growing butterflies

Back in April my mum bought Billy a butterfly garden and over the last month we have had a lovely time watching them grow and change and then turn into butterflies!

It comes as a net cage and you then send off for the baby caterpillars. They come in the post in a little pot with food in the bottom. They like to be away from direct sunlight and drafts and not handled too much. We put the pot in a dark corner of our sitting room and just checked carefully on it once a day. Billy LOVED coming home from school and seeing how they had grown!

When they arrived they were tiny and only one or two seemed to be moving and I wasn't sure they were all alive, but after a few days they were all moving around.

It didn't seem long before they were growing and changing!

It takes between 7-14 days for them to become full grown and they were soon spending a lot of the time on the lid which is where they will attach to when they are ready to become chrysalids.

On day 20, they had all attached themselves to the lid. We left them there for a couple of days then carefully took the lid off the pot, put it in the little stand and put it in the net. One of the chrysalids had fallen off the lid while it was in the pot, so we gently placed it on a little bit of kitchen paper and hoped it would be ok.

Nothing seemed to happen for a while, but then one day about 2 weeks later, Billy came back from school and came running to me to say that we had a butterfly ... it must have only taken half an hour to emerge as before I had left to pick him up, it had been a chrysalids still!

Over the next couple of days they all emerged ... the last to change was the one that was resting on the tissue and we had wondered if was ok, but it was!

We fed them with some sugar water on a tissue and some cut oranges.

After a couple of days we needed to release them, but here in Wales it was pretty cold, so we decided to release them in Steves parents conservatory, which is full of flowers. We left the net open there but they seemed quite happy and didn't really want to come out, so the next morning Steve gently coaxed the out and they have had a lovely week with her flowers and can come and go out the door as they like!

It was a really fun thing to do, but I wish we had taken photos of releasing them. Now we have the net though we can always send of for some more and do it again!

You can get your own net and butterflies from ... The net comes with an instruction booklet and it was really easy and fun to do.


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