September 07, 2010

How to breed land snails

Breeding land snails is not a hard task, but it does take time and patience. However, you can have a clear scope of snail breeding through this easy-to-read article, where I explain the process step by step.Understanding land snails

Snails are ‘vegetarians’, they love lettuce leaves, carrots, cucumber and legumes. They have told us they are hermaphrodites, they do not neat a partner for reproduction, but in order to preserve the specie, snails require a partner to copulate.


• Plastic aquarium for transportation.
• Manual water sprinkler.
• Sponge or rag.
• Pebbles holes.
• Cactus flowerpot.
• Soil (humus, you can get it at any gardener’s shop).
• Ashtray or small plastic box.

Building process

First phase

Clean up the terrarium with regular soap and plenty of water, be thorough to get rid of the minimum debris, and dry it well.

Prepare the substrate by scattering a 2-inch-high humus layer on the bottom of the terrarium. Fix the soil with your hands –not very hard – in a way it looks like the soil out there, not a flat as a carpet.  

Second phase

Make a trough with the cactus flowerpot, but since snails have no mouth to drink with, you have to help them out -especially when they are babies because that is the first or second thing they do once they are born- with a sponge or a plate to moisten them. Be careful the water does not evaporate. You can place the flowerpot half buried on a corner so the land snails do not turn it over. 

Third phase

Place the pebbles on the soil, leaving a free corner for the ashtray and the plastic box, in which you will out gravel or any rock for balance, so it does not turn over when the snails eat. 

Fourth phase

Moisten the soil mildly with the water sprinkler every night or every two nights since snails are night creatures and seek for food when they feel moist around.


The best locations for collecting snails are cities with green areas, in a day that is about to rain or where it has rained already, because that is the time when land snails come out.

Make sure to collect snails of about the same size, other wise the reproduction will not be fertile enough. Pick no more than 6 to 8 snails, those are necessary to start a decent snail farm with the right care.


For feeding snails you have to keep in mind their ‘vegetarian status’, therefore you will have to feed them with lettuce, carrots, cucumber and aromatic plants as laurel. You can also give them old bread (in good condition) or calcium-rich cuttlebone, necessary for shell formation.  


Snail maintenance is not big deal; you have to change their food once a week to prevent rotting, and give them a monthly-bath with lukewarm water in case they present fungi.

Important: be careful with baby snails, their shells are very fragile. 


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