Do you want to start snail Farming? According to Snail World, it takes between 6 weeks to 5 years for snails to mature, depending on the specie of snail you are breeding. And result shows that snail Farming requires low startup capital but is highly profitable. But one snail cycle can generate over N10,000,000 net profit
One of the reasons you should invest in snail farming is because it’s a low risk business. However, among all the Livestock businesses, snail Farming requires small startup capital, with very low operating cost too. And you can start right from your backyard.
There’s also a huge market for snails. Although, the most demand for snails is for cooking, but the huge potential is in the cosmetics industry. This demand is increasing rapidly. The market demand for snails is said to reach 50,000 tones by 2025.
Snail Farming is a money making venture. The global market for snail is worth about $1 billion in 2019, growing at around 4.5% per annum. Snails reproduce mostly in the second year of their life. And with the right breeding snails, you can make lots of money Farming snails.
How Snail Farming Work
To begin with, snail farming is one of the top businesses in Nigeria. It is easy to start up and has a low risk. Snail farming refers to the rearing of snails for commercial purposes: for its meat, eggs and slime. The slime is used for cosmetic purposes and the meat and eggs for edibles.
Everything about snail Farming is easier and cost effective. It requires less labour in Farming snails. Snails don’t require too much attention. Even their feeding is not a problem. They eat more of vegetables and fruits, most of which can be gotten from the wild.
Also, it takes just 21 to 32 days for snail eggs to hatch, with snails about 4 mm long. A snail can grow up to 10 mm per month, and in 6 months some species can grow to about 35 mm long. It takes just 6 months to 16 months for a snail to be sexually matured. But this depends on the weather condition of the environment and the vial ability of calcium.
One more thing about snail Farming is the low cost of housing for the snail. You can start very small with just 10 snails. Most snails are hermaphrodites. They have both male and female reproductive organs. And you don’t require huge housing to store your snails. You can start small with just a car tire.
Why Snail Meat is In High Demand
The demand for snail meat in Nigeria is greater than its supply. Snails are one of the major sources of meat in the country but there are few sources. There are few major snail farms in the country, and many of them are just small farms.
According to some statistics, the annual snail consumption in Nigeria is around 7.5 million kg. Most of these is exported to Europe and North America. And America imports about $4 million dollars in snail meat annually.
But locally, they demand is high but the cost of fully grown snail is also high. A raw matured snail cost between N250 to N500. This is based on the sizes. You can multiply this with the target of snails you hope to harvest in the next 6 months.
To put it more simply, for a healthy skin and body, snail meat contains essential nutrients you require. You can eat snail meat as freshly processed or as grilled snail meat. However, getting it from a snail farm you trust is important, as what the snails were fed during their growth stage is important.
Other reasons you should eat snail meat is for its ideal protein level. It also have low level of cholesterol and a rich source of vitamins. It’s a supplement for calcium and magnesium. But most importantly, it’s an effective prevention against certain form of cancer and cough.
Tips to Start Snail Farm
I have put together a simple step to help you get started. There are many reasons I would encourage you to invest in snail farming. It’s very lucrative, cost effective to run, and requires little startup capital. You can start snail Farming immediately after reading this article, right at your backyard.
Also, its an environmentally friendly business. And snails are highly productive. One snail can lay up to 200 to 500 years in one clutch, and can lay eggs 3 to 4 times in a year. Imagine one snail laying about 600 to 800 eggs per annum. 100 snails would be around 60,000 to 80,000 eggs.
#1 – Start-up Capital
The capital needs to cover the housing, the snails, and every necessary thing. The capital depends on the size of the farm and how big you want it. You can start with N50,000. It can be less or more depending on your snail Farming business plan.
The output for snail business is however higher. This is because the snails would mate and lay as much as 200-400 eggs. These eggs would then hatch into another generation of snails.
#2 – Housing
The housing for your snails has to be secure as the snails would want to escape. Also, ensure that there is enough space in the housing. Overcrowding snails in a small space affects their growth and development negatively, causing poor growth and dwarfism.
Choose farmland with quality soil and space as this also prevents the spread of diseases among the snails.
#3 – Acquiring the Snails
The snails you purchase must be healthy and gotten during the rainy season because it’s their breeding period and they’re surplus. Snails are scarce in the dry season.
Buy only fresh quality snails from the farm or you can get from the market. But be careful to buy only healthy, fully grown snails. The snails should be able to start laying eels in no time and help populate your farm. The signs of matured snails are noticeable on its shell.
The cost of buying breeders snail called point of lay may vary. Expect to pay as much as N350 per snail breeder, depending on the snail specie you want.
#4 – Feeding and Care
Snails feed on a variety of vegetables and fruits which includes banana, pawpaw, cucumber, cabbage, pear, waterleaf, lettuce and moringa among many others.
Moringa leaves are an awesome source of protein. Interestingly, fresh moringa leaves have about the same amount of protein in an egg while dried moringa leaves have quadruple- four times more protein.
Simply make sure you have a variety of foods to choose from and mix them up after a while. However, it’s usually better to use formulated feeds, which is rich in calcium for your snails. On an average, it takes 6 to 12 months for snails to mature for market size, depending on the feeding you choose.
If you’ll be giving the snails leftover food or old fruits, make sure you put the food on a plate or pan and remove after a day. This is to prevent the food from decomposing into the ground.
#5 – Marketing
After all, when its time for the baby bird to leave the nest, I mean the grown snails ready for sale, marketing happens. For every product, there’s a demand and people who want them. Now, how do you find them?
Give your business a trademark first. You should also build a website to further brand your business.
Local food markets provide a variety of food products and prospective customers for your snails. It’s also possible that you find the connection to companies who need snails in bulk. If you are breeding large number of snails, you should consider exporting your snails.
Restaurants are also ideal customers. Some restaurants include snails in their menu and certainly need a regular supply of quality snails. Present your snail business to these restaurants and when they approve the quality of your snails, you’ve gotten yourself a customer.
Lastly, use social media to spread the word about your business. Social media is a powerful tool that has brought many into the light and stardom. Use it to bring your business to the awareness of more people.
Startup Cost And Requirements
The start-up cost is required to cover the housing of the snails, their purchase, feeding, transportation and marketing. The cost of starting up a snail business can range from N50,000 to as high as you can afford. It all depends on the size you have in mind and the capacity of your capital at hand.
Let me list out some of the cost below:
Cost number one:
You need to constantly invest in knowledge. Knowledge can be costly. But you can start small and keep upgrading your knowledge as the business grow. Start with Snail Farming Beginners Guide. It cost just N5,000. Order for it now.
Cost number two
You need to construct your own pen. The cost would greatly depend on the number of snails you plan to start with. For a start, N15,000 would serve. You can also use old tires if you plan to just start with a handful of snails, like 10 or 20 snails.
Cost number three
You need to buy point of lay or breeder snails. Price would depend on the the specie of snail and the maturity level. Your budget should be at least around N350 for a matured snail. Multiply that by the number of snails you want to start with to get your actual cost for breeder snails.
Cost number four
Buy formulated snail feed. Although this is optional, it helps to boost the growth of the snails faster than natural snail food. A 25kg bag of this feed can feed can feed 100 snails for 6 months period. The cost is N19,500 but understand that prices can change.
Cost number five
Buy alternative feeds like natural vegetables and fruits. You can arrange to get rotten or waste vegetables and fruits from sellers for free. If you are buying them, you should Budget like N8,000
The cost of starting a snail business is little compared to its returns. The average snail lays about 80 eggs during a reproductive cycle and amazingly, they have about 4-5 cycles in a year. This means one snail is very capable of producing about 400 eggs in a year.
That’s a lot.
Let’s assume that your farm produces 80,000 snails in a year from 200 snails. However, success rate for snail breeding is about 80% of the hatched eggs. If one mature snail sells for N200, you are expected to reap a revenue from 89% of 80,000 eggs, which 64,000. Multiple that by N200 that gives you a revenue of N12,800,000.
Now, that’s a lot of money. Note that you can only achieve this kind of income with just 200 snails in one year. If you are not considering Snail Farming now, I wonder what business you should be thinking of doing that has the kind of success with less capital and efforts. To know more get the Snail Farming Guide.
House Construction for Snail Farming
Pen housing for snails which are known as snaileries depends on whether it’s a large or small scale snail business. It’s usually advisable to start on a small scale and upgrade as the business grows. That way you can raise your own breeder snails, study properly your environmental conditions of your snailery and build a good market to sell your snails before you go bigger.
For a small scale business, you can use a box filled with good soil and covered with wire netting to ward off predators. You can also implement your backyard and build trenches and fences around it to ward off predator visitors.
Moreover, for a large scale business, build a housing pen filled with about ten inches of good soil covered on top with wire netting or mesh. The mesh prevents the snails from escaping and predators from entering. You can also build trenches filled with spent engine oil to avoid ant invasions.
A simple pen should not cost more than N15,000. You can also build with used items you got for free.
Below are the best snail species you can rear:
- Achatina Achatina
- Achatina Marginata
- And Achatina Fulic
Achatina mariginata is the largest of all ground snail species in Nigeria. The matured size can be up to 20cm and lays up to 5 to 12 eggs in one clutch, with lays up to 3 times in one single year. Also, mariginata specie can live up to 10 years. Takes up to 8 to 9 months before it starts laying eggs. And hatches it’s eggs within 21 to 32 days after laying eggs.
While Achatina Achatina is the second largest snail specie in Nigeria. It lays eggs 3 to 4 times in a year, and can lay between 200 to 500 eggs at one time. Achatina starts laying eggs between 6 to 7 months, and it’s eggs hatches in 21 to 32 days.
For Achatina Fulica it has the same similarity with Achatina Achatina, just that it’s smaller, as the third largest snail specie in africa. It can lay between 200 to 500 eggs, and can produce 3 to 4 times a year.
Challenges of Snail Farming
There are certain challenges that can affect your snail business if not properly managed.
Predators include ants, birds, green snails, frogs, snakes and toads. Building trenches around the housing pen can help ward off predators. Also, elevating the pen is a good prevention mechanism.
Soil Type for Snail farming:
In general, the quality of the soil is very important. The soil quality must be good with a balanced pH and hold just enough water, most preferably loamy soil.
The soil is one area that you need to be concerned about when rearing snail as a beginner.
Dwarfism of Snails:
This is majorly caused by overcrowding of snails and not necessarily by genetics. To avoid this, ensure you have enough space for the number of snails you are breeding. Always make plans for more space as your snail colony grows. Don’t leave anything to chance.
Seasons and Climate Change:
The rainy and wet season are the best for snails. During dry and hot seasons, irrigation should be done to moisten the soil and air. It’s also better to begin your snail Farming during the raining season to ensure proper climate and proper environmental impact on your snail.
Infections and Disease:
Diseases can be prevented by ensuring that the soil is not polluted and by providing immune-building food to the snails. You can prevent the spread of diseases by being observant. Spot out the sickly and less productive snails and separate them from healthy ones.
Like every business, snail business has its cons but in the end, the pros always win. My point is don’t let the challenges of owning a snail business stop you from starting yours.
Take note of the different snail breeders. One way of deciding your breeder type is by understanding the market demands. Some snails lay just 5 to 12 eggs at a time, while some lay up to 500 eggs at a time. They all have their different advantages and disadvantages.
Finally, don’t do any business without getting proper information that would guide you the best. For example, you need to know how to get the right snail breeders, and how best to build your snail pen house. Others includes, how to get fast growth feed for your snails, etcetera.
You can also order the Snail Business Guide for only N5,000. It’s an investment that will change your income in snail Farming as a beginner.