Nature Idea- Pet Snails

Snails make easy pets. One year we noticed several white snails all over the garden. We took two inside and placed them in a large jar with rotten leaf matter on top of the soil and kept it moist, adding a branch or two. We also placed a piece of cloth screen over the top with a rubber band. Every few days we added a piece of apple or other fruit, replacing any leftovers. We didn't plan to keep the snails for long, but the children loved to watch and sketch them. A few weeks later, our youngest daughter let out a squeal upon discovering several dozen baby snails in the jar. I was shocked and upon doing a little research learned that most snails have both male and female parts and thus, reproduce easily and rapidly.


photo courtesy: petsnails.co.uk

8 comments:

carrie said...

This is great. My kids found a snail the other day, but I didn't know how to keep it, and just took a picture and made them let it go. After reading this post, I told them if they found more, to keep them now that I knew what to do. And they found one. I wonder, do they need a mate to reproduce even though they have both parts? I know earth worms do.

Elizabeth Joy said...

My son has two kinds of pet snails. He really enjoys them. And thankfully they don't take much care. I read your post to him and he really enjoyed it.

lindafay said...

Carrie, even though a snail can make sperm and eggs, they need each other in order to fertilize them.

By the way, some snails in the wild carry disease, so I make sure my kids don't handle them much and wash their hands when messing with the jar.

Let us know if you have success-that is, babies. :)

Kimberly Alexandra said...

Well, maybe once we're moved and settled the girls and I can go snail hunting!

They have waited eleven long months for a kitten. The landlord at our current house allowed pets. Then, finally, a friend who had a cat, had kittens. We went about a month ago and picked out the one we wanted, they even had a name, Atticus (after Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird). We were all set to go pick him up and that same week found out we were moving. Our current landloard doesn't allow pets, so sadly, little Atticus will not be part of our family after all.

The girls took it very well, they are too excited about that loft bedroom! This also isn't the first time we haven't been able to have pets, so they make do with other things like caterpillars. It's amazing what you can learn just by observing.

So, maybe, Atticus the Snail instead?

Warmly,
Kim

lindafay said...

Atticus- what a great name! We almost named our dog that one, too.

Anonymous said...

I have a son named Atticus Boo. He and his brothers keep snails.

Anonymous said...

hi ive had pet snails loads of times one time i kept about five pet snails and eventuallly they ended up having eggs it was really exciting, unfortunatly they died that was in 2005 now i have 2 big pet snails which iv had since 2006 and then in july it had eggs in a few weeks they had hatched i decided to leave them so they get used to the surroundings then saturday came time to clean out the tank i carefully lifted the babys onto a paper towel then i lifted that out then something caught my eye a little baby snail it obviously didnt manage to get to the surface so i carefully lifted it onto the papertowel then i rummaged through the rest of the soil and found more after a bit i decided i had found all of them which i had so after tidying the tank up a bit and putting all the arnoments in and lifting all the snails in i thought that it was getting a bit crowded so i decicded to say goodbye to the adult snails then i put some fresh food in and walah the jobs done.

lindafay said...

Anonymous,
Thanks for sharing your snail adventures. You've reminded me how easy it is. I think we should keep snails again this spring.We haven't done it in awhile.