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Starving Silkworms in shoeboxes across the Territory

By rob68 4 November 2009 34

There are silkworms starving to death in shoeboxes across the Territory every year.   Carers, eager to give their children an experience from their own childhood, purchase silkworms from pet shops, school fetes and even from the internet, in the hopes that little Johnny and little Janey will be enriched from the encounter. 

Unfortunately, we don’t always think these decisions through.  Silkworm food cannot (yet) be thrown into the trolley with the oven fries and the soymilk!  We actually have to hunt and gather to keep our creepy little friends alive, and it is daily occurrance for up to two months.  Many a pair of pantyhose has been laddered in an unladylike scramble over a fence, resorting to leaf-theft in the desperate attempt to avoid the heart-wrenching moment when little JJ cries “..but Mummy, you killed my pets!”

Is it possible for someone, somewhere, to host a list of Mulberry tree locations, both publicly and privately owned?  Surely the knock-on effect would be worth it:  less mental illness and stress in our community, less wriggling pets being sacrificed to baby magpies, less guilt-generated presents being purchased just weeks before Christmas.. the list is endless.

Let’s try to salvage this once common-place joy from one’s childhood and make mulberry tree locations, around our capital, public knowledge!

PS:  If anyone has a tree in the Gungahlin or Belconnen areas, please let me know! 
 
[Ed] Does anyone actually buy silkworms as pets?

What’s Your opinion?


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34 Responses to
Starving Silkworms in shoeboxes across the Territory
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Sheridan 9:57 am 14 Nov 11

I have a huge mulberry tree in my yard, I live in Ainslie. I would be happy to help feed the silkworms if required. We had silk worms for pets at my preschool many moons ago. How can I get in touch with you?

Wily_Bear 9:10 pm 13 Nov 11

For those of you with a large yard and plenty of patience for a long term proposition, Bunnings had several small mulberry trees for sale today.

rebcart 8:41 pm 13 Nov 11

It’s interesting that so many are wondering whether they’ll be fine with white mulberry – I read somewhere that they actually prefer white mulberry over black mulberry leaves. But they can’t be too fussy if they accept cabbage!

Ravensclaw 9:25 am 13 Nov 11

For those who are interested I have put notices up on some of the community notices boards at the local shopping centres and on various ACT classified – advertising silkworms.

I have also been informed of several mulberry trees near the ANU. I’ll check it out and report back.

Cheers

Jethro 9:13 pm 28 Oct 11

Benamb said :

Hi Ravenclaw, I am in Belco also, and looking for some silkworms! I was given eggs this year from a friend in Sydney, however they all began hatching in August and Im issed many of them. The few left – about 10 – have slowly hatched and died off for some mysterious reason, even being fed daily. I’m wondering if they’re just a dodgy batch, or perhaps too inbred?

Anyway I’m quite sad about it, and would love to get some more eggs if you have any available. I’m in Scullin. My email is benamb9 at gmail dot com. I’ve tried to find your contact details but apparently I’m not allowed to access your profile.

Cheers!

Pets Paradise at Belco Westifeld were selling them last week. Don’t know if they still are (or if their silkworms are any good… I’m more of a dog person than a silkworm person).

Ravensclaw 7:46 pm 28 Oct 11

Hi Facet

I am only interested in the leaves, not the fruit (although mulberry fruit is delicious). I also made the point about looking after the trees in Ainslie lest ye earn the wrath of the neighbours.

If you could give me a location address of the tree (assuming it is not private property) that would be wonderful.

I looked up your article on mulberry pie, but sadly it lacked an address.

Benamb I will be in touch. My worms have just started to hatch.

Cheers

bigfeet 7:37 pm 28 Oct 11

I recall as a kid we had two boxes and fed one box mulberry leaves and the other cabbage leaves.

Both thrived and the cabbage leaf ones gave a mauve/purple coloured silk.

At the end of the season, after the moths had laid all their eggs and died, the boxes went back into the cupboard for a year and were brought out in about November to go through the whole cycle again.

I remember passing the great-great-great-great-great-great grandworms of my original box to my younger sister who kept them going for another four or five years.

facet 6:47 pm 28 Oct 11

After seething seeing what happened after my “early nancy” (native flower) and Bogan Street sign posts (sic) I understand that many RiotACT readers (not all) are irresponsible morons.
I refuse to assist dickheads who have no appreciation of community (shared) property.
I hope there is a special place in hell for those who steal, damage and wreck our community resources especially the ACT Library service.
If you do your own research on RiotACT (picture of mullberry pie) you may find a mullberry tree growing wild in Kaleen.
Mullberrys are far too good for worms or their pets ….
Please disregard if by some rare chance, you are a kind and generous person.

Benamb 4:39 pm 28 Oct 11

Ravensclaw said :

I have just taken some of my silkworm eggs out of the fridge. Hopefully they will hatch in the next 14 days.

The variety I have are the Zebra breed of silkworm. They are the same as normal silkworms except they grow larger, are more resistant to disease and have stripes on their bodies. For these reasons they make better pets and feeders.

A week or so after they hatch I will advertise them on some free classifieds and put up notices at Belconnen Markets, Evatt, Spence, and Florey shops.

I will also bring a second batch out of hibernation early December.

Cheers

Hi Ravenclaw, I am in Belco also, and looking for some silkworms! I was given eggs this year from a friend in Sydney, however they all began hatching in August and Im issed many of them. The few left – about 10 – have slowly hatched and died off for some mysterious reason, even being fed daily. I’m wondering if they’re just a dodgy batch, or perhaps too inbred?

Anyway I’m quite sad about it, and would love to get some more eggs if you have any available. I’m in Scullin. My email is benamb9 at gmail dot com. I’ve tried to find your contact details but apparently I’m not allowed to access your profile.

Cheers!

Ravensclaw 4:28 pm 19 Oct 11

Hi

It is silkworm time again.

I can confirm Mulberry Trees are in the following location.
1. Gillen Street Ainslie: This is a small street and there are white and black mulberry trees along the street. I used these trees last year. Please note though, the neighbours are very protective of these trees. Don’t damage the trees more than you have to.

2. Narrabundah Shops: A single tree close to the Dollworks and a nearby Block of flats

3. Narrabundah Tennis Courts: There are 2 or 3 trees here. They are located along Kootara Cres 500 metres North West of Narrabundah Shops.

I haven’t used the trees in Narrabundah before, but I will this year as they are close to where I work.

Like the author of this topic I would like to know where there are some mulberry trees in Belconnen as this would be a lot more convenient for me.

I have just taken some of my silkworm eggs out of the fridge. Hopefully they will hatch in the next 14 days.

The variety I have are the Zebra breed of silkworm. They are the same as normal silkworms except they grow larger, are more resistant to disease and have stripes on their bodies. For these reasons they make better pets and feeders.

A week or so after they hatch I will advertise them on some free classifieds and put up notices at Belconnen Markets, Evatt, Spence, and Florey shops.

I will also bring a second batch out of hibernation early December.

Cheers

Isara 12:36 pm 10 Dec 09

Not sure if you still need leaves, but there’s someone on Allclassifieds offering them for free right now in the garden and plants section.

fimail 12:15 am 08 Nov 09

I have been keeping silkworms for a couple of years now – I use the tree at Curtin (I take one of those long toy grabber things to pull down the branches!) and I drive up and down Buxton St Deakin and raid the street trees there (the leaves on the white mulberry are quite different but the silkworms don’t seem to mind).

Last year I also found trees in Narrabundah – at the tennis court carpark, and between the shops and a block of flats. There is a small tree at Village Creek Primary School in Kambah but there are fences up for building works at the moment, I believe. Must check out Weston Park to see if there’s still something there!

I am always keen to hear of more as I sell my silkworms and people always ask where to find leaves!

I hate to see the poor things do hungry but they sure do eat a lot! And this morning I found a whole box of eggs I’d forgotten about – there must have been thousands of tiny dead silkworms in there – I felt like a mass murderer.

Stonedwookie – I like your user name. My beagle is called Wookiee, you see, and he is pretty dopey. 🙂

zek 11:37 pm 06 Nov 09

I am in west Belconnen, but my tree is round the back of the house.
If there is a way to get me your email/phone details, you could contact me if you run out of leaves.

rob68 10:55 pm 06 Nov 09

Are you in Gungahlin or Belconnen, zek? Is your tree accessible from the front of your house? Usage is approximately 4-5 leaves per day for approximately 3 weeks. I am currently okay but I am sharing my leaves with one other family and also my son’s classroom silkworms. If you are close by, it would be a great back-up.

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