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Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Building a low cost Butterfly Habitat for Raising Caterpillars






This habitat at 3 ft wide, 3 ft tall and 1ft. wide is much larger than most people would need but there had been a mix up with our last caterpillar order and we ended with 4 times as many as we normally get and we were in a hurry to find a home for them all. 



We bought 2, 1x4,s 6ft long and 1 , 2x12 6ft long at a total cost of $10.14



We had a roll of window screen on hand and salvaged an old door so I'm not sure what those would cost you.



Construction was easy, we simply cut all of the boards in half. The wide boards became the top and bottom and the narrow ones for the upright corners.



Once we got everything together we had to salvage one more board to frame the door in with.



Here's the finished product. After we've raised and released all of these we'll be adding casters to what is the top here. That will give us a freestanding unit that can be rolled wherever we need it. The reason we'll turn it over is so that the door will be on top and easy for me to reach from my wheelchair.


We are still waiting for most of the butterflies to come out.




Here is the first one to appear.



I've got food, flowers and nectar in the habitat for them.








While they were in the house a couple of butterflies got out and lived with us for a while. One lived in the window next to my work table but didn't show any interest in going outside even though we tried it get it to go.




It stayed about 4 days and then Doug reached for it and it let him carry it outside where it sat on his hand and enjoyed the sun before it flew high up toward our big pine trees.




A few days later we decided to take the habitat outside and see if any of the others were ready to leave.

On the day we did that another one flew around the house and Doug gave it a ride outdoors.







The Butterflies get moved out into the garden


Even though we left the door of the habitat open but not all of the butterflies were in a hurry to leave.


This one sat on that flower for quite a long time before finally flying away.






What a great way to spend the day.