Giant African Achatina is a land-based gastropod mollusk that lives in countries with tropical climates. This type of snail is much larger than the usual grape snails Helix pomatia, and even more so the garden ones Helix aspersa Maxima and Helix aspersa Muller.
In countries where such a breed is found in natural conditions, Achatina is considered pests of agricultural plants, especially sugar cane. In the United States, for example, keeping and breeding such molluscs is prohibited by law. After all, these giants harm not only planted plants, but also houses, eating plaster.
In our European climate, Achatina Fulica cannot survive, so it is bred in artificial conditions on farms, and also kept as pets.
Benefits of Achatina as a pet
Even those who spend less time at home can start these molluscs. Caring for Achatina is simple and does not require much effort. Here are the advantages that experienced owners highlight:
- there is no unpleasant smell;
- does not harm property;
- does not fade;
- feed enough once a day;
- the content is budgetary.
Achatina live in aquariums or plastic containers. Maintaining temperature and humidity levels is important for animals. These snails are thermophilic (the optimal thermometer for them is + 25 ° C), but, like grape snails, they love moisture (at least 60%).
However, don’t let that stop you. At lower temperatures and lower humidity, gastropods simply become less active. Small fluctuations do not affect the health of pets.
Another important condition is cleanliness. It is necessary to carry out regular cleaning:
throw away food debris;
remove waste products;
periodically wash the container (or aquarium) from the accumulated mucus.
The health of the snail and the absence of an unpleasant smell directly depend on this item.
Diet of African Achatina
In nature, these mollusks feed on young plant shoots, fruits and even rotting foliage.
At home, there are no problems with feeding the pet. The snails enjoy eating seasonal vegetables and fruits. In summer it is:
- berries (strawberries, raspberries, currants);
- peaches, apricots;
- greens (lettuce, dandelion, parsley, dill).
- In autumn and winter, the diet includes:
According to the observations of snail breeders, the favorite delicacy of the Achatina is bananas and cucumbers. However, you need to provide your pet with the most varied food. There have been cases when, after a long banana feeding, the snail refused to eat any other food.
Important! Plant food only covers the need for fiber and carbohydrates. It is also important for the snail to get calcium and protein.
For these purposes, it is most convenient to make a small purchase at a pet store. There you will be offered a stone for rodents and reptiles, as well as an inexpensive protein product — gammarus or dry daphnia.
It will not be superfluous to supplement the diet with a grain mixture (ground peas, buckwheat, corn, wheat, pumpkin seeds, oatmeal). These products are given dry or steamed in boiling water and offered to the animal cooled porridge at room temperature.
Of course, a separate important point is water. Feed the snail with drinking water that you use yourself. Do not use household water for this purpose.
What should not be fed snails?
In addition to the list of permitted products (which does not contain the entire list), it is important to highlight what is forbidden to feed African Achatina:
The first point is veto number 1, since there is a lot of moisture in the snail’s body, and salt, as you know, absorbs it.
As for sour fruits (citrus fruits), there is a version that an excess of ascorbic acid interferes with the absorption of calcium — a vital element for gastropods. You can give a little fruit, but it is better not to overdo it.
Buy seasonal vegetables and fruits for your pets, in which the content of pesticides is minimal, feed calcium and protein and most importantly, love your snail. After all, it, like all animals, feels the warmth of the owner, reciprocating.