Commercial Snail Farming Business Guide

Snail farming business is one of the most lucrative agricultural business ideas for young entrepreneurs. Snail farming business is a practical and viable business venture that is yet to be fully explored in most parts of the world.

Heliculture is the practice of raising snails for food. Snails are hermaphroditic, which means they have both male and female reproductive organs, allowing them to lay fertile eggs.

Snail is nutritionally high in protein, phosphorus, calcium, and iron while being low in fat, sodium, and cholesterol. There are numerous edible snail species that vary in shape, size, and color.

1. Snail Feeding

Feed your snails in the early morning and late at night, and provide drinking water. Fruits and vegetables such as banana, watermelon, cabbage, carrot, pawpaw, lettuce, cucumber, potato, pumpkin, plantain, and others are common feeds.

Snails also eat green leaves and unsalted human crumbs. They also require calcium to grow shells, so egg shells and limestone should be included in their diets.

Waterleaves, cocoyam, pawpaw, okra, cassava, eggplant, cabbage, lettuce, and banana leaves are all excellent choices. Homemade leftovers such as rice, beans, pap, corn, staples, and others without salt could also be fed to snails on a regular basis.

Calcium is the single most important factor in snail feeding because low calcium intake slows growth and causes shells to be thinner and more prone to cracking. Calcium can be placed in a feeding dish for the snails to eat at their leisure.

Snails drink a lot of water, and a lack of adequate water supply can cause them to become dehydrated, leading to infertility and stunting.

If there is a drought, snails, like desert snails, can hibernate for up to two years, but their growth is slowed during this time. As a result, cultured snails should not be subjected to dehydration.

Read Also: How Snails Reproduce (Snail Reproduction Cycle)

2. Snail Housing

The housing styles and sizes are determined by the size of the farm. The comfort of cultured snails is determined by the size of their housing. Acquiring permanent farmland is required for commercial farming.

Snails can be raised in boxes made of suitable materials such as wire gauze (net) and wood. There are various types of snaileries that can be built. Some factors must be considered, such as the snails’ developmental stage and habits.

This entails categorizing snails by age as newly hatched, young, and mature. It should be noted that younger snails require more comfortable housing, which should be protected from predators. Snails thrive in dark, humid environments, so direct sunlight or heat should be avoided.

To regulate the temperature, use fresh leaves and cloth. Snails are easily dehydrated, and wind increases the rate of moisture loss in snail housing, causing the animal to become dehydrated.
To prevent snails from losing water quickly, the snail house should be placed in a wind-protected environment.

3. The Type of Soil

The soil is the snail’s primary habitat, and soil contains some of the components and chemical substances that it requires to survive. The soil should be rich in organic matter and rich in nutrients. Sandy-loamy soil with a low water holding capacity is ideal for snail farming.

Because the snail lays its eggs and drinks water from the soil, the soil must be balanced and not waterlogged. The snail’s shell is mostly calcium, which it gets from the soil.

4. Snail Diseases and Pests

Termites, lizards, snakes, ants, chickens, geese, and turkeys are common snail predators that should be avoided at all costs. Although few diseases have been identified in snails, fungus and bacterial diseases spread by contact have been observed in overcrowded pens.

Look for parasites, nematodes, and fungi, as well as rats, mice, moles, skunks, weasels, birds, frogs, toads, and lizards. Termites, ants, and earthworms are major pests that can kill snails if not removed quickly.

Read Also: Fluted Pumpkin Leaf Farming (Telfairia occidentalis): Complete Growing Guide for High Yields

5. Snail Reproduction

When snails are sexually mature, they lay eggs between the ages of eight and twelve months, and the fertile eggs hatch between the ages of four and six weeks.

They do not have a set breeding season, and on average, they lay five to six clutches of eggs per year, with 200 eggs per clutch if the conditions are favorable.

The baby snail remains in the soil for two to five days after hatching. Farmers would be compensated for the snail’s two-year maturation period by its prolific reproduction and market value (high demand).

The hatchlings should be placed in a separate pen to ensure adequate growth space and protection.
Maturity takes about two years to harvest.

6. Snail Harvesting

Mature snails is prohibited. Examine the shell’s brim; if it’s mature enough, the brim should be thicker and harder than the rest of the shell. Don’t take all of the mature ones to market.

Keep a few for breeding and as starting stock. Snails can be harvested using containers, bowls, boxes, and baskets, and 10kg per pack is usually ideal due to their fragility.

Read Also: How to Start Garden Egg Farming for Profit

Benadine Nonye Changed status to publish January 19, 2023