Raising silk worms.......

Crow

New Member
With as many beardies as I sometimes provide for, is it worth raising my own silk worms or is it just as easy to order on line? I am trying to weigh effort against costing. Also, has anyone here ever raised silkworms themselves?
 

Brad

Administrator
Staff member
Excellent question. With the amount of beardies you have, it definitely would be cheaper to raise your own. Raising silkworms is not difficult if you can keep things clean.

To start out, I recommend buying some food/eggs. Feed some to your cham and let the others go through their natural reproductive cycle. This will give you a better idea on what you want to do long term. Unfortunately, they only eat mulberry leaves or 'chow' made from mulberry leaves. So even raising your own would not be completely free.
 

Crow

New Member
Doea anyone have a step by step guide on how to raise silkworm eggs to adults? I think I'm going to try to raise them myself. It looks like it's fairly inexpensive that way I just need to know the correct way to raise them( pretty pics. would even help:D )
 

Brad

Administrator
Staff member
There is a fantastic article on silkworms by lele at the Chameleon News website. Click here for a link. I started to use skilkworms more frequently after reading the article. I have some designs for a better container, but they are currently incomplete.
 

DanielleB

New Member
Crow said:
With as many beardies as I sometimes provide for, is it worth raising my own silk worms or is it just as easy to order on line? I am trying to weigh effort against costing. Also, has anyone here ever raised silkworms themselves?

I bought 250 eggs from California Silkworms.com and they have instructions on their site....anyways....after about 2-3 months I ended up with 15 worms (catepillars?) large enough to feed. I tried ordering adults as well, but most of them end up dying right away I believe from the transport process. My cham loves them, but I can't find a way that is time and cost effective. I am actually starting roaches now which are multiplying nicely, though he doesn't like them as much.
 

Brad

Administrator
Staff member
Sounds like you got some weak worms. If that happens again, you should notify the company you bought them from. This has happened to me. The worms just seem to turn into mush. I usually have no problem with healthy worms.
 

Heika

New Member
Both times I have bought silkworms they have turned to mush pretty quickly. I bought them from 2 different companies, and I think the culprit must be me. I am not going to buy any more for the time being, it seems to be a waste of money. Plus, my cham doesn't really seem to like em a whole lot. He is a cricket guy, I guess. Turns down hornworms and superworms too.
 

Brad

Administrator
Staff member
I would guess that the silkworm problem you had was not your fault. I have had problems with two companies within the past couple months.
 

Heika

New Member
Oh, well maybe it was just bad timing on my part. I will try again in a couple months then. He doesn't seem unhappy with crix, although I wish he would accept a larger variety of other feeder bugs. I did feed him a couple roaches yesterday, and he gobbled them right down. So, when the roaches start breeding, they will become a regular part of his diet. Maybe I will try the superworms again sometime soon.

My sister loves that he is finicky... her bearded dragon isn't, and takes Spencer's rejects happily. I drove 2 containers of hornworms over to her house after leaving them sitting around for too long. They were MASSIVE. I was a bit concerned the bearded dragon wouldn't eat them. Nope, shouldn't have been, he gobbled them right down.
 

Crow

New Member
I purchased about 500 small silkies 6 days ago and they are very healthy and have grown from 1/2" to about 2" that quick. Also bought 10,000 eggs, put them in dishes (250 per) and they all seem to have hatched. So far this company has been 100%. Brad, let me know if I can post the sites name. I don't want to break any Forum rules.
 

Brad

Administrator
Staff member
Sure go ahead. When the topic is relevant, I do not mind people recommending companies they have had good experiences with.

Some businesses will eventually try and take advantage of this. I may have to make specific rules in the future for this sort of thing. Personal attacks on companies will never be tolerated. If anyone ever has a serious complaint or problem with a company, I recommend sending me a private message and contacting the business in question before publicly insulting the company on these forums.
 

zero742

New Member
I'm sort of new to chameleons, so I'm heavily researching every possible avenue for every aspect of chamelon care. I've seen the silkworm pupae that come in a can, like the crickets in a can. How do they compare to live? I would think it would lose some of the nutritional value, sort of like freeze dried fish food as opposed to live(I keep fish, obviously). Let me know your opinion. Thanks in advance.
 

Brad

Administrator
Staff member
Hello zero, welcome to the chameleon forums :)

As far as I know, chameleons are only attracted to live food (moving).
 

zero742

New Member
So I've decided to try silkworms. Please let me know of any companies people have had good experiences with. I've looked around and found a plethera of companies that sell them. Also, I haven't read anything about this, but are you supposed to dust them ala crickets? As a side note, does anyone have any experiences with infrared heat lamps(like for night time). I figure since infrared isn't visible spectrum, a high wattage would throw some good heat and shouldn't disturb the cham's sleep cycle. Let me know what you think. Thanks.
 
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Brad

Administrator
Staff member
For silkworms I have been using mulberry farms recently. I usually just hatch my own eggs and buy food online. You should still use a dusting schedule as you would with crickets.

The winters in my area are very mild, so I usually do not use a heating source. You will probably get better advice from someone who uses them more often. I have noticed that they have the potential of drying out your cham's environment, so you may want to watch out for that.
 

DanielleB

New Member
I have recently bought some from mulberry farms- they look like they are packaged too tight, but I believe it is to stop them from boucing around. Anyways, I opened them up and put them in a box- they are all living! Definately better luck with this company than others. I was esp hesitant about buying some because the avg temps right now hover around 30 F....though it is an extremely warm winter for us.
 

Chamile

New Member
I was just wondering if anyone else has noticed silk worms eating ficus tree leaves. I thought they only eat Mulberry leaves or chow.
 

Brad

Administrator
Staff member
Hello Chamile, welcome to the chameleon forums :)

Silkworms will sometimes eat other plants, but I don't think they will survive long doing so. They definitely will not complete their full life cycle.
 
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