What is a main food source of silkworms

How to get silkworms

Silkworms really aren't worms. They are caterpillars of the silkworm moth. These caterpillars have a very special task. Your job is to make silk threads. The silk threads are harvested by farmers and finally wound into threads into beautiful fabrics. Most of the silk found in the world today is grown on farms in Japan, China and other Far Eastern countries where an abundance of mulberry trees grow - mulberry leaves are the main source of food for the silkworm.

Get silk from the silkworm

Place carefully collected silkworm eggs on strips of special paper or fabric. Put the eggs in an incubator for 20 days. The heat lets the eggs hatch. As soon as the eggs hatch, feed the little caterpillars an abundance of mulberry leaves. Feed them day and night for about 5 weeks to make sure the mulberry leaves are fresh. At this point the silkworm is fully grown and will stop eating.

Place small twigs or straw in the tray with the caterpillars. you are ready to spin their cocoon. Let the silkworm attach to the branch and begin to spin its silk thread. Be patient as it takes about 3 days for the caterpillar to complete its cocoon and wrap the silk thread around its own body until it is completely enclosed. Each cocoon can have between 600 and 1200 filaments.

Put the cocoons in an oven. This kills the worm before it has a chance to transform into a moth and burst out of the cocoon, damaging the silk threads. Place the cocoons in warm water to soften the rubbery residue left by the caterpillar during production. Once the residue has softened, carefully begin unwinding the threads.

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Don't kill all of your caterpillar chrysalises. Let a few out and transform into adult moths and step out of their cocoons for more eggs in the future.



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