin tubes on there sides and put in chow. So when thee ready they can find a tube themselves.

Is grease proof paper the same as Parchment?.

That’s about the size - though it varies. But size isnt what determines when they spin. If they’re still pooping or eating, they arent ready. When deprived of food some may spin within 48 hrs or so, but if not you need to feed them and give them a little more time.
 

snitz427

Chameleon Enthusiast

Neither - you want gutter guard as they are growing, but you wont need it for just a handful of silks. If you get and hatch eggs, the gutter guard will be useful to make it easier to empty the poop and clean the cage. For just a few I would just put them on paper towel and change it when it gets wet or funky.

THERMWELL PRODUCTS VX620 6"x20' Plastic Gutt Guard (2 Pack) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B017L2YKIC/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_Md5fDb3T0SASV
 

hammerhead

Established Member
I checked on the 8 I have in the bin I found 2 that have spun. I took those and put into a separate bin. I was hoping for more to have a better chance of getting both sexes.
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