Fresh made high quality Hornworm Chow, vitamin enriched. 1 bag of chow(0.5lb) makes about 2.6lb cooked food, which can feed about 85-95 worms to adulthood.
Avoid condensation inside the cup, water will promote bacteria and mold growth. Cups can be placed upside down for easy cleaning but don’t leave any worms on the lid, they might not be able to climb back up to the food. Cook 1 bag at a time, don’t cook more than what your worms can eat in a week or two, try to serve them fresh food, don’t pour more than 1.5″ thick of food into the cup. If raising from eggs, put about 1/2″ food in each cup only, that will last them a long time.
Chow Preparation steps:
Boil your vented cups for 2 minutes and let try before using!
1. Pour the chow(0.5 lb) into a mixing bow with 4 cups of distilled/filtered water.
2. Use a hand mixer to mix the chow for 1-2 mins, make sure there is no chunks left.
3. Boil the mixture in a pod while stirring, make sure the mixture boil viciously, to activate Agar.
4. Keep stirring while its cooling for a min or so.
5. Pour them into different cups to settle, or pour it into an airtight container for storing in fridge.
A few tips might help you:
1. The most important thing is to use distilled/filtered water. The PH of tap water in Houston is way off neutral level, chances are your tap water is too. This can cause all kinds of problems, promotes certain bacteria to grow much faster than normal, food goes bad and decay faster than usual, preservatives not as effective as they should be etc…
2. A “dead” worm is not always dead. Sometimes when they ran out of air or its too cold, they appear to be dead, not moving at all. Put them in a clean container at a warm place, they might come back to life within 1-2 days. They are dying when they are turning black, a black worm is a dead worm.
If you raise Hornworms in a upside down cup:
1. Don’t pour too much food in one single cup, try to stay under 1.5″ thick. you always want to give them fresh food. If you make it too thick in a cup, worms might not eat them evenly, they might create a weak spot and cause the food to collapse.
2.Clean up their droppings daily, they can block the air vents and contaminate the food.
3. If you raise worms in a cup, make sure the worms are disease and germs free, a worm with germs or disease will contaminate the cup within 2-3 days. Its ok to move a cup raised worm to an open container, but should not move a worm raised in an open container to a cup. If you are moving them from container to a cup, you should always brush through all the worms with 0.1% bleach solution before moving, at least you can get rid of most of the germs thats on their bodies.
4. Let some fresh air in each day.
5. If you notice your food goes bad within a couple of days, most likely your worms contaminated the whole cup, including food. At this point you will need to move them to an open container they can’t get out of, starve them for a day or two, make sure they pass all the food in their bodies. Then brush them with 0.1% bleach solution before moving them into a clean container, with fresh food, this will help a lot and most of the worms should be able to make it.
If you raise Hornworms in an open container:
1. Don’t leave too much food out in the open air, it will be dry up after a couple of days. Give them enough for 1-2 days is the best.
2. Clean their droppings as often as you can, even though its very unlikely to cause any problems, unlike raising them in a cup.