Snail farming is one of the cheapest agricultural ventures in Nigeria.
You can start snail farming with as low as N2000. The most important thing you need to start snail farming is the determination to succeed in what you set out to do. If you have the determination, the rest are easy to overcome.
Snail also known as Congo meat is a rich source of protein and iron but very expensive in the market because very few people are into snail farming.
Snails have both male and female reproductive organs and are very comfortable during the rainy season and as such they come out in search of food even when it is raining. Snails always survive during the rainy season and can die where there is no water.
Most snails in the market are reared in the rural areas and transported to the urban areas. But if you are in Lagos, you can start rearing snails at home in your backyard with little capital.
In this article, I will give you tips on how to start snail farming at home in your back yard with the steps below.
- Step 1.
Look for old condemned tyres, preferably big ones. Put them on each other. Ensure you have cleaned the floor and free it from predators like ants and other insects that can pose a threat to the snails.
- Step 2.
Get wire mesh; use it to build a fence around the already arranged tyres to prevent insects, pests and reptiles from entering inside. This is to also prevent the snails from moving out of their house.
Note: You can arrange the tyres in three or four places if you have enough space.
- Step 3.
Start your snail farming by getting some peels from fruits and vegetables (pawpaw leaves, cabbage, lettuce, cassava leaves, cocoyam leaves, banana, pear, tomato, mango etc.).
Go to any bush around your vicinity; throw the vegetables and peels of fruits in strategic places. Leave them there till the next day, then go back to the place you dropped the peels of fruits and vegetables; you will be surprised at the number of snails you will see around them. Gather them and use them to start your farm.
Put the snails you find in your already prepared house and you are good to go.
Laying of Eggs
Snails lay eggs during the rainy season, they start laying eggs from six months. Once they start laying eggs, they repeat laying eggs every 2- 3 months.
Testing the Fertility of the Eggs
To test for fertility, put water in a plastic basin, use a plastic spoon to pick each of the eggs and put them in the water and remove almost immediately. The fertile eggs will sink to the bottom of the plastic basin while the eggs that are not fertile will float on the water. Throw away the bad ones and keep the fertile ones for hatching.
Hatching the Eggs
Make a box depending on the number of snails and or eggs you have (we are actually dealing with small scale snail farming).
Make small holes at the bottom of the box, to let water out of the box, fill the box with soil and water the soil.
Make holes in the soil, place the fertile eggs in the holes you made in the soil and cover the eggs with soil. Then tie the top of the box with nylon.
The incubation period for the eggs is 21 to 28 days.
How to Care for the Snails after Hatching
Build another box like the first one but bigger than the first one used for the incubation. Feed them properly and allow them there for about 40 days. You can move them to another pen. But don’t put them among old snails, always put snails of the same age together.
This is an easy way to start snail farming at home.
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