Snail farming business also referred to as snail rearing is a very lucrative business to venture into when properly managed and maintained especially for snail farmers venturing into commercial snail farming system.
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.
Today we are going to be discussing about how to build a snail house. There are some basic factors that needs to be considered when constructing / building your snail house (snail pen) which include the following:
- The scale of the snail farming enterprise you want to establish.
- The type of snail farming you choose to operate i.e. In-door or Out-door;
- The stage of development as well as habits of the snails.
What are Snails?
Snails are animals with shells that have the ability to retract into their shell and also craw. The local name for snail in Nigeria is Igbin or Eju. There are so many species/breeds of snails in Nigeria and the world, but the types we are looking at here are the ones that are suitable for commercial Purpose in Nigeria and Africa as a whole.
Snail is an animal a mollusc with a single spiral shell into which the whole body can be withdrawn. They are usually found in green vegetations.
What is Snail Farming?
Snail farming is the process of breeding or rearing snails. Snail farming is also known as Heliciculture or Heliculture.
There are some basic methods of rearing snail which in brief include the following below:
Snails Farming Systems
There are two main systems of snail farming. These are: Indoor and Outdoor systems
a) Indoor System: This system involves raising snails indoors in pens located in a building. The snails are fed a mixture of fresh vegetables, concentrates, and other food materials. The system utilizes little space as the snails could be raised even in trays placed on shelves on the walls. In advanced management, the system allows for temperature regulation, controlled lighting, regular cleaning, and health care.
b) Out-door System: In this system, snails are raised out-doors on pastures. The snails may or may not be fed. The farmer has little control over the performance of the snails. The snails move about feeding on natural food materials.
A modification of the out-door system is one in which the snails are confined outdoors in enclosures and fed both synthetic and natural diets.
It is easier to control and manipulate snails in this setting. This system fits in very well into the Nigerian farming system.
Meanwhile, as a snail farmer or an intending snail farmer who want to venture into snail farming business, there are some basic mistakes that almost every snail farmer neglect maybe because they feel that it does not matter for the business but sincerely, they do matter a lot in the business.
Today, we are going to be discussing about those basic common mistakes in snail farming below:
1. Lack of requisite knowledge
There is this popular saying that knowledge is power and snail farming business is not left out of this category because snail farming is a knowledge-based venture. It is quite unfortunate that many people view it a goldmine and dabble into it without first attempting to acquire sound knowledge of this creature.
The brunt is high rate of mortality, consequent frustration and eventual abandonment of the venture which am certain that no snail farmer or intending snail farmer will want to go through this bad experience.
2. Lack of Mentorship
Snails are wonderful creatures of various species passing through series of events in their life cycles. Various life stages possess special features and pose different challenges.
Going into snail farming without a mentor, you may have to pay the learning price dearly. To succeed in a snail farming business, you need a mentor, at least a successful snail farmer who you can take after.
Someone that can be able to guide you properly especially when you start experiencing some challenges in your snail farming business as a beginner.
3. Choosing wrong snail species as foundation stock for a commercial snail farming
Most times, newbies complained of high fertility and high mortality incidences at their farms, in most cases these budding snail entrepreneurs might have chosen AF or AA as their foundation stocks.
It is highly advisable you start your snail farm with AM as these giant snails are mainly recognized for commercial purpose in our dear country, though not as prolific as others but they grow bigger faster than those mentioned above.
4. Poor daily practice and farm management
Many acclaimed snail farmers perform poorly when it comes to daily practice in a snail farm, some mulch their snail with wet plantain leaves, some don’t know how to wet their snail farms during dry season, poor feeding system, ineffective pen, poor planning, to mention a few.
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