The type and dimensions of your snail farming housing depend on the snail growing system you choose, and on the quantity of snails you intend to produce. Meanhile let us first understand what snail farming also known as snail rearing is all about below.
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 also produce Mucus which is commonly known as snail slime and the mucus has medical properties and is used in cosmetics. 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 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
As far is housing is concerned, your snail farm could be extensive, semi-intensive, or intensive, in increasing order of complexity, management and financial inputs.
In Snail Farming Housing System, three (3) options might be considered:
- Extensive system: outdoor, free-range snail pens.
- Mixed, or semi-intensive system: egg laying and hatching occur in a controlled environment; the young snails are then removed after 6-8 weeks to outside pens for growing or fattening or both.
- Intensive: closed systems, for example plastic tunnel houses, green-houses and buildings with controlled climate.
Note: the same options of extensive, semi-intensive, or intensive apply to feed and feeding. Meanwhile, regardless of the size and type of your snail farm, the housing system must meet the following conditions. It must be:
- Escape-proof; snails are master-escapists and unless prevented from doing so they will quickly wander all over your (or your neighbor’s) garden or house.
- Spacious, in accordance with the growing stage of the snails (hatchlings, juveniles, breeding snails, or mature snails fattened for consumption).
Snails suffer from overcrowding, which impedes their development and increases the risk of diseases.
Suitable rearing densities range from > 100/m2 for hatchlings to 7-10/m2 for breeding snails.
- Easily accessible and easy to work in or with, for handling the snails, placing feed, cleaning and other tasks.
- Well-protected from insects, predators and poachers.
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