Silkworms are fairly easy to care for if you follow a few simple
instructions. Handle them as little as possible and always wash your
hands first. This keeps stress and bacteria exposure to a minimum. Keep
your worms warm, about 75 to 85 degrees. Do NOT refrigerate your silkworms,
it will kill them. They do not need
a lot of space or any substrate in their container, just enough room to
be able to spread out. I found that a small well ventilated
sterilite tub or any clear plastic container works well. Be sure to
either screen in the top or drill tiny 1/16th inch size holes in
the lid and upper sides of the tub for ventilation.
Feed daily, but only what
they can eat, allowing all food to dry out before the next feeding.
Silkworms are very susceptible to mold. By allowing their food and pooh
to dry out it keeps the mold out of their container. I found this to be
the biggest problem I've had in keeping healthy silkworms. To
feed the silkworms, just grate the chow with an inexpensive cheese
grater directly over the top of the worms. Silkworms do eat
Mulberry leaves if you do not wish to use chow. If you do start
using leaves you should be aware that it is very difficult, though not
impossible, to get them to eat the chow again. Be sure to wash and dry
your leave before feeding them to your silkworms.
To clean the containers
simply lift the worms up by the silk net that they put down on the
bottom of the container or remove them one at a time. Place them
on newspaper or paper towel and wash the tub out with soap and water.
After it is completely dry you may place your worms back in their
tub. I haven't tried this yet but some people are lining their
tubs with a rigid plastic screen found at craft stores. They lift
out the grate with the worms on top and the pooh is left in the bottom!
To prepare chow use a
one quart dish for one pound of chow and a two quart dish for two
pounds of food.
Mix a 4oz packet of dry food with 1 1/2 cups of water. (makes 1 pound)
Mix a 8oz packet dry food with 3 cups of water. (makes 2 pounds)
1) Stir together dry chow with
water in a microwave safe bowl.
2) Heat in microwave on high for 2 minutes.* Chow will bubble up.
3) Stir hot chow till well blended.
4) Heat in microwave again on high for 2 minutes.*
5) Stir hot chow again till well blended. It should now have the
consistency of runny mud.
6) Place plastic wrap on chow touching the chows surface.
7) Leave on counter to set and cool.
8) Once cooled, it should have the consistency of cheese.
Place an air tight lid on the container and
store in the refrigerator. It will keep for
one or two months!
* Microwaves differ in cooking intensity. You may need to either add or
subtract a minute or two to get
it to cook right.