Coastal Silkworms Ordering

DayneDavis

Member
So i just made my first order from coastal silkworms. I order 500 silkworm eggs and a 1/2 pound of the silkworm food powder. I was planning on keeping the eggs in a cooler and hatching them off a little at a time since I only have one 10 month old Jacksons, but I was recently warned that because I didn't also order to put them on ice this may kill them. Since it is pretty cold do you think I should go ahead and try to keep them in a cooler and hatch them off when needed, or should I hatch them all and try to feed 500 to my chameleon, or should a hatch say about 1/4 to 1/2 of them and chance the others in a cooler? Also for future purchases is giving up the free shipping and getting the ice pack worth it? Any advice to a beginner with coastal silkworms is appreciated!
 

ridgebax1

Established Member
They are going to come glued to the Petri dish so you will have to hatch them all out at one time. I am not sure what you mean by giving up free shipping and getting an ice pack? Generally the benefit to ordering eggs is you don't have to worry about the weather during shipping. I got an order of 500 and just stuck it in the fridge. The first time I got eggs by the time the worms got big enough to feed off, I only had a dozen or so survive.
Depending on how successful you are in raising the worms you may want to let some cocoon and mature into moths which will supply you with your own eggs.
One thing I did not know is the worms have no immune system so handling them with your bare hands is a no no and for the most part the less you mess with them the better off they are. I only touch the worms I have now when pulling them out to feed off.
Pigglett79 has a blog with a lot of information about silk and hornworm breeding and care.
 

DayneDavis

Member
If you just buy the eggs you get free shipping but if you want to get the $7 dollar ice pack so you can put them in the refrigerator you also have to pay for shipping.
 

ridgebax1

Established Member
I just ordered the plain eggs. Perhaps someone more knowledgeable could advise you about the cold pack. I think the cold pack may be for shipping during the summer months when high temps could start hatching before the eggs arrived at their destination. So I think it will be OK without it.
 

pssh

Avid Member
Even though the outside temps are cold, you never know what temps the package is exposed to. It could be quite warm at one particular stop along the way. It might be okay to throw them in the fridge, but it's also possible that they were exposed to warm temps long enough that they have broken the diapause. If you don't want to hatch them all at once on this order, I personally would do what you suggested and keep 1/2 out and throw 1/2 in the fridge/cooler (and see how that goes.) Otherwise, I suggest only ordering enough to hatch out, or buy a lot and get the ice pack option just in case. Try raising these first though so you know if you will want to buy bigger orders in the future.
 

DayneDavis

Member
thanks for all the replies! I just am trying to find an economical way to expand the diet of my jacksons from crickets and occasional wild bug treats to a more consistently varied diet.
 

pssh

Avid Member
I can't breed squishy worms for the life of me, so I stick to stuff that I can do and leave the silks/horns to treats. Butterworms are nice because they can be chucked in the fridge for 4 plus months (and they are always a huge hit, even with my pygmies.) I also always have supers, buffalo worms, and mealworms, at least 3 different kinds of roaches, and frequently mantids. I also get Phoenix worms once in a while and feed them to smaller chams or let them turn into flies. I also get blue bottle flies sometimes (the worms/spikes keep in the fridge nicely.)

Mine seem to be quite happy with constant roaches, various hard worms, baby mantids, and crickets, and then treats of other stuff whenever a I can get them. If it can be put in the fridge, I buy enough for several months, and with other stuff, I buy enough for a month or so. If you can have 5 constant different feeders, that would be great. Then just use other feeders as you can.
 

Kate

Established Member
I'm in the UK and I received 1000 eggs last week .the temp was around 4c they just came loose in a poly bag. Tipped enough into a container to hatch and put the rest in the salad drawer of fridge.i now have around 170 little sqirmers in the incubator. Hope that helps.:)
 

Cap10Squirty

New Member
I'm in the UK and I received 1000 eggs last week .the temp was around 4c they just came loose in a poly bag. Tipped enough into a container to hatch and put the rest in the salad drawer of fridge.i now have around 170 little sqirmers in the incubator. Hope that helps.:)
Could you describe the incubator that you have setup? Sounds like you did the smart thing only hatching a portion of them at a time!
 

Kate

Established Member
I use a polystyrene box used to transport tropical fish. Ventilation holes around the sides. Heat mat on the bottom on a thermostat . I place worms, roaches, eggs on top of a baking cooling rack. Works great. Temps here 0c.
 
Kate - I would love to see a picture of that- I live in a big drafty house and I haven't had great luck as a feeder breeder.
 
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