Farmer Outlets

{Farmer Outlets}{126-128 Ekoro Road, Abule Egba}{Abule Egba}{100276}{Lagos}{Nigeria}{(234) 70592-32172}
126-128 Ekoro Road, Abule Egba Lagos Lagos
Phone: (234) 70592-32172
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Overpopulation adversely affects the growth and development of snails in captivity. They will grow slowly, be underweight, lay fewer eggs, and sometimes may not breed at all.

Starting Small

If you are a beginner snail farmer, it is best to start small, with just a few breeders. As you become more familiar with your home-based heliculture, you will learn their habits and become better at managing snail rearing. Then, you can increase their numbers as needed. The recommended density is 1–1.5 kilograms per square metre or about 15–25 snails per square metre.

Gestation Process

When you get or purchase breeders, they are probably all filled with fertile eggs. The gestation period between fertilisation and the laying of eggs is between one to two weeks. In the breeding pen, they burrow into the soil and lay eggs in clusters: an average of eight eggs in each cluster. Any eggs found on top of the loam must be buried in the soil immediately.

After the eggs have been laid, mature snails must be removed from this pen and transferred to another, leaving the eggs to gestate. The incubation period varies and depends on environmental factors, but it usually takes between 25–35 days.

Protecting Hatchlings

When the eggs hatch, they crawl out of the soil. At this time, remove them from the ‘birthing’ pen and transfer them to a nursery pen. For indoor snail rearing, this can be a smaller clay pot, basket, or two stacked old tires.

Because baby snails are susceptible to dryness, the habitat must be kept moist and clean at all times.

If You're Just Starting Out, Keep Your Operation Small

If you are a beginner snail farmer, it is best to start small, with just a few breeders. As you become more familiar with your home-based heliculture, you will learn their habits and become better at caring for them and their habitat. Then, you can increase their numbers as needed.

When Should You Harvest Your Snails?

For a small-scale, home-based business like snail farming, the age and size at which snails should be ready for harvesting depends on the main objective of the farm: whether it is for rearing food for personal consumption or for selling.

If you are breeding snails for your personal use, you can choose when to harvest. The timing will depend on how you like your snails: small and tender or large and meaty.

With snail breeding for sale, buyers’ preferences dictate the age and size of harvesting. These preferences vary from one region of the world to another. The average time it takes for snails to reach a proper size and weight that is suitable for eating, however, is about 12 months. You can harvest snails when they are between the ages of 12–18 months because, after that time, the growth rate will decline.

Harvesting is best carried out at night, because this is the time they crawl out from the nooks and crannies of the pen. Nighttime is their activity period and is the best time to find and pick them.

 

When you should harvest your snails depends on the preferences of those who plan to consume them, whether based on the desires of your buyers or your own.

The Lifecycles of Snails

In home-based snail farming for consumption, you can do with just two snail pens. If you intend to commercialise, you will need at least three snail housings—but this only works better for outdoor snail houses. Semi-intensive farmers keep and care for hatchlings, growers, and breeding snails in separate crates or pens.

With that said, let's take a look at the four main stages of a snail's lifecycle and how you should best care for them.

  1. Eggs: One great thing about domesticated snails is that, under the right conditions, they may continue laying eggs even during the dry seasons. They also lay eggs in clusters (about eight per cluster) and bury them in the soil. Any eggs found on top of the loam must be buried immediately. The incubation period varies but usually takes between 25–35 days.
  2. Hatchlings: These require more humid conditions than adult snails. The soil in their pens should be kept moist by providing enough water at regular intervals. Snail hatchlings and juveniles are stocked at a density of around 100 snails per square metre.
  3. Growers: When they are about three months old, growers should be transferred to separate pens at a stocking density of 30–40 snails per square metre of soil surface.
  4. Breeders: They start to lay eggs when they are sexually mature at the age of 10–12 months. Breeders must be transferred to boxes or pens with a maximum of 15 snails per square metre. When they are no longer required for breeding, they can be kept in fattening pens until they are ready for consumption or sale. Breeder snails are grown out until the age of 18 months.

Medium-size snails (used for European-style cooking) are purged, cleaned, packaged, and sold in a refrigerated hibernating state. In West Africa, snails are mostly sold live in open markets. West Africans tend to believe frozen or refrigerated snails lose their natural taste when cooked. It is really a matter of opinion.

On average, snails to be used for home consumption take six months to grow out, while those sold at markets take about eight months to reach a marketable age.

Harvesting Time Depends on the Consumer's Preferences

The timing for harvesting will depend on how the eventual consumer likes their snails: small and tender or large and meaty. With snail breeding for sale, buyers’ preferences dictate the age and size of harvesting. Those this varies, the average time it takes for snails to reach a proper size and weight that is suitable for eating, however, is about 12 months.

 

10 General Tips for Home-Based, Snail-Rearing Farms

  1. Ensure that the snail housing has an effective draining system if you are farming on a balcony indoors, or create a simple drainage system if you are rearing the snails outdoors.
  2. Protect the snail housing from the sun, rain, and severe winds.
  3. Avoid at all costs clay and sandy soil in the housing, because it negatively affects the incubating eggs. The best type of soil to use is loamy soil or humus. A lack of access to healthy soil will result in snails with fragile shells and retarded growth.
  4. When the pen's soil becomes contaminated with mucus and droppings, changes to the soil composition will occur. To avoid this, change and replace the soil quarterly.
  5. Snail farming should preferably begin at the onset of a rainy season, because that is the period that snails start to breed.

 

Source: https://dengarden.com/gardening/home-based-snail-farming

15th April 2021