Snail farming business also known as Heliciculture or Heliculture or snail rearing 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. Snails are Hermaphrodites meaning that a particular snail can act as a male as well as also act as a female.
Snail farming or snail rearing can either be reared as subsistence snail farming level or for commercial snail farming business level where you raise snails in large quantity and sell them to others for consumption or other purposes.
Meanwhile, Snail farming for beginners is very easy as snail farming does not require much knowledge to understand. As a beginner in snail farming business, all you need to do is carry an expert along on undergo a training in an already well established snail farm to acquire more practical knowledge about snail farming to guide and assist you establish and run a successful snail farm.
Snails also produce Mucus which is commonly known as snail slime and the mucus has medical properties and is used in cosmetics. Snails are also cold-blooded animal and therefore their feeding activities are bound to be influenced by their environment, time and season. In preparing food for snails (snail food or snail feeding), the temperature inside the pen is hugely important, ensure that the snails are comfortable.
It has also been discovered that one of the mistakes that have cost many snail farmers their businesses is believing that snails can eat anything. The right Snail feed for your snail farming business is an essential practice of snail farming that needs the highest priority, as its one of the major factors that influence the following:
- The Flesh Size of Your Snails
- How your snails lay eggs
- Shell formation on your snails
- The Taste of Your Snails Meat (the sweeter and healthier their feed is, the better they taste)
- The Survival Rate of Your Snails
Meanwhile, snail feeding varies with Snail Species, but our focus is on the Archachatina Marginata (we are glad to be of help if you are still having challenges identifying the specie of snail ideal for sustainable snail farming).
The Archachatina Marginata (or AM species for short) are herbivores; meaning they feed majorly on plants. Snails may become cannibals if left unfed for some days and they can start to eat one another. Snail diets range from carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins and even to water.
Snails drink water because it refreshes them. A major important mineral is calcium; which helps in their shell formation and egg production.
As a snail farmer or an intending snail farmer, there are some basic daily general management routines you must observe in your snail farm.
Some of those general management routine procedures for snails include the following:
1. Discourage visitors from entering the Snailery too frequently.
2. Do a proper inspection of materials carried to snailery such that they are safe.
3. Do not use chemicals i.e. insecticides or herbicides inside the Snailery.
4. Adequate shade must be provided.
5. Snail must be handled carefully.
6. Fresh poultry dropping should not be added. Mouldy, stale or fermented feed should not be given to snails because it contains uric acid harmful to snails.
7. The hatchling or young ones require more humid environment and more attention than the matured ones.
8. The inside and outside of the Snailery should be cleaned regularly.
9. Feed and water should be served in shallow container for easy accessibility and also to avoid snails drowning.
10. The feed must be served in shallow container preferably flat trays for easy accessibility.
11. Snails should be well protected against Soldier ants, millipedes, Snakes and Rodents e.t.c.
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