How To Start Snail Farming In Nigeria
Snail farming is one interesting business opportunity in Nigeria contemporarily. Fortunately, West Africa is known for producing the largest snail species in the world. Snail farming in Nigeria cannot be underestimated because it is a lucrative business in some parts of Africa. The largest snail species ( Achantina), often grow to a length of 18 centimeters (7.1 in) with a diameter of 9 centimeters (3.5 in). Certain examples have been surveyed in the wild at 30×15 cm, making them the largest extant land snail species known on earth. These species can be found in the dense tropical rainforest across regions, of the coasts of Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ivory Coast, Togo, Benin, Ghana, and Nigeria.
However, a lot of snail foodies patiently wait for the rain in other to get the snail they will eat. The African population has facilitated the expansion of human territory, and the supply of snail cannot meet up to the continuous soaring demand. This has opened up a door of opportunity in the local market for snail breeders and farmers. Who has ventured into cultivating these interesting creatures on a small scale in their backyards for impressive returns. The business might seem like a skeptical one at first, but let’s find out how fast these slow animals can bring in fast cash.
Getting the snail:
Decide the Specie Of Snail You Want To Farm
Before you start snail farming, you ought to decide on which species of snail you want to farm. When creating a farm for the snail, you’ll have to breed single species of snail. The smaller helix pomatia and helix aspersa can lay hundreds of eggs and can survive in seasonal climates. The shell is creamy white to light brownish; often with indistinct brown color bands. The shell has five to six whorls. The aperture is large. The apertural margin is white and slightly reflected in adult snails. The umbilicus is narrow and partly covered by the reflected columellar margin. The width of the shell is 30–50 mm. The height of the shell is 30–45 mm.
Eggs are laid in June and July, in clutches of 40–65 eggs. The size of the egg is 5.5–6.5 mm or 8.6 × 7.2 mm. Juveniles hatch after three to four weeks and may consume their siblings under unfavorable climate conditions. Maturity is reached after two to five years. The lifespan is up to 20 years, but snails die faster often because of drying in summer and freezing in winter. Ten-year-old individuals are probably not uncommon in natural populations. The maximum lifespan is 35 years. During estivation or hibernation, this species creates a calcareous epiphragm to seal the opening of the shell. The larger Archachatina marginata, common name the giant West African snail or banana rasp snail is a species of air-breathing tropical land snail, a terrestrial pulmonate gastropod mollusk in the family Achatinidae. They can grow up to 20 cm long, and live up to 10 years.
Purchase your snails online or find snails in your garden
Obviously, before you start a snail farm you’ll need to consider buy a snail. There are various places to get a snail for farming. The garden is a very good place to start looking for snail especially in the rainy season. You can look online to find a snail farm close to you where you can purchase adult snails. It’s always advisable to run a good examination on the snail before you buy them so that you know they are healthy. Ensure to buy from a trust snail seller to avoid starting with mistakes.
Select fully grown snails
When you start snail farming, the first thing to consider when purchasing snails for breeding is the size and health of the snail. You’ll need to get healthy and fully grown snails that will lay eggs and populate the farm. There are things to look out for in a snail to determine if it’s fully grown. Try looking at the lip, if there is a lip that means the snail is fully grown. The lip will have a rolled or curled shell near the entrance of the shell. Select the snail that fits in their shell as it is an indication that they are healthy.
Get enough snails for the size of your farm.
If you are interested in farming smaller snails, there is a max of 6 snails per square meter. In case you want to rear larger snails, you’ll need at least 1 square meter for each snail. Getting more snails than this will lead to overpopulation and an unhealthy snail population. The more snails you acquire, the more eggs they lay eggs.
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