When it comes to snail farming, there are many things to be considered. We have taken time to do justice to them in this article.
ALL ABOUT SNAIL FARMING
* Breed and Breeding System
* Feeds and Feeding System
* Cage and Housing System
INTRODUCTION TO SNAIL FARMING
Snail farming for commercial purpose is known as Heliculture which is the process of raising land snails specifically for human consumption and for medical or industrial use.
Medical and industrial Aspect: The snail slime are obtained to produce some medication as well as the shell which are being used to produce some calcium for human and animals.
The eggs of snail are also being used by the cosmetic companies as raw materials.
There are several types of snails in Africa especially in Nigeria categorized into two namely Achatina and Non-Achatina. In snail farming there are some factors to be considered and some of them are
2. Soil type
4. Pests and Diseases
5. Source of the snail
6. Food and feeding
BREED AND BREEDING SYSTEM
There are many breeds of snail worldwide, its basically categorized into Water snail and Land Snail.
Out of the types of snail numbered above, we only have some of them in Africa, especially in Nigeria. Some of them are categorized into two (Achatina and Non Achatina) according to their sizes, productivity, flexibleness and ruggedness.
BREEDS AND THEIR FEATURES
a. Smaller than Achatina Maginata
b. Have a poor food conversion rate
c. They lay in clutches
d. They have a very hard shell at a tender age
e. Their market value is yet to become known in Nigeria
a) They lay at a tender age of 2 to 3 mouth
b. They have a relatively low food conversion rate
c. They lay in clutches (up to 70 eggs at a time)
d. They have a soft shell
IMPROVED ACHATINA MAGINATA
a. They are the biggest Land snail known as African Giant Snail
b. They can only be found in the specific farm that grows them
c. They lay a yellowish egg in units usually between 6-9 at a time
d. They have a soft shell when they are less than a year
e. They are on high demand home and aboard.
SOURCES OF PARENT STOCK
This has to do with the type of snail you wish to stock. Some type or snail can only be found in a farm. Example is Improved Achatina Maginata (I.A.M).
For other breed, we can get them from any of the following places, the most important thing is to check out for necessary criteria involved in selection.
Some of the source you can get your stock from are:
1. Snail farmers (especially those that have I.A.M)
2. Snail Market
3. Snail Research institute
4. Snail from bush
Never try Number 2 and 4 if you plan to do commercial snail farming
CAGE AND HOUSING SYSTEM
i. Block caging system
ii. Wooden Caging system
iii. Green housing system
SNAILS USED AS PETS
SNAILS USED FOR COMMERCIAL PURPOSES
Pictures of cages that can be used for commercial Snail Farming.
Stocking system has to do with how and when to stock the snail in to a ready made hutch.
Its highly recommended to stock the snail during rainy season because of the following:
1. STOCKING STRESS
The stress that snails passes through during stocking movement affects them a lot during hot or dry season and thus can lead affecting their productive service.
The snails are more productive naturally during rainy season. The snail stocked during dry season will not be as good in production compared to that of the ones stocked in rainy season.
Maximum stocking: 75 pcs of POL (point of lay) if we are stocking I.A.M
Minimum stocking: 50 pcs of POL (point of lay) if we are stocking I.A.M
Average stocking : btw 60 and 65 pcs of POL if we are stocking I.A.M
Over range stocking: This is when the snails are over crowded in an hutch
In Africa today, several snail farmers feed their snail some materials or feeds that are not satisfactorily accepted by the snail, but the snail will eat it because they have no choice and later result to one problem or another. The example of such feeds is green leaf (e.g. water leaf alone, bitter leaf etc).
The research disclose that even in the forest (bush) where the snail comes from, you cannot see the snail eating green leafs instead you will see them under the dried leaf or dead decaying matter, and behind a standing dried leaf of banana.
FEEDS AND FEEDING SYSTEM
Profitability Analysis of snail farming;
Number of snails using minimum stock = 50 snails
Egg laid per each snail in a month is minimum of 7 and maximum of 9
It will be 7 + 9 = 16 eggs per snail
Total expected eggs in a hut is:
16 per snail x 50 snails (minimum in a hutch)
= 800 eggs in a standard hutch (well managed)
Working with 60% hatchability
There will be 480 hatchlings.
Snails :The 50 point of lay will be average of 13kg and the cost per kg is N2,800 (IAM)
At most – 15kg of feed per month. 15kg x 6 months = 90kg of feed for six months
Cost of feed: 90kg x N200 = N18,000
Assuming N3,000 per month is charges as labour cost. N3,000 x 6 months = N18,000
DEPRECIATION ON HOUSING
Assuming N500 is charges depreciation every month in housing etc. For 6 months 500 x 6
Total cost of Expenses spent on 392 snails till 6 months maturity stage are:
Snails 50 pieces = 36,400
Depreciation on Housing 3,000
At 6 months the average number per kg under proper feeding and management must be at most 5pcs
To know how many kg can be found in 480pcs of snail:
480pcs = 96kg
The present cost per kg of the table sizes is N1,200
The cost of snail (480pcs at 6 months) = N1,200 x 96kg = N115,200
To calculate the profit Margin
Total Income: N115,200
Total Expenses: N 77,400
Total Profit: N 37,800