Can snails be eaten?

Snails as Pets: The Observation of Slowness

Slugs are lame, dumb, and slimy - and great pets for kids and adults alike. This is how even beginners can keep snails.

Seven year old Marley watches his new pet - a snail. “They also taught dogs and cats at school, but it is snails of all things that fascinate him,” says his mother, Fanny Jimenez. Since then, the family has had new roommates in their Berlin apartment. "Snails are excellent pets for children, but also very comforting for adults," says Robert Nordsieck, biologist and author from Austria. You can watch them for hours and always discover something new.

Mollusks are exciting for children and adults

The 47-year-old has kept snails himself since he was a teenager. His wife and daughter are also enthusiastic about the molluscs. The nine-year-old is currently working on identifying species of snails and learning their scientific names. Marley also thinks snails are incredibly cute, says his mother. He gives them names and lets Turbo, Lukas and Schnecki compete against each other in races over hill and dale.

Snails are particularly easy to care for pets

"After the terrarium hobby was very popular, many snail keepers have been added in recent years," explains Florian Grabsch from the Association of German Societies for Aquarium and Terrarium Studies (VDA) in Olching. One of the reasons: They are particularly uncomplicated pets.

Which snails are suitable for beginners?

Snail lovers can choose from numerous types. To get started, Grabs recommends agate snails. "They are the most common type of hobby, easy to get and can develop into handsome animals," says the VDA expert. It's best to keep them in groups.

Where can you buy snails?

If you want to buy snails, you can do so in zoo shops with a terrarium department, for example. Interested parties can also find what they are looking for with other snail lovers. In the case of exotic species, buyers should make sure that they are not caught illegally in the wild, says Robert Nordsieck.

How big does the terrarium have to be for the snails?

A terrarium or an empty aquarium, for example, is a good snail shell. "An area of ​​60 by 30 centimeters is enough for a handful of animals," explains Grabsch. There is usually no need for extra lighting; However, it shouldn't be too dark. Heating is also not necessary: ​​most snails are happy at room temperature. However, the snail shell should be well closed: The animals can lift many times their own body weight and easily escape with a loose cover.

What absolutely belongs in the terrarium?

As a subsurface, Grabs recommends using soil made from pressed humus bricks, available at garden centers. A few unsprayed branches and a piece of bark on which the animals can hide complete the facility. As a source of lime, Grabs puts egg or sepia bowls in the terrarium for his animals.

How are snails fed?

The snails are fed unsprayed fruit and vegetables - with the exception of cabbage and citrus fruits. “We feed as much every day as the animals eat within 24 hours,” he says. The snails do not need drinking water, but some like to bathe - and enjoy a shallow bowl of liquid.

What do snails cost?

And snails are easy to care for. "Apart from a little feeding and a little cleaning, they practically don't need any attention," says Nordsieck. The animals are often available for as little as two euros, and their food can easily be made from household scraps. You can get new aquariums from around 40 euros, and much cheaper used ones, says Grabsch.

How long do snails live?

How long snails live is very different. Agate snails can grow up to ten years old, says Grabsch. Roman snails have been detected in the wild at up to 39 years of age. Many nudibranchs die after a year.

Can you keep several species together?

According to Nordsieck, different species can usually be kept together. However, they have different food preferences, which the keeper should research beforehand. The biologist warns, however: some species of snail are predatory, such as the native snails, slugs and shrews, but also many exotic snails. You are not allowed in the mixed snail group.

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| Updated: May 27, 2020

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