In this article, we will be looking at how to start snail farming business for beginners and for those who are into it and want to increase their profits.
Snail farming is the act of rearing land snails mainly for human consumption, and to obtain snail slime which can be used as raw material for production of cosmetics.
Most people see snail farming as a dull or non-lucrative business. This maybe because of the cultural belief of some people who see the consumption of snail meat as a taboo.
Meanwhile, some other people are not into the business because they don’t think it be a source of income since they can go into any nearby bush to pick snails for consumption once there is a slight rainfall.
You may not be aware that snail farming is a well known business around the world.
Nutritionist have discovered snail meat to be rich in iron, protein, calcium and other mineral food. This is to say that snail meat is a good source against malnutrition.
Considering the nutritional value of snail, the demand for it is becoming high so also the cost of it, therefore, the more profitable it becomes.
Why snail farming business is lucrative and easy to manage
1. Unlike other animal farming like poultry, fish, pig, etc. that require huge capital to start, snail farming does not need a huge amount to start.
2. Snail feeds are mostly fruits and leaves such as; mango, banana, paw-paw, plantain, cucumber, sweet potatoes, etc. So, you don’t need to spend money buying feeds for your snail.
3. As stated earlier, the demand for snail is high, that makes it always available in any season and weather. The demand for snail also depends on its uses whether as food or as raw material for the production of cosmetics or medication.
4. Snails farms don’t have offensive smell like poultry and pig, and it easy to maintain. All you need to do is to give it your time to manage it properly.
5. Snails start laying eggs between 8-12 months when they have become sexually active. They lay eggs up to 80 and above.
6. Diseases that kill snails are not very common or threatening compared to that of other farm animals.
Snail by-product: more reason you should go into snail farming business
1. Snail slime: Snail slime is the mucus produced by snails which can be used as raw material for cosmetics, for medication to treat cough, ulcer, anti-aging, and to clear spot.
2. Snail shell: This can be used as ornament for decorations, beads, cowries, traditional rites.
3. Snail eggs: It can be used to prepare different types of food.
How To Start Snail Farming Business
Below are steps to follow to start snail farming business;
1. Get a good location
A conducive environment would be a starting point to rear snails. A wet place is a good home for snails because if they get dry, they are prone to die. In other words, water should be made available for snails always.
So a moist area is a good idea for snaileries where there would be no much wind as too much wind can cause dryness.
2. Map out your business plan
A business plan will help you determine, the capital needed to start up a business, profits involved, demand and other things. Planning will help you to know whether to get a loan in the case of large scale business.
3. Make the right choice of soil for your snail farming business
A soil with good chemical substances will help your snail to survive. You can consult an expert in geology for guideline on choice of soil that will be suitable for your snail.
A good soil is one of the necessary facilities for the survival of your snail. This is because good soil contains some mineral substances including water to keep your snail in good health condition to lay enough eggs.
4. Get the number of snails you can manage
Snails collected from the forest easily adjust to new environment. So, try as much to pick snails from the bush/forest. For commercial purposes, you may go ahead to buy from the market or snail farm as you may not be able to get snails that will be enough to start your farm.
But if you decide to pick snails from a nearby bush or garden, you can follow this simple step to attract snails:
- Clear a portion of your land or garden during rainy season,
- Drop some fruits or their leaves like paw-paw, plantain, pineapple on the cleared portion,
- Do this in the late hours of the evening, then check on them later in the night.
You will be shocked at the number of snails you would catch, snails enjoy eating these fruits.
You can repeat this process at different locations in your garden and you can be lucky to gather a lot of snails for your business.
This is one good method snail farmers use to collect a lot of snails for farming business
5. Snailery (Snail House)
You can run your snail farming at home or in a farm. For home snail farming, you should construct your snail house close to your home provided the soil is conducive for your snails.
But if you want to rear your snails in the farm you can construct a snail pen (use a tank or drum).
You only have to keep close watch over your snails to keep them from escaping or being attacked by predators.
Use a wire gauze to fence your snail pen wherever you wish to construct it to avoid theft.
6. Select the snails for your farm.
There are different species of snails in existence. It is important that you select from a good specie. Below are some types known in Nigeria.
- Horned Nerite snail
- Sebra Nerite snail
- Tracked Nerite snail
- Pond snail
- Sulawesi snail
- Apple snail
It is advisable to buy snails that are heavy, with hard shells and sexually mature.
If you want to start snail farming, it is important to begin with the giant Ghana snail or giant tiger land snail known as Achatina snail (Achatina snail)
7. Feeding snails
Feeding your snails is not like poultry farming where you have to buy feeds for your birds. Snails eat the fruits and leaves of fruits such as guava, mango, plantain, etc.
8. Managing your Snails
The risk of loosing your snail is minimal compared to other animal farming. A proper management of your snails is to take care of them very well. Clean their pen frequently, make their food readily available, provide clean water and make their environment clean and healthy. These and other means are ways you can manage your snails properly.
9. Snail Reproduction.
Most snails are hermaphrodites which means that a snail has both male and female reproductive organ . But they still find another snail to fertilize them.
This makes them lay many eggs at once. The eggs hatch between 2-4 weeks and it takes 1-2 years for the young one to reach maturity.
A baby snail should be separated from the adult snails for a chance to grow faster.
10. Harvesting your Snails.
when the snails reach maturity, you can harvest for sale. You should keep some of the matured snails to breed more snails for sale till the younger ones are sexually mature to breed, this will make you not to run out of snail to sale.
11. Selling your Snails
When your snails are ready for sale, you can contact buyers from different places like restaurants, hotels, bush bar, and so on. It’s better to contact them in advance for faster sales. You can also sell in market.
Snail farming business is an easy and less stressful business. It’s a business that doesn’t require huge capital to start and very affordable to manage.
There are many people who love dishes prepared with snail, this is why the demand for snail is in the increase, therefore, the more reason you should go into snail business.
If you have questions on how to start snail farming business, go to the comment section below.