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Traveling with Snails

I did something this Christmas holiday that most people probably don't consider doing -- I traveled with all my rabbit snails. I have a fairly competent pet/house sitter, but didn't wish to trust her for caring for the rabbits, as I like to keep a hand on their feeding and cleaning. They are quite special to me, and I figured that if they can travel for a few days while being shipped to a new home, they should be able to cope with a trip from CA to CO. And as they are small, it was easy to manage. So, they traveled with us in our camper.

I bought a small plastic Rubbermaid tub with a plastic top (Lowe's) and had it filled with approximately 4 inches of their tank water. I had previously purchased six 72-hour heat packs, figuring to use 2 placed next to their container to keep the temp warm while on the road and stopped overnight. I had the plastic container inside a large Hefty bag to guard against sloshing spills, and to keep the heat packs dry. The tub went into the bag, into a cardboard storage box with handles, I packed foam all around the tub, placed the heat packs in properly, stuffed old towels in on top to hold it all in place and insulate even more. The snails went in, the lid on top, and then towels on top to complete the ensemble.

Separately I had their sponge filter and hose line in a separate plastic bag, air pump also separate, their small tank heater, lots of food, and water treatment solution. I placed nothing in the water except them, hoping they would handle the sloshing. UPDATE: Another trip is under our belts. In their main tank I also have Marimo Moss balls. This time I also added the Marimo Moss balls to the water in their traveling box, and I beieve it helped A LOT to reduce the sloshing. It also would provide some buffer for the snails against each other and the walls of the container. And the babies were always crawling on the balls.

They did handle it, and I was so pleased when we arrived at our destination and they were pleasantly warm, and all alive and ready to cruise and eat when they stopped vibrating. There was a little bit of water around their tub to indicate that there had been some good sloshing, but things were well contained and dry. In hindsight, I suppose it would have been possible to pack each snail or two separately in a small shipping bag to minimize any slosh and keep every snail isolated from jostling. Perhaps next trip I will try that...it will definitely be the plan when we move.

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