There’s this popular saying that prevention is better than cure. That saying also applies to your businesses and Agribusiness (snail farming business) is not an exemption. There are different methods that can be applied to prevent the spread of diseases or an oubreak of diseases in your snail farming business inorder to achieve optimum performance and profitability.
First thing, to be done is to be very observant as a snail farmer, observant enough to notice the different signs of ill health among your snails and isolate the affected ones immediately to avoid the rapid spread of the disease among the healthy ones.
Some of the signs of ill health among snails include but not limited to the following below:
Signs of Snail’s ill health
• The snail will fail to eat i.e.
• Loss of appetite.
• The snail will be inactive.
• There will be loss of weight.
• No ensalivation of the fleshy part(foot) .
• Dryness of the fleshy part.
• Nodules may be formed on the surface of the snail.
• The foot or fleshy part withdraws into the shell
Predisposition Factors or Snail illness Causative
• Adverse environmental condition:
• Insufficient shading and mulching
• Use of fresh poultry droppings
• Old age:
• Purchasing snails from different sources
What to do if there is Incidence of Snail Diseases among your Snails
• Remove the dry leaves used for mulching.
• All dead snails should be removed and burnt outside the snailery.
• Top soil in the housing unit must be dug to a depth of 2-3cm and replaced
• with humus soil.
• The healthy snails should be washed in clean water and put in
• the housing unit carefully.
• The snails should be well covered with new dry leaves.
• Proper management in terms of good feeding, adequate shading,
• proper mulching, optimum
• stocking rate and sufficient wetting will curtail or curb the incidence of disease outbreak
How to Prevent Soldier Ants Infestation
• Don’t use any insecticide.
• Remove the snails from the housing unit. Wash them in clean water to remove any attached insects.
• Light a rag or wood to produce smoke. This smoke will send the ants away.
• Remove the top soil.
• Make sure that the ants have all disappeared before putting the snails back.
• LOW OR HIGH FENCED PEN
Predators of African Land Snails in the Humid Tropics
Giant African land snails are faced with the challenge of predator in their natural wild habitat, these predators pose a great danger to their normal growth and reproduction of snails, if not checkmated may lead to the decline in population of snail biodiversity or extinction of various snail species in nature. Predators mostly depend on their prey as a source of food for survival in the ecosystem.
Snail predators feed on the snail species at their various stages of growth and maturity. Snail predators includes: Arthropods –Insects (termites, beetle, mites, moth, driver ants, carabid beetles, cockroaches and soldier ants); Crusteceans: – Millipedes, Centipedes, Cricket, Crabs and Forest Spider; Reptiles:- Lizards and Snakes, Amphibians:- frogs, turtles and toads; nematodes, Rodents: – mice and rats; Aves:- birds, crows, ducks and turkeys as well as Mammal:- man.
Diseases and Parasite affecting African Land Snails in the Humid Tropics
The common diseases affecting snails either in their wild or in their cultured environments includes:
Fungal diseases mainly Fusarium Spp affects indigenous snail species native to West African region. They are susceptible this diseases causing agent. These diseases is commonly referred to as rosy eggs disease and the affect eggs turns reddish brown and die off.
Parasites such as Alluaudihella Flavicornis are diseases vectors to snails both in their wild and under domestication.
Bacterial diseases caused by Pseudomonas Spp especially Pseudomonas aeruginosa causes intestinal infections in snails. This disease affects snail’s normal growth and development processes.
Deficiency diseases, it occurs mostly in domesticated snails with poor feeding, as a result of lack of minerals nutrients especially calcium and phosphors. The affected snail’s shell turns white as a result of deficiency of calcium in their feeds over a longer period of time.
Cannibalism: This mostly occurs in domesticated snails housed in pens. Older snails can eat, break the shells or fed on hatchlings as a source of nutrients especially calcium and water to avoid dehydration and for their survival. This occurs where snails are overcrowded and there is increased competition for food and space.
Predators of snails inflict havoc on the snails by either breaking their shells, biting or sting the snails or eat them as food both their eggs and juvenile snails e.g. frogs and reptiles. Snail predators adversely affect the population of the native Giant African Land Snail species of West African origin and its biodiversity.
Generally maintaining of high hygienic standards in snail farms will reduce the incidence of diseases and spread of diseases in the snail farms. Snails ingest micro-organisms e.g. bacteria from the soil and their environment, poor hygiene may predispose the snails to diseases and pathogens, which will affect their growth and reproduction.
Read Also: Feed and Nutrition Management for Cattle
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