Hatching Silkworms... WHAT was I thinking???

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
They said hatch your own silks... I said sureeeee why not. I gotta get the full Cham keeper experience right?

OMG so I have eggs probably 100 of them. They have been sitting out and I have been waiting for them to hatch... looked today and saw some microscopic dust looking thing... I was like hmmm. Then it moved ever so slightly....

THESE THINGS ARE TINY! LIKE WHAT DID I GET MYSELF INTO? This is a pic zoomed all the way in... The wood thing... NO that is not a branch that is a dang tooth pic.


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Rlc1994

Chameleon Enthusiast
Haha I’ll be in the same situation soon. I’ve been growing big silks for about a month now and some are just starting to cocoon. Matt ended up giving me eggs in the package with my chameleon very nice gesture by him. I was asking him how he handles his babies because I’m nervous on squishing them because they really are tiny! He told me he gets a piece of paper towel and rolls the tip into a fine point to transfer them. Sounds simple enough haha but man idk those things are TINY! 589EDEA7-FD3C-4BCA-A3B5-7E8B957A123E.png
 

Tony_S

Chameleon Enthusiast
Wow I knew they were small, but I didn't think they were that small until I saw it next to a toothpick. How many weeks does it take before they are big enough to feed to say a 3-5 month old chameleon? I was planning on trying this when I got my little guy.
 

Multivitamins

Avid Member
I ordered a batch of eggs and failed miserably. I support any people local to San Diego who raise their own bugs and have a special place in my heart for people with the skill and patience and time to raise silkies as they are increasingly difficult to find. Buying horn worms is a crap shoot as well. The 25 count at stores is expensive but not as bad buying a single worm at 1$ often times they just grow too quick and since it's not a staple feeder many go to waste and end up pupating. I have had luck pupating horn worms to moths but no luck getting eggs from them. At 1$ a worm at stores I'd love to find a cheaper plug for horm worms locally.
 

Tony_S

Chameleon Enthusiast
Yep, I might have missed a few feedings over the holiday and slowed them down a bit but their growth should escalate from here. Full size by 6-8 weeks maybe. I haven't done this for a while. I'm doing batches of ~250 started each week. I'm working with about a thousand now.
How much food cost does a 250 worm batch eat in the 6 weeks needed to raise them to feeder size. I was thinking of doing the same thing and just keep a weekly rotation going of 250 worms.

So I would have the cost of 1500 eggs plus (6 weeks worth of food, X 6 continues batches).

I think that calculation is correct.
 

snitz427

Chameleon Enthusiast
How much food cost does a 250 worm batch eat in the 6 weeks needed to raise them to feeder size. I was thinking of doing the same thing and just keep a weekly rotation going of 250 worms.

So I would have the cost of 1500 eggs plus (6 weeks worth of food, X 6 continues batches).

I think that calculation is correct.
I think 1/2lb of dry chow might get you close... they can really eat a lot once they get to 3-4 weeks old. I was going through a bag of chow every other day with 1000!!!!
 

snitz427

Chameleon Enthusiast
I highly recommend using the netting technique to move most of them in the first few weeks. Moving them by hand sucks. Or, alternatively, give them the smallest pieces of food possible, keep the lid off, and let it dry out between feedings. This minimizes the risk of mold but also minimizes how often you actually need to move them. At that size the poop is so tiny it almost instantly dries out... so you can easily shake it to a corner without disturbing the babies.
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
Haha I’ll be in the same situation soon. I’ve been growing big silks for about a month now and some are just starting to cocoon. Matt ended up giving me eggs in the package with my chameleon very nice gesture by him. I was asking him how he handles his babies because I’m nervous on squishing them because they really are tiny! He told me he gets a piece of paper towel and rolls the tip into a fine point to transfer them. Sounds simple enough haha but man idk those things are TINY! View attachment 238980
I will have to try this... because dang it is hard lol.
 

CamoChameleonsHuman

Chameleon Enthusiast
Haha isn't it fun!!! No I totally hate dealing with silks. Not only can you not touch them but they're finacky and take forever to grow! Someone needs to make a silkworm that grows at the rate of a hornworm for real! @jamest0o0 make me a hybrid Pronto! Or after the baby and moving thing settles that works too.

So what I do is put them in a dish with a ventilated lid and place them by one of my basking bulbs. They like humidity too so this is basically the only humid spot in my house. Up to a week later you'll have babies. I put a little chow in the center and the next day a new piece next to that one, and the next day a new piece next to that one but also starting to take old uneaten pieces away. I do this for a week and they just crawl piece to piece. By the time I see white I put them in a larger (hornworm type) with a bunch of food and let them go to town for a couple days. Always keeping by the lights.

Check on food and worms themselves every couple days. They will spin a silk/poop mattress and tangle themselves in them so every few days you need to untangle them or they kill themselves lol.
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
Haha isn't it fun!!! No I totally hate dealing with silks. Not only can you not touch them but they're finacky and take forever to grow! Someone needs to make a silkworm that grows at the rate of a hornworm for real! @jamest0o0 make me a hybrid Pronto! Or after the baby and moving thing settles that works too.

So what I do is put them in a dish with a ventilated lid and place them by one of my basking bulbs. They like humidity too so this is basically the only humid spot in my house. Up to a week later you'll have babies. I put a little chow in the center and the next day a new piece next to that one, and the next day a new piece next to that one but also starting to take old uneaten pieces away. I do this for a week and they just crawl piece to piece. By the time I see white I put them in a larger (hornworm type) with a bunch of food and let them go to town for a couple days. Always keeping by the lights.

Check on food and worms themselves every couple days. They will spin a silk/poop mattress and tangle themselves in them so every few days you need to untangle them or they kill themselves lol.
Ok I am already over it after just reading this. It is about 70 degrees in the house should I set them up on the t5? it is about 85 there.
 
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