More and more people are looking for exotic pets. The most harmless and easy to care for of them are snails. These mollusks do not harm people and furniture, and require minimal financial costs. A key step in care is knowing what snails eat.
What do snails eat in nature?
Humans started domesticating snails relatively recently. Yet more often these gastropods can be found in the wild. However, at home, exotic pets can create quite comfortable living conditions. The basis of the content is a well-balanced diet, because the state of health and appearance of pets depends on what snails eat.
In the wild, these mollusks are considered herbivores. The only exceptions are some species that feed on small insects or their remains. Differences in the diet are also present depending on the age of the individual. Young growth prefers fresh vegetation, and adult specimens prefer slightly rotten fruits. The basis of what snails eat in nature is:
- grass and leaves of various plants;
- fresh vegetables and fruits, berries;
- rotten wood is considered a special delicacy in the shellfish world.
What do snails eat at home?
In an apartment, it is not so difficult to ensure the correct conditions for keeping snails. Among the permitted list of products that you can feed snails with, you can definitely find the right one in the contents of the refrigerator:
- Greens and herbs: lettuce and cabbage leaves, horse sorrel, parsley, dandelion and plantain leaves.
- Vegetables: zucchini, pumpkin, carrots, cucumber, legumes.
- Fruits: bananas, apples, pears, peaches.
- Berries: cherries, blueberries, strawberries.
However, in addition to the above products, pets also require special vitamin supplements:
- For the formation and development of the shell, snails need calcium, so pets are given grated chalk, calcium gluconate tablets, or crushed eggshells.
- As a vitamin supplement, sepia is placed in the aquarium – a mineral stone.
- Instead of store-bought products of greenhouse origin and difficulties in choosing what snails eat in winter, you can offer your pets gammarus – fish food.
What do Achatina snails eat?
The largest representative of the gastropods that are kept at home are Achatina snails. In addition to their size, they are also famous for their intelligence: they can distinguish their owner from other people, they are endowed with conditioned reflexes. They do not cause difficulties in keeping, and among what Achatina snails eat at home, you can definitely find the right product in the kitchen:
- The basis of the diet of young animals should be finely chopped greens, grated carrots or cucumbers.
- Large clams can be fed raw potatoes, cabbage leaves, and lettuce. Offer fresh seasonal herbs and fruits.
- Among the things that large snails eat, it is important to be careful when offering soft fruits, such as strawberries and bananas, for pets. In large pieces, they can completely burrow, blocking their access to oxygen.
- The diet of mollusks should be varied and without overfeeding. Some Achatina get used to their favorite treat and may refuse other food.
What do grape snails eat?
In the wild, grape snails live in meadows and gardens with high vegetation. They feed on fresh grass and leaves, do not favor rotten plants, unlike their relatives. This type of mollusk has a long digestive tract, from which they often and for a long time take food. The list of products that grape snails eat at home certainly includes:
- Foliage: vine leaves, dandelion greens, nettle, burdock, plantain.
- Vegetables: cabbage, radish, horseradish.
- Seasonal fruits and berries.
- Some types of cereals, especially oatmeal, buckwheat and rice.
Basic feeding rules:
- Portion for the snail should be small.
- It is better to finely chop the foliage or cut vegetables into thin slices, put everything in a separate container.
- It is better to remove all rotted remains from the aquarium immediately so that they do not pollute the soil.
What do aquarium snails eat?
Domestic snails can be roughly divided into land and aquarium varieties. In the aquatic environment, they perfectly complement and diversify the fauna. In addition, the basis of the diet of such pets is underwater greens – that is, algae with hard and wide leaves, as in their natural habitat. However, over time, aquarium snails, especially with uncontrolled reproduction, can eat out all underwater vegetation, so it is recommended to feed them. The list of what domestic snails eat in an aquarium includes:
- Vegetables and greens: lettuce, spinach, cabbage, carrots, cucumber.
- Herbs: duckweed.
- Moss: Riccia.
- Fish food: gammarus or cyclops.
What do street snails eat?
The speed of movement of snails is very low, which cannot be said about their appetite. Street clams are considered almost omnivorous, because they have to eat what is literally on the ground. To do this, their oral apparatus is equipped with several thousand sharp teeth that can bite off and grind even solid food. Among what street snails eat at home, you can offer:
- Tree bark, slightly rotten for adults.
- Leaves of grasses, especially mollusks like dandelions and plantain.
- Greens: horse sorrel, lettuce and cabbage leaves.
- Vegetables and fruits such as carrots, cucumbers and radishes.
- Carnivorous species prefer small insects as a treat. Sometimes they do not disdain carrion.
What do little snails eat?
Proper feeding of snails that have just been born has its own nuances:
- In the first days of life, newborns burrow into the ground and feed on the remains of the shell. Calcium during this period is vital for them.
- You can additionally feed the babies by placing food near the place of their deployment.
- All food should be carefully cut and chopped. It is forbidden to puree food.
Small snails in the first days of their lives can eat:
- Chopped cabbage and lettuce leaves.
- Grated cucumbers, apples and pears.
- Small portions of watermelon and melon.
What do land snails eat?
In the correct menu of land snails, a large share should be occupied by plant products, the list of which was given above. It can be fresh herbs, vegetables and fruits. Withered products are best removed from the pet’s habitat immediately. In addition, they can be treated:
It is important to enrich the diet with supplements with a high proportion of calcium:
- low-fat cottage cheese, which is mixed with plant residues;
- crushed eggshell;
- ordinary chalk or pharmacy calcium gluconate.
- boiled oats, millet or buckwheat.
What should not be fed to snails?
The varied diet of snails has significant exceptions. The list of hazardous to health, and sometimes the life of mollusks, products includes the following items:
- Salted, pickled and smoked foods.
- Sweets, candied fruits, sugar.
- Citrus fruits: oranges, lemons, pineapples. From them, the pet’s shell will collapse.
- Berries: currants, gooseberries, cranberries.
- Fruits: quince, cherry plum.
- Nightshade crops: tomatoes, eggplant, immature potatoes.
- Dairy products, especially those with a high proportion of fat.
- Fatty meats: pork, lamb, lard,
- Thermally processed food from the human table. Food with spices.
- Snail food is significantly different in composition from that for dogs and cats. Mammal food for molluscs is contraindicated.
How often to feed snails?
The key to proper nutrition of snails is not only high-quality fresh products, but also a well-chosen feeding regimen, the basic rules of which boil down to the following postulates:
- You need to give food to snails once a day, preferably in the evening, when the pets are awake.
- Food should not be cold, room temperature is optimal.
- It is better to give food on a special plate, and not spread it on the substrate.
- Uneaten leftovers are removed from the aquarium.
- In addition to knowing what domestic snails eat, it is important to note the obligatory wetting of food with water, providing a drink to the pet.
- Aquarium snails are fed when the fish are sleeping or full. Otherwise, slow-moving molluscs will not get food.