We saw snails eating leaves in the garden as kids, but is that it? How about garden snails? What do garden snails eat? You probably think that they are fragile and weak creatures because they are slow, things are not like that. Garden snails eat pretty much anything their little jaws can get a hold of, and that is a lot. So this is why we are going to discuss all the common things that garden snails eat today. In case you want to know what to feed your garden snails, this article will be useful for you.
1. Common Food For Garden Snails
Garden snails are not picky when it comes to feeding, and there is plenty of food in the wild for them. If you have pet garden snails, there are some nice food choices that you can easily find to feed them. Remember to switch different meals for them every day because snails can become bored with the same food. I will only include the most common food for garden snails below so check them out.
It is true that snails enjoy fresh produce, especially the vegetables from the garden and in the wild. However, you can also feed them some common fruits that you actually have in the fridge. If you get those fruits from the supermarket, make sure to wash them well before giving them to the snails. Although they live in the wild, they are still sensitive to chemical substances and pesticides in fruits. After washing, chop or shred the fruits in small pieces, you can place them in the tank for your garden snails. Some of the nice fruits that you can feed them are:
The most common food that garden snails love to get their little jaws on is definitely veggies. There is a wide range of vegetables that you can choose to feed your pet snails at home. Just like fruits, make sure you wash the produce before cutting them into small pieces for your snails. For even a healthier result, use organic produce because it is healthy and safe for them to eat. Garden snails may feed on vegetables more than fruits, so you might want to check on that. The rule of thumb is feeding 0.25 cups of veggie per day, but that can change. If your snails eat all the food you provide, then you can always add more. Garden snails’ favorite veggies are:
- Green bean
- Sweet corn
Besides the fruits and vegetables above, you can also feed them some dandelion greens or seeds as additional treats. They enjoy hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds, and those are the other meals that you can feed them.
2. What To Avoid Feeding Snails
There are certain types of foods that are dangerous to your snails, and giving those can lead to bad consequences. Take foods that contain sugar as an example. They can cause bloating or digesting difficulty to the snails. Avoid feeding your snails with anything with salt at all costs because it burns their body moisture and kills them. You should stick to the common food and avoid the items below:
- Citrus foods
- Processed foods
- Salty foods
3. How To Feed Pet Garden Snails
Feeding a pet garden snail is actually the easiest and simplest task to do, even kids can do it. All you need is to place the meal of the day in the tank and just leave it there. The snails will come to eat when they are hungry, and you don’t have to monitor them at all. You can leave a few small pieces of fruits or vegetables if there are just a few snails. The only thing to keep an eye on is when the meal that you leave begins to mold or rot. Discard it immediately then place new food so that your garden snails only get to feed on fresh and healthy meals.
4. How To Care For A Pet Garden Snail
Each pet has its challenges when it comes to taking care of them at home. Things are not different with pet garden nails, and there are a few things that you should know. Once you have the basic foundations on how to care for pet garden snails, things will be easier. Feel free to check out the useful tips below, especially if you are a beginner.
- Snails prefer to eat with a companion, so it is better to have at least 2 pet garden snails.
- Make sure that the container or tank of your pet garden snails receives sufficient air and humidity.
- Change the food every day, and remove the uneaten leaves from the tanks daily. Always replace the old food with fresh food so that your snails always have a nice meal to eat.
- If the soil in the tank starts to dry out, mist the tank and your snails using a spray bottle. Do so until the soil becomes moist again, but don’t overdo it to the point that the soil is damp.
- Use paper towels or sponges to wipe down the glass walls of the tanks or terrarium every few days. This is to remove mildew or mold that may build-up due to humidity or moisture in the tank.
- The tank that a snail can call home should be as natural as possible for them to live in. You should add a small amount of gravel, some pieces of dried leaves and tree barks, and some potting mix.
- The lid of the container or tank should have ventilation holes that allow the air to go through. However, it shouldn’t be too large that the snails can escape through. In case you don’t have a lid, then you can use a cheesecloth and a rubber band to cover.
- Remove everything from the tank once a week to clean and wash. You can lay a bed of dandelion leaves on the soil surface each time as a playground for the snails. Dandelion leaf layers are easy to remove and clean up, and they are also nice for the tanks.
5. Snail Food – FAQs:
5.1. What do snails eat?
Surprisingly, snails have thousands of tiny teeth that they use to scrap the food. So these slow creatures can feed on a wide variety of food and things that they can find. In the wild, there are hard-working and lazy snails that have different diets. The hard-working ones are picky and will look around for different food like crops, fruits, plants, vegetables, and more. Those snails will also eat mushrooms, stems, and tree barks that they can find.
Meanwhile, the lazy ones will eat whatever is around them without putting effort into searching. Another interesting thing is that snails will eat eggshells as a part of their meal due to their calcium content. This is why snails will eat their own baby eggs sometimes, hence their reputation of being cannibals.
5.2. What do baby snails eat?
Baby snails eat the same food as the adults, but you have to chop the meals into tiny pieces. You can give them tiny lettuce first before introducing them to a new food that their parents feed on. The alternatives should be soft, yet nutritious food like mashed fish flakes or tomato sprinkled with crushed eggshells. Romaine is also nice if you have any, but make sure to avoid watery food like large tomato chunks. Baby snails are small so they may drown in wet foods.
5.3. Do snails drink water?
Snails get water from the food that they eat, so you don’t need to provide them with water to drink. The thing that you should focus on is the humidity in the tank that your pet snails live in. Make sure that their environment has between 75% to 95% of humidity to ensure healthy living conditions for them. You may want to give them some clean drinking water or sprinkle water for them to bathe in. Fill the water in a shallow dish to avoid drowning, and replace it every few days.
Garden snails are nice pets because calm and easy to for since they don’t require much. You can tell by the easy and short tips below, anyone can take care of garden snails. They also make nice pets for children since the feeding time is super exciting and fun for them. On a safety remark, always wash your hands after handling your pet snails or after cleaning their tanks. If you have any doubts regarding snails care and food, I am always here.