How To Feed A Snail: What Do Snails Eat And Drink To Grow?

How To Feed A Snail: What Do Snails Eat And Drink To Grow?

Different kinds of snails feed on a variety of foods. The very common thing among all land snail breeds is that they are easy to care for.

Unlike chicken and rabbits which can easily get infected with diseases, snails are quite the opposite. Snail foods are not much of a bother to persons who keep snails as they can easily alternate with sparse organic foods including plants, fruit, and vegetables.

Healthy Meals To Feed A Snail

1. Leaves And Vegetables Are Essential Foods For Snails

Feeding Snails
Snails feeding on leaves

Snails love to eat raw fruits and vegetables because they are easy to digest. Paw and Okra leaves are highly nutritious and snail’s favorites so you should feed the snail with those. They are also cheap and easy to come by.

For variety, you can feed your snails with leaves of plants like cabbage, paw paw, spinach, apple, cocoyam, carrots, cassava, lettuce, tomatoes, okra, cucumber, onion, eggplant, chamomile, aubergine, parsley, barley, turnip, beans, mushroom, celery, or broccoli.

Feeding snails with dry leaves is not advised since they contain lesser amounts of essential nutrients such as vitamins and minerals.

Since snails are highly sensitive to pesticides, you should always wash the vegetables properly before you feed them to your snails.

2. Leave A Snail’s Food With Lots Of Fresh Fruits

Snail Foods
Close-up photo of a snail eating watermelon peels

Some of the fruits you can feed snails are mango fruits, banana, watermelon, cucumber, paw paw, berries, peach, and pear. These foods should be soft and fleshy before they can be edible for snails. Processed fruits such as puree and canned veggies are not ideal for snail foods.

3. Flowers Are Healthy Portions Of A Snail’s Diet

Other flowers that are also rich food sources for snails include hibiscus, rose, lilies, cauliflower, and sunflower.

4. Supplement The Diet Of Snails With Calcium

Calcium supplements are very vital for the proper development of snail shells. It is a must-have on the snail farm.

You can increase the calcium intake of your snails by adding cuttlefish bone, calcium powder, bone meal, wood ash, or sea shells to your snail’s food.

Snails absorb calcium through their feet when they sit on the calcium source. They do this especially when the calcium food source is too large to be ingested by it. Placing cuttlefish or sea shells close to the snail foods signals them to sit on it

4. Snails Feed On Organic Kitchen Waste

You can feed your snails with some of the compost gotten from the kitchen waste. These waste products have high nutritive values for snails.

Some of them can be leftover foods like rice, beans, peas; fruit and vegetable peelings such as paw, mango, watermelon, cabbage, carrot; or the barks of yam tubers, potato, and plantain.

Asides from household wastes, other organic matter you can feed snails are algae and fungi.

Salt is not advisable for snails; if you would include kitchen wastes in the snail foods, then you must ensure that it had not made contact with salt before then.

Foods That Are Not Ideal For Snails

Of the above essential foods for snails, some of it has to be given in minute quantities to ensure the continual development of the snails. There are some foods that we mentioned below that are complete no-no’s for snail

1. Replace Uneaten Foods Regularly

Uneaten fresh foods will start rotting after 3 days. If this happens, you should replace them with fresh fruit and vegetables.

2. Feeding Snails With Too Many Starchy Foods Is Not Advisable

Snails make use of their radula – a tongue-like organ with rows of teeth for cutting up solid food. However, their digestive system is not suited for processing tubers and highly starchy foods.

Though snails can eat tubers like potatoes, yams, and cassava which are good sources of carbohydrates, it can cause them to have internal blockages and bloating. Rice, millets, and processed starchy foods like pasta can also make the snails sick. If you must feed your snails starchy foods, then you have to give them to them in controlled amounts.

3. Limit The Salt Content In The Snail Food

Salty foods are one of the top dangerous foods for snails. They tend to dehydrate the snails if used in large quantities. Processed foods contain high amounts of salts so you should avoid feeding your snails with them.

You should avoid giving your snails salty foods at all. Salt is used to wash the slime off the body of snails when they are cooked. It also helps in reducing the moisture content of the snail. This highlights the effects of feeding the snails with salts.

4. Acidic Fruits Are Not For Snails

Food For Snails
Snails eating watermelon

Citrus fruits such as oranges, tangerines, lime, and lemon are to be supplemented with other food types before they can be in a snail’s food. If you were already feeding the snail less-acidic foods, then you can go in with the acidic food options.

5. Chlorinated Water Is Not Healthy For Snails

Tap water does not especially contain high amounts of chlorine which has been used in purification. This chemical tends to make the snail sick if the snail should drink or even bathe itself in it.

How To Feed A Snail

Once you have gotten the snail foods ready in the snail housing, the next is to find out how best you can serve them their meals. Below are some tips on how you can feed your snails

1. How To Give Your Snails Water

Keeping your snails hydrated at all times is very necessary. To give your snails water, you can use a shallow plastic dish to serve them. Rainwater is best for snails but any kind of water can alternate as long as it does not contain chlorine.

The dish you use in serving the water should not be made of metal as it can fall on it and break its shells.

2. How Often Should You Feed The Snails

You should feed a snail as often as twice daily. If your snails do not eat enough during this routine, you can give them plenty of fresh foods. With time, the snail’s feeding pattern will change and you may get accustomed to how much the snail eats.

For a land snail, a food mixture of algae fungi, and at least two fruits or vegetables is good for a healthy diet.

In case your snail is a picky eater, try to find out if it has a preferred time of the day that it comes out of its shell to eat, then work around that time.

When doing this, you can lay out a variety of snail foods and check in afterward to find out the foods that it eats most actively. Mind you that snails are nocturnal and are very active at night.

Weather conditions may also affect the snail’s feeding activities, snails eat more in wet seasons, however, most snails do not eat every day.

3. How Best To Give Your Snails Fruits And Vegetables

Feed Your Snails
A snail feeding from the vegetables in the garden

Snails cannot cut up fruits in their large mass, hence, it has to be sliced down to sizable chunks that their teeth can easily cut up.

You can cut the fruits and veggies into thin strips or cubes using a sharp knife. For fruits like apples, you can use a fruit peeler for slicing to make it easier for the snail to eat.

Peel the skin of fruits if it is thick such as in watermelons, bananas, and pumpkins. You can leave thin skins of cucumbers and carrots.

If you run low on the snail’s food supply, you can simply give it fruits and vegetables, or even snail formulas and spice of mashed chicken feed. Snail feed concentrate helps to improve the reproductive states of the snail.

Conclusion

The snail farming business is one of the very lucrative sectors in livestock production if managed properly. Taking into account the type of food and drink your snails eat will go a long way in ensuring the optimum development of the animals.

If you have been wondering what snail food to feed your snails or how to Feed a Snail, we have carefully detailed all you need to k on above.

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