Caterpillar Cribs

Remember when I showed you this monarch egg?

Monarch egg
Monarch egg to the left of my thumb
I went back to check a couple of days later and found this
monarch  caterpillar
the caterpillar is the tiny, horizontal, yellow line at the base of the leaf
If you do start collecting caterpillars to raise, you need to be able to house them accordingly.
This is the setup I use for the babies.
monarch  caterpillar, caterpillar house
A mason jar makes a great caterpillar nursery
Add some screening, some small twigs, and screw the cap into place.
caterpillar house
A few days later and he/she has grown so much!  Awwww….
monarch caterpillar
It is very important to feed the caterpillar milkweed morning and night.  They do not require water and you should not give them water (water and caterpillar poo is very toxic to them)
It is also very important to clean out the poo (frass is the politically correct term for poo) and it looks like this
frass, caterpillar poo
Caterpillars grow very quickly and will outgrow their jar very soon.  When they become teenagers,  I put them in the caterpillar dorm.
caterpillar house
You don’t need a dorm mother, but Magnum doesn’t mind
I found several of these little bug houses on clearance at a farm supply store.  They make great housing for those awkward teenage years (or days in this case)
caterpillar house caterpillar house
monarch caterpillar
monarch caterpillar
monarch caterpillar
When I collect several more caterpillars, I will move them to the caterpillar condo
which is an old aquarium with a screen top.
This particular condo has a gorgeous view from the back porch, gets a couple of hours of morning sun, and loads of fresh air.  It has housed up to 30 caterpillars, making it great destination for becoming a butterfly.
I will work on filling the aquarium this weekend and hope to show you a chrysalis very soon!