Volume 65: Macarthur-Onslow correspondence, 1846-1929: No. 487
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Directions to Farmers.
[indecipherable] of picking off the Cocoons.
The worms generally form their cocoons in 3 days after their [rising?]; but they are not perfect until the 6th day, when they may be picked off from the hedge. In Europe this is not done until the 8th day, nor should it be done sooner in this country, if, during the six days there have been violent thunderstorms, by which the labours of the moths are generally interrupted. The cocoons must be taken down gently, and great care not to press hard on them: because, if in the least flattened, they fall into the class of imperfect cocoons, and are greatly lessened in value. In picking the cocoons from the hedge the floss or low [with?] which they are covered must be delicately taken off, always taking care not to press too hard on the cocoons.
After the cocoons are [indecipherable] taken down, some are preserved for eggs and others kept for sale.
VI of Cocoons kept for Eggs.
In order that the farmer may judge of the quantity of cocoons that it will be proper or advisable for him to put aside & preserve for eggs, it is right that he should be told that 14 oz of cocoons will produce 1 lb of eggs, & 1 lb Eggs will produce a [querital?] of cocoons.
In selecting the cocoons to be kept for Eggs, it is recommended to select the white ones in preference, & keep the colored ones for sale; attention should be paid to having an equal number of males & females, & they are generally known by the following [sigus?] : the male cocoons, that is to say those which contain the male [insects?], are in general smaller than the female, they are somewhat depressed in the middle, as it were with a [wing?] ; they are sharp at one end & sometimes at both, & hard at both ends; the female cocoons, on the contrary, are larger than the male, round & full, little or not at all depressed in the middle, & not pointed at either end.
They may easily be dis-cerned by a little habit.
It is particurlarly recommended to take off all the floss or