|Better Farming Series 33 - Farming Snails 1: Reaming about Snails; Building a Pen; Food and Shelter Plants (FAO, 1986, 57 p.)|
|Learning about snails|
42. Snails need plants for both food and sheller. Most kinds of snails use several kinds for food and several other kinds for shelter.
Plants for food and plants for shelter
43. They may also use different plants for food and shelter at different times of the year. Sometimes during the growing season snails eat and find shelter on the same plants.
44. Snails usually hide on shelter plants during the day when it is dry and move to food plants to eat at night or early in the morning when they are wet with dew. However, sometimes snails do eat during the day after it has rained.
45. If you live in a place which has a season when plants do not grow, snails will dig into the soil to rest and they do not eat then.
46. During the growing season snails will eat a lot and grow very fast if they have food plants that they like.
47. So, before you begin you will have to find out exactly what plants they like to eat. To do this you will have to watch snails at night when they eat.
See what snails eat at night
48. You can tell that snails are eating when you see their heads moving as they scrape food into their mouths. You can also tell when a snail has been eating by the holes it makes in the leaves.
Snail on leaf
49. You will also have to find out what plants they like for shelter. To do this you will have to watch snails during the day when they rest.
See where snails rest during the day
50. It is often difficult to find snails on shelter plants because they are hiding. So, you will have to look very carefully.
Snails are hiding on shelter plants
51. In addition to the food plants, there are many other kinds of foods that you can put into a pen for your snails to eat. You will learn about these foods and when you should use them in the next booklet in this series.