Snails are grown not only on specialized farms. Owners of private houses and even tenants of apartments are engaged in this lucrative business.
Geliceculture is a business that can be started practically from scratch. Many seasoned farmers started just that way: they became interested in a new business and decided to try it on a minimal scale. After all, even 20 years ago almost no one knew about this type of animal husbandry in Ukraine.
But in fact, snail breeding is a familiar business for Europeans. In many countries not only shellfish are grown, but processing lines have already been established. Gastropods are used to make canned food (including pates), semi-finished products (frozen meals, 90% ready), fillets and even snail caviar, which, by the way, is more expensive than black caviar.
So, having taken up heliceculture, there is a chance to expand a profitable business and become a «snail tycoon» in the future. Or continue to do business on a modest scale, earning additional income.
In this article we will tell you how to grow snails at home, and what you need for this.
Breeding snails in an apartment
It is possible to grow snails even in a city apartment. So if you have a spare room, this business won’t be a hassle.
Let’s start with the conditions:
- ideally, this is a room with an area of about 20 m²;
- the room is well ventilated, but there are no drafts;
- not on the sunny side;
- it is possible to maintain optimal parameters of air temperature and humidity (air conditioner, battery-powered taps).
For grape snails, the following are considered ideal: +21 … 23 ℃ and humidity not lower than 70%. The second indicator may be higher, but this is hardly permissible in an apartment, where problems are inevitable from dampness.
Try not to deviate from the specified parameters, since the health of mollusks and their activity in terms of reproduction directly depends on the microclimate.
Bred snails in glass clams, but large plastic containers will also work. On the indicated area, they will fit at least 10 pieces. At the bottom of each container, soil is laid out, enriched with minerals (in particular, calcium, which is so important for the sink). In the shellfish, every couple of days, cleaning is carried out: excrement and food debris are removed.
It is better to buy broodstock on the farm. So you can be sure that the snails do not get sick and are grown in ecologically clean conditions. The number of individuals depends on the size of the container. The calculation is based on the following formula: for 1 m² up to 40-50 pieces. The animals are fed with special compound feed and plant foods (vegetables, fruits, grass).
Breeding in the courtyard of a private house
If you have a free piece of land, then the costs will be even less:
- prepare it;
- cultivate the soil;
- sow with grass;
- install wooden pallets (under them the snail will hide from the sun).
Outdoors is often difficult due to unfavorable weather conditions, so it is important to keep an eye on this and water the shellfish in the heat as often as possible. A canopy can be made over a small area.
In fact, apart from cleaning and feeding, there is no need to interfere with the breeding process. After the snails lay their eggs (and if you remember, these animals are hermaphrodites and each individual does it), you need to calmly wait for the appearance of offspring. Then the kids are placed in a separate box.
Shellfish with a shell diameter of 4-5 cm and a weight of about 20 grams are ready for sale. Small consignments are accepted by farms that are engaged in export deliveries. You can negotiate with them. Leave the largest individuals for later breeding.
As you can see, it is quite possible to grow snails at home. And very little is needed for this: your desire, not too much time and money.