I thought I’d share a bit about our snail farm. While not technically a farm, it’s about as close as we are going to get. People always get a good laugh when I tell them we have pet snails. Where did you come up with that idea?? Well, leave it up to a five year old with a huge heart and imagination for days and we are now a snail loving family of 5.
It all started when my oldest daughter started collecting snails she found around our complex. The poor things were tossed around in bowls and random toys she found in the yard. So my husband took her to the pet store to find a proper house for these little “pets” that she loved so dearly. We ended up with a tiny little cage, like one someone might put a mouse in to haul it out of the store or whatever. I did some research online to see if we could actually keep a snail as a pet and how we’d go about keeping it alive. Usually most people are trying to do the exact opposite of that! Our first try at keeping a snail alive didn’t go very well to say the least. The snail didn’t make it home from a play date at a friends house. RIP little snail. Our daughter was so heart broken, and as I’m sure most parents can relate, we wanted to make her pain go away. After the next rain, we went snail hunting! We found more snails, thank goodness. We always find them crossing the sidewalks in the morning and have the best luck after it rains.
Since we are homeschooling and every classroom needs a class pet, I decided we’d make snails our kindergarten class pets! I knew IKEA sold little green houses that you could set on a table and then my creative juices were flowing, I had an idea! Why not make the snail home as cute as the fairy garden. A snail needs a cute house, right?! If I’m going to have snails on my patio, lets at least make it the cutest snail enclosure possible.
We ended up using a cute bird house we found at Home Goods,the back of it came off so it was a great hiding spot for our snails. We added a few other accessories we stole from our fairy garden,a little bowl to put food in and bought a spray bottle. Voila! Snail farm. So if some of you are so jealous at this point and are dying to have your very own snail farm, here are some tips!
*you have to keep them moist (spray bottle)
*They need food- mostly fruits and veggies, non acidic, leafy preferred. We used a plant saucer. I’d recommend something to put food in so you don’t have to pick our moldy food.
*They need calcium, I usually put Kale or something high in calcium, or I’ve tried an egg shell.
*They need a dark place to hide(bird house, or even just a pot on its side.)
*They don’t like rough surfaces. So avoid adding rocks or gravel to your enclosure.
*They poop. They poop a lot. So you have to clean the walls and replace the dirt every now and then.
*We learned they lay eggs in the dirt, so we haven’t replaced ours hoping we might get some baby snails.
Disclaimer!!! I am not a snail expert! This is just what we have done and so far, other that dealing with some broken shells, we have managed to keep them alive.
We had some who were named, I put one little dot of paint on their shells so we knew who was who. This is fun but also sad if said snails passes away.
It turns out the snails are fun, and actually kind of cute! They are easy pets for kids and great because they are FREE! It is a tiny life lesson for all of us adults. A child is able to look at something we tend to think of as a gross annoying pest, and see something so intriguing and wonderful. Take the time to see the wonders in life, it renews the spirit.