FIND PROFESSIONALS
SHOP BY DEPARTMENT
Houzz Logo Print
caterwallin

FREE Butterfly Cage

caterwallin
11 months ago

Free Butterfly Cage

I'm no longer raising and releasing butterflies in large numbers so would like to give away the butterfly caterpillar raising cage that I built. Even though it's a long shot finding someone on this forum who's in PA or who would sometime drive through my state, I thought I'd post on here about the cage anyway. It's wooden, painted, and has screen stapled onto the 2 x 2's. I don't know the exact measurements but can measure it if anyone is interested. There are six vertical panels (sides and ends) and two horizontal panels (roof/ceiling). The panels are attached to each other with hooks and eyes so the cage can easily be taken apart for storage when not in use. I didn't want to let it sit out over the winter and so I stored it in one of our buildings to help make the cage last longer. It's in good shape except this past winter we had some heavy snows and I think something cut into the one screen. If you don't mind waiting until next year, I can get it in better shape, although there isn't much wrong with it. I'm just afraid that with all of my gardening I won't get around to repairing it as soon as I'd like. I'm hoping that someone on here will be able to raise butterfly cats in it and can come and get it or possibly have an acquaintance pick it up for you. I'm located about 50 miles north of Harrisburg. If anyone needs more details, email me at cbrouse at gmail dot com.

Comments (10)

  • caterwallin
    Original Author
    11 months ago
    last modified: 11 months ago

    I really have been hoping that by some small chance that I could give this well-constructed, large butterfly cage to someone here on the forum, but I guess nobody is interested. Probably mostly anyone on here can understand that, from most people's viewpoint, we'd appear to be kind of unusual or weird or whatever other names come to their heads...bizarre, out there, strange. I say that I'm eccentric. HA! I think that you all understand why I'd like to give this cage to someone who really cares about butterflies, which I know that the people here on this forum do. I put so much time into buying the materials for the cage and building it, and I don't want to just put it outside with a free side on it. I really love gardening for the butterflies, hummingbirds, etc. and can't bear the thought of the cage going to someone who might rip it to shreds for the metal that's on it (screw eyes, hooks, braces...I might have left something out, I don't know). I would like the cage to be used for maybe something similar to what I did, but of course I don't care if it's not the same exact thing that I did. I set 3-gallon pots of swamp milkweed and tropical milkweed in it and we put some of the Monarch cats in that. We have an inside and and outside Monarch caterpillar process going and later released the butterflies when they eclosed (my daughter and I). I guess that even though I don't get a chance to get on here much the past few years, I absolutely understand the passion you have for the butterflies.

    Soooo.....if you are interested and able to come to PA to get the cage, great, but I certainly understand why a lot of people wouldn't be able to do that. Seriously, who would want to drive from another state to pick it up even if they want it?! It costs a fair amount of money to drive how many miles to pick up a butterfly cage that I probably put about $200 in it. I just thought I'd try first thing to "advertise" it here because I don't know why anyone would be on this forum if he/she wasn't interested in butterflies. Beyond here, I really can't think of a place where I could specifically direct a post to butterfly enthusiasts. If someone on here can think of a way to get this cage to a butterfly/nature type person, please post here or email me at cbrouse at gmail dot com .

  • Andrea Reagan
    10 months ago

    Try the Agricultural Extension closes to you in PA.

  • caterwallin
    Original Author
    10 months ago

    Thanks for the suggestion.

  • caterwallin
    Original Author
    10 months ago
    last modified: 10 months ago

    KC, Oh, darn, I wish that I could find someone somewhere to take it. Like I said, I hate to just get rid of it and not know what people are going to do with it because it did take me a lot of time to make. Now I'm even wondering if it would be worth my while to repair it. The top two panels (roof/ceiling) need to be redone. We didn't notice for probably awhile that one of our two cats was climbing up on the top some years ago and I'm sure that contributed to the screen pulling out from under the staples that I had used to attach it to the wood. So then I came up with the idea of having someone sew velcro onto a big section of screen for each panel (actually two for each one because I have the cage screened on both sides of the 2 x 2's) and I glued the other part of the velcro onto the wood, and that is not easy to do. I was going to reconstruct the one panel because the one that I have for the top doesn't suit me, but I'm reluctant to put more time and money into materials for a cage that might just end up being trashed anyway. I'm glad that we got good use out of it over the years by sitting milkweed pots in it and later on (when we quit the Monarchs due to a lot of them dying) wafer ash trees in pots. Wouldn't you know that those darn potato leaf hoppers can get through the screen of that cage and a person would have to use an even finer material to keep them out of there.

    Maybe it's not too late to suck some of your Harrisburg area friends into raising caterpillars. ;-) Too bad I'm not rich or I'd even pay you to come and get it. At this point, I'm having doubts of its finding a good home. After all, what percentage of the population raises caterpillars in the first place (not that I know the answer to that, but I'd bet that it's low)? Then, out of that small percentage, how many "eccentrics" are there among us that would have them in a big cage like I have? Ha. It's almost as tall as a person, over 3 feet wide and about 7 feet long. We don't live in town and have plenty of space to set it, but my daughter and I are kind of winding down with the butterfly and moth raising after doing it for 17 years. I'm not young anymore and lots of days my get-- up- and- go got up and went. We dabble in it raising a fraction of what we used to. The one year, I think my daughter managed to raise about 850 Monarchs, but it was a ton of work. Right now we're cheering on some SBSTs and Promethea Moths to eat faster because they're not nearly big enough to pupate and leaves outside are getting yellow. I'm afraid they might die before they get to go into pupae/cocoons.

  • KC Clark - Zone 2012-6a OH
    10 months ago

    I asked a friend in the Pittsburgh area if she was interested in it. She was not but she suggested you mention it in the "Butterflies and Moths of Pennsylvania" Facebook group.


    I still have a few pillars but I"m not worried, yet. Polys are all big and fat. Cocoons are being made so not long to the end. I have two cecropias left on quince. They are wildcards since they are so old at this point. Had one imperial on sugar maple. Yesterday, it appeared to be done eating even though it was not even close to full size. Have not checked the dirt bucket yet today to see if it decided it was done.

  • caterwallin
    Original Author
    10 months ago

    KC, Thanks for asking your friend in Pittsburgh if she'd be interested in it. I will have to look into that Facebook group. I have an account on there but don't know much about it actually. If I can't figure out how to do it, I can always ask my son or daughter.

    You're lucky that your pillars are well on their way to adulthood. I hate it when we bring in some and the leaves just don't hold out until the leps are big enough to pupate. It doesn't happen often, but it has happened a few times over the years. We haven't gotten to raise cecropias this year; I think that they are so pretty. I've never raised imperials.

    Hopefully, I will find a taker for this butterfly cage. It's not totally finished, as I've said that there is one panel that I'd like to redo. I was painting the wood for it yesterday and was going to give it a second coat today but then it rained.

    It's kind of bothered me that the NJ tea bushes haven't done the greatest for you. I have never had any trouble with mine. I started all of mine from seed that I got from someone on the seed exchange that we had on here quite awhile back. I would assume that the bush is native to your area since you're not all that far away from me?

  • caterwallin
    Original Author
    10 months ago

    Hey, KC! Thanks for that suggestion about joining that Facebook group! I have two people who are interested in the cage, so that's encouraging. I just have to work out details with one of them. For one thing, I still have to do some work on the cage and so don't know exactly when I'll get it done. It would be much easier for me to just put it outside with a free sign on it and save myself a lot of work, but I just can't bring myself to do that because of what I have invested in it.

  • Chris Sadler
    last month

    I live in Pittsburgh.... Email me chriz1@msn.com...how far away are you from me?

  • Cathy Brouse
    last month

    Sorry, I forgot to update this saying that someone in western PA came and got it last fall.