What do snails eat? [All you need to know about Snail Food]

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Most snail farmers especially beginners always ask the question “What do snails eat?”, This is very important because, without feeding, your snails certainly won’t grow well but the good thing is managing your snail feeding regiment can be easy, it doesn’t require huge resources if you know what to do.

Feeding your Snails is not time-consuming, Snails eat mostly plant material, you can give them all kinds of leaves, fruits, and tubers. So, in this article, we are going to discuss, what snails eat, we will give you a comprehensive list of what to feed your snails, How to get the foods, and how to feed your snails with the right proportion of food.

Hopefully, this won’t be a long article, so let’s get started

We will begin by answering the question “How do snails eat”?

How do snails eat?

Snail food
Snails eating watermelon

The land snail has a mouth with rows of chitin teeth used to break, scrape food and eat their food. Snails don’t have strong teeth like other animals neither do they eat a large quantity of food like other animals.

What do Snails Eat?

Foods for Snail Farming
The choice of food depends on species, habitat, management practices and farmer’s choice. Snails eat a huge selection of feed such as fruits, vegetables and plants, this is because some snails are omnivores, while some are carnivores or herbivores.

Carnivores or Herbivores will consume plants like mushrooms, bark, plant crops, leaves, fungi. Carnivorous snails eat earthworms, annelids, slugs, conch, and calcium for shell production.

Now, let us list the foods snails MOSTLY eat, Here are the very few we have found to be regular with snail farmers.

List of Snail Foods

  • Pumpkins
  • Watermelon
  • Grapes
  • Cucumber
  • Paw-paw
  • Carrots
  • Peas
  • Lettuce
  • Leafy greens
  • Broccoli
  • Cassava
  • Eggplant
  • Celery
  • Cabbage
  • Beans
  • Spinach
  • Onion greens
  • Aquatic plants
  • Algae
  • Fish food
  • Shrimp pellets
  • Freshwater leaf
  • Fruit peels
  • Plantain
  • Edible flowers
  • Hibiscus
  • Cauliflower
  • Sunflower
  • Rose
  • Yam
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Cocoyam
  • Other food materials are: Peels and plantain
    • Vegetables: they will eat carrots, peas, lettuce, and leafy greens. Broccoli, cassava, eggplant, celery, cabbage, beans, spinach onion greens.
    • Other food: aquatic plants, algae, fish food, shrimp pellets, freshwater. Others are fruit peels and plantain
    • Flowers: edible flowers are hibiscus, cauliflower, sunflower, rose.
    • Tubers: common tubers are yam, sweet potatoes and cocoyam.
Snail food
Snail food ready to be served

Fruits like:  pumpkins, watermelon, grapes, cucumber and paw-paw. Apple, Apricot, Banana, Bilberry, BlackBerries, Black, Currant, Blueberries, Cherry, Cranberry, Dragon Fruit, Grape, Kiwi, Mango, Melon, Nectarine, Passion Fruit, Peach, Pears, Plantains, Plum, Pomegranate, Quince, Raisins, Raspberry, Sharon Fruit, Strawberries, WaterMelon and White Currant.

Note:

ONLY 10% of a Snails diet needs to be fruit. Snails who are fed too much sugar can suffer from several diseases and deformities. So please limit yourself to feeding fruit as a treat and never more than a small portion once a week. Some snails tend to like sweet and soft food and will overeat fruits such as banana and ripe pears, so remember to portion size for them.

I think at this point, you have known much about what to feed your snails but Feeding in snail will be incomplete if we don’t talk about calcium, so let’s talk about adding calcium to your snail food.

Calcium

Your snails need a steady supply of calcium to build and repair shell. Purchase calcium supplements or extract from bone meal, grind shell of dead snails.

From the list above, you can choose what to feed your snails with, but don’t forget to always feed them in the right proportion.

If you have read this post till this point, I want to say a big congratulations to you, believe me, I so much wanted this post to be shot but we can’t risk not giving detailed information about snail food because it’s very important.

So, let’s look at how you can feed your snail, In the remaining part of this work, you will learn how you can ration your snail food and get the best out of them, let’s dive in!

How to Feed Snail
To make your snails grow faster, It is important to feed your snails with the right proportion of food. Snails are nocturnal creatures and prefer to eat at night. Wash vegetables thoroughly cut into bits and serve. Same applies to cucumbers, apples and paw-paw. You can feed them with concentrated feed in other to speed up their growth and maturity, they will mature in fever months than usual.

Here is an example of concentrate feed use in the west Africa sun region to fatten Snails.

  • 3 part Wheat bran, ( substitute Maize or Rice bran if Wheat is not available.)
  • 3 part Palm kennel cake,
  • 3 part Crushed Shells
  • 1 part Soya Bean Oil Cake, ( Substitute groundnut Oil cake or Fish meal if soya not available).

You should supply Concentrate feed once a day, mostly in the evening because Snails are nocturnal, they hide from draught during the daytime, water must be provided for them, put a shallow container for water for them, before giving a new feed always clear the feeding area of old left overfeeds, no matter the quantity left.

You need to put the feed on a flat surface to enable the Snail’s to access to the feed this also gives you the opportunity to monitor the Snail’s health, as healthy snails will feed well.

Growth in Snail

feeding in snail
Snails eating fruits

As there are different species of snails so is their growth pattern different; for example, Achatina fulica, Achatina Achatina, and Archachatina Marginata grow differently and appear in different size even after sharing the same number of months (age) after hatching. Their genetic makeup will determine which ones grow faster than others. Snails mostly mature after 6 months but this can differ due to difference in species, management practices and system of farming.

Conclusively, I hope you have been able to see all the necessary snail food, you can choose which to feed your snails with, depending on what you can afford and the cost of maintaining it. You must not forget that some food content (like calcium) is not based on your choice but they are a must for the growth and development of your snails.

 

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