Agriculture31 Comments

There is this wise saying: “If you are not idle, you are succeeding a little”. So, start climbing the success stairs by starting up a small snail farm beside your apartment. To begin, you need to know what snails feed on and the list of snail food. Snail breeding is one of the numerous businesses that you can start with a very little capital, easy to manage and consume lesser amount of energy and time, you have the rest of your time for other things. Snail breeding is a lucrative business that generates profitable income if properly managed.

Click Here to Get the Comprehensive eBook on Snail Farming in Nigeria.

Before we go into the snail food, you need to understand step by step how to start and manage your snail farm. As a result of increased awareness on the profitability of snail farming, many entrepreneurs are beginning to delve into the business of snail rearing, processing and export. This business also has its pros and cons like other businesses. Understanding this will be a good thing. This care guide will attempt to shed light on snail breeding – snail rearing, feeding, including other things that may be of importance to someone interested in breeding snails.

Heliculture: – The science, practice and occupation of growing snails for food, it’s making them feel as if they are in their natural habitat. Snails are hermaphrodite – they possess both male and female reproductive organs; this makes it difficult to differentiate between the male and the female gender. Snail is rich in protein and irons, low in fat, and contains almost all the amino acids needed by human.

How To Procure Snails For Your Farm

There are two major ways of procuring snails for rearing purposes, either by purchasing life snails or catching the snails yourself. If you decide to purchase the snails, it is advisable to purchase from those who are already into the business of snail rearing, so, they can give you the best breeds. By doing so, you will be on the safer side. Or, you can take your destiny into your hands, by picking different breeds of snail yourself. To make the task easier follow these steps.

Get different variety of fruits like pineapple, pawpaw, banana, avocado e.t.c.

Clear a little portion of land in the rainy season

Sprinkle the fruits spice on the spot you cleared around 5pm – 6pm
Go back to check the spot after 2 or 3 hours, you will pick up snails suitable for rearing.
Repeat the procedure until you get enough quantity.

SEE ALSO: How To Start Edible Mushroom Farming In Commercial Quantity

Snails are nocturnal animals (very active at night), and they have high sense of smell. They are drawn to the sweet smell of foods in the surroundings. For those in areas where there is no bush, the best way is purchasing your stock.

Whichever method you may adopt, make sure you have different species to fast-track the breeding rate, the growth of your business, and to meet consumers demand. The species underlisted are lucrative in West Africa.

Achatina Fulica (The East African land Snail) – known commonly as the giant African snail or giant African land snail.

Achatina Achatina (Giant Ghana Snail or Tiger Land Snail) – common name the giant Ghana snail, also known as the giant tiger land snail, is a specie of very large, air-breathing land snail.

Archachatina Marginata (Giant West African Snail) – the giant West African snail, is a specie of air-breathing tropical land snail. They can grow up to 20cm long, and live up to 10 years.

Making Home For The Snails

The next stage is provision of shelter for the snails. They are very fragile animals that must be properly sheltered in favorable weather condition to aid their growth, mating, and laying. Snails are easily dehydrated, exposure to much wind leads to loss of water, resulting in dryness of the animal. So, your snail house must be located in an area that is protected from wind and much sun light.

Snailery vary from small container when breeding in a small scale, to very large snail pens, you may house your snails in:

  1. A well glass or plastic ventilated tank
  2. A well ventilated wooden cage.
  3. For large population of snails, a trench may be dug or make a concrete pen.

(Note: the shelter must not have big openings and the ventilated parts must be covered with net/gauze to prevent them from escaping and to protect the snails from predators).

SEE ALSO: How To Start Rice Farming With Modern Farming Technique

Fill the house with substrate (soil, small stones, pieces of wood and other things common in a typical habitat). Soil is the major part of a snail habitat, because it contains components and chemical substances the snails need to survive. The snail shell is mainly calcium and it is derived from the soil.

The snails get all the amount of water they need from the soil, it lays its eggs in the soil, and burrow deep inside. So, a sandy-loamy soil is recommended, because it doesn’t hold water for long and it’s not easily drained. Clayey soil and acidic soil should be avoided.

Caring For The Snails

After getting the shelter ready, you have to make them habitable for the snails.

Line the pen or tank floor with thick layer of substrate ( soil, small stone or granite e.t.c)

Spray the tank every other day with water (warm water) to maintain relative level of humidity

Change the substrate every week

Remove leftovers often, rodents and other small insects that can harm the snails are attracted by the smell of decaying foods

Clean the snail slime on weekly basis, if you are rearing the snails in tanks or wooden cages

Handle the snails the care when transferring them

Feed them regularly

Avoid feeding them with foods containing salt or sugar

Snail Food And Feeding

The snails should be fed as at when due, if you really want them to do very well. In fact, the quality of your snails will depend on the quality of their feed. Snails eat a wide variety of food, which could fall into any of these categories: tubers, agricultural by-products, fresh vegetables, fruits, leaves, cereals, fibres, drinks, and concentrates.

Snail Feed Categories

Leaves and Vegetables:
leaves of paw-paw, cocoyam, banana, sweet potato and cassava. Snails eat a lot of vegetables too. Some of the vegetables include- pumpkin, cabbage, lettuce, okra, water leaf, spinach, garden egg plant, amaranthus and all green vegetables eaten by man.

breadfruit, cucumber, green beans, nectarine melon, peach, plums, paw-paw, banana, plantain, orange, apple, pineapple, grape, tomatoes, ripe pear, avocado and all edible fruits.

Snails also eat tuber crops like yam, sweet potato, coco yam and cassava when cooked.

Agricultural by-products:
Agricultural by products – wheat bran, rice bran, corn, soybean, residue bran, palm kernel cake, peel of plantain, banana, fresh maize chaff etc, can also be eaten by snails.

Dried and processed maize, groundnut cake, soybean meal, and sorghum.

Feed supplements like fishmeal and blood meal are also good for snails.

This include poultry waste and feed, fish feed.

Limestone, wood ash, fish meal, bone meal, and chalk. Snails also need a lot of calcium in-take for growth and shell formation. Calcium or mineral supplement can also be derived from ground eggshell, oyster shell, bone meal, or even soil.

Why You Should Feed Your Snails Properly

The essence of feeding the snails is to aid reproduction capacity and increase their size. Therefore, be consistent in feeding. Snails convert feed to body weight when a balanced diet containing protein, vitamin, minerals, calcium carbonate, and phosphate is given to them.

Feed snails as much as they can eat, ensure usable water quantity daily. Agricultural chemicals in form of spray or powder should be avoided, as they are toxic to snails. Avoid salt and salty foods, since snails do not survive high salt intake.

List of Items That You Will Need in Your Snail Farm

Feeding troughs, Water troughs, Hand gloves, Colored marker, Hand trowel/spoon, Watering can/sprinkler, Sterilizer/ heater, Ruler/ vernier caliper, Weighing balance, Boots, Incubator, Nursery pen, Nets/ gauze, Illuminator.

Always remember that the performance of your snails depends solely on the type of feeds they are fed with. So feed your snails well for better growth and increased returns.

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  • Joan K April 21, 2015

    Hi, I am from Kenya and I was thinking of entering into the snail farming business, I would like to know what you know about snail farming in Kenya ,how is the market? does it mainly involve exports or is there a local market? and an examples of some of the people/companies I can supply to. Thanks

    • Darlinton Omeh April 22, 2015

      Hi Joan K, one of the most popular African giant snail (Achatina Folica) is Kenya origin. I strongly belief the market is there, go around and see what you can find. Cheers!

    • Aderemi Balogun July 18, 2017

      Hi, I am from Nigeria I need a WhatsApp forum to join to have more knowledge about snail farming.

      • Olabode May 13, 2018

        Hello sir, please kindly assist me with this your ebook it’s too cost me and I am VERY impressed with this your article as I am readying it I am so moved to have something doing but please is there any seminar for the snails because I am in kwara state or if there is any platform on whatsApp about the snails rearing

      • Adedolapo December 8, 2019

        if you find any whatsapp forum, i would love to join too.
        Also, have you started snail farming? If yes, how is it going?

      • Adedolapo December 8, 2019

        if you find any whatsapp forum, i would love to join too.
        Also, have you started snail farming? If yes, how is it going?

  • onuora chuma July 21, 2017

    Please where can I get snails for rearing. I live in Enugu and I have space and passion for it.


  • Oge July 29, 2017

    Thank you so much Mr. Darlington for this wonderful write up.
    Wouldn’t it be better though if dates appear under people’s comments here? So that one can know how current and up to date the comments and info are.
    God bless you for taking your time to put up all these write ups to encourage and empower people.

  • John Akinfenwa September 7, 2017

    Hi,thanks very much for d information on snail farming.I reside in Nigeria and have started d farming already but need some clarification on d white type of snail,are they also OK for farming?

  • Babatunde Muftau ademola October 16, 2017

    I am very interested in the snail farming, I started in a small amount of about 30 snail, but to my surprise, 5 of them died last week.
    I don’t know what could be responsible for this, though I suspect sharp protruding nails used in the construction of their house. Because I noticed some spots on the dead ones.

  • Oby November 16, 2017

    I am very much interested in this biz

  • Tunde November 23, 2017

    Am Tunde from Nigeria. Am really interested in snail business. Have got a small land but needs clearity with respect to housing the snails. How can I build for them. plz any one to assist.

  • NANCY December 3, 2017

    hi,pls i want sell my snails out and i don’t knw how to go about it

  • Ikechukwu Chuks December 16, 2017

    Many thanks for sharing your knowledge with us. More powers to your elbows. What effect does soaking the snail’s in imee water before introducing them into the pen?

  • Rosemary Madumere January 19, 2018

    is there a snail farmer i can understudy before starting off mine?

  • Grace Hueghes January 28, 2018

    Thanks so much for this educative teaching on snail farming, is it possible to get practical experience before I can set up mine? Looking forward to your reply because I am interested and from Nigeria

  • Udeme Francis Ikpeme February 26, 2018

    I need snails to start my own in Akwa ibom state Nigeria

  • Cletus Happiness Udiong March 28, 2018

    Hello! please is there any platform where one can
    join to learn more about snail farming? thanks

  • Edith Johnson April 6, 2018

    Please, sir. I want to venture into the business if snail farm.I needest species of snail.I am from the eastern part of Nigeria.

  • Edith Johnson April 6, 2018

    Please, sir. I want to venture into the business if snail farm.I needest species of snail.I am from the eastern part of Nigeria.can I get the best species from you,I will like to by about 4-5 hundreds piece


    please sir, I want to start the farm. How can I get the snail from you and get more directions from you.

  • Ohwerhi Treasure April 25, 2018

    Thank You Very For This Wonderfull Writeup.Am From Nigeria,Delta State To Be Precise. My Questions Are As Follows ; What Do You Mean By The Word ‘food Spices’ ?.Secondly;what Is The Maturity Period For Snails ? Thirdly;how Do One Give The Snails Water ?.A Quick Reply From You Will Be Much Apreciated.Thanks

  • OlamilekanOlabode May 13, 2018

    Hello sir, please how can I source for the breeding snails, and where to get it possible.

  • iweru lucky May 30, 2018

    thank you sir. my question is in feeding the snail do you just Pringle the food on where they are or you keep it in a corner leaving them to go close to it and eat.

  • iweru lucky May 30, 2018

    thank you sir. pls sir I would have love to get the picture of feeding precess and already made snail farm either for beginner or advance one.

  • EDZEE FARMS January 18, 2019

    I want to venture into Pig farming. I have a plot of land BUT my concern is in the management of the waste and building the pen.

  • Emmanuel April 16, 2019

    Looking at the information sent across this website is very educative. God bless you for bringing the young ones

  • jerry ernest October 22, 2019

    hi here is my number i need some lectures from u 08026434609 on snail farming am i enugu or can send me ur number via message and i will call u thanks so much

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