Snail farming which is also known as snail rearing or snail production (Heliculture) is the process of raising edible land snails, primarily for human consumption or cosmetic use. The meat and snail eggs can be consumed as escargot and as a type of caviar respectively. Mucus, commonly known as snail slime, has medical properties and is used in cosmetics.
Perhaps the best known edible land snail species in the Western world is the Helix pomatia, commonly known as Roman snail or Burgundy snail. This species is however not fit for profitable snail farming, and normally harvested from nature.
Commercial snail farming in the Western world is typically done with the Cornu aspersum (morphotypically divided into cornu aspersum aspersa and cornu aspersum maxima), formerly known as Helix aspersa.
In tropical climates snail farming for beginners is typically done with the African snail, which biologically does not fall in the family of Helicidae, and the meat of which therefore may not be called escargot.
Read Also: Basic Snail Farming Tools and Equipment’s
Advantages of Snail Farming or Snail Rearing
- Snail shells serves as calcium used for animal feeds
- Snail farming require little land or area
- Snail feeds are cheap and readily available
- Snail farming in Nigeria for instance is not capital intensive
- Snail farming is very easy to run
- Snail doesn’t require too much attention like other agricultural practices, making it easy to run as a part time business
- Snail farming requires little or no man power or labor
- Snail farming doesn’t constitute nuisance to the environment which is usually the case for other livestock farming in terms of noise and animal waste
- Snails produce quick growth because snails are highly productive as they can produce over 300 eggs at once.
- Snail meat is rich in protein compared to its low level of cholesterol and fat
- Snail farming can easily be combined or incorporated with other farming practices.
- Snails are basically harmless creatures
- Snail farming is a good source of income for the family
- Snails have low mortality rate if the right management practices is engaged
- Do you know that snail shells can be used as fertilizer?
- Snails slime can be used as a remedy for anti-wrinkles, pimples and rough face. Women take note. Lol!!! Because snails slime is used as a cosmetic for those.
- Snail rearing is a high profit-yielding farming venture when properly and professionally managed.
- Snail farming provides a cheap source of high quality animal protein for human consumption. Snail is a white meat therefore very healthy for consumption.
- Starting a snail farm requires relatively low startup capital compared to other forms of animal farming.
- Snail offal may be used as a source of protein and its shell as calcium source in animal formulated feeds.
- The snail fluid (slime) is highly sought by cosmetic pharmaceutic companies due to its therapeutic contents.
- Managing a snail farm is easier, less stressful and demanding as against other forms of animal farming.
- Snails are a slow moving, gentle and easy to control animal and therefore can serve as a job for all.
- Due to the hermaphroditic nature of the African land snail, they can easily multiply increasing your snail farming enterprise.
- Snail breeding does not necessarily need strong vaccination or drug administration as snails are generally a strong creature.
- In the intensive snail farming method, a small land space can be used to rear thousands of snails. As a matter of fact, it is the only animal that can be reared anywhere; in used car tyres, cage, pen and even in uncompleted buildings.
- Snails can be kept as pet for recreational and aesthetic purposes.
- Snail shell can also be used for decoration when refined, abrasive for washing household utensils and for manufacturing things such as plates, jewelry, etc.
- Snail droppings (faeces) is a very source of organic manure for green farming (crop production).
- Snails are environmentally friendly and does not constitute any form of disturbance at all, the droppings are odourless, easily cleared and cleaned. Moreover, snail is noiseless, easy to handle and not aggressive.
- A mixture of snail’s blood and palm kernel oil in equal parts when rubbed on the body reduces the severity of stoke and severe headache (Fature, 1990). The snail blood is the bluish fluid found when the shell is broken.
- There’s a local believe that soup prepared with snail meat is good for pregnant women as it aids the movement of the baby in the womb, easy delivery and good source of iron for nursing mother.
- The shell could be used for ornamental purposes.
- The shell could be used to replace bone meal in compounding ration for other animal feeding
- Snails farming could be combined with other businesses and reared at the backyard. An existing fish farmer or poultry farmer can easily add snail farming without the existing business being affected.
- The feed are cheap and are locally sourced. They feed primarily on plants and vegetables.
- Snail meat has both local and international market value. It can be sold here in Nigeria and exported to other countries.
- Snails fit well into other farming activities helping to fertilize the soil prior to cultivation of other crops.
Read Also: Snail Farming Step-by-Step Beginners Guide
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