Snail Farming at Home – Best Things You Need To Know.
Snail farming has, over the last few years, been argued to be one of the most underrated profitable farming business in many parts of the world, particularly, in Africa.
This owes to the very evident fact that most farmers in these parts of the world major only on crop and cattle farming while neglecting the unconventional but highly profitable snail farming. Hence, only a few farmers enjoy the astounding benefits that snail farming offers.
In places like the highly populated Nigeria for instance, despite how ridiculously exorbitant the price of snail meat is compared to alternatives like beef, chicken or pork, it is yet very highly consumed owing to the knowledge of how nutritious it is.
Indeed, snails produce white meats and contain the highest level of digestible proteins and the lowest cholesterol among all types of meat.
Although, not always affordable in places like Africa, snail meats are highly craved by a high percentage of meat consumers. Asides its nutritional benefits it offers through food consumption, snails are also used in the production of cosmetics and medicines owing to the enormous level of amino acids they produce.
Hence, the tendency for high patronage of the snail market. Of veritable and fundamental note is the fact that unlike cattle and crop farming, snail farming can be done effectively from the comforts of one’s home.
What Snail Farming is About
As a branch of Agriculture, the farming of snails is called heliciculture.
Most snail-farming practitioners focus their energies on the types of nails that are commercial in nature as a result of the quantity of meat they tend to produce. Although there are diverse species of snails that spread through continents like North and South America, Asia, Europe, and Africa.
Each continent has specific species that are peculiar to them. For instance, the Achatina fuluca species is found only in Africa, particularly in West African countries like Nigeria, Ghana, etc.
The development of specific species in particular territories is due to the differences in the environmental and climatic structures of the different continents of the world. It is also worthy of note that while snails are of diverse species, not all snails are edible, as some are toxic for human consumption.
Snail farming, therefore, requires background knowledge of what species of snail is edible or required for public consumption.
In most parts of Africa for instance, the Achatina fuluca is highly sought for and the most consumed. Also, in Europe, species like the Cepaea hortensis, Eobania Vermiculata, Helix Lucorum and Helix aperta are highly sought for
Starting your Farm
Investing in snail farming is known to be relatively cheap compared to other branches of farming. To a great extent, this is due to the hermaphrodite nature of snails in that they have both male and female reproductive organs.
Hence, the possibility of all snails in your farm to continuously lay eggs that will hatch into new snails that also have the potentials to lay eggs that brings forth other snails.
This is what makes snail farming highly mouthwatering for those who have some knowledge of what it entails. Snail farmers in Nigeria are generally agreed that with just 350,000 Naira (less than 1000 USD) you can invest in snail farming and possibly make a profit of 35 million Naira (close to a 100,000 USD) within 6 months. Logically, the more money one invests in snail farming, as well as the level of demand for snail in the surroundings of the investment, goes to determine how much can be made from snails.
In snail farming at home, the provision of the right habitat for the development and safety of the snails is equally as important as the security and feeding of the snails.
Snails thrive mostly in habitats like woodlands, open but moist fields, flower beds, gardens, vegetation areas and moist sand dunes. To this end, starting a snail farm at home requires you developing a sort of garden with enough vegetation and that will be moist enough to ensure the survival of the snails.
This will, therefore, require the constant watering of the garden. To successfully develop a rich and profitable snail farm, the feeding of the snails must be fundamental in the order of priorities.
This is because snails are known to be constantly hungry by nature.
They are known to feed on the edible materials available in their environment at constant intervals. Some of the choicest foods for snail consumption and development are vegetables (like waterleaves, cabbage, microscopic algae, lettuce), edible leaves, carrots, apples and in some cases, bones and cartilages.
Asides eating vegetable and plant materials like flowers, back of trees, leaves, snails seek calcium which is needed for the building of their shells and laying of healthy eggs, hence, bones can sometimes serve as just another accurate diet to further compliment their calcium intake.
However, a farmer must be smart enough to ensure that the bones provided for his/her snails are soft and small enough for their consumption; cartilages, therefore, prove to be apt.
Also, an emphasis has been laid on how moist the farm should be, it is important for the farmer to be conscious that a very moist farm provides a ready source of water to aid the snails’ feeding as well as provide a favorable temperature for their health.
Devices like sprinklers can be very handy to snail farmers, as it will be effective to keep the snake farm well watered.
Required Equipment for Snail Farming
For a successful snail farm, equipment like indoor plastic tunnels, sprinklers, and humidifiers prove to be very important. Indoor plastic tunnels are important for breeding.
The sprinklers and humidifiers are also worthy instruments to developing a successful snake farm, as they help keep the temperature range between 16 to 24oC. Note that your snail farm is safer under a tree, as this will help absorb the heat from the sun.
The accurate soil for good snail farming should be partly loamy soil with some clay as well as some additives such as limestone, polyacrylamide, and magnesium.
The Security of the Snail Farming
The farm should be protected from predators like rats, soldier ants, etc.
In protecting snails against rats and providing a fence that will ensure that the snails do not wander off the farms, a fence made with a network of plastic pipe serves as a worthy form of security.
Against soldier ants, the farmer must ensure that his farm is kept free from forms of food materials that may trigger the influx of soldier ants. Keen attention is therefore required here! It’s also smart to build the snail farm under a shade that reduces the harshness of sunlight (a tree is advisable here).
The farmer must also be able to ensure that the farm is protected off irrelevant materials like chemicals, pepper, oil, etc. Also, the farmer must be able to safeguard the farm from materials that may be thrown into the farm, so as to avoid getting them crushed.
Heliculture or snail farming is arguably the most lucrative kind of Agriculture as well as the easiest and cheapest to start. This is why it is very feasible to set-up a very successful snail farm at the comfort of one’s home.
However, as lucrative as it is, snail farming requires not only the time of the farmer but his/her meticulousness as well, as any error could lead to the forfeiture of the investment. However, a successful snail farm promises to yield stupendous profits for its proprietors.