Some of the basic processes involved in snail farming (Heliculture) include the following:
1. Education: This is where many farmers fail because they hardly know much about the business they are venturing into. therefore, first of all, get all the knowledge about the business, understand the business idea, breed type, problem you might face, disease, feeds, plants and vegetable, do’s and don’ts, marketing, viability and the different challenges that may arise in the process of running the business.
Once your gatherer enough knowledge about snail farming within your country, you are good to go. You can also visit other snail farms to get an idea of operating a snail farm or let an experienced person guide you. After this then move on to the next stage.
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2. Physical Environment of the Farm: One of the most important factors in snail farming is the physical environment of your snail farm. Your snail farm must be properly chosen and selected and situated in an environment that is free from predators, diseases and bacteria that may be harmful to your snail farm. Make sure there are plants or tress to shield the snails from direct sunlight and winds.
3. The Soil Type and texture: The soil plays a major role in the life cycle of the snail, because the snail derives the calcium and other nutrients needed for the formation of its shell from the soil and also the soil plays a major role in the hatching of the snail eggs.
Because snails bury their eggs inside the soil for hatching. So therefore the best soil used for snail breeding is the type that has low water retention capacity that is, it doesn’t retain too much water. A perfect soil type for snail breeding is sandy-loamy soil.
4. The pen for snail: When building a pen for snail farming, you need to ask yourself the type of snail farming you intend to practice, are you looking at an intensive or extensive farm system. Are you looking at a very big farm, a commercial farm, free range or a caged system? You must ask of these before you construct your housing unit. More so, how many snails you are looking at breeding determines the dimension of the housing unit.
5. Sourcing for snails: Snails can easily be sourced either from reputable snail farms around you. Make sure they are very active and they haven’t been exposed to too much sunlight to avoid stress which might affect their survival and breeding capability. The best time to source for snails for breeding is during the raining season. Snails are known to be more active in the night and morning when it rains.
6. Building the Snail House (Snailry): Snail houses can vary depending on the type of snail breeding practices you intend to practice and the amount of available space at your disposal. It could vary from a little cupboard space at the back of your house to a room size pen to a full plot of land or more depending on your capacity.
When constructing a pen, you should avoid over population and give enough room for the snails to move around. Also make sure the spaces are well guarded to prevent them from attacks from rodents, ants and snakes and so on.