Introduction To Snail Farming Business Plan:
Today, let us get into details of Snail Farming Business Plan, Rearing, Snail Food.
Snails, when cooked seem delicious and hence they are well-known in seafood cultivation. Because of its taste which is unique and the nutritional value it maintains, they have a huge demand across countries. The meat of the Snail has high protein, iron, calcium, magnesium, vitamin A. Moreover, the fat content in snails is low.
Advantages of Snails Farming
- Snails are considered as environment-friendly as they do not have a bad odour like animals like pigs, poultry, etc. Droppings from the snails can be used as manure which in turn increases the organic content of the soil. Moreover, as the snails are small in size, they need a very little space and can even be reared at the backyard of the houses.
- Through snail farming, one could get much profit in a short period of time as it has less capital investment involved when compared to other farms or poultry. Other investments such as labour cost, technical costs are low when compared to other types of animal farming such as fish farming, poultry, goats, sheep, and cattle.
- The risk involved in snail farming is less when compared to others as it’s very rare for the snails to get affected by diseases. Even if they get prone to some diseases, one can prevent them by invading the snail pens.
- When coming to the economics of snail farming, the demand of snails seems to be higher than the supply due to which there would be no loss if you start a snail farm.
- The meat of the snail is considered to be the one which is very rich in terms of iron, calcium and protein. This is also low in the content of fat and cholesterol when compared to other sources of protein like poultry and cattle.
- Another important factor of snails is its by-product called as Snail Slime. This plays a major role in the pharmaceutical industries, manufacturing industries, manufacturing and fisheries.
- The snail is a commodity which is mostly used for export rather than import. In this generation, snails can be considered as the ones which earn foreign exchange.
- As the feeds for snails are readily available, the snail farms can be run at a low cost within less time.
Disadvantages of Snails Farming
- Through snail farming, one cannot make money quickly as the snails are the animals which grow very slowly. Moreover, the meat of the snail which can be consumed is only 41% of the total weight of the snail.
- There would be no chance to grow snails by using artificial methods of climate control. The snails must be grown in the humid tropical forest zone, which has a constant temperature, high relative humidity, no dry season, and a constant day/night rhythm throughout the year.
- Snail meat is not preferred by a few countries due to some cultural reasons. Few reasons include religious inclination too.
- The snails which have escaped from its farm are a serious threat to agriculture as they rapidly develop into a serious pest which causes damage to the plants leading to economic damage. Hence it is mandatory to treat snail farming as a diversified venture.
Suitable climate for Raising Snails
- As the snails get dehydrated easily, there would be dryness in snails due to moisture loss. This can be prevented by choosing an environment which is wind protected for growing snails. The area which has a large number of trees in it will serve well for the growth of snails or snail farming.
Suitable soil for Snail Farming
- The soil is the main habitat of a snail. For successful snail farming, the soil of the selected area of cultivation needs to have the appropriate components for the growth of the snails. Hence, there would be specific soil types to choose for snail farming.
- For this reason, all types of soil are not suitable for commercial snail farming. As the shell of the snail mostly consists of calcium, they absorb most of the calcium from the soil.
- Starting from drinking of water to laying of eggs, everything would be carried on soil for the snails. Hence, for snail farming to be successful, it is must, to select a suitable area which has all the necessary facilities for the snails to grow up.
- Though all the necessary elements are provided to the snails by maintaining an appropriate soil, it is very much important to maintain the balance. You need to make sure that the soil never gets waterlogged or dry. It is important to see that the soil is not acidic in nature.
- Never let the soil become waterlogged, too dry and the soil will not be acidic or clayey. The soil, which is sandy-loam with low water holding capacity is preferred for snail farming.
Buying the Snails
- After selecting a suitable atmosphere and site, the first and most important step you be taking in snail farming is buying them.
- You can buy snails from markets or nearby snail farms.
- It is always suggested to get snails from forest rather than buying them from the market. It is so because the snails which are grown in the forest have high adaptation to the new environment rather than the snails which are raised in farms and brought to market.
- If you are unable to get snails from the forest, you can collect them from the bush by using a simple method. At the time of the rainy season, clear a small portion of land and spread fruits like banana, papaya, pineapple etc. Repeat it another time after 3 hours. Now you would find snails gathered near the fruits. Collect all of them. This process should be repeated until you get a sufficient number of snails required for your snail farm.
- You can also get fresh nails by getting a few snail eggs from the market. But in this method, you need to make sure that the eggs are fresh and did not lose their fertility due to exposure to heavy sunlight. These eggs should be placed in a container which consists of wet sand. Then it needs to be covered with cocoyam leaf. In a span of 28 days, these eggs would hatch into baby snails. These baby snails should be fed with proper care.
- Snailery is an important thing which has to be constructed for snail farming.
- A good snailery is required to keep the snails safe and productive.
- When you are breeding snails in small scale, the snail houses or snaileries can either be a patch of ground which is protected by a fence or a box which is covered to get shelter from the wind.
Construction of snail house
- To construct a snail house, you need to make a concrete pen with soil. This should be of a depth of about 12 inches.
- Now, you need to cover it with screen or wire. This should be done in order to prevent the snails from escaping for larger and commercial production.
- Basically, snails are cold-blooded animals which love to stay in a cold and dark place. But keeping them free from humidity level which is harmful is your responsibility as a farmer.
- To control the temperature, you need to use fresh leaves and cloth that is wet.
- Always make sure that harmful animals like snakes, rats and some other harmful predators are not entering the snailery. Using a wire helps a lot in keeping those animals away. It is required prevent termites and ants as well.
Feeding the Snails:
- Snails eat different varieties of foods like lettuce, weeds, vegetable peelings, and slices of fruits like banana, papaya, pineapple.
- You just need to put the food inside of the habitat and make sure to remove the food once it starts turning into growing mould. It is better to put a tray of distilled water for your snails to drink.
- You can grow leafy vegetables in your snailery in order to feed your snails.
- Few plants which the snails like to be in their snailery are a turnip, hybrid turnip, and dandelion clover.
- If you use tap water, it would be better to boil and cool them before you use it for your snails because the direct tap water contains chemicals which are harmful to the snails.
- The feed which contains waxy or hairy leaves should be avoided.
- The feeds which you offer the snails should contain 20% of protein for optimum development. Fruits and peels are a good source of crude protein.
- If you want your snails to be strong with a good shell development, then you need to give powdered calcium, which is available in the shells of the eggs, limestone, oyster shells (crushed), or bone meal. These should be added up to 15 to 20% of diet dry matter. The shell calcium obtained from the crushed oyster shell is best. Good amount of calcium results in thicker shells of snails.
- Snails are mostly dependent on water. Most of the water should be supplied through the food they consume. The additional water should be supplied in the growing pens by using water soaked sponge or shovel for hatchlings and juveniles, in shallow dishes (for mature and breeding snails).
Rearing Density of Snails:
- Density is one of the factors which affects not only the growth, but also the breeding capacity of the snails. If the snails are growing in high-density population, then they start growing very slowly.
- The adult snails seem to be small and even lay fewer eggs per clutch. If they are reared in high density, there is also a chance for the snails not to breed. The slime which accumulates reduces the reproduction of snails.
- The high density of rearing snails leads to increased rates of parasitism and moreover, the diseases would be transmitted easily among themselves.
- In terms of snail weight, the recommended density is 1-1.7 kg per m2, i.e., it would be 15 snails per square meter. Starting a snail farm with a lower density is recommended by most of the experts. The number of snails can be increased when the farmer or the grower becomes familiar with the habitats of the snail.
Maintenance of Snail Farm:
- The soil in the snailery has to be changed for every three months because the chemical composition of your soil changes as the time increases.
- Moreover, the soil in the snailery will develop faeces and mucus released from your snails. Because of this, it would be better to change the soil every three months. This would also keep your nails healthy.
- To change the soil, you need to transfer the snails to a temporary habitat from the original one by using a shovel.
- Use a spray bottle to wet the soil of your snailery. Water your snail farm in the evening or in the early morning, mainly when the temperature is cool. If your water is done when the temperature is hot, there is a chance of snails to get attracted by water and killed by the direct sunlight
- If you are snail farm is located in an open area, you will have to add water only if there is no rain for many days.
- It is important to pull the weeds and grass in your snailery as they will disturb the growth of leafy greens which you plant. Removal of the weeds should be done with utmost care.
Diseases of Snails:
- The main disease that the snails are prone to be a fungal disease which is spread through physical contact by the snails. This happens when the snails lick slime from each other’s bodies.
- There are two major diseases affecting the snails. The first one is a disease caused by a bacteria called Pseudomonas which leads to infections in the intestine of the snail. This also spreads quickly among the snails.
- The second one is caused by a fungus called Fusarium. This fungus when parasitises the eggs of Helix aspersa, the eggs which are affected will turn reddish-brown in colour and hence, the development in the snail stops with this. This disease is usually termed as ‘rosy eggs disease’.
- These diseases can be prevented by providing basic hygiene to the snails.
- The snaileries should be cleaned on a regular basis in order to remove excreta and uneaten food. The decaying matter which acts as a substrate for pathogenic organisms should also be removed from the snailery.
- Sterilizing the soil in hutch boxes is also advisable. This is done by steaming or heating the soil every time, whenever they are getting prepared for a new batch of egg clutches.
Read: Raising Free Range Chickens.