Volume 65: Macarthur-Onslow correspondence, 1846-1929: No. 427
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III. Age, Six days. 30lbs. of leaves coarser cut, 18 ft. square. When the worms begin to rouse themselves from their moult, put on the trays with fresh food, second sized mesh. Proceed as before increasing space. Feed every four hours, giving an extra meal at 11 o'clock at night, increasing the portions till end of fourth day. Give clean trays, and increase the space on the third day. On the sixth day the worms go into the third moult.
IV. Age, seven days. 42 ft. square, 90 lbs sorted leaves, which now may be given whole. When the worms begin to move again, puton the trays with third sized mesh, and increase the space, as explained before. Feed every four hours, increasing portions till fifth day, then decrease again. Give clean trays each day, and increasing space on the third and fifth days. On the seventh day the worms enter into the fourth moult. During this and the following age, the ventilation must be even more constant than before, and it is advisable to place open vessels with Condy's fluid in the corners of the room to prevent any foul air.
V. Age, eleven, twelve days. 600 lbs. of leaves, 92 ft. square. The fourth moult of the silkworm usually takes longer than any of the preceding, therefore it is best to allow them two whole days for it. Lift off, by means of clean trays and food, those that are first roused from their torpor, and put more trays on the remainder, lifting them off after each meal, so as to increase the space as much as possible. Increase the rations of food till end of ninth day, then decrease. Feed every four hours, big meals, and give more food in the intervals where it seems necessary. The silkworms eat ravenously and unceasingly during this last age, and must not be stinted. Give clean trays each day, even twice a day if necessary, and increase the space to at least every other day; if possible everyday. Be sure to keep the air sweet and fresh. After the ninth day the worms eat less, diminish in size and become transparent. On the eleventh and twelfth day they are ready for spinning, and must be provided with the branches as described before.
Throughout the whole rearing beware of wet or damp food; it is better to let the worms wait than give it them, for it is sure to produce disease. Never handle the worms if you can avoid it. Beware also of sudden changes from hot to cold and vice versa, draughts, foul air, crowding, and protect the worms against mice, rats, ants, and birds.