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How To Make Money From Snail Farming



Snail farming in Nigeria or any place in the world is absolutely a lucrative business idea. The initial investment is low, required space or labor is low and you can do this business along with your current profession. Snail breeding is one investment that can yield quick money if the farmer understands the modern techniques and species that are in high demand in Europe, USA and other developed countries. Snail farming is a practicable and viable venture yet unexplored in Nigeria. If it has worked elsewhere, it will work in Nigeria. The demand for snail is higher than the supplies, an indication that the market potential of snail is inexhaustible, locally and internationally.

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 Investment capital: It is cheaper to set up snails farming because it reproduces fast. You can start the business with N60,000 or N100,000 depending on how large you want your snail farm to be. Asides the amount of your investment, it is possible to produce 1,000,000 snails now worth more than N5 million twice a year. This is made possible because of the availability of very highly prolific Achatina Achatina species of snails, which lay 200-400 in one batch two-three times a year. If you produce 100,000 snails that sell for N50 each, which is N50 X 100,000, you will be making N500,000. You will be making N5,000,000 per annum or more than that if you produce 1,000,000 snails. In recent years, we can witness the growing popularity of snail farming, as a business. This could be explained due to the fact that in Nigeria and many other countries snails is considered a tasty, useful, and exotic delicacy. Naturally, these delicacies are quite expensive. These creatures are also widely used in cosmetology. In this regard, there is an actual idea for a business — the cultivation of snails. But what is needed for this, where to start and what is the benefit, not everyone knows. Let’s figure this out. Suitable Environment for Snail Farming Snails are easily dehydrated, and wind increase the rate of moisture loose in snail which in turn, leads to the dryness of the animal. To prevent snails from losing water so quickly, your snaileries (the snail house) must be located in environment that is protected from wind. A low plain, downhill site surrounded with enough trees is perfect for snail farming. You may plant plantains and bananas around your snail farm to prevent the impact of wind. Type of Soil For Snail Farming Snail’s major habitat is the soil, and soil contains some of the components and chemical substances that it needed to survive. However, not all soils are suitable for snail rearing. The shell of the snail is mainly calcium and it derive most of them from the soil. Snail also lay it’s eggs on the soil and drink water out of the soil. Hence, the suitable soil for snail farming must contain these elements. Must be balanced, not waterlogged, not too dry, and must not be acidic. The most desirable soil for snail is sandy-loamy soil with low water holding capacity. Clayey soil and acidic soil must be avoided.

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  Getting The Sails For Farming :
To start up a snail farm, it is advisable to get snails directly from the forest instead of buying from the market after they have been exposed to sunlight and have dehydrated. This is because snails drink a lot of water, so are easily dehydrated and this stresses them out, and reduce their fertility capacity. The intending snail farmer could pick the snails from the bush with a very simple technique; clear a little portion of land during rainy season and sprinkle spicy fruits like pineapple, pawpaw, plantain, banana etc at about 5o’clock in the evening, when you go back there about 7pm or 8pm, you will pick up snails suitable for rearing. Repeat the procedure until you get enough quantity. Another way could be to pick up snail eggs littered in the market place where it is sold and through a technique, check the fertility of the eggs, because some of them must have lost fertility due to the exposure to sunlight. The eggs are later put inside a container containing wet sand and covered with cocoyam leaf. Between 21 to 28 days, the eggs would hatch into baby snails. You start feeding them and gradually you raise a snail farm.


  Constructing the Snail House :
Snaileries can vary from a patch of fence-protected ground, sheltered from the wind to a covered box if you are breeding in small scale. For larger population of snails, you can dug a trench or make a concrete pen with soil deep of about 10 inches, and cover it with screen or wire all around to prevent the snails from escaping. Remember that snails can reproduce fast and become pests when their breeding is uncontrolled. Snails love dark and cold places, but make sure the humidity does not drop to levels harmful to the snails. You can use fresh leaves and cloth that is regularly wet to regulate the temperature. Also, the wire is useful in keeping away rats and snakes or other predators from eating the snails in your snail farm. But aside from these bigger predators, you should be wary about smaller ones like ants and termites. Your construction must have these predators in mind.


 Snail Food and Feeding:
 Snails especially Achatina mainly feeds on green leaves and fruits though they can utilize other ranges of foods. Feed your snails leaves, fruits, or even formula from the feed store. Aside from food to grow tissues, snails need calcium to grow shells. Leaves : Cocoyam leaves, pawpaw leaves, okra leaves, cassava leaves, eggplant leaves, cabbage and lettuce leaves. Fruits : Mango, eggplant, pawpaw, banana, tomatoes, oil palm fruits, pears. and cucumber. Once they start growing, separate the big ones from the small ones. It take more than a year for the Achatina type to grow to harvest size. Others mature in two years. One hundred thousand snails after a year or two sold at the rate of N50 each (highly reduced price) will give you about N5 million! Isn’t that a good investment? Harvesting the Snail It is not economically wise to harvest your snails before it’s maturity, it has to be matured before harvesting.
 To know if your snails are already matured enough, check the brim of the shell. If it is matured enough, the brim should be thicker and harder than other parts of the shell.
 Do not harvest all the matured snails at once for the market. It is important to keep few for breeding and to serve as base stock for your snail farm.

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