Snail farming (Heliculture) otherwise known as snail rearing can be defined as 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.
Alternatively, Heliculture (or snail farming) can also be defined as the process of raising land snails specifically for human consumption or use. Snails are Hermaphrodites meaning that a particular snail can act as a male as well as also act as a female.
There so many things a snail could be used for, though eating snail as meat is the most commonly seen usage, snail shell, snail slime, snail eggs are all useful in some other areas of life (i.e. cosmetics etc.).
Snail is a common name for almost all members of the molluscan class Gastropoda that have coiled shells in the adult stage. When the word is used in a general sense, it includes sea snails, land snails and freshwater snails. Otherwise snail-like creatures that lack a shell (or have only a very small one) are called slugs.
One good thing about snail farming business is that it is very easy to understand meaning that snail farming for beginners is not really very hard to understand. It is also not too much time demanding and requires no huge capital to get started making it a very good business to start your farming business with.
Snails survive best in about 27ºc to 28ºc temperature with high humidity of over 80%, the soil of the snail house must be loose with good calcium high in organic matter and water content. A snail house should not be loose, it should be a close house to avoid pilfering and the site must be protected from the wind.
Normally before now, children and villagers pick up snails from the bush for consumption but because of the high demand of snail meat, snail rearing has become part of animal production and has become a profitable venture for people to invest in no matter how little they started.
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The Right Location and Environment to Setup a Snail Farm
Part of the requirements that determines the successful operation of your snail farming business especially when it comes to snail farming for beginner is the ability to select a good site for your intending snail farming business as well as using the ideal soil type recommended for snail farming business.
1) Site Selection
Because of the high dehydration level of snails, the farm must be located in a less windy environment else, the moisture-loss rate of the snails would be high, which would subsequently lead to a highly dehydrated state for the animal. Keeping them away from windy environments would prevent them from losing water quickly.
The perfect environment for your snail farm would be an area with adequate trees (vegetation), usually located downhill. Planting crops like mangoes, bananas, and a few others around the farm would be wise, to reduce the impact of any winds skimming through the snail farm on the snails.
2) Soil Type
Not all soil types are suitable for rearing land snails. Since the natural habitat of land snails is generally the soil, it’s important that the soil they’re raised on, has all the chemical substances and components that make it suitable for the snails to survive and fully mature.
An ideal soil that is suitable for rearing snails must be non-acidic, not water-logged, must be balanced, and must not be too dry. In the selection of the soil type, sandy and clayey soil must be totally avoided for your snail farm. What should be used is loamy soil that doesn’t hold too much water.
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