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Stats: 13,792 members, 5,350 topics. Date: August 22, 2018, 3:05 am
Snail Farming For Beginners | Modern startup guide and techniques in Nigeria by Drealup(m) : 12:18 am On Aug 03
A snail is an animal (a mollusc) possessing a single shell (spiral) into which the whole body can be withdrawn. Have you heard of ‘Congo Meat‘? Some parts of Nigeria call it – Eju, Igbin ...... These are some common names for the popular land snail common in Africa.
Land snails belongs to the class of Molluscan, Gastropod. Actually not all land snail are effective for mass production and that makes Snail farming a tentative task. As the first step into snail farming for beginners, it is important to note that this business is a lucrative one - as opposed to some views by people. Other countries like the UK,Australia do make big gains farming this delicious animal.
Like a basic farming branch, it has it's own sequence of operation. Proper follow of the sequence guarantees a successful farming. The first and foremost step into this should be the identification of the good species of snails effective for rearing.
Effective species of land snail for farming
This specie of snail is commonly known as the East African land snail, or giant African land snail. It bears the scientific name: Achatina fulica. It is a species of large, air-breathing land snail in the family Achatinidae.
It is the smallest in size among all the desirable species for rearing in Africa. Achatina fulica has a narrow, conical shell, which is twice as long as it is wide and contains 7 to 9 whorls when fully grown.
The shell is generally reddish-brown in colour with weak yellowish vertical markings but colouration varies with environmental conditions and diet. Adults of the species may exceed 20cm in shell length but generally average about 5 to 10cm. The average weight of the snail is approximately 32 grams.
Archachatina Marginata Archachatina marginata is often called the giant West African snail.
It is a species of tropical land snail, a terrestrial pulmonate gastropod mollusk in the family Achatinidae. They can grow up to 20cm long, and live up to 10 years.
This is the common name the giant Ghana snail, also known as the giant tiger land snail. Giant African land snails are hemraphrodites, meaining they possess both the female and male reproductive organs. Two snails are still needed for breeding, but they are very prolific breeders.
Similar to the other species in the genus, Achatina achatina’s shell can attain a length of 200 mm and a maximum diameter of 100 mm. They may possess between 7-8 whorls and the shell is often broadly ovate. The body of the animal is silver-brown in color although albino morphs may exist.
Achatina-Achatina is very good for commercialization as well, because of its profitability. This is because of the volume of eggs it lays at once. Each achatina lays 300 to 500 eggs at a time in clutches, three times a year.
Among the three species, Achatina Achatina is the most reared by farmers because it grows so big to become the biggest snail species in the world. .
Advantages of Snail farming include:
→ Snail farms are easy to run and manage.
→ Snail farming is cheap to start and carry on
→ It is not capital intensive
→ Snails are rich in protein
→ It requires little man power and labour
→ It can easily be combined with other types of farming
→ Snails are basically harmless → They have low mortality rate - It requires little space or land.
Tools used in Snail Farming
- Watering cans
- Tank for water
- Hand trowel
- Pipe or hose
- Weighing scale ( preferably)
Basic processes involved in Snail Farming
Constructing the Snail House (Snailery)
If a large population of snails is what you intend to produce, you can dug a trench or make a concrete pen with soil deep of about 10 inches, and cover it with screen or wire all around to prevent the snails from escaping. It is of note that snails can reproduce fast and become pests when their breeding is uncontrolled.
Snails love dark and cold places, but make sure the humidity does not drop to levels harmful to the snails. You can use fresh leaves and cloth that is regularly wet to regulate the temperature. Also, the wire is useful in keeping away rats and snakes or other predators.
Summary of snail farming construction processes include: - Snails Dislike Wind
- Snails Prefer Average temperature And Humidity
- Snails love Soils That Are Rich In Moisture.
Soil structure and texture
The soil snails breed on contains some of the components and chemical substances that it needed to survive. However, not all soils are suitable for snail rearing.
The shell of the snail is mainly calcium and it derive most of them from the soil. Snail also lay it’s eggs on the soil and drink water out of the soil.
Snail Food and Feeding
Snails basically feed on green leaves and fruits though they can utilize other ranges of foods. Feed your snails leaves, fruits, etc. Aside from food to grow tissues, snails need calcium to grow shells.
Leaves snails do eat are mainly: Cocoyam leaves, cabbage and lettuce leaves, pawpaw leaves, okra leaves, cassava leaves, yeggplant leaves.
To know if your snails are already matured enough, check the brim of the shell. If it is matured enough, the brim should be thicker and harder than other parts of the shell.
How To Market Your Snails In Nigeria
Snails are needed everywhere in the African economy. This is so as the demands for snail is higher than the supply. Your matured snail when ready for sale should be channeled through the supermarkets, hotels, pepper soup joints, restaurants, ..........
In conclusion, Snail farming in Nigeria requires small capital and the running cost is very low because the feeds are local and natural.
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