For those who may want to try raising monarch butterflies, here are photos of the milkweeds we have growing here. I often see milkweeds along roadsides, edges of fields, and near waterways. Milkweed is the only plant that the monarch caterpillars eat, so feeding them is easy. Finding a butterfly egg on the milkweed is a little more challenging, since the egg is very tiny - smaller than a pin head. The egg hatches four days after it is laid. I have a very tiny caterpillar crawling around on a leaf right now. When it hatches it is white with a black dot for a head, so it is hard to photograph. After a day or two you will start to see stripes. Here is a site that has some great pictures of the eggs. There is other information and photos of the monarch's life cycle. I encourage you to give it a try, especially if you have children, this is a great science project.
Friday, July 17, 2009
The chicken eggs did not hatch. I did something wrong, but I don't know what. Anyway, I found monarch butterfly eggs!! I know how to take care of them. They hatch in about four days and then just feed the caterpillars milkweed. Milkweed is sacred around our property. I told my husband not to cut it down, so I now have about four weeds growing near our property line. If you want to read more about butterflies that we raised last year check my post here.