Snail Farming For Beginners | How To Get The Best Out Of It In Nigeria

Snail Farming For Beginners | How To Get The Best Out Of It In Nigeria
According to dictionary.com, a snail is an animal (a mollusc) possessing a single shell (spiral) into which the whole body can be withdrawn. Snails are generally very nutritive animals and have a high market demand.
They tend to reproduce fast and also require little capital from the farmers.
It has many different species but three different types are mostly common in Nigerian farms:
- Archachatina Marginata (AM)
- Achatina Fulica (AF)
- Achatina Achatina (AA)

Things You Should Know About Snail Farming

- Achatina Achatina (AA) is the largest snail specie in Nigeria
- Snails are of high nutritional value and they are rich sources of protein
- An average snail can live for up to 20 years
- Snails are deaf, but they feel, smell and smell things around them
- Snails are Hermaphrodite ie. they possess both the male and female reproductive system
- Snails have the ability of crawling upside down this is because of the suction created by their slime
- Snails are mostly active in the night
- Snails produce thick slime that protect and give them the ability to crawl on sharp objects without getting hurt

Advantages of Snail Farming

- 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

Benefits of Snail Farming

- Snail farming is highly lucrative
- Snails are easy to be exported
- Snail meat is reach in calcium, vitamin A, iron, magnesium and contains very low fat
- Snails are highly productive
- Snails are highly medicinal and have good traditional healing effects

Disadvantages of Snail Farming

- They are affected by cultural limitations: Some tribes forbid the eating of snails in their regions. This makes it less lucrative in the region and sometimes, only visitors eat them in such areas.
- Growth: Inasmuch as we stated above that snails have a fast growth rate, in a fully matured snail, relatively only about a 40% of the whole snail gets eaten.
- Climatic issues: Except artificial means of climatic control is adapted, snail farming is limited to the humid tropical forest zone which offers a preferable temperature (constant),  fairly constant day/night rhythm, high relative humidity and (preferably) no dry season.
- Snails pose as pest in farms: Snails that escape from their farms or are abandoned by their farmers have a high risk of eating up the leaves of crops planted in the farms.
How To Start A Snail Farm At Home In Nigeria
We'll guide you through the steps involved in starting and running a snail farm in Nigeria including the equipment involved.

Tools and Equipment Used For Snail Farming

- Rake
- Watering cans
- Feeders
- Shovel
- Tank for water
- Buckets
- Hand trowel
- Pipe or hose
- Weighing scale (digital preferably)
Processes Involved In Starting And Running A Snail Farm

- Education

This is one of the most important stages in snail farming and it's where many people fail. It is something you should consider very well before venturing into it. You need to know the basics of starting the business, the challenges you might experience while running it, the breed type that will do best in your location and other things.
You can pick up tutorials and courses that will help you learn the basics of starting and running a snail farm. When you advance more into the business, you'll gain more experience about it.
Do you know that snail shells can be used for making Vim? Well now you know, why not try it?

- The Soil Type and Texture

The type of soil you utilize in breeding snails play major roles in the snails' life cycles. The calcium that the snail requires for it's survival and for the formation of its shell. The soil type also plays an important role in the during the period of  hatching and laying of the snails' eggs. This is because of the fact that snails bury their eggs in the soil.

- Snails' Food and Feeding

Snails mostly feed on plants like fruits and vegetables. However, in modernized farming, there are formulated feeds that are rich in calcium that have been specially produced and prepared. These feeds help the snails to grow faster than the traditional snails. Snails also feed on different varieties of crops like cabbage and lettuce, pawpaw leaves, water leave, okra leave, water melon, cucumber, pawpaw,  and many more.

- How To Market Your Snails In Nigeria

In Nigeria and other African markets, the demand for snail is higher than the supply. These makes the market readily available because the snail farmers are not currently meeting the consumers' demands. As a snail farmer, your target markets will be the market women, supermarkets, hotels, pepper soup joints, restaurants, and other outlets that utilize them both for cooking and re-selling.

- The Physical Environment

This is another important factor that should be considered while setting up a snail farm. The farm should be properly selected, chosen and situated in a predator-free environment. The site should also be tested for signs of bacteria and diseases that may be harm the snails. Make sure there are trees or plants that will shield the snails from wind and direct sunlight.
Other things you should know about setting up a site for snail farming include:

How To Select The Best Type Of Site For Snail Farming

  - Snails Dislike Wind

Snail farms should be located away from the wind direction. This i because of the fact that wind aid in increasing the rate of dehydration in snails.

  - Snails Prefer Average temperature And Humidity

Snails are generally cold-blooded and sensitive to changes in the humidity of the atmosphere around them. Fluctuations in the humidity can cause the snails to lose valuable growing time. Snails prefer average temperature atmospheres, atmospheres that are neither cold nor hot.

  - Location of farm

The farm should not be far away from the farmers house. This is because he/she needs to monitor and supervise the snails on regular basis to know when it's best to feed them. It'll also help the farmer to detect pests and diseases in case of attack and protect the snails from attacks.

  - Snails love Soils That Are Rich In Moisture

Snails prefer soils that are damp however, farmers should avoid lands that are prone to flooding. Rain and dew are keep the soil the damp enough for the snails to move around freely and lay their eggs. In conclusion, the ideal soil for growing snails is the loamy soils, this is because they allow water and air to penetrate the soil easily.
Next Post »