Small garden snails for baby/small chams?

jamest0o0

Chameleon Enthusiast
I have a tub that I used to have beetles in. I guess small garden snails hitchhiked in at some point when I added leaf litter. Not sure which species, but they're pretty widespread, not the larger helix aspersa, but the ones that stay small... like the size of perlite. They are booming with no maintenance in this bin I have. Thought crossed my mind that they'd probably be good sizes for small and/or baby chameleons. I feel babies don't get much feeder diversity in captivity and a snail with an easily crushable shell would probably be perfect for protein/calcium/moisture. Now they're probably not legal to ship anywhere, but one could easily find them I'd imagine. Has anyone thought of feeding those small snails off(after breeding them out a couple generations)? Their care is next to nothing and they seem to multiply like crazy. Besides snails, any other unique feeders you guys have thought about using?
 

TayloredExotics

Established Member
I've been a fan of newly hatched snails for as baby food for a while now; everyone seems to like them. Still amazing how they recognize them as food and not just a rock or something even when they aren't moving!

Less common food items include rice flour beetles (larvae more than the adults), bean beetles, slugs (bred from some a friend of mine is constantly battling over her shiitakes), squash bugs and June bugs (only quarantined for a week or two, not bred), mourning gecko hatchlings (I'm sorry, clones), and baby toads/wood frogs I raise from tadpoles and dose with fenbendazole.
 

jamest0o0

Chameleon Enthusiast
That's what I wondered if the babies would notice they were food, thanks! Do you collect the squash and June bugs? I've thought about mourning geckos, they'd be a good food source, but I would feel too bad feeding them off lol. You breed frogs and feed them off too? That's quite the diversity of feeders!
 

TayloredExotics

Established Member
I collect the squash bugs from my garden plants 🙄 and June bugs from a bucket of water I leave by the garden for that purpose. I haven't had to bait it (not really sure what to use anyway) and usually get a half dozen or so a night. A bit of bark floating keeps them from drowning 😄

I don't really raise frogs; I take advantage when I see a pairing (males will occasionally ride around on a female's back for a few days, waiting for her to lay). I kidnap them and give them all the bugs they can eat, then release the pair after they lay. Occasionally I'll scoop a clutch from a drainage ditch or somewhere I know will dry out soon instead, and hatch and raise those. Tadpoles eat just about anything; I give them my smallest feeder bugs and plenty of leafy greens

Mourning geckos are the hardest to feed off, but if my tank gets overcrowded the adults fight, and babies get eaten anyway. They're unfortunately adorable though
 
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