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Giant African Land Snails


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Wasn't quite sure where to post this - hope it is ok here!!??

 

We have just been given some giant african land snails (about 1 year old)

 

Was wondering if any of you have them in your setting and if you can give me any pointers.

 

Particularly interested to know what happens over the weekend. Can they survive comfortably over that time or do they get taken home and if so, by whom???

 

What do the eggs look like? Could they easily be missed? What do I do if I do find lots and lots and lots of eggs??!!

 

All advice and information gratefully received.

 

Many thanks in advance

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We were given some this time last year which we kept in an old fish tank with a lid. We had a layer of shingle for drainage with soil on top, then added large pieces of bark, log, stones, flower pots on their sides, etc. Make sure they're not in direct sunlight. We kept a spray bottle next to the tank, you need to spray inside with water fairly frequently. It must be damp inside at all times. The children enjoyed doing this. We fed them on fruit and vegetables - all staff brought in left over bits on a daily basis. They also need a couple of bits of cuttlefish (available from pet shop), which I think helps give them the nutrients for their shells. You need to take out left over food before it starts rotting and clean the tank out - fresh soil, etc about once a month.

 

We didn't worry too much about them over the weekends, as long as they had a good supply of food and water. The eggs are about 5mm and a creamy colour. They are laid in batches and hatch quite quickly. It's then difficult keeping an eye on the tiny snails as they easily escape! I'm afraid some of our eggs ended up as fish food for the fish in my pond! Otherwise we would have had far too many snails.

 

There is lots of information about keeping them on the web. Just do a google search.

 

Here's one example

 

http://giantlandsnails.mysite.wanadoo-members.co.uk/

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Hi Becs,

 

We have giant African snails as well, we do everything that Jackie does too. I have discovered our snails enjoy as a treat, wholemeal bread and they love being put on a tray of water, they really come out of their shells then, which is a great way for the children to see the snails in there full glory and examine them and learn how to handle them very gently. Our snails lay their eggs at the very bottom of the tank, you cannot miss the eggs, we have been advised to dispose of the eggs. Sometimes a parent may ask for a few eggs to bring home, i wont go into detail here what we were advised to do, as i don't do it, i get another staff member to do it as she is fine about disposing of them. Our snails are fine over the weekend, for the holidays i put up a poster for the parents asking if they could take the snails home for a holdiay :D i give the parents a laminated card of how to look after the snails and their names etc. Our snails have grown quite big in the past two terms. I am considering getting a bigger tank for them.

 

Hope all goes well with your new pets.

 

 

Rosepetal :)

 

Hi Jackie,

Just re read your post and you have given me an idea as a more humane way of disposing of the eggs. In future i will bring them home for the fish in my garden pond too, i never thought of that.

 

Thanks for the idea. :D

 

Rosepetal.

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I had four, but two died unexpectedly - don't know what happened to them but it was most unpleasant - the only thing I can put it down to was either a bug or the other thing was that I gave them some salad stuff, the pre packed stuff and I know they wash it with cholrine - maybe it was too much for them. The other two seem to be fine... although I did go off them a bit when they were dying as I didn't know what to do with them and they seemed to take ages to die. They do breed but I don't think they reach sexual maturity until they are about a year - we were told to pick out the eggs and put them in a sealed plastic, air tight bag and bin them - they can lay up to 80 eggs, so its really hard to get rid of all of them and they would become a pest if they were let go into the wild. They are very easy to look after, don't need too much exercise or food, are quite clean - not too much pooh to clear up and they don't smell - all in all - a good pet! Sometimes their shells break after over zealous mating, but this soon repairs itself!!!

I am sure you will have lots of fun and suprisingly enough you can get quite attached to them. Mine like cucumber best - then pepper - don;t like tomatos but will definitely try the bread as a treat. I change the soil fairly regularly and use the peat free tomato plant compost - as it's dead cheap

Nikki

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well they sound better than a budgie or a rabbit

might look into it for september

weve had chicken eggs and caterpillars but would love some long term pets!

Jo

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They can live to about 7 years old - so they are fairly long term. One of the girls on my course had one for this time - when it died - she kept the shell and varnished it.

Nikki

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WE have two, Sid and Bob. Over the weekend the children take them home. They have never reproduced in 3 years! Celibate snails......

 

Very easy to look after and great to handle. Cucumber is their favourite food! We also made a book with one of the children to yrll others how to look after them. remember to keep them and the tank moist especially in this hot weather.

 

Have fun

Kate :o

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi there

we to have G snails and yes we have all become attached to them, cant add any more on how to look after them but we have lots of activities

Snail Trail book makes a really good story sack

snail racing on suger paper gives a good line for the children to measure

naming the parts of the body, shell, foot, body, mouth

life cycle

counting and looking at different shell, sea shell etc

drawing snails, playdough snails

the list is endless hope this has given you a few ideas :D

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:o I want some xD

 

will trade in our three ever so boring (yawn yawn) fish, for giant african land snails.

Particularily if they don't smell, our fish are horrid and i hate cleaning them.... in fact had i have known the pre-school room had fish i wouldn't have taken the job LOL (okay maybe not hee hee) :(

 

 

Dawn

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We have had our snails for about 3 years now. They are great for the children. One thing we found was that they do not like to get too cold and during the colder weather we make sure that they are not beside an outside wall.

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