Bathing the Snails

4 May

It’s easy to neglect giant African landsnails. Unlike our other pets, they don’t whinge and jump around when they want something: they are the epitomy of decorum. If conditions aren’t to their taste, they withdraw into their shells, seal up the entrances, and remain in a state of suspended animation until things improve.

What with one thing and another, I haven’t fed them for about a month, and they have been patiently waiting to be woken up for breakfast. I do this by soaking them in a dish. Contact with the lukewarm water gradually wakes them up, and they emerge and wallow and drink until they’ve had enough, then ooze their way toward dry land.

I made a sandwich while they were waking up, and wandered off to eat it and browse the web. When I returned, they were more than ready to get out of their bath, and Hieronymus had found my margarine tub. I’m glad I’d remembered to put the lid on.

I expect anyone who’s had dinner at our place will never want to do so again! If it’s any consolation, I did sterilize the plate afterwards.

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18 Responses to “Bathing the Snails”

  1. Wazeau May 4, 2011 at 3:20 am #

    OK as if the beetle in the armpit wasn’t enough, we now get snails on the dinner plate. And not just any snails, these ares some kind of mutant giant snails.

    Kind of neat in a gross sort of way :)

    • Snailquake May 4, 2011 at 5:13 am #

      Someone I met once referred to them as “face-huggers”.

  2. Jigme Datse Rasku May 4, 2011 at 3:36 am #

    Will happily eat off your dinner plates even if I’ve seen snails on them. Only sterilise them if you really feel it’s necessary. I’d love to be there for one of your snail waking up times.


    • Snailquake May 4, 2011 at 5:06 am #

      That’s the sort of attitude I like to see. :)

  3. Jonathan May 4, 2011 at 5:02 am #

    I thank you for the funniness.

  4. Hellboundforjoy May 4, 2011 at 5:24 am #

    What do you feed them?

    • Snailquake May 4, 2011 at 12:50 pm #

      Salad. They mainly go for iceburg lettuce and cucumber.

  5. Northern Light May 4, 2011 at 6:57 am #

    Those are so cool looking! Huge but cute! I love the term *face hugger*!! And I would come over for dinner any time. It’d be so much fun to see all your animals!

  6. Brianda May 4, 2011 at 7:37 am #

    Incredible! Why bother washing the plate: snails are edible. Love the zoo every day more. B

    • Maria May 4, 2011 at 8:33 am #

      Precisely my thought, but I thought I wouldn’t mention that.

      • Snailquake May 4, 2011 at 12:52 pm #

        Haha, yes, they are edible. But apparently one can sometimes get salmonella from them, hence the careful plate-cleaning.

  7. SEF May 4, 2011 at 9:05 am #

    There’s an impressive amount of variation in their shell colours!

    • Snailquake May 4, 2011 at 12:53 pm #

      It relates to their age and how much calcium they eat. :)

  8. amyshojai May 4, 2011 at 2:38 pm #

    And I thought I had challenges with the cat and dog–yikes! How neat. Of course, my German shepherd has taken to “rescuing” the land tortoises…three during our last walk…never mind they don’t need rescue. Great blog!

    • Snailquake May 4, 2011 at 2:47 pm #

      Thanks! Sounds like a dutiful dog you have there, bless it.


  1. Monday Mentions & National Dog Bite Prevention Week « Amy Shojai's Blog - May 16, 2011

    […] Tea Time At The Zoo Blog Confessions of An Animal Addict offers an eye opening post on bathing snails. […]

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