An almost perfect pet has finally been found! It does not stomp, does not beg for food, it is not necessary to walk with it, it does not pour in corners and is extremely unpretentious in food and conditions. It does not smell, does not cause allergies and does not require constant cleaning. It is constantly silent, but very affectionate and friendly, recognizes the owner and is given into his hands. And most importantly - if you are going on vacation, it will quietly sleep all the time in the refrigerator. And his only minus is not fluffy.
What kind of miracle is this, which requires almost no care (no more than a houseplant) and at the same time is ready to give the owner many joyful minutes? This is Achatina. Representatives of this species are not the snails that we see in the garden plots (and we don’t like it anyway), but truly titans of the snail world - the size of the shell is up to 25 centimeters and weight is up to half a kilogram. They also live long enough - from 4 to 10 years with good maintenance.
A good content for Achatina is very simple. A small terrarium or a small aquarium - only surely closed from above and with slots for ventilation - will become her home. A plastic fish tanker is perfect, you can buy it at almost any large pet store. Choose the size of the house based on the number of future large (up to 30 centimeters with your head!) Pets. Under ideal conditions, every adult snail should have at least two liters of space. That is, a five-liter jig for a couple will be enough. Just choose “dishes” with a wide bottom (so that the snails have more space) and with a wide “throat” - so that it is convenient to care for. A three-liter jar is definitely not suitable, I tried. But in general, as a temporary shelter for one or two young snails, a liter jar with a wide throat, covered with gauze or fabric can be used.
A cover with slots or a fabric with a rare weave of threads on top is not a luxury. Despite the fact that the snails crawl rather slowly, they are very persistent and curious. Such an inspection will go away - and look for it later. Slots in the lid are also very important if you do not want to spend time regularly airing (with snail care).
In a terrarium, it would be nice to maintain a temperature slightly above room temperature. At 25 - 28 degrees (not more than 30) our pets will be quite comfortable. But if there is no heater and is not expected, you can keep snails at room temperature - they will simply crawl more slowly. But the lighting should be soft and diffused, so you do not need to put the snail house on the window (and in general under direct sunlight) or heat it with a lamp.
At the bottom of the terrarium you need to put a little - three centimeters - of soil. A coconut substrate, which can be bought in flower shops (not all, but in the Seeds store on Sadovaya, it happens quite often), is great. If there is no coconut substrate, soil for orchids is suitable (sharp pieces of bark must be removed from it), soil for flowers with a lot of baking powder (Begonia soil) and even sawdust (this, of course, is not a good option, and you need to change them much more often, but for the first time it will do). During the day, snails can sleep, buried in the ground, and go out for a walk in the evening.
The soil should be wet all the time, but not wet. To maintain soil moisture and at the same time water the snails, a spray gun for flowers is required. The water in it should be at room temperature. Once a day you need to carefully spray the walls of the terrarium - so that the snails drink. If the soil is too wet, you can skip one or two sprayings.
Remember that Achatina is not a water animal and cannot breathe under water. So if you flood the soil, then the snail can drown. For bathing and drinking, you can put in a terrarium a small (not deeper than a centimeter) bowl in which to keep clean water and change it regularly.
The inner walls of the terrarium and its lid should be cleaned once a week with a wet sponge without any detergents, removed from the soil feces (they do not smell and almost do not get dirty, so even the most fastidious person can do this), and snails can be released for cleaning to a clean place that has not been treated with chemicals (for example, mine likes to crawl along a clean and damp chopping board, especially if you put a cucumber there for fun). By the way, tobacco and salt for these mollusks is poison, so if you cut pickles on a board, sprinkled salt on a table or crumbled a cigarette, in no case put snails there.
Once every six months, the soil must be completely changed, and the terrarium should be washed more thoroughly with a stiff brush and hot water without detergents.
Snails love to swim in running water at room temperature. A thin trickle of tap water (25-30 degrees) once or twice a week will provide your pets a great mood and clean shell. Remember again that snails are not waterfowl and you cannot use them as ducks for a bath! In addition, they are very sensitive to chemicals, so do not put them in a kitchen sink that has been treated with a cleaning agent recently (up to a day), do not pick them up if you have recently taken pickled wild garlic in your hands and did not wash them with soap, smeared your hands with cream or did a manicure.
Bathing is a good way to accustom Achatina to the owner. It’s completely disgusting to pick them up, and when they crawl over the skin, the sensations are rather pleasant. By the way, despite the fact that the sight of these mollusks is very limited, and there is no hearing at all, they distinguish (apparently by smell) their own from strangers and respond to the owner with friendly peeping from the sink.
The main question for all animals: what to feed. I will please you: Achatina eat almost all fresh and even slightly spoiled vegetables and fruits (not salty! Without spices! Not processed thermally!). I feed mine with cucumbers, zucchini and salad, because they eat other vegetables less willingly. But you can teach snails to eat red bell pepper (the color of the shell changes from it, it becomes brighter), carrots, beets, apples, tomatoes, even cottage cheese, potato peelings and raw meat. Do not feed the mollusks with sweet fruits (for example, do not recommend a pear), spicy herbs and citrus fruits. But if they are given a banana, then, they say, they will then refuse other food. You can bring plantain and clover to snails from the dacha (it is better not to pick up city grass).
Ideally, food should be placed in a shallow ceramic or plastic bowl to make it easier to clean up leftover foods. But you can put it directly on the ground. Adult snails are fed once every two to three days, young snails are fed every day.
For beauty, food and entertainment, Achatina in the terrarium can be planted grass for cats (sprouted oats sold in any pet store) or salad. If, for example, you have nowhere to put a tradescantium or chlorophytum - plant them too, just reconcile that these plants will soon be eaten.
Since each self-respecting Achatina has a sink, for its growth and strength you need to feed your pets calcium. It is best to give crushed eggshells or medical chalk. School chalk, they say, contains the wrong additives, but in extreme cases, it will do. Some advise to give the so-called "sepia", which is often sold as a mineral bait for parrots, but it may include salt, and salt, as I said, is simply poisonous for snails. Ground chalk or shell can be mixed with soil.
If there is too little calcium or the snail is still young, it will most likely have a fragile shell. And it can crack during physical impact - or pieces can break from it. However, if you drop even an adult Achatina with a healthy shell on a hard surface - injuries are inevitable. If the damage is not very strong, then the sink can be restored using gauze and glue BF. If the shell has cracked severely, you can also try to restore the shell or just leave the snail alone where it cannot harm itself and provide plenty of calcium and water.
You can find out about other diseases, injuries, parasites and methods of treating snails at the specialized forum for snail lovers - SnailClub.ru. You can also brag of your pets there, attach young ones and solve the issues of keeping and feeding.
Even if you have only one snail, it is quite capable of laying fertilized eggs. If you do not want to attach up to 100 small snails, then the eggs must be removed from the terrarium and put in the freezer. In a few hours they will die, and they can be thrown out. Also - in the freezer - snails are euthanized, which damaged not only the shell, but also the body, or those whose disease is not treated in our conditions.
If you left the clutch, after 2-3 weeks small, almost transparent cloves will appear from the eggs, which must be fed with grated vegetables every day. And after a month and a half they can already be distributed (along with the printout of this article). Exactly so, lovers of exotic animals exchange their pets, because Akhatin is not yet sold in pet stores I know.
P.S. And if you need to go on vacation (longer than two weeks), and there is nowhere to attach snails, just stop feeding them and put the terrarium in the refrigerator, in the vegetable compartment, or in any other stable cool place. It is advisable to choose a refrigerator from relatives or friends, that is, one that will not go unattended (we turn off the electricity). If the owner of the refrigerator is nervous at the sight of shells, then you can wrap the terrarium with something opaque, just write from above that these snails are inedible.
The soil should be slightly dry when placed in the refrigerator (not to be wet). When returning, place the terrarium in a warm place, spray the soil with water and immediately feed the animals.
Up to two weeks, Achatina can simply be left unattended, only so that the soil does not overheat. And you can take them with you on vacation - just not to the USA, there, for the import of this national disaster, it seems, they still give five years in prison.
1. General information about snails
It takes priority as the largest of the land mollusks.
Snail (scientific helix pomatia) wears a yellowish, brown-white shell up to 5.5 cm in size, which serves as a kind of refuge (home). The color of the “house” depends on the food used by the snail and the habitat. The body is wrinkled. Nature envisaged the presence of legs up to 5 cm long and two pairs of tentacles up to 4 cm.
You can read more information about this mollusk, its physiological characteristics and application in the field of human life on Wikipedia pages.
3.1. Why snails are used in fishing
- natural bait - consists of a daily menu of fish,
- easily adapt to living conditions,
- protein food for fish,
- rarely used in fishing and therefore not boring to marine inhabitants,
- all-season bait
- available bait,
- suitable for fishing in hot weather,
- It is used to bait fish (cut into small pieces or in a crushed state).
- need to be mined (as in any other natural bait),
- dear when buying from individuals,
- requires skill when cleaning,
- not firmly attached to the hook.
4. How to put a snail on a hook
Large mollusks are used for attachment to the hook, which are more firmly held on the hook. To string the bait, the snail is freed from the shell, which is carefully broken, then the legs are removed. The snail is mounted on the hard part, so that the sting of the hook is in sight.
And this short video clearly shows how to do this in practice. Thanks to the author for a practical lesson.
5. Methods for storing bait
At home, not live snails store:
- unassembled in the refrigerator (several days),
- in the freezer.
Live snails are stored at home at a warm temperature, in high containers with a lid, in which openings are made for oxygen (aquarium, containers and other plastic containers). In the tank add land for plants, sawdust, peat or punishment of conifers, pre-treated with boiling water or by calcination in the oven (oven, microwave) to remove unwanted parasites. Snails periodically need to be sprayed with water. Feed: cucumbers, apples, slices of watermelon, zucchini, leaves, etc.
About breeding and keeping snails at home is described in detail at http://appsmack.ru/2/?p=2177
7. Interesting facts about snails
Missing parts of the body of the snail are easily restored (regenerated) within a month.
The British with the participation of snails arrange "snail" race.
This oldest mollusk is able to crawl along the blade and not get hurt, as the sole of the legs is covered with protective mucus.
A grape snail climbing over a razor blade without injuries. More photos.
They are able to transfer the air temperature to -120 degrees in sleep mode!
The snail has 25 thousand teeth, with which it grinds food.
Mollusks do not see well and are able to distinguish only day from night, but in return they have an excellent scent.
Pet housing and proper care
A street snail can live in an ordinary aquarium, left over from a fish that has not taken root. If there is no aquarium, you can take a terrarium or a large plastic container. Soil is poured at the bottom, it needs so much that the snail can dig into it, since for them it serves as a crib. The substrate is necessarily wet, but water should not protrude when squeezed.
In addition, wild garden and forest snails are considered climbers, they often climb walls, and in the event of a fall, the soil protects them from injuries. But filings can not be used, since they can eat it.
When using coconut substrate for street snails, bought in a store, it is pre-soaked in water for several hours. When using land, it is taken from a park or forest. It is important that there are no fertilizers or chemicals. Before covering the house, it should be calcined at high temperatures or boiled. Ready-made primers for begonias from flower shops can be used.
Instead of purchased soil, you can use sphagnum moss or peat, only neutralized. If peat is acidic, then the shell of a forest snail will quickly deteriorate.
Read about other types of soil for snails.
A lid is placed on the container. It is impossible without it, since the snail taken from the street is wild and very inquisitive, especially at home. She can run away and get lost. When falling, she will break a sink or eat a wall-paper on walls that is also not allowed.
How to feed wild at home?
Small street snails in the first days of their lives eat the shell of their eggs, which contains all the necessary substances. However, as adults, individuals change their gastronomic tastes. For example, grape snails love to eat young grape leaves, for which they got their name. At home, the owner can feed the pet more diverse.
Favorite foods also include leaves:
Sometimes they can be found on horseradish, radish, cabbage and some other types of crops. Mostly animals feed on rotten parts, but it can also damage a healthy plant. Adult forest snails also eat juicy fruits, so they eagerly eat fruits and berries, in particular, wild strawberries in spring.
Despite the fact that gastropods are considered herbivores, it is noted that they can eat food of animal origin - broken eggs, insect larvae, and worms.
At home, forest and garden snails are omnivorous, but it is important that the food is fresh and juicy.
Prohibited! Dangerous foods!
- Salt and chemical fertilizers,
- Bitter, sour, ready-made feed for other pets,
- Bread, pasta,
- Beans in any form and raw potatoes.
All other vegetables and fruits are available. Separately, you can cook wild garden snails chicken, boiled potatoes and eggs, the main thing is not to add salt.
Most often, street pets are fed what they eat in wildlife. But at home, protein and calcium are added to their diet.
Protein is found in specialized supplements, such as daphnia and gammarus, and at home you can cook simple and tasty food for snails.
Wild snails need plenty of calcium. In nature, what street snails eat is already rich in calcium, but it should always be given at home. For this, special sepia is used, from the store or feed chalk. You can’t use school chalk, it has a large amount of chemicals.
High mineral content in shell rock, eggshell and fish bone meal. But all this must be ground in advance in a coffee grinder.
At home, wild street snails are fed once a day, preferably in the evening, as they sleep during the day. But over time, their rhythm may change.
Outdoor Snail Hygiene
A forest or garden snail needs water; they not only drink it, but also swim. To do this, use a shallow lid, which should be fixed so that it could not turn it over or drown.
Do not use for bathing showers, as hard and chlorinated water is fatal to a pet. It is better to use boiled and cooled water.
It is impossible to water with a powerful stream, it is better to spray from the spray gun, to create the illusion of light rain. It is also necessary to spray the walls of the house and moisten the soil. Как правило, этого всегда достаточно.
Фекалии убираются ежедневно, а так же и не доеденная еда, иначе она может начать гнить.
Раз в неделю стенки домика и крышки протираются чистой водой без добавления средств для мытья. Это делается для смывания слизи. Полная замена грунта проводится один раз в месяц.
If a mollusk from the middle strip, such as grape or chain, is used as a pet, then you do not need to warm it with a lamp. The alternation of drought and humidity is very important for them, such conditions are considered the most optimal. However, with a critical drop in temperature, a warming mat is still useful. In winter, pets should be hibernated, at least for a short time. Such a schedule will extend the life of the pet.
Ordinary garden snails, if they are well looked after and abide by all the rules, can live very long at home. Then they will not only please the owner, but also multiply.
Furnishing a house for a garden snail
For pets, a terrarium with a size of about 19 liters and with a wide bottom, as well as a lid with ventilation holes is needed. If the lid is absent, then the mollusk can escape, as they are easily climbed vertically.
The optimum temperature is the room temperature, which must be maintained the same constantly.
Snails need soil at the bottom of the house, it is better to purchase ready-made soil in the store, it is completely safe and does not contain harmful bacteria. If this is not possible, then you can pick up the soil in the garden and treat it at high temperatures for at least 30 minutes.
For maximum activity, it is recommended to decorate the house. To do this, you can use artificial logs or tunnels from the pet store or real ones from the garden. Then the garden snail will be able to climb them and hide if necessary.
Amazing terrarium decor can be purchased on site.
Shellfish need moisture, for this all objects and soil are regularly sprayed from the bottle. This procedure is carried out every two days.
You need to feed the snail every day, but you should find out what forest and garden snails eat at home. They are unpretentious in nutrition. They enjoy fresh vegetables and fruits, herbs and cereals. Salt food is strictly prohibited. All products are finely chopped, then it is easier for pets to eat them.
There are products that are forbidden to give to wild street snails - these are:
- Salty and spicy food
- Smoked Products:
- Pasta and raw potatoes,
- Citrus fruits and tomatoes.
These products harm pets and may lead to their death.
Garden snails need to be given protein and calcium. To do this, you can buy ready-made supplements in the store or make them yourself. Feed calcium, eggshell is used as calcium. Protein is found in boiled chicken.
Interesting facts about garden snails
Many owners are interested in how many garden snails live. The life of wild snails lasts from 5 to 9 years. There were times when pets lived to be 15 years old.
Garden snails, in particular grape, are used in cooking. Salads and snacks are prepared from them. They are considered common in recipes of French cuisine.
Shellfish meat is rich in useful trace elements and vitamins. And their body is preparing a medicine for bronchitis.
Land snails move at a very low speed, it is only 3 mm per second.
The maintenance of ordinary snails at home is not only simple, but also an exciting activity.
A grape snail lives on average 8 years, but maybe longer. This clam is eaten and considered a delicacy. He is awake from spring until the first autumn frosts. Then hibernates. An adult can reach 5 centimeters. It feeds on plants. You can meet snails in Central and Eastern Europe. A grape snail is easy to distinguish from other ordinary street mollusks.
Amber amber has a transparent shell. It lives in many European countries and even in North America. There are snails in humid places, sometimes they can immerse themselves in water. They live only 13 to 17 months.
Chains are a genus of large snails. The height of the snail shells reaches 16mm and the width is 20mm. Chain body length reaches 40mm. Due to deforestation and the collection of snail shells by collectors, chains are on the list of specially protected sites. The head and legs in some species may be visible.
The Austrian chain is a fairly common species. You can meet her in Russia, Hungary, Lithuania, Poland, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Austria, Moldova and Ukraine. The chain has a cubar-shaped shell with five turns. Color - from white to yellow, with dark brown stripes. Lays eggs in late July, in moist soil. Lives an average of 3 years.
Shrub snail has a round, large shell from gray to red-brown and even blue-black. You can meet her in Western Asia, as well as in Eastern and Central Europe. Prefers moist fields and meadows, or forest edges. It feeds on grassy plants, and hibernates from October. It multiplies, like many mollusks, laying eggs in the ground.
Cepaea sylvatica is one of the rarest types of chains. You can meet in Northern and Central Europe. In Russia, this chain can be found in the Leningrad and Kaliningrad regions. Prefers well-warmed areas. It feeds on lichen, detritus and some types of mushrooms. Propagated by laying eggs in the ground.
A very unusual and rare representative of the mollusk Bielzia coerulans, also called limacid. It has a surprisingly beautiful color (purple, blue or green). You can meet her in Ukraine, the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia and Romania, in coniferous and mixed forests. Belongs to pulmonary, does not have a shell. The body length of bielsia is from 10 to 14 centimeters. It is a hermaphrodite, and after laying eggs the snail dies.