How to Raise Snails (Introduction to Snail Farming)

 

(Achatina Achatina)                                       (Achatina Maginata)

 

Snail farming also known as “Heliculture” is the process of raising snails for subsistence or commercial purposes. Snails are Hermaphrodites meaning that a particular snail can act as a male as well as also act as a female.

There are two main species of snail commonly reared in Nigeria and some other countries that has lots of market value and relevance and they include:

  • AA = Achatina Achatina and
  • AM = Achatina Maginata.

Achatina Achatina Snails are characterized by a tiger stripped yellow and black with a pointed tip while the Achatina Maginata snails have both yellow and black bands but more blurred with some what roundish and pinkish tip.

Achatina Achatina has its own uniqueness from Achatina Maginata for instance the rate of egg production, although Achatina Maginata eggs are usually bigger in size compared to that of the Achatina Achatina.

Achatina Achatina can lay up to 200 to 500 eggs per clutch and it can do so at least 3 to 5 times in a year and takes between 21 to 32 days for the eggs being laid to hatched.

Achatina Maginata is sturdy and fatter with a white or yellow tapered lid with sturdy end. The snail has a bulbous protoconch that is large and broad with a white or bluish-white columella, parietal wall and outer lip.

The shell of the snail can grow up to 21centimeters in diameter. The shell when magnified has the appearance of a woven texture.

Achatina Maginata snails can start laying from 9 months old for instance to say at this stage, the snail have become sexually matured to start laying eggs. In addition Achatina Maginata snails if matured can weight up to 500 to 600 grams, more so it can measure up to 20 to 25cm in length, can grow up to 20cm long and can live up to 10 years but it lays below 99 eggs, it does not lay much some even lay like 20 eggs while others lay like 50 eggs.

It takes a longer time to harvest an Achatina Achatina snails than that of Achatina Maginata but they produce more than the Achatina Maginata in terms of egg laying and hatching (production).

Meanwhile both species can be reared at the same place and the same time therefore I will advice you raise both species because although the Achatina Achatina is more productive, the Achatina Maginata is stronger in terms of survival rate.

See also: Snails Equipment’s and other species of snails

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