Snails are unpretentious creatures, rarely get sick and give good offspring (each individual lays 40-60 eggs per year). Caring for shellfish is not difficult, but a prospective farmer should read the information about these animals in advance in order to understand what conditions gastropods need in order for them to grow healthy and provide a high income.
The following factors influence the process of reproduction, growth and quality of meat:
- temperature and humidity;
- population density;
- quality of soil;
In this article, we will consider the breeding of edible snails, since most farms specialize in precisely these types of terrestrial gastropods.
Temperature and humidity
It’s no secret that these animals love coolness and moisture. Even in natural conditions grape snails are more common at dawn, when the sun has not yet had time to warm the earth. On a rainy day, clams crawl to the surface and enjoy the wet, cloudy weather.
For this reason, when breeding in open areas, there is a certain difficulty in controlling temperature and humidity. Ideal parameters: t ° С 21-23, humidity — 75-85%. Experienced farmers do not like heat and drought — because crops suffer. Snails fall into suspended animation, do not breed, and mortality rates increase.
The irrigation system partially solves the problem, which moisturize the soil, but it is unreal to reduce the temperature in the open air.
That is why a closed farm (greenhouse) is considered a more rational way of breeding edible snails. Note that this method requires large capital investments:
- purchase of an industrial building;
- conducting all communications;
- installation of climatic equipment;
- purchase of racks, containers, incubators.
In pursuit of profit, some farmers stock a large number of shellfish, but they need freedom of movement. We recommend up to 40-50 grape snails are allowed per 1 m² (this is approximately 1 kg). Otherwise, animals will die from overpopulation, and the reproduction process will slow down.
The snails should be provided with clean soil initially. For this, a disinfection procedure is performed on open-type farms. If this process is ignored, the eggs will suffer first, as well as the edible plants which is sown.
Waste products are cleaned every three — four days. It is also important to discard leftover food that rots and encourages microbial growth.
Not all soil is suitable for shellfish. When choosing an area for a future farm, it is important to conduct an analysis that includes the following parameters:
- high friability (for good drainage);
- acidity 5.8–7.5 pH (not higher);
- calcium content 3-4%;
- the structure is medium or light (heavy clay soil is not suitable, as it is difficult to dig for laying eggs, and there is a risk of waterlogging).
If necessary, the soil is fertilized with various minerals for the active growth and health of snails.
This is one of the most important things for breeding edible snails. Breeders have developed successful varieties of hybrid green plants that fully satisfy the nutritional needs of snails. Well-fed mollusks give healthy offspring.
Water for irrigation deserves special attention. Ideally, this is an underground well with no chemical additives (chlorine). Litmus for determining the quality of food and water — a shell (if there are any problems, the shell is covered with a white coating).
At first glance, it seems that it is difficult to follow all these rules, but this is an illusion. The initial correct organization of work, the responsibility of the owner and the staff of the farm will give good results in the future.