The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Insect farming is fun

Silkworms eating

Since I last posted here about our silkworms, they have grown...a lot.  The more serious side of our foray into insect farming is playing out over on our chicken blog, where recent posts have included:

...and I've got a lot more tidbits coming up on topics like how to kill two-hundred silkworms in one fell swoop (oops) and which types of leaves the caterpillars prefer.

Chick eating

However, I thought even those of you uninterested in the nuts and bolts of silkworm culture might like to hear how they eat mulberry leaves using the typewriter method --- nibble in a semi-circle until you come to the end of the line, then skip back to the beginning to start again.  I also tried out a few silkworms on our broody hen's flock and the chicks deemed the caterpillars "wicked!"  (Or at least I'm assuming the speed with which they gulped those silkworms down was an implied superlative.)

Song sparrow in the

Finally, if you don't care for bugs, even combined with cute chicks, here's a song sparrow in the garden to brighten your Monday morning instead.

Having a spare chicken waterer on hand makes it easy to keep chicks hydrated when they turn up in the barn beneath a broody hen.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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Those Chick must be from South Boston!
Comment by Gerry Mon Jun 10 11:35:00 2013

Thanks for telling us about this silkworm for chicken feed experiment. Really very interesting. It's motivated me to get some mulberry trees. They seem so useful, especially for small livestock. I hope yours are growing well. I think you said you got some Illinois Everbearing back in March 2010. We don't have that variety here, but I guess any of the 3 species (Morus alba, rubra, nigra) will grow silkworms. Though I think I did read that they prefer M.Alba, and the introduction of M.Nigra to England for silkworm production was not successful for that reason.

Comment by Jeff Mon Jun 10 23:28:07 2013

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