tripsis

Snails as fertiliser.

53 posts in this topic

Where I am living presently there is a booming snail population. While I was away they did great damage to my cacti and do regular damage to any vegetables we grow. As a mater of fact, they even eat letters delivered to the wrong letterbox.

So, I've decided it's time to drastically reduce their population. After the rain yesterday, in around an hour, the following were collected and then frozen.

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Would I would like to know is how best to convert them into fertiliser. The easiest solution would be to just toos them around the garden and let them breakdown, but there must be more efficient ways. I'm not keen to blend them up. Maybe I could mix them into the soil?

Opinions?

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Wonder if u could dry and then powder them??

I imagine their shells could contain calcium? Plus the meaty bit must have some nitrogen in it, maybee ur on to a good thing? maybee dry and powder and use like blood and bone?

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as a rough idea, i believe one of the ways to turn animals into nutrients is to seal them in a drum of water.

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I do the snail freezer thing too, then its into the compost bins to mix with other things like coffee grinds and banana peels.The worms love the snail shells they get right in them and make micro communities ,the compost which finds its way into the shells stays moist longer.

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I like this hippy thought that freezing is a painless death. Personally id rather be squashed (if i was a snail) by a blundstone then slowly watching as my extremitys snap off.

How do people know that creatures such as yabbies, canetoads etc.. just "go to sleep"?

I imagine freezing to death would be very fucking painful?

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i think they go into hibernation before they literally begin freezing, but i agree it doesn't seem a nice way to go.

meat is not the best thing for compost but you certainly could use your heap to break them down.

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I freeze em because the they make a jolly mess sqaushing and once got a big, filthy, slimy shard of shell imbedded in my heel from standing on one. I dont usually garden in steel cap boots, or pants for that matter.

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my grandma used to gather them in an icecream container and pur salt on them, and make "snail icecream"

she was a lovely lady but was quite sinister in this regard.

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I use to make a fertilizer tea using a shadecloth bag suspended in a drum of water.

I'd fill my teabag with canetoads, snails, vegie peels, seaweed if i could get it, cowpats; pretty much anything high in nutrients.

Let it steep for 4 - 8 weeks in a tightly sealed drum then decant liquid & mix 1:5 with water before use.

I always maintained it was a super fertilizer, my boss however claims the plants only grew so fast so as to get away from the smell.

Edited by shortly

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hi all, my first post here...

i was under the impression that snails and spiders and the like lacked a spinal cord and therefore wouldn't feel much regardless of freezing/stamping.

on topic, though, I've never thought to use snails in this way. with so many around normally damaging my garden it would be good to be able to use them to help fertilize. thanks for the good ideas and any still to come.

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I use to make a fertilizer tea using a shadecloth bag suspended in a drum of water.

I'd fill my teabag with canetoads, snails, vegie peels, seaweed if i could get it, cowpats; pretty much anything high in nutrients.

Let it steep for 4 - 8 weeks in a tightly sealed drum then decant liquid & mix 1:5 with water before use.

I always maintained it was a super fertilizer, my boss however claims the plants only grew so fast so as to get away from the smell.

since you've done it can you tell us how it went? after 8 weeks were there still toad skeletons? did the smell linger after application? did you need to use quite a bit of water to avoid damaging the plants?

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An aerator bubbling through the concoction would help,it does with seaweed which can go a bit nasty and kill plants without having been aerated, i have an old pool filter pump i was thinking of using.

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There is a certain amount of shall we say residue left in the bag thats best buried in the compost or under the next patch of bananas.

It doesn't burn the plants as long as it is diluted well.

The smell doesn't linger quite as much as say dynamic lifter, but the drum is best opened by someone else because it does tend to singe nose hairs :puke:

I never used an aerator mainly because that would have necessitated it be near the house to access power & near the house is the last place you want to put your fermentation drum.

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I've had major snail problems in my garden and letterbox as well so putting the little suckers to some use would be good.

Ways to repel or kill them them are;

copper

iron phosphate

chickens and ducks

diatomaceous earth

beer or soapy water in a cup that has been submerged in the earth

Quassia chips

dog food will lure them away

If anyone knows how to deal with the eggs that would be awesome info.

Apparently ammonia does a good job but it is rather restricted.

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Shit, didn't expect this thread to get nearly the number of responses it has...

Firstly...

I like this hippy thought that freezing is a painless death. Personally id rather be squashed (if i was a snail) by a blundstone then slowly watching as my extremitys snap off.

We don't know shit, but we can extrapolate that as they are cold blooded, it is likely that their body functions just shut down in freezing conditions until they work no more. Squashing them doesn't seem likely to be a fast death for snails as they have pretty resistant flesh, plus as blowng points out, killing masses (in my case hundreds) of snails would be very messy. Pouring boiling water on them could be fast. I ended up lacing the yard with iron phosphate snail pellets after collecting all those pictured, which is undoubtedly a horrible death, but shit, I need to bring their numbers down. I don't like it, but I don't like them either. That said, after finding a tiny native snail while looking at something under the stereo zoom microscope yesterday, I have no plans to lace the garden like that again. I want to kill the exotic snails, not the natives.

Anyway, getting a bit off topic...

I was thinking of maybe just mixing them all into the compost, seems easiest and hassle free.But there is the valid point that a lot of meat isn't good for composts. Then again, this has often been attributed to the fact that meat attracts pests like rats, rather than on a basis on how it effects the compost. I could get some extra fruit and vegies that are being toosed out from a green grocer and add them at the same time to balance it a bit.

I was also thinking of dumping them in acid, waiting for them to dissolve and then neutralising it. Would there be problems with that?

A drum for liquid fertiliser would be great, but not something that'll be accepted by those I currently live with.

Copper tape does work and have it around some parts of the garden, but it's not possible to cordon off everything that they eat. The tape is limiting to flat surfaces too. Can you get copper chain that could be draped across uneven surfaces?

How effective is diatomaceous earth with snails? I've got a bag of it somewhere.

Edited by tripsis

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But there is the valid point that a lot of meat isn't good for composts.

Hit a kangaroo , put it in the compost bin, had to break its legs with a pair of loppers to get it to fit , of course it was away from the house on the fence line ...neighbors.. everybody needs good neighbours... hahaha ...peeeuuww

I find road kill hard to beat as a fertilizer given time to properly decompose , smells sweet after a year or so.

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I've often thought about collecting roadkill for fertiliser. Haven't done it yet, but will one day. I imagine it would turn to excellent compost if mixed with sufficient plant waste.

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i would just crush them, and put them underneath the mulch.

processing the snails would be time consuming and an unsightly and smelly job...

maybe we can expand the discussion, towards unusual fertilizers in general, like my (cane toad) tadpole fertilizer.

turning a pest into fert is so rewarding.

if one keeps fish, the sediment and water of the aquaculture makes ideal fert.

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maybe we can expand the discussion, towards unusual fertilizers in general, like my (cane toad) tadpole fertilizer.

Sure, please do. Can you expand on your cane toad tadpole fetiliser?

Are you able to edit the title of the thread to reflect a broader topic? Something along the lines of "Snails and other pests as fertiliser"...

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I've often thought about collecting roadkill for fertiliser. Haven't done it yet, but will one day. I imagine it would turn to excellent compost if mixed with sufficient plant waste.

This would also fit in the roo cull thread, but, to collect road kill, for food when freshkill, take their skins for tanning and or take feathers is against the law without a permit. Now I have done all of them and it makes absolutely no sense to me, but just be careful no-ones watching, I haven't looked into it as I don't really care about stupid laws like that. My daughter collected a black cockatoo feather and was at a crafting thing and one of the women makes dream catchers, said she would be charged if she used feathers like that in a dreamcatcher even though it was so beautiful and found on the ground in the bush on our land. She told us it didn't matter to the authorities - as far as tehy are concerned we may have killed it for the feathers. Then she told us about roadkill and my wife told her I have skinned snakes, roos, monitors, even take roo scrotums for medicine bags, boy was she lectured about roadkill use..................... so can anyone confirm or deny this, I know a roo must be left to lie where it falls but fuck it is a waste and some reptile skins tan up so nice....

Edited by dworx

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I never said I agree with the fact that wildlife, if death, should be left where it is, epsecially if on a road. I can understand why the law is the way it is, so that people don't intentionally run over wildlife so that they can then legally collect their bodies, but if you are genuinely collecting roadkill which has not been intentionally killed, I think it should be permitted. also, leaving roadkill on roads often leads to the death of more animals, which come out to feed on the dead bodies and are then subsequently hit. Personaly, I would not hold high regard for a law like the one being discussed and if I felt that utilising a body was better than leaving it to rot in a gutter, I would. I've skinned and eaten a wallaby that had been freshly killed by a car before and would do it again.

I've known someone who lived as a "survivalist" for a while, eating roadkill and scavanging for food to survive.

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I never said I agree with the fact that wildlife, if death, should be left where it is, epsecially if on a road. I can understand why the law is the way it is, so that people don't intentionally run over wildlife so that they can then legally collect their bodies, but if you are genuinely collecting roadkill which has not been intentionally killed, I think it should be permitted. also, leaving roadkill on roads often leads to the death of more animals, which come out to feed on the dead bodies and are then subsequently hit. Personaly, I would not hold high regard for a law like the one being discussed and if I felt that utilising a body was better than leaving it to rot in a gutter, I would. I've skinned and eaten a wallaby that had been freshly killed by a car before and would do it again.

I've known someone who lived as a "survivalist" for a while, eating roadkill and scavanging for food to survive.

Tripsis - I didn't say you agreed mate, just saying what I have been told re: roadkill I personally don't agree with it either.. and I also share the beleif that removal makes it safer for other wildlife...

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what is required to turn carcasses into leather? in terms of effort, skill and tools? i don't have much use for animal carcasses generally but i do like collecting useful or beautiful things. pouches, sacks, strips and mats are all useful things.

what other useful things can be made from a carcass?

also how do you preserve a beautiful insect? i've said this before but brisbane is a treasure trove of insects, when you are out amongst it every day it REALLY IS MIND-BLOWING. you can't help but believe that at least a couple of insects you've seen are unnamed.

sorry if i'm turning this into a craft thread, if necessary my post can be assigned elsewhere.

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We used to tan all manner of hides with kero & bicarb soda mixed together & rubbed into the hide each day for a week. It doesn't make the softest leather about but it does the job.

Doesn't take much in the way of gear, just a board or frame to stretch the skin out on, some nails, a hammer, a pair of pliers or better yet vice grips are really useful for stretching the hide out so it doesn't have any wrinkles and a sharp knife is all that is needed

Insects are usually pinned but if you want them bullet proof, set them in polyester casting resin. Its as clear as glass & the kids can pick the specimens up,play with them, put them under the Mic & look at them & the bugs will still have all their appendages attached.

And really the best way to process slugs & snails into fertilizer is as duck poo, provided of course you are able to keep ducks.

Edited by shortly

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in theory i love the idea of quails to protect your plants. they are pure carnivores. could be viable where ducks aren't, too. you can have them live in your greenhouse even, although IME they are not the hardiest creature.

pinning bugs, you mean in some kind of sealed area don't you? i just had a look at my most recently collected bugs and they were mouldy (everything in my house is currently mouldy) not to mention one dead hairy grub sitting there and another live grub bursting out of a fly as it collapsed into two parts. sinister little undertaker grubs :blink:

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