How to start Commercial Snail Farming Business In Nigeria
Snails are very easy to rear. They do not bite, kick, bark, sting or harm and they don’t mess up the environment like other livestock. Snail farming is a business that does not require millions of naira. If land/space like one room size is available, then you don’t have problem. With N180, 000 anyone can start
How to venture into snail farming
Snail Farming in Nigeria is very lucrative and easy to manage, snail farming does not require much technicalities or capital as snails can easily be picked around. With little structure and fund, you can set up your snail farm. .
The giant West Africa snail called Achatina Marginata is the most desirable specie for snail farming due to its high yield capacity. 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.
Here are steps to start up a small scale snail farm:
Get a structure
Snails are easily dehydrated, and wind increase the rate at which they lose moisture which leads to dryness. To prevent snails from losing water so quickly, your snailery (the snail house) must be located in an environment that is protected from wind. A low plain, downhill site surrounded with enough trees is perfect for snail farming. You may plant plantains and bananas around your snail farm to prevent the impact of wind.
Get the right soil
Snail’s major habitat is the soil, and soil 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 derives most of them from the soil. Snail also lay its eggs on the soil and drink water out of the soil. Hence, the suitable soil for snail farming must contain these elements. Must be balanced, not waterlogged, not too dry, and must not be acidic. The most desirable soil for snail is sandy-loamy soil with low water holding capacity. Clayey soil and acidic soil must be avoided.
Getting the snails for farming
To start up a snail farm, it is advisable to get snails directly from the forest instead of buying from the market after they have been exposed to sunlight and have dehydrated. This is because snails drink a lot of water, so they are easily dehydrated and this stresses them out, and reduces their fertility capacity.
The intending snail farmer could pick the snails from the bush with a very simple technique:
Clear a little portion of land during rainy season and sprinkle spicy fruits like pineapple, pawpaw, plantain, banana etc. at about 5o’clock in the evening, when you go back there about 7pm or 8pm, you will pick up snails suitable for rearing. Repeat the procedure until you get enough quantity.
Another way could be to pick up snail eggs littered in the market place where it is sold and through a technique, check the fertility of the eggs, because some of them must have lost fertility due to the exposure to sunlight. The eggs are later put inside a container containing wet sand and covered with cocoyam leaf. Between 21 to 28 days, the eggs would hatch into baby snails. You start feeding them and gradually you raise a snail farm.”
The Snail House (Snailery)
Snaileries can vary from a patch of fence-protected ground, sheltered from the wind to a covered box if you are breeding in small scale. For larger population of snails, you can dig 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. Remember 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 from eating the snails in your snail farm. But aside from these bigger predators, you should be wary about smaller ones like ants and termites. Your construction must have these predators in mind.
Snails foods and feeding
Snails especially Achatina mainly feeds on green leaves and fruits though they can utilize other ranges of foods. Feed your snails leaves, fruits, or even formula from the feed store. Aside from food to grow tissues, snails need calcium to grow shells.
Leaves: Cocoyam leaves, pawpaw leaves, okra leaves, cassava leaves, eggplant leaves, cabbage and lettuce leaves.