crumpled wings, never going to fly, what to do?

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  • #15268


    hi, i have been rearing monarchs in my garden all summer, i have successfully raised 25 wonderful butterflies. the last 2 however have got crumpled wings- i think it was either from the cold or from falling after emerging. I found them both walking across my lawn.

    one seems quite docile- his wings are very bad, all 4 are very crimped. he looks quite sad. the other is more lively, he almost managed to have complete wings but one side is not properly formed.

    I have put them in a large birdcage i had handy with towels and some swan plants in the bottom, with honey water in some shallow lids for them.

    They aren’t feeding on their own but have been drinking she i introduce them to the liquid with them on my finger (from a bottle top).

    apart from this, they are fine- I don’t know if i should keep them like this and feed them every day. is this a good life for them to have? i don’t feel like i have the heart to freeze them, they are little characters with as much right to live as anyone, i don’t feel its my decision to decide if they live or die. but is keeping them like this even more cruel?

    neither of them will ever fly, (despite trying) but the cage is nice and they have climbed up to the top to be in the daylight (its in front of the window in a quiet room)

    i will take them outside anytime the sun comes out although now were heading to winter i fear that won’t be often.

    can anyone offer me any advice?

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  • #30153


    Hi there ShadowBaby

    This is a question that has been answered many times in the forum and it depends on who answers as to what is advised. And who knows what is “best”? Something that you have to choose!

    We all have our own views and opinions, ShadowBaby.

    In my case I don’t have enough time to lavish on my dog, let alone having other “pets”, so for me the best choice is to euthanase butterflies that are not going to do what they’re here to do: fly around, pollinate, breed.

    Some people do as you do, and keep them as pets. Do you have the time?

    But on the other hand, just take it a day at a time. You are not doing any great harm by keeping them alive. I don’t believe that butterflies experience “happiness” or “niceness” or know what is a “good” or “bad” life. If they were in the wild Nature would aleady have taken charge and they would be dead, decomposing and doing another thing that insects do… enriching the soil.

    Only you can make a decision that will be the right one… for you.

    I hope that’s helpful. It may sound hard but I hope my message is not too brutal to hear.


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