Owning Snails comes with a roller coaster of mixed feelings, of joy and confusion about “what food do snails eat”. Should they be fed yam or just fruits or vegetables as depicted in most Hollywood movies/animations? This is the objective of this post, to answer the question “what food do snails eat to grow big?”.
Snails are economically beneficial farm animals that have been reared through centuries for different reasons. But all farmers were faced with the same question “what food do snails eat to grow big?”, and surely they figured it out because the lives and productivity of their snails were dependent on the answer.
Food is an essential need for every living organism, Snails inclusive. Hopefully, this post will have all the answers you need. In addition to the answers you will be getting here, there is a list of healthy foods that would make your snails big in no time.
All need do now is to hurry to your desks and pick up your notes and pens because the ball is about to roll out.
Do Snails Eat And How Do They Eat?
Virtually, every beginner snail farmer asked themselves this question. And this question should not sound weird because hardly will you see snails eat during the day.
Snails are nocturnal animals meaning that they are mostly functional at night. Nonetheless, they still feed just as other animals do, although not every day, at least they feed. At night and sunrise, they hunt for food. They are tenacious hunters because of their great sense of smell.
Snails are vegetarians. They eat mostly vegetables, fruits, tubers and mushrooms(fungi). And it is noteworthy to know that they feed differently in some seasons.
In the Rainy (Wet) season, snails feed better because of the moisture on the soil that eases their mobility. Making hunting effortless.
Young snails are food tanks when compared to Adult Snails. Young snails eat in a day what an adult snail would eat in two days. That is they have two times the consumption rate of an adult snail. And another barring factor is that young snails love eating fluffier leaves and shoots.
Snails feed using the Radula and do not have teeth like we mammals. This tongue-like Radula that is covered with denticles, does the work of teeth.
Best Snail Food For Growth
Snails Food requires to be proportionally formulated, with a good percentage of Carbohydrates, Proteins, Vitamins, and Essential mineral nutrients – like calcium needed for their shell growth.
Here are the best snail food for growth:
1. Calcium-Rich Foods For Their Shells
The Snails shell is one of the major parts of the Snails body. Calcium helps in the formation and repair of snail shells. Bone meals, Natural limestone, commercial calcium, dead Snail shells and wood are the best calcium supplements for snails And should be added to their food schedule.
2. Snails Love Leaves And Vegetables
Just as stated earlier, snails are vegetarians and so they love leaves and vegetables so much. Leaves and Vegetables your snails would love would be:
- Pawpaw leaves and peels (most loved by snails and highly essential )
- Beans plant
- Onion greens etc.
3. Tuber Crops
Aside from leaves, vegetables and calcium-rich foods, snails love eating tuber crops. Examples of which are: Cassava, Yam, Potatoes, Plantain and Cocoyam.
Tuber crops should not for anything be omitted from the food schedule, as they provide the carbohydrates which give the snails energy to move and undergo their activities. Caution should be taken in offering your snails cassava, as only cyanide low cassava should be used in feeding your snails.
4. Soft Fleshy Fruits
One of the requirements in a snail food is Vitamins and minerals, and where better can they be found but in fruits?
Fleshy foods help grow big examples of which are; Cucumbers, Pawpaw, Mango, Banana, Orange, Cherries, Pear and Palm oil fruit. These fruits are food snails eat to grow big.
5. Edible Flowers
Those flowers on your lawn are a delicacy for snails. Flowers like Hibiscus, Sunflower, Rose and Cauliflower are food snails eat to grow big. Big in no time.
6. Household Wastes
Snails are ecologically friendly animals. They also eat household wastes like peels of yam, watermelon, etc and they also eat spoilt fruits and cooked food leftovers. And these household food are food snails eat to grow well.
It is noteworthy to know that these raw food materials are more nutritional to the snails than the processed or cooked ones.
7. Formulated Food
Aside from natural fruits and vegetables, you can formulate your snail’s food by yourself. An easy formulated food is that of Groundnut, maize and soybeans mixed and grounded together. This very proteinous food is food snails eat to grow big in no time. Try and see the wonders of eucarlagro.com information.
Formulated food is the best because; it can be preserved unlike leaves and fruits, is readily available and is time-saving. And at the same time meets the nutritional needs of the snails like the one above.
All you need do is select the foods that your snails need, dry them very well, grind, package and store them in moisture-free places.
8. Non-chlorinated water
Water is an essential food that cannot be hidden. Although all this, not all kinds of water is a food snails eat to grow big. Non-chlorinated water is the best water for your snails. Spring water is non-chlorinated, and should be given 2 days intervals. Chlorinated water will kill your snails, so put that into consideration.
And also in serving snail water, use very tiny shallow containers to serve the water.
Foods Not Good For Snail
Now that we have known the foods that are best for snails, we also need to know foods that are not good for snails. We believe this segment will clear some delusions about snail food. Here they are:
1. Contaminated Foods
Contaminated foods like those containing pesticides or toxic chemicals (like even CO gas) should not be given to snails. Yes people say that snails are very immune to diseases, but they said diseases, not chemicals. Avoid feeding them hairy-leaved plants as most of them contain toxic chemicals, which in their (snails) instinct would reject.
2. No Starchy Food
Yes, some people keep snails as pets and normally want them to eat what they (pet keepers) eat, but pasta, millet and rice are a NO, as they block their digestive tract. After the blocking, the next will be bloat (swelling) and if not managed early death.
3. Chlorinated Water
Chlorinated water is water containing chlorine. It is very dangerous and fatal to snails if taken and should be avoided. An example of chlorinated water is tap water and if you don’t have another water source, exposing the tap water to 48hr sun would dechlorinate the water.
Snails are water-loving animals as they love cool atmospheres and conditions. The addition of salt maybe in the leftover cooked food you offer them leads to quick dehydration. Thereby making salt lethal to snails. So say No to Salt in Snail Food.
Tips in Feeding Snails
- Wash the all food before serving them to snails. Wash without salt, just non-chlorinated water.
- Regularly remove snail leftovers.
- Decayed foods can cause diseases and insect infestations in snail pens.
- Serve food on a cement slab or a flat dish in the pen to enable easy cleaning.
- Use heavy dishes to Serve Snails Food.
In the face of many cries for answers, this post has stepped out to drag snail farmers out of the shadows of confusion on the subject of what food do snails eat to grow big.
Most Snail Farmers rear their snails for the meat and they can only be highly marketable when they are big and attractive to buyers. Snail meat is very nutritious. And Snail Farming is a lucrative business to venture into.
We believe you learnt a lot and most of your questions were answered. For more insightful posts like this do well to subscribe below. Feel free to drop your feedback (comments) and questions. See you in the next post.
See Also: How To Hatch Snail Eggs: Complete Guide