There is a popular saying that anything that has an advantage also have a disadvantage. I guess that saying is also applicable to snail farming business also referred to as snail rearing as a business as it also have it’s own disadvantages. Some of the major disadvantages of snail farming business includes but not limited to the following:
Without expensive artificial means of climate control, snail farming is restricted to the humid tropical forest zone, which offers a constant temperature, high relative humidity, preferably no dry season, and a fairly constant day/night rhythm throughout the year.
2. Cultural restrictions
Snail meat is considered a delicacy by some, whereas others will not even touch it for religious or cultural reasons.
Snails are relatively slow-growing animals. Furthermore, the consumable meat makes up only 40% (maximum!) of the snail’s total live weight. Consequently, snail farming is not a way to make money quickly!
4. Snails as a Pest
Snails that have escaped from a farm or been dumped by a farmer, may quickly develop into a serious pest in agriculture and horticulture.
For these reasons it must be emphasized that snail farming should be seen as only one component in a diversified farming venture. How-ever, with patience, good management and careful integration into existing farming activities, snail farming can provide substantial longer-term rewards.
Facts about Snail Farming Business / Snail Rearing
1. Snails produces a thick slime which protects and gives them the ability to crawl on sharp object like the edge of a razor and not get hurt.
2. Snails are Hermaphrodite that is they posses both the male and female reproductive system.
3. Garden snails have up to 14,175 teeth! They are all located on their tongue called the radula.
4. The largest snail specie is the Achatina Achatina (AA) popular in Nigeria.
5. Snails have the ability to hibernate during extreme cold or dry season. They form a protective covering which can sustain them for months.
6. Snails are nocturnal animals that is they are more active at night.
7. Snails are very good sources of protein.
8. Because of the suction created by their slime, a snail can crawl upside down
9. Snails are deaf they don’t have a sense of hearing that is they cannot hear, they only see, feel and smell
10. Snails can live up to 20 years
Advantages of Snail Farming / Snail Rearing
1. Snail shells serves as calcium used for animal feeds
2. Snail rearing require little land or space.
3. Snail feeds are cheap and readily available.
4. Snail rearing in Nigeria is not capital intensive.
5. Snail rearing is easy to run.
6. Snail doesn’t require too much attention like other agricultural practices making it easy to run part time.
7. Snail farming requires little or no man power or labour.
8. Snail farming / snail rearing doesn’t constitute nuisance to the environment which is usually the case for other livestock farming in terms of noise and animal waste.
9. Quick growth, Snails are highly productive, can produce over 300 eggs at once.
10. Snail meat is rich in protein, to its low level of cholesterol and fat.
11. Snail rearing can easily be combined or incorporated with other farming practices.
12. Snails are basically harmless creatures.
13. Snail farming is a good source of income for the family.
14. Snails have Low mortality rate.
Benefits of Snail Farming / Snail Rearing
1. It’s easy to run
2. It is highly lucrative
3. It is environmental friendly
4. Snails are highly productive
5. Low in fat and cholesterol
6. Highly medicinal and used for health related products
7. Has traditional healing benefits
8. A good export opportunity
9. It contains iron, vitamin A, calcium, magnesium and has very low fat
Equipments and Tools Used for Snail Farming Business
1. Tank for water
2. Watering cans
3. Hand trowel
6. Weighing scale (digital preferably)
9. Pipe or hose
Snail Breeds / Species in Snail Farming Business / Snail Rearing
When it comes to snail farming in Nigeria for instance, there are 3 popular types of snail species/breeds common for snail breeding. There are often 3 major types of snails used for snail breeding in Nigeria and Africa in general this is due to their commercial viability.
1. Archachatina Marginata (AM)
2. Achatina Achatina (AA)
3. Achatina Fulica (AF)
Archachatina Marginata (AM)
The Archachatina Marginata AM is peculiar to West Africa and it’s popularly known as the giant African snail. It is the largest of all the snail specie. They can grow up to 20cm long in size and can produce up to 40 eggs in a single clutch and they can do produce 3 to 4 clutches in a year and can live up to 10 years.
It usually takes between 21 to 40 days for the Archachatina Marginata (AM) eggs to hatch, The AM is harder and bigger compared to other species of snails. Archachatina Marginata (AM) tales about 8 to 9 months before it starts the laying of eggs. It is usually prized because of its large size.
Achatina Achatina (AA)
Achatina Achatina (AA) is d 2nd largest in the world and the second most popular breed in Nigeria and other countries and can lay up to 200 to 500 eggs in a single clutch and can lay up to 3 to 5 clutches in a year, it also takes 21 to 28 days for the Achatina Achatina (AA) eggs to hatch. It takes between 4 to 6 months before the Achatina Achatina (AA) starts laying of eggs.
Achatina Fulica (AF)
Achatina Fulica (AF): The AF is the 3rd largest and can lay up to 200 to 500 eggs in a clutch and can produce up to 3 to 5 clutches a year. It is the smallest of the breeding type of snail. It is also the third specie used in snail breeding in Nigeria for instance.
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