1st instar 2 1/2 days of eating/growth then 1 day of inactivity/no eating before molting
hatch time can really vary depending on the stage you get them. I have been raising silkworms since 2005. With a lot of trial and error. I can now breed my own silk worms and get my eggs to hatch in good numbers but i find it much easier to buy eggs and care for the hatchlings as you raise them to the size you need.. ( silkworm eggs for sale on our feeders page)
As most people will buy eggs instead of breed their own we will say eggs will normally hatch in approximately 1-15 days from the day you receive them unless you have them shipped over night with a cold pack and you refrigerate them if you buy a large amount and plan to refrigerate some keep them at 35f and 80 % humidity most of the time eggs can be stored for up to 3 months like this however the longer you let them stay in the refrigerator the lower the success rate may be.
To Hatch eggs keep eggs between 78-85f and dry you may use an incubator to do this but you will want to pull them out once they start to hatch. If they are kept on the cooler side they will take longer to hatch.
You should wait approximately 24 hours after the first eggs start to hatch to feed them. using a food grater you can grate the mulberry food over them using the small grate at this stage the silkworm is to small to feed to your reptile..
2nd instar 2 1/2 days of eating/growth then 1 day of inactivity/no eating before molting
Newly hatched Silkworm caterpillars are black with big heads and the bodies are covered in tiny black hairs hatch-lings are less than 1/8" long.
We will leave hatch-lings in the petri dish for 1-2 days then start to move them into a larger tub. (you may purchase the containers we use at a local store and vent them yourself or leave the work to us and buy them pre-vented from us on our dry goods page)
if the worms become inactive do not move them until after they molt at this time they will be going from their first to their second instar. if they are eating you may move them. you will notice a big difference between the first and second instar they will start to turn white at this time you will also notice a differance in size
3rd instar 3 days of eating/growth then 1 1/2 days of inactivity/no eating before molting
By this time the worms will be big enough you can see them not moving they will sit still with their head in the air, If you see this do not disturb them
At this time you will notice the size of the worms have grown and it will look like the number of the worms have multiplied.
It is time to separate out the worms or move them into a new bigger container, we prefer to wait until after they molt this way we do not disturb them and it also gives us a chance to move them into a new clean bin leaving behind their old waist and molt.
At this stage it is very important to make sure the food is drying out completely before you offer new food at this stage you will be using a little more food so it will not dry out as fast. Constant wet food will equal mold this is no good it can kill your entire colony of Silk worms.
In any stage of the Silkworm rearing process you should look for condensation to form on the container if it does use a paper towel to wipe off the condensation this may happen for many reasons. Such as to much food, not enough airflow, to many worms in too small of a space or the temperature changing. You may take the lid off for a little bit to allow the food to dry before adding new food
4th instar 4 days of eating/growth then 2 days of inactivity/no eating before molting
By this time you will be using more food and the silk worms will start to grow faster the silkworms should be small to Medium sized by now.
At the 4th-5th instar stage the Silkworms will start to grow very fast and consume much more food as it starts to prepare to spin its cocoon . This is an ideal time to Feed Your silkworms to your larger reptiles .You will now have large to extra large Silk Worms They will start looking for a place to spin there cocoon.
At this time you will have extra large and jumbo silk worms Ready to feed off if you do not feed the silk worm off soon it will start to spin a cocoon or die before. If you plan to let it cocoon you will need multiple places for the silkworm to start attaching its cocoon. we like to use toilet paper tubes at this stage you must make sure the area you are keeping them stays clean or they will die easily at this time the silkworms will start to empty there guts making a mess this can quickly harm them if they are not closely watch and cleaned up after. as you clean up try not to disturb the worms .
Due to supply shortages some items may come in different containers or may slightly vary. we. ship most orders mon-friday. Due to shipping delays we are currently not offering live delivery guarantees on any orders unless shipped over night.