How to Start a Snail Farming/Rearing Business in Nigeria
Snail rearing in Nigeria
Set up a business plan for your snail business.
Determine your cost or capital.
Select a fertile land and type of soil.
Housing and Using of intensive system.
Selecting the right breed and stocking.
Feed your snail appropriately.
Reproduction and maturity.
Marketing your snail.
Other issues; include possible pests and diseases.
Now that we have listed the points that we will be discussing about, now let’s explain them one after the other.
1) Be determined
It is one thing to think of a business plan, it is also another thing to be determined, set it up and nurture it till it grows.
To set up a snail farming business in Nigeria, you must be really determined and be sure that this is what you want to do.
No business is easy, not even snail farming in Nigeria.
Remember when you are determined, you loss procrastination.
2) Write a business plan for your snail business
In setting up a snail farming business in Nigeria, you must setup a perfect business plan for it.
A good business is one that has a business plan which is why I always use to emphasize on this when letting down a guard .
A business that has a business plan is one that has the high potential of succeeding well.
It is so because a business plan entails the amount of capital you intend to start with, your estimated gain, the amount of money you intend to spend in purchasing of equipment or building your facilities, the number of snail you’re starting with, etc, plus your marketing strategies.
When all these are documented, it will give you an insight of the direction your business is heading to; that is if you are gaining or losing in your snail farm business; this also applies to other business.
Another good reason why you should have a good business plan is because whenever you are in need of a loan, a good business plan would back you up to secure a faster loan from investors because the investors could see you as being serious and having a good insight into the snail business.
3) Determine your cost or capital
You should determine the scale and the amount of money you intend to start your snail farming business with.
Do you want to start the snail farming small or do you want to start big?
These are among the questions you should have an answer to before you start.
Some people start with a huge capital, while other start with little capital then as time goes on, they put in more snails as the profit grows.
This all depends on the size of your pocket, remember; the one good thing about snail farming business is that you can start it with low capital.
4) Selecting a fertile land and type of soil
When selecting a land for starting your snail farming business in Nigeria, select lands that are plain with adequate shade and the soil should not be waterlogged.
It must be balanced and it should not be too dry, and also it must not be acidic.
If possible, the most desirable and recommended type of soil for snail farming is sandy-loamy or loamy soil with low water holding capacity.
The reason why you need a good loamy soil for rearing your snail is because snails derive calcium which is used for forming its shell from the soil and it also gets its water from the soil and lays its eggs on soil.
So therefore, Snails cannot be reared on concrete floors.
5) Snail farming housing and using of intensive system
If you intend to construct and rear your snail in a snail pen, tank or drum and not on an open place or farm, then you are still on point.
This method is highly recommended, because you will keep a close watch on your snail and they also won’t be able crawl away in different direction.
When constructing this pen, tank or drum, or even in trampolines, it can be high or low fenced.
For those of you who intend to construct a high fenced pen, the walls should be a dwarf wall with bricks of about 1.5m high built all around it and it should have wire gauze at the top.
You should try to prevent ants or insects (who are snail’s predators) by digging some trenches around the underneath or foundation of the fence and pour some engine oil on it; this will help in prevent the gathering of ants or insects.
This same application goes for those constructing low fenced pens.
If you intend to construct a concrete floored snail pen; you should cover the ground of the soil with soil, (loamy soil) to give the snails a better condition.
Note; it is better and highly recommended that when constructing your snail pen (house for your snail), you build a pen that has a bare soil on the floor, and not cement it. Put fresh leaves or damp the soil to make the snail feeling at home.
(6) Selecting the right breed and stocking for your snail farm.
After constructing your snail pen, now it’s time to stock your snail pens with snails.
When selecting or getting your snail, you should select snails that are fresh; they should also have hard shells without damage, patches or nodes on the surface.
Also look for the ones that are sexually matured which weigh heavily.
There many species of nails in Nigeria. And they are;
Zebra Nerite snail
Tracked Nerite snail
Horned Nerite snail
The best species are known as Achatina Fulica, Achatina Achatina and the Archachatina Marginata but for rearing snail, it is better and highly recommended that you get the Achatina Achatina (also known as giant Ghana snail or giant tiger land snail.)
The reason why it is recommended that you rear Achatina Achatina snail species is because it is big in nature, and most especially, this snail can lay many eggs up to over one thousand each year. This kind of massive reproduction is good snail farming business in Nigeria.
7) Feeding your snail.
Like I wrote before, rearing snail or snail farming is really not costly which is why it is a good business to venture into, feeding your snail is really not costly because snail feeds on fruits, sweet potato, cassava tuber, soya bean, maize chaff, palm kernel cake, fish meal, tomatoes, cocoyam, pawpaw fruits, cucumber and leaves, plantains, bananas, cabbage, lettuce leaves and guava fruits.
As you can see, snails are carefree animals that are not really selective of foods.
Just make sure that whatever fruit or food you are giving them is salt free that is, it has no salt.
8) Snail farming healthy management
Just because we having been saying that snails don’t fall sick as much or that snails are easy to manage does not mean you should not take care of your snail.
There is much mortality in snail, as it is in other animal husbandry too.
You should remember to take adequate care of your snail.
Put in mind that it is your business and source of income and don’t just treat it anyhow.
Know when to provide it food. Feed your snails regularly morning and night with drinking water and also avoid mixing with salt, mixing fruits and tuber leaves.
Always try to frequently clean the feed and water dishes and give them good water. Also Earthworms added to the soil help keep the pen clean
9) Snail farming reproduction and maturity.
Male and female snails fertilize each another, after mating which may take several hours, they lay their eggs in depressions under logs or fragments.
Though they start laying white eggs 8-12 months when they are sexually mature, Snail eggs hatches between 4 to 6 weeks.
After hatching, the baby snail stays in the soil for 2-5 days.
Then the baby should be put in a separate pen to give it available space to grow.
Moreover, it usually takes up to 1½ to 2 years to grow to adulthood. A well matured snail should have a thick, harder and if possible big brim/shell.
10) Other issues on snail farming; include possible pests and diseases
You should look out for possible pest or disease that could harm your snail. Parasites, nematodes, trematodes, fungi, and micro arthropods can attack snails, and such problems can spread rapidly when snail populations are intense. Also look out for and prevent rats, mice, moles, skunks, weasels, birds, frogs, toads, lizards and walking insects.
These are pests that could harm your snail.
11) Harvesting your snail.
When your snails are all matured, harvest them for selling.
Do not sell your snail when it is not yet mature. It is advisable not to harvest all the snail at once this is it is important so as to keep some for breeding and to serve as base stock for your snail farm.
12) Marketing your snail
Though it is better to do this before harvesting, sample your snail to available buyers who might be interested.
Market your snail to market women, hotels, joints and also restaurants.
But before you do this, do a market research to know how much snail cost in the market.
This will help you know the price to which you will be selling yours; so as not to sell above the normal price or below the normal price.
(Our snail farming practical training contains strategies to be able to market very well. You can also get our experienced snail farmers to work with you, so that you won’t make mistakes that could lead to lost of your investment.
Click Here Here to get our phone numbers, training an consultancy services)
Snail Farming Diseases
This section was reserved till now because it could be boring.
Below are some of the diseases odd snails you may want to be familiar with.
We may write details on them later on this blog.
Operculum detoriation: holes, loss of operculum
Loss of tentacles or small tentacles
Hole in the shell
Thin and fragile shell
Detoriation of shell and operculum
Discoloration in new shell
Rough shell surface in new shell parts
Irregular growth of the shell