Thursday, September 1, 2011

raise some snails


I think I have mentioned here that we are a nature loving family. My son in particular has a keen eye when it comes to spotting little creatures in the wild. When he was not yet 5, we were in Costa Rica and our guide was trying in vain to find us some interesting invertebrates to look at - but it was Elliot who able to find the thinnest, wispiest stick bug. He spends hours just looking. He has caught a 1 inch seahorse in the Gulf and found and identified lady bug eggs in our orange tree when he was 4. When we hike, no rock goes unturned. His ability to focus his attention on the tiniest creatures astounds me.


My favorite entomologist is now raising garden snails. This has turned out to be fascinating and rewarding. The set up was a cinch. 


We used a very large, not airtight canister, piled some pebbles in the bottom for drainage, topped with some good garden soil and a rock for climbing. We also threw in a cuttle bone which is good for the snail shells. We feed them a piece of fruit or vegetable every day or so and then remove it.


They are thriving and have even laid some eggs which we got to see hatch. They burrow in the ground for most of the day and at night ease up the walls of the jar. It is quite meditative to watch them move. This is my sort of pet - low maintenance, high pleasurably.


Have you raised snails? Would you? Would you let then crawl all over your arm and feed them:)?
















6 comments:

  1. Okay, how in the world did you get these beautiful snails? We have tried with the itty bitty ones we get around here (I"m actually posting a shot of one tomorrow I think), but they all dry out and die. My daughter loves to collect them, hold them, try to feed them (btw I think her and your little entomologist would be grand friends) and she would scream at the chance to have her own. But your snails seem to large and healthy!!!

    Wanna trade the snails for some rats for awhile? The rats are really cool and low maintenance too, well maybe not as low as snails :)...
    xx oo

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  2. Yes! We did raise some TINY little snails in our fish tank long ago.
    And I have the sweetest picture of my daughter setting up her Playschool Farm and "corralling" a bunch of garden snails into the fencing. lol! That was about 15 years ago and I can hear her now watching some recorded program from Animal Planet. Some things never change! :)

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  3. I am sure this goes without saying but I would hate for anyone, especially a little one, to suffer needlessly. Snails can carry a parasite known as rat lung worm (it's just what it sounds like) so please, please, please remember to wash your hands thoroughly after handling any snail.

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  4. Well, *my* answers are, "No, no, and no!" (wink) But that's just me! Happy blog carnival.

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  5. Hello there. I just started following your blog thanks to Pinterest. I love this idea. It sounds so fun! My daughter loves nature, bugs, animals, you name it. It will be a good bonding experience for the bothof us to make this. Not to mention, fun to watch them grow and the whole learning aspect of it.

    I do however, have a question for you. Actually a few. ; ) 1.) What kinds of fruits and veggies do you feed them. 2.) How often do you feed them a day? 3.) what kind of CONTAINER and how big? And how many snails did you put in there? 4.) Silly as this last question may be, how do you know the sex of the snail for them to have "babies" as my little one puts it? lol

    Thanks for your answers.

    Adriana

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    Replies
    1. here is my post from last year where i answer some of those questions.
      http://mamascouts.blogspot.com/2011/09/raise-some-snails.html

      we feed them mostly lettuce, the plant we found them on, carrot and anything else we want to try. we take out the remains of the food every few days.

      we have a glass container with a non air tight lid from target. you can see it in the pictures of last year's post. but i have made them for friends in smaller containers. just not air tight.

      we have at least a few dozen.

      snails are hermaphrodites - so you just need any two to reproduce.

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