Snail Farming is the rearing of snails in a captivity System mode. The snails are confined in an enclosure and most of their needs like feed; water and lime are supplied on a regular basis by the farmer. On maturity, the snails are harvested, processed and consumed by the farmer or sold depending on the scale or the farmer’s intended purpose. Since the seasonality of supply of snails from the wild limits their use for meat on a continuous basis, the need for organized small or large scale snail farming has become imperative.
Snail Farming Business Processes:
There are two Major Systems Of Snail Farming. These are: Indoor and Outdoor Snail Farming Systems. Indoor System: This System involves raising snails indoors in pens located in a building or house. The snails are fed a mixture of fresh vegetables, concentrates, and other food materials. The system utilizes little space as the snails could be raised even in trays placed on shelves on the walls. In advanced management, the system allows for temperature regulation, controlled lighting, regular cleaning, and health care. Out-door System: In this system, snails are raised outdoors on pastures. The snails may or may not be fed. The farmer has little control over the performance of the snails. The snails move about feeding on natural food materials. A modification of the out-door system is one in which the snails are confined out-doors in enclosures and fed both synthetic and natural diets. It is easier to control and manipulate snails in this setting. This system fits in very well into the Nigerian Farming System Mode.
Things You Must Put In Place Before Starting A Snail Farm
The farmer will need the following to start a snail farm – (The modified out-door system).
- Enough edible live snails.
- A good site near your house with the right kind of soil and the right amount of water for the snails to live and grow would be appropriate.
- Enough food and shelter plants.
- The materials to build a pen for the snails.
- You should consider an area with low temperature. Which means an area with a low direct access to direct sun light.
Types Of Snails To Consider For Your Farm:
Only snails that live on land and are edible should be consider for farming, considering the fact that the main aim is to make profit out of this. Some kinds of land snails harbor parasites which can cause diseases in man. Many species of edible land snails are recognized in Nigeria. The popular species of economic interest is the West African giant snail’s Archachatina Marginata and Achitina achatina.
These are therefore the recommended species.
- Archachatina Marginata…. They weigh from 150 – 200 gm or more at maturity. They grow to full size in 24 months if well fed and watered. They lay about 5 – 10 eggs four to eight times each growing season. Their breeding season is usually between May and October.
- Achatina Achatina…… Like the Archachatina marginata, they are also West African breeds. They have strong brown shells and grow to full size in two years under good management conditions. They lay more eggs per growing size. Averagely 100 – 300 eggs, once to two times each growing season. They have pointed tails with whitish to grey.
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