coastal silkworm

i finally order from coastal silkworms and found out they are located in jax beach. my chameleons like them but i was wondering if and how should i dust them for the chameleon. i'm feeding the silkworm fresh mulberry leaves straight out of my own yard. iwas wondering if that will provide enough calcuim for them
 

Prism Chameleons

Established Member
jvillereptile said:
i finally order from coastal silkworms and found out they are located in jax beach. my chameleons like them but i was wondering if and how should i dust them for the chameleon. i'm feeding the silkworm fresh mulberry leaves straight out of my own yard. iwas wondering if that will provide enough calcuim for them
That sounds like a question you should send to Coastal Silkworms. I know they eat mulberry leaves as their staple diet, but I have no idea how much calcium is in a Mulberry leaf lol. Coastal Silkworms does provide food at their company for you to feed them. I do know that silkworms eat A LOT.

If you are wondering about the calcium needs for your chameleon, I'd recommend using Rep-cal Calcium D3 for inside chameleons and Rep-cal Calcium without the D3 for outside chameleons on other feeders you might use, such as crickets, etc. Might be easier than trying to figure out the amount of calcium in a mulberry leaf :).
 

herpluv

Member
Buy food for the silkies thats meant for gutload

I would not feed them mullberry leaves as there could be so many different things that could happen such as pesticides, natural poisons etc. I know that some catepillars that are good food sources for chams, must not eat their natural diet because it is actually poisonous to chams(such as ones that eat tomato leaves). Good luck.
 
i dust cricket with repcal calcium with d3 and every other feeding i use miner-all (I) for indoor use. i have to order the repcal calcium with out d3 becuase i plan on letting my chameleon outside during the summer. the mulbery tree i grew myself and i did get the food from coastal it just take a while to prepare for them. and i know mulberry plant are edible. i did just read though that silkworm can cause constipation in some chameleons so i don't plan on feeding mine a lot of silkworms. they will be just a treat for them
 

Prism Chameleons

Established Member
herpluv said:
I would not feed them mullberry leaves as there could be so many different things that could happen such as pesticides, natural poisons etc. I know that some catepillars that are good food sources for chams, must not eat their natural diet because it is actually poisonous to chams(such as ones that eat tomato leaves). Good luck.
Excellent point herpluv.
 

2by2

New Member
Allow me to play devils advocate here.

Its true silkworms natural diet is Mulberry leaves. The chow that coastal and the other silkworm producers sell is made from Mulberry leaves. I do have to strongly agree that if there is any even remote posability that the tree has been exposed to a pesticide of any kind that you do not feed these leaves to your worms. (although even if this were the case, the worms would probably die before you fed them to your cham anyway).
My thought here is that fresh mulberry leaves from a tree that is sucking up all the good vitamins and minerals that the earth has to offer have got to be a great food source. To my knowledge, the chow is just a processed version of these leaves. I have to say that if I had the convenience of a mulberry tree in my back yard......I'd probably be using it. If for no other reason than I think nutritionally, the leaves themselves have to be a better gutload for silkies than the chow is.
 

Heika

New Member
I would love to have access to a mulberry tree. I can't stand messing with the chow, and do a horrid job of raising up silkworms. Everyone says it is easy, but I spend hours at it, picking out old food and carefully laying in new. My last batch grew to about an inch and a half long, and then mysteriously, they all died. It was wayyyyyyy too much effort for that to happen, and I haven't hatched out the other 1000 eggs in the fridge yet. If I can find a mulberry tree in the area, I will. Personally.. I think the pesticide thing probably isn't a huge issue. The leaves can be washed, after all.

Heika
 

2by2

New Member
I have to agree with you. Those little silkies are such a pain when they're small. Once they get bigger, they start eating all the food you put in, but until then....its a nightmare......And dont even think about not removing the old food. If you put new food ontop of old food...you just get mold.....and that kills them all. Man I wish I could just get 20,000 adults for the same price as 20,000 eggs!!

And your right...the leaves have got to be so much more convenient. Why doesn't anybody sell fresh leaves??
 

2by2

New Member
ITS MINE!!! I thought of it first! Now could someone point me in the direction of information on how to start a mass mulberry tree farm? lol. But seriously, I'd definately buy them instead of the chow....the chow drives me nuts at times.
 

Heika

New Member
I would pay good money for a large bag of mulberry leaves too! I think they would probably keep alright in the fridge...?

Heika
 

Brad

Administrator
Staff member
I would use fresh leaves if I had them. Herpluv may have a point though, if an area is known to be sprayed heavily with pesticides it probably would not be a good idea to use those leaves. I have some extra room in the backyard, maybe I should look into planting some :)

I hatch my silkies in a petri dish, usually around 50 eggs at once. When feeding, I use a small narrow strip of chow. When that chow has dried up and it is feeding time, I place another narrow strip next to the previous one. The little worms migrate to the new strips. I only remove old strips when I no longer see worms on it. I never touch the worms until they are large enough to pick up by hand. I know other people do it differently, but I have found this method easier for me. Once they are large enough, I use two different mesh sizes for their flooring. From egg to food for my panther, I usually only touch each worm three times. I have experienced a very high hatching rate (if refrigerated for a couple months) and rarely lose more than a few during the whole process. I owe everything I know about silkworms to lele's article at Chameleon News.
 

2by2

New Member
When hatching out in smaller quanitities like that...it makes life much easier. The problems start when your trying to raise thousands at a time. I do it the same way you do....the problem is, there is never a point where all the worms completely migrate to the new food. There are always a few scragglers that like to make life difficult.....

But your right, I really cant complain to much. They really aren't all that bad. Once you get a process down that works for you....then its basically just maintaining them. The 2 thousand that I usually have going, take me roughly 15 minutes to a half hour every day to maintain in healthy conditions. Its really not all that bad for a food item that healthy.
 

Brad

Administrator
Staff member
2000 :eek:
That is a lot of silkworms! I can see how that could end up being a chore. How many chameleons do you have?
 

2by2

New Member
I know each one of them by name....but as far as exactly how many i have......I'm not exactly sure. I think its 34. But dont quote me on that.
And thats not counting all the babies about to hatch!! Very soon I'm going to be running around here pulling my hair out with a clutch of Sambavas and a couple clutches of Ambilobes. Plus all those babies will make it much easier to raise these silkworms. I'm sure they'll practically eat em all before I grow them big enough to feed to the adults! At least one can only hope.
I try to keep 4 little rubbermaids of about 500 silkies going at a time. (It doesn't always work) lol. 500 big enough to feed until they're gone, and the next batch is big enough. At that point I pull 500 more out of the fridge and start the hole process over for the next batch. The silkies for me are by far the one food item that actually takes a good bit of time to take care of. But the trade off is you get an awsome food item......Its definately worth it.
 

Tara

New Member
plant your own

How about just buying a couple of your own trees and planting them in your yard, for your own use? I don't know anything about Mullberry trees, so maybe it isn't as easy as that. Plus I have a big yard away from town, so the thought seems easy for me. LOL...I need to get my chams first!:D
 
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Brad

Administrator
Staff member
Wow 34! You could put up a sign and start charging for admission. :p

I read something on the internet about a year ago that talked about growing mulberry trees for the sole purpose of silkworms. Unfortunately, I did not get a bookmark. I remember they were growing the mulberry as bushes, and had a few dozen going. The article even had info on how many silkworms one plant could support. I might do a little hunting and see if I can find it again.
 

2by2

New Member
Oh if it were only that easy......

I would have done it years ago. Problem is.....I live in Pennsylvania. If I'm not mistaken, mulberry trees have a tough time making it through central california winters.....let alone constant temps of close to 0.....with snow....and such.

Alas....the life of a northeasterner. lol.
 

2by2

New Member
Funny

Yeah, every time the inlaws come over they say the same thing. "When are you going to start charging the neighborhood kids admission?" For some reason I'm thinking the chams are thanking me for that.
The collection has been stedily growing over the last couple years. I have a goal, and I'm probably about half way there. I have, what I think, is a decent collection of males. I have a few other specific looking males I'd like to get my hands on, and after that....its just stocking up on females. I have somewhere near a 1.2 ratio as of now, but I'd like to make that 1.3 or more eventually. This years clutch calender should go along way in helping with that. Lets cross the ole fingers.

And as for the bushes.....if you find that article I'd love to take a look. Make sure you post a link so us chow feeders can be jelous.
 
i have acess to about five or more mulberry tree the only problem is, is that the root spread out all over the place. can say one thing my silkworm went from 1/4-1/2 to 1-2inches in a day on the fresh leaves. i also got the worm to let kids at the elementary school watch them grow up. the other thing with mulberry trees is that they are easy to root. check out ebay there are people selling mulberry tree and root branches for a great price
 
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