Snail farming is actually simple and also a rewarding business to embark on. Snail meat has many nutrients: it is rich in vitamin A, high in protein and low in fat. For health benefit, people now choose snail meat to beef, pork, livestock etc. & this has increased the price rate of snails. in this post, you will discover how to start snail farming business
Snail farming is slow but it’s an absolute means of making money. It will take a year to start making profits. & the major producers of snail globally are France
Snails reproduce very fast in large numbers. They are hermaphrodites in nature that is why the reproduce quickly. One snail can lay between 80 to 100 eggs, 6 times in a year
Things To Consider Before Starting Snail Farming Business
Since they are high in reproduction, their breeding will depend to a Large extent on their housing.
Other things to consider are:
- Health of the shell
- The location
- Species and
- The means of transporting them to the farm from their place of purchase.
- Availability of funds for snail farming
The breeders should be between 12-24 months old and snails from the wild are advisable for a start since they have not undergone stress. They are not in contact with snail trails from other snails in the ‘arm that can reduce their immunity and fertility Also, do not use snails bought from the market because they have undergone so many stress and strain.
Snails are simple to feed. They survive on plant and contaminated food. There are concentrates now to feed snails, but it is inexpensive to feed them with natural food. These includes, fruits especially watermelon, banana, carrot, pawpaw, cucumber and vegetables such as cabbage, lettuce, pumpkin leaves etc.
Snails don’t like hairy or waxy food. It is important to feed them with diverse food substrate for their optimum development. It is also important to know how to share their food: the young snails will feed on juicy food while the adults feed on hard food.
Snails survive on plants, vegetables, tubers, domestic/industrial waste etc. These things can be sourced for around us, especially the fruits and leaves can be gotten from fruits and vegetable markets, bushes, houses etc
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How To Start Snail Farming Business
There are very many snail species but the most commercially viable ones are:
Achatina fulica: This giant land snail is Large and of air breathing specie. They are the smallest in size when matched to other type for snail farming in Nigeria. The shell is reddish brown in colour with Light yellowish vertical strips. Their colour varies in regards to their diet and environment. The commonest colour is coffee brown.
Achatina achatina: Their common name is giant Ghana snail and are referred to as the land snail. They originate from Nigeria and spread to countries like Ghana and Liberia, their shell length can reach 200mm and l00mm in diameter. The colour of their shell is silver brown and sometimes oval.
Achatina marginata: Their common name is the Giant West African snail, it is also a specie of air breathing tropical land snail. They can grow up to 2ocm in length and may live for more than l0 years.
For commercial purposes, Achatina achatina is the greatest to farm with because they produce very big and are known to be the major snail specie in the world.
How To Identify The Three Species
Achatina achatina are yellow black with a pointed tip. Marginata has both yellow and black bands but are very faint with a roundish and pinkish tip. Most garden snails are fulica.
As already said the success or failure of snail farming business depends to a large extent on the availability of space. The population of snails affects the development and the rearing capacity. Snails that are averagely stocked breeds well because the can easily discover matching mates to choose from.
Snails that are densely populated grows slowly even with abundant food and their mortality rate will be equally high because diseases can easily break out which will be transmitted, and finally mature into reduced adults, laying little clutches of eggs.
Calcium In Snail Farming
It is very vital to feed snails with calcium: the absence of it will slow down their development rate. They will become thinner or smallish in size. Place a vessel of calcium in the pen for the snails to feed on each time they want to.
Cabbage peels is a good source of calcium. It has vital minerals (elements) that build snails up. Another good source of calcium is the broken fragments of limestone, which one can be found in livestock shop.
Once there is deficiency of calcium in snails, their shell will crack and they struggle to force themselves out from the cracked area in the process they hang and die. That is why the importance of calcium cannot be overemphasized
Snails are hermaphrodites in nature but it takes two snails to breed. When two snails mate of different sizes the bigger one will be the one to carry the eggs, once they have already mated, they will keep producing eggs in multiple clutches in sets, A snail can lay eggs in clutches severally months apart thereby giving the young snails greater chance to survive.
Snails bury their eggs in the soil so you have to deep your hands into the soil, search and remove them, then put them in the hatchery within 2-3 weeks they will hatch under good condition (23-25 Celsius and 85% humidity).
Erotic maturity in giant African snails is around 6-16 months depending on these 3 reasons: feeding, calcium intake and their ecological conditions.
Building Of Snail Pens
Build snail pens away from the direction of the wind because wind increases the rate of moisture lost in snails thereby making them dehydrate. To reduce the volume of breeze entering the pens plant trees around example plantain plant, moringa trees etc.
Burn the soil with fire or pour used engine oil on the soil, spread thick cellophane on it before building on top after placing the soil.
Or you do it this way dig into the soil the area you want to use, seal the bottom from pests/ borrowers, and then fill the pit with substrate a little above ground layer. To protect against flying insects use a layer of mosquito or window net with chicken wire to prevent insects from entering the pens.
Construct your pens in view of the segment for adult, where the hatched snails will be put and empty pens for hatching.
The best kind of snail rearing is the open ranch method. However, snails can be teared even in bounded areas.
Snail habitat is the soil as such the best soil for rearing snail is sandy-loam, acidic soil should be avoided because snail eats substrate from the ground, drink water and lay eggs on the ground. Avoid using a waterlog area too as this is not good for the wellbeing of the snail. When you provide adequate treatment, you will have the best kind of snails.
How To Control Pet Mid Diseases In Snail Rearing
The specie that carries pest and diseases most are the Achatina fulica, so you have to prevent rats from entering into the pens. Ants are a major problem in snail farming to prevent them plant trees such as marigold, basil others are coffee grounds, citrus peels etc.
Apply insects’ powder around the outer area of the pens to tackle crawling insect example Rambo powder etc. You can also pour used engine oil too.
Find hotels, fast food joints, road sellers, inns, eateries, personalities, friends, open market and sell your snails. You can even prepare them as frozen snails and sell them just as ice fish is done, high class people in the society will buy from you because you would have saved them the time to prepare them.
In conclusion, you can even roast or fry them to sell by yourself this way you will make more money than selling them in bulk. You can distribute snails as escargot (already prepared snails) and make huge profits.