Not only cats or dogs can become pets: today guinea pigs, hamsters and fish often live in apartments. But snails become a far more exotic inhabitant, and, moreover, they are acquired not only for the house: they are even allowed into reservoirs in country areas. The main moment of caring for them, which excites everyone, is proper and complete nutrition.
What do snails eat in their natural habitat?
For many, it will be surprising that, with their tenderness and fragility, snails do not eat thoroughly ground and semi-liquid foods. In nature, their food is the bark of trees, leaves, even some fruits. They eat this food not only in a fresh state: for some species the pus is much more attractive than young wood. There are carnivorous snails, which to taste insects and carrion.
From this information, we can conclude that the snail has teeth in order to grind food: in some individuals their number is more than 10 thousand. But the location of these teeth is quite interesting: they are all on the tongue, which makes it look like a coarse and long grater. The younger the snail, the higher the sharpness of her teeth, and the better she craps down on food.
What to feed the girls in the aquarium?
- Snails placed in a glass container with water mainly absorb organic bloom that forms on the walls of the aquarium. Thus, they do not need special nutrition, it is important only to place algae together with the inhabitants of the underwater kingdom. But small snail fish, contrary to the prevailing stereotype, are not consumed, but they are always ready to share food with them.
- In addition, aquarium species are not indifferent to the plants that are in it, and to any carefully crushed greens. For this reason, it is not recommended to plant too many snails in one aquarium: in 2-3 weeks from any representatives of the underwater flora with large leaves there will be no trace. They are especially willing to eat rotten algae. Therefore, these animals are sometimes called aquarium attendants: they skillfully cope with its cleaning from dying plants.
- In a natural reservoir - for example, at the dacha - the scheme for feeding snails is the same. In addition, they can throw crushed greens, picked right there in the garden. Dandelions and wild sorrel are especially loved by snails, and the professionals even recommend freezing these herbs in order to pamper your pet in winter.
Peculiarities of keeping the girls at home
In addition to the herbs and greens mentioned earlier, which are permissible for both the snail and the land living under water, there is a list of products allowed for the home-made mollusk that is not settled in an aquarium. It is mainly represented by fruits and vegetables, but not all.
First of all, you should be familiar with the food prohibited for snails. These are any pickled products and dishes, sharp, smoked and salty, sour, having flavoring additives and spices, sweet, fried. Of specific products, a ban is imposed on potato eyes and pasta. Those. almost the same restrictions that are inherent in the nutrition of a person with a sensitive digestive tract.
Vegetables for snails are recommended to give leaves of cabbage and lettuce, spinach and celery, bean group (mainly beans and peas), zucchini, carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes and pumpkin, rutabaga and red pepper. Potatoes are allowed snails only in boiled form. From cereals can only oatmeal. Among the fruits are allowed apricots and mango, papaya, pineapple and figs, more affordable plum, apples, pears. Bananas are allowed, but in small quantities. Suitable for feeding snail grapes, cherries and strawberries, avocados, melons and watermelons.
For the land species, the drinking regime is also important, which consists in irrigating the walls of the terrarium with clean water. A feeding schedule has been proposed for the evening, since these mollusks belong to nocturnal residents. At the same time it is important to know: as the food pounded on the surface dries, it is removed, a new one is placed only at the moment when the old portion is eliminated. In winter, feeding the snail should be rare, only at the moments of its wakefulness.
How and what do Achatina snails eat?
Large land mollusks are Achatina snails, which recently began to be acquired as pets. The question of feeding for this species is particularly acute, as are many other nuances of caring for it. One should know not only what it is, but also how, according to which schedule.
The Achatina snail is fed with plant food, and in natural habitat it is able to consume even meat. The main products are carrots, cabbage and cucumbers, but the list does not end there, because the key point is the variety of the diet.
It is often mentioned because with active use of a single product for feeding the snail, the mollusk subsequently develops hostility towards it. This is especially noticeable in young individuals, who in their childhood ate too monotonously: in the future they do not perceive the same products, which forces them to change their diet.
For babies, chopped and not coarse food is needed - the same cucumbers or even lettuce leaves are cut and mashed. At the same time, soft substances are unacceptable for them: for example, a banana crumpled with a spoon or applesauce. The following schedule is considered optimal: small greens and mashed carrots for newborn individuals, lettuce leaves, apples and cucumbers, carefully cut, for grown-up snails. Adults independently process larger pieces and bits of the same products and can eat new elements of the diet.
The moment that special attention is paid to the nutrition of Achatina snails is calcium, which is spent on building their shell. Its deficiency affects its density: it becomes soft, easily injured, and bent. Since this part of the body of the cochlea contains in itself its internal organs, any damage to it can cause disruption of the life activity of the mollusk and even its death.
In addition, calcium deficiency affects the puberty of the cochlea. Therefore, the addition of calcium to food is necessary for Akhatins: most often it is taken from natural chalk, from meat and bone meal. In addition, eggshell, ground in a mortar, millet, buckwheat and oats becomes a source of calcium for the cochlea.
Prohibited products for Achatina snails are the same as for any land. The permitted special attention is deserved not by the usual vegetables and fruits, but by another group. In particular, these are plants and herbs. Flowers of most fruit country trees (apricot, apple, pear), clover, yarrow and plantain, alfalfa, dandelion, nettle, elder flowers and forget-me-nots, as well as any meadow plants. All of them should be collected only outside the city, so as not to be saturated with exhaust gases, smoke and wastewater. Bringing home, they must be thoroughly rinsed.
In addition, the diet of the Achatina snail can include mushrooms, baby food - on vegetables and meat, food for aquarium fish (gammarus), ground peanuts, sprouted oats, bread softened in milk, and lactic acid products. But these products should not be flavored, including salt and sugar. Also allowed minced meat in raw and boiled form.
The most important nuance that professionals advise to take into account is the variety in the diet of any snail. Regardless of her dietary preferences, you need to keep up with the constantly changing menu. And in any case not to allow the use of unwanted products. With proper nutrition and care, your pet will always be healthy and active.