We are at it again. A couple of years ago we raised monarch butterflies on our screened porch. The children had such a great time (and so did I) that when we found a few caterpillars on our milkweed, we decided to do it again.
If you've never done this, I highly recommend it. It is an EXCELLENT educational tool and we are also learning so much about our Heavenly Father as we observe these fascinating creatures.
All you need is milkweed really. We obtained some from a neighbor and it is very hardy, has pretty flowers and really attracts the monarchs. We simply take a cutting and put it in a vase with water. The vase should have a skinny neck to prevent accidental drowning should a little guy take a tumble. As they munch away, we add new cuttings. The milkweed roots quickly in water so if we continue for a while, we'll often have a ready supply.
Here are pictures of day one.
First, you see our largest one. He was about 1 inch when we found him.
The other three were newly hatched and measured only about .5 cm!! They are voracious eaters and double in size about every other day.
Here is a fun link to a video of a monarch caterpillar hatching from the egg. I don't have the ability to get a good video of it because they are so small.