Snail farming production enterprise is an art of rearing snails for commercial and subsistence purposes. The process of rearing snail is called helicicuiture (meaning snail culture). Snail meat is very nutritious and good for the human body. It contains most of all the essential nutrients required for healthy growth.
The meat has high percentage of protein (37 to 5%), iron (45 to 59mg/kg), fat (0.05 to 0.08%) and calcium. In the medical world today a research shows that the glandular contained in edible snails causes agglutination of certain bacteria, which is of value in the combating of certain disease like the whooping cough. It’s also believed that the meat contains some properties for fighting high blood pressure, anemia.
Snails have 14 species which are: Achatina, Archachatina, Atopochochlis, Bequeartina, Burtoa, Columna, Callistpepla, Lignus, Limicollaria, Limicolariopsis, Lissachatina, Metachatina, Periderriopsis and Pseudachati. But in West Africa region, there are three major species farmers taps into and the species are Achatina achatina, Achatina fulica and Archachatina marginata. These belong to the family Achatinidae, a particular group of large land snails, originally from western, eastern, and southern Africa, with long slender shells.
Achatina achatina originates from the West African rainforest belt, from Guinea through Nigeria. A. achatina is the most prized species for consumption. Several locally discovered populations of A. achatina can be found, with variation in growth rates, size, dormancy patterns, body color and even taste. The variation in size may be explained partially by differences in the length of the aestivation period; the shorter the aestivation period, the longer the feeding period and the larger, therefore, the ecotype.
Essentially, a snail consists of two parts, the body and the shell. The body is divided into three parts – the head, the foot and the visceral mass.
Snails have a hot market both internationally (Europe and North America) and locally (Southern and Western regions). Below are summary of snail consumption in some countries of the world:
France: about 5kg/annum
Italy: 306million kg
Cote d’ivoire: 7.9 million kg
These are just little out of the various statistical data available for the overall consumption. Without doubt the market for snail is unlimited and unpredictable. In Nigeria there are not captured records for snail consumption.
from the introduction above you can you can vividly see that farming is a one business anyone can venture into without stress. beside all that the consumption rate of snails in our country is relative high. apart from people who eat this meat at home, snail is a hot meat at relaxation joints around the our major towns.
recent i got the understanding that snail meat is relative expensive in joints after been prepared because it is referred to as a special kind of meat event though many of those who consumed it does not know the medicinal value.
But to get the full information about snail farming i have written a full packed eBook to give you all the detail on how to go about snail farming without hitch. but before I let loose this priceless information let me show you what you to gain from the eBook.
Take a glance on the reproductive habit of a snail as a gift from me to you for going through this article.
• Studies indicate that the species breeds in the main rainy season.
• Snails usually mate during the night and can take four to fourteen hours to complete.
• Around six to ten days after mating, the snail makes a hole in the soil where it lays its eggs in batches of any number from around 30-100 eggs at a time. They are broadly oval, dirty yellowish, 8-9 mm long and 6-7 mm wide. Eggs are deposited in dug-out holes about 4 cm deep. When small clutches of eggs are laid, a second laying is indicated, and sometimes a third.
• The snail then covers the hole with a mixture of soil and mucus before leaving to rest. Usually, the eggs hatch 2-3 weeks after laying, with a range of 10-31 days, depending on temperature variation. A. achatina has a high hatching rate of 90+%; even 100% hatchability is not uncommon. The baby snail has a thin shell membrane which calcifies progressively. Although this period is characterized by rapid growth, the snails are able to survive the first few days (5-10 days) after hatching without food.
• Juveniles. The juvenile phase covers the period from 1 or 2 months to the stage of sexual maturity (14-20 months). During this period, the snail accepts a much wider range of food. At the end of the period, the shell is well formed and the snail weighs between 100 and 450 g. Differences in growth rates of the various ecotypes are very evident during this period.
• Adults. The adult phase starts when the snail reaches sexual maturity. Not all adult snails lay eggs each season. An average life expectancy is 5 to 6 years, although there are reports of snails surviving up to 9 or 10 years.
Note Snails are hermaphrodite and each individual snail possesses both male and female reproductive organs. During mating, mutual fertilization takes place and one or both snails will usually lay eggs.
• Soil needs to be friable for efficient oviposition (egg laying) The eggs are round and measure approximately 3mm in diameter. They are pearly white in color and have a rubbery texture. The eggs usually hatch within three weeks of being laid and the newly hatched baby snails are exact replicas of the adult snails. The frequency of egg laying is subject to temperature, humidity and soil conditions. Its estimated snails can lay several times during the breeding season under favorable environmental conditions ― let your snails breed at their own pace.