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Thread: Silk worms (Bombyx mori) as feed?

  1. #1
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    Silk worms (Bombyx mori) as feed?

    I used to raise silkworms for the cocoons for spinning, and purchased some eggs raise up again this spring. They tend to be prolific.

    OK to feed a fresh one to a garter, in case I end up with a tiny picky baby that refuses pinkies?

    ZooMed offers them canned and cooked (to soften the exoskeleton, they claim - which in my experience, silkworms don't have; they have a soft skin-like outer cover). Makes me wonder they are even referring to the same worm. For spinners, silk worm raising is presented as a Spring only event, since the wind driven GMO pesticides in tasselled corn will kill them. I'm not seeing any mention of this on the reptile feeder silk worm pages I've been looking at, nor have I yet found a Latin name (Perhaps the powered mulberry food mitigates most of the risk, depending on when the leaves for that product were harvested, or, it is a different worm).

    Anyone know?
    Thanks.

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    Re: Silk worms (Bombyx mori) as feed?

    I don't think garters will take them as prey, you'll probably have to scent them which begs the question. Why feed them(silkworms) when there are so many other foods that are tried and true? I don't think I would feed them anything with an exoskeleton(chitin) softened or not. If they can't digest it, it would lead me to think it could cause more trouble than good. Just my thoughts.
    Steve
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  3. #3
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    Re: Silk worms (Bombyx mori) as feed?

    Thanks. I'll save them for spinning.

    Looking for backup options. This is the desert, so we don't have much in the way of natural and safe earthworms. I was thinking about getting a colony of the night crawlers or the Alabama jumper - worms that can be cultivated. I have numerous tubs of Eisenea foetida (spell?), but I understand they are toxic. The compost piles always seem to have grubs, but they tend to be huge. This area is rural, we don't have much selection of anything in the way of stores. If I should set up guppies, or similar, I'll need to mail order them. We always keep cans of tuna on hand, but the contents tend to be mushy. Not much good for anything but scenting.

    Might be best to wait for an older pair that are accustomed to f/t mice.

  4. #4
    T. radix Ranch guidofatherof5's Avatar
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    Re: Silk worms (Bombyx mori) as feed?

    Walmart near by? They sell Canadian Night Crawlers. Canadian Night Crwalers - Lumbricus terrestris are a very good food source and keep well for a long time.
    Eisenia fetida- Red Worms are toxic and can kill garters or make them sick. I did a little reading on Pheretima hawayanus- Alabama Jumpers and couldn't find any info about them being toxic. Before using them I would do a hard search about them first.
    Steve
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    They are not just snakes. They're garter snakes.
    http://www.youtube.com/user/thamnophis14?feature=mhee

  5. #5
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    Re: Silk worms (Bombyx mori) as feed?

    If you have a Petco or Petsmart nearby they often keep worms in the fridge with mealworms and whatnot.
    I wouldn't be shocked if they were mislabeled red wrigglers so you'd have to be careful and check.

  6. #6
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    Re: Silk worms (Bombyx mori) as feed?

    Quote Originally Posted by guidofatherof5 View Post
    Walmart near by? They sell Canadian Night Crawlers. Canadian Night Crwalers - Lumbricus terrestris are a very good food source and keep well for a long time.
    Eisenia fetida- Red Worms are toxic and can kill garters or make them sick. I did a little reading on Pheretima hawayanus- Alabama Jumpers and couldn't find any info about them being toxic. Before using them I would do a hard search about them first.
    Thanks.

    My info. source listed Alabama jumber as Amynthus gracilus. Yep, more research needed. I'll try to find the Canadians Lumbricus terrestris at WM or PetSmart. I recall reading that they are hard to cultivate, but can't imagine why. Maybe they just reproduce slowly?

    The silk worm eggs arrive today. Thanks to the pet trade, there is much more info on keeping them successfully than I used to be able to find from the few fellow spinners. It is advised to keep them warm high 70F/low 80F while they are still small. Chilly temps may be the reason why my old colony died out the fourth year. I hatched out the eggs as soon as the leaves were out that year. Live and learn. It surprises me how many buggy feeders do better/require warm temps (our adobe house tends to be cold). My mealworm colony has been limping along all winter. It could use a heat mat. I've been contemplating getting a heat tape wired snake rack, and use it just for raising bugs and grubs.

    Finally mentioned the garter project to BF (who thinks we have "enough" snakes. Well, he didn't run off screaming....

  7. #7
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    Re: Silk worms (Bombyx mori) as feed?

    Quote Originally Posted by Distaff View Post
    Thanks.

    My info. source listed Alabama jumber as Amynthus gracilus. Yep, more research needed. I'll try to find the Canadians Lumbricus terrestris at WM or PetSmart. I recall reading that they are hard to cultivate, but can't imagine why. Maybe they just reproduce slowly?
    They are hard to reproduce because they need big deep burrows and cold temperatures. They also seem to refuse to breed after being pulled from their original hole in the wild. At least that's what I've read.
    Distaff likes this.

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