How to Build a Snail Habitat

snail housing/free range snail farm

Did you just find some snails in your garden and you are thinking of the perfect snail housing for the snails?

Probably you want to go into snail farming and you need to know how to construct a snail farm.

You are welcome to continue reading this article.

The type of snail housing is usually the first thing that comes to every farmer’s mind when going into snail farming business.

I understand you also have to consider the necessary food for snails.

But, you also need to keep your snails safe from harm, disease attacks and theft.

But the question is, “what kind of snail house should you construct for your snails?”

In this post, you will find amazing snail housing structures for both subsistence and commercial snail farming.

I have also added a step by step guide on how to make a snail house for pet snails.

You will also find my recommendations for cheap materials you can use to make all types of snail house.

Still ahead is a video of a snail farm that will give you a clear picture of what a snail house looks like in reality.

African-giant-snail-and-baby-snail

Before we start listing the types of the snail housing system in this post, this next paragraph is worthy of note.

You should know that the type and dimension of your snail housing depend largely on the snail growing system you choose.

It also depends on the number of snails you intend to produce on your snail farm.

In addition, the age of snail, temperature, location, weather conditions, and flooding vulnerability of your snail farm, are all factors you must consider.

A snail house can also be called a snailery, snail pen, snail habitat or snail housing.

Whichever one you see as you read this article, just know that it means the same thing.

To make your navigation through this snail farming guide very easy, I have added a table of content below.

Types of Snail Housing System

A lot has been said about the benefits of snail farming business.

More especially because it requires very little startup capital.

However, as management activities and level of financial inputs differ from one farmer to another, so also does the snail housing type differ.

This further affects the capital one needs to start up a snail farming business and the capacity to operate.

Snail housing system can be classified into three categories; intensive, semi-intensive, and extensive.

Intensive snail housing system

This system of snail housing tries to recreate the natural habitat of snails.

Plastic tunnel houses, greenhouses, free-range snail pens and buildings with controlled climate fall under this category.

This system is usually practised by farmers who do snail farming business on a large scale and occupy large expanse of land.

Mixed, or semi-intensive snail housing system

In this system, egg-laying and hatching occur in a controlled environment.

The young snails are removed after 6-8 weeks to outside snail house for further development and growth.

Extensive snail housing system

Practised mostly by small scale farmers and subsistence farmers (mainly for consumption).

Snail farming in this system is done using relatively cheap and readily available materials like old car tyres, baskets,  old tanks or drums, pots, etc.

Video of a snail house construction in Nigeria

Characteristics of a Good Snail Habitat

  1. Your snail housing must have enough space for your snails to graze freely. Overcrowding your snailery impedes the development of snails and therefore should be avoided. A well-spaced snail housing reduces the risk of disease outbreak caused by overcrowding.
  2. A good snail housing should be able to protect snails against predators, poachers, and insect infestation. predators feed on young snails whereas poachers steal snails. As for insects, they lay their eggs on the snails: these eggs develop to the larvae stage, and then feed on the snails from inside their shells, thereby causing high snail mortality leading to loss of investment.
  3. It must be easily accessible for carrying out management activities. Snail housing should be built in such a way that will enable managers to handle snails, place feed, carry out cleaning activities and other tasks.
  4. The snail housing must prevent snails from escaping. No matter how slow snails can be, they can still wander off through open spaces and invade your house or garden. Therefore, all possible snail escape routes should be tightly closed.
  5. A snail housing must be well ventilated and provided with adequate shade.
  6. An adequate snail housing must be able to protect the snails from excessive wind. Wind increases the rate of moisture loss in snail which in turn, leads to dryness for the animal. Planting (fruit) trees around snail pens will help to reduce wind speed and improve the micro-climate. It will also protect the snails from the scorching sun or torrential rain.
  7. A good snail house must have all the necessary equipment for snail farming.

Materials Needed for Constructing Different Snail Pens

Depending on price and availability, you will need the following snail housing materials;

  • Storage containers
  • Concrete blocks or bricks
  • Polythene sheets
  • Galvanized sheets
  • Mosquito nets or nylon mesh
  • Chicken wire.
  • Woods
  • Nails

Decay and termite resistant timber play an important role in the construction of snail housing.

In West Africa, favourable tree species that produce such timber include opepe, iroko, and mahogany.

Disposable materials like car tyres, baskets, oil drums, and old water tanks are also good materials for constructing a snail house.

How to Make a Snail Habitat for Pet Snails.

Okay, if you are just looking for a way to build a snail house for your pet snails, then this is for you.

You don’t need to spend so much to build a snail habitat for pet snails.

After all, they are just pets, and will not take up so much space like those keeping snails commercially.

You can use simple and affordable materials for making the snail house.

A good material to use in this case is the storage container.

Below is the step by step process of building a snail house for pets.

You can decide to build this snail house indoors for decoration.

Steps in Building a Snail House for Pet Snails

  • Buy a clear storage container from the store.
  • Make sure it’s large enough to contain all of your snails.
  • Next, drill plenty of air holes in the lid of the snail habitat so that the snails can breathe.
  • If you don’t have a drill, you can use a sharp object to punch the holes. A nail will do the job very fine.
  • Make sure the holes are small enough so that the snails do not escape.
  • At the same time, the holes should be big enough so that the snails have plenty of air.
  • After drilling, rinse the storage container with warm water and dry it thoroughly.

You should be proud of yourself, you are almost done producing your own snail habitat.

  • Now, add a layer of dirt in the bottom of the habitat.
  • Make sure you treat the dirt by heating it before putting it in the snail habitat.
  • Next, put in some eggshells in the snail house to supply calcium necessary for healthy snail growth and proper shell formation.
  • You can also add sticks, rocks or plastics to beautify the snail habitat.
  • Finally, add your pet snails to the snailery. Voila
  • The snail house will look just like the one in the image below.
snail house for pet snails

I hope the steps are not very hard to understand and implement?

Next, we will be looking at ways to build larger types of snail house for outdoor and commercial purposes.

Continue reading below, you are almost done.

How to Construct Different Snail Houses

1. Using Baskets

A basket is a good material for locally made snail cage.

It is used for raising hatchlings of less than three months of age or for incubation of eggs.

The major limitation in the use of the basket for raising snail is poor durability.

To make snail housing using baskets, the following procedures should be followed:

  • Get a good basket and lay sack on the bottom to hold soil.
  • Fill the basket with humus or loamy soil to a depth of 15-20cm.
  • Put dry leaves on the soil for mulching.
  • After that, cover the basket with a lid, or chicken wire mesh placed between two mosquito nets and fastened with a wooden frame, to provide protection against insects.

2. Hutch Box (Wooden Snail Cage)

A hutch box is a square or rectangular, single, or multi-chamber wooden boxes with lids, placed on wooden stands.

Hutch boxes are useful in semi-intensive snail breeding system.

They are very suitable as hatchery and nursery pens because eggs and young snails can be easily located and observed.

Steps involved in the construction of a hutch box

  • The dimension of the hutch box should be about 100cm x 100cm x 50cm with a stand of 35cm.
  • You need to make the box have a cubical wooden frame.
  • Next thing is to build the base of the box with hardwood with a little space underneath to allow free drainage of excess water.
  • After constructing the box, sieve humus or loamy soil into it to a depth of 20 – 25cm.
  • Cover the box with a lid made of chicken wire mesh reinforced with mosquito nets. The lid should be fitted with a padlock to discourage poachers from stealing your snails.
  • Make the stand of the box to be at least 35 cm high
  • When you are done building the hutch box, place the stands (legs) of inside a container or bowl and fill it with water plus kerosene. You can also use condemn engine oil or any other disinfectants to protect the legs of the box. The reason for this treatment is to prevent insects from crawling up the box to attack the snails.
    snail housing/ hutch box
  • Always remember to change the soil in the hutch box to reduce the accumulation of slime and snail droppings. An accumulation of droppings and slime tends to increase the chances of disease development in the snail house.
  • A box of 1sqr.m can be used to rear 4 – 6 mature snails.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Hutch Boxes

A major advantage of hutch boxes is that they can be placed close to the farmer’s house, ensuring good supervision and protection.

The height of the hutch boxes makes it comfortable to work on and facilitates feeding and handling of the snails.

In contrast, hutch boxes are somewhat expensive to construct, and they come in limited sizes, which restrict the number of snails that can be kept in them.

3. Construction of Snail House Using Old Tyres

Old tyres are less expensive and readily available in urban areas.

It can be sourced from local mechanics or vulcanizers.

For those who want to rear snails in their backyard, this is a very snail farming structure that will fit.

Although tyres have poor ventilation, you can improve ventilation by perforating them using a hot pointed metal rod.

snail housing construction/ stacked tyres

To constructs snail housing using old tyres;

  • Select an appropriate site under a shade.
  • Stack 3 – 4 tyres upon one another as shown in the image above.
  • After stacking,  fill the tyres with suitable loamy soil to a depth of 10 – 15cm.
  • Cover the tyres with chicken wire and mosquito mesh, placed between the topmost tyre and the second one from the top for protection.

Car tyres can hold up to 3 – 6 snails, depending on their sizes.

Tyres of larger diameters can hold between 5 – 10 mature snails.

There is, however, an argument that snail can eat into the tyres in search of calcium.

This singular reason renders tyres unfit for snail farming to protect the humans that eat the snails.

4. Drums/Old Tanks used for Construction of Snail Pen

In place of tyres for the construction of snail pens, you can use oil drums and old tanks.

Instead of disposing of your oil drums and old tanks, you can put them into productive use.

This is recycling 101.

Old tank drums are good for small-scale production (especially for family consumption).

To construct snail housing using oil drums or old tanks;

  • Perforate
  • Lay sacks on the bottom of the tank to hold the soil and then fill with humus or loamy soil to a depth of 10-15cm.
  • Place dry leaves on the soil layer as mulching.
  • Cover the box with a lid made of chicken wire mesh reinforced with mosquito nets.
  • The tank could be placed on a stand if available.

5. Trench Pen Snail House

Trench pen is a type of snail habitat that is built in a shallow pit.

To construct trench pens,

  • Select an appropriate site and peg out the position of your pen.
  • The trench is either dug into the ground or raised 40 – 50cm above ground level using cement blocks.
  • Ensure that the trench is well-drained to prevent water-logging
  • Fill the trench with good loamy soil to a depth of 10 – 15cm.
  • Concrete can be levelled on the floor of the trench before topping with the soil.
  • Construct feeding and water trough to a height 5 –7cm above the soil level.
  • After that, cover the pen properly with a well-fitted framework of chicken wire plus mosquito net.
  • Trench pens have the advantage of being flexible, especially when sorting snails according to their sizes and phase in the growing cycle. The snails are always easy to locate, for handling, feeding, selection, and final sale or consumption.
  • Trench pens also have the disadvantage of being expensive to construct (especially the raised trench pen). Secondly, the farmer may end up having backache because of long stooping or kneeling due to the low height of the trench. Therefore, you should consider constructing your snail trench pen to a reasonable height.

6. Free-range Snail Farming System

Free-range snail farming is a type of snail farming structure in which snails are allowed to roam freely and feed on open pastures of living food crops, rather than being densely confined in small enclosures and fed only compound foods.

The freedom to roam in large areas allows the snails to avoid each other’s slime trails.

Over-slimed ground and excess faeces can change snail behaviour by putting out chemical signals like *pheromones which are detrimental to reproduction and growth rates in snails.

* A pheromone is a chemical an animal produces which changes the behaviour of another animal of the same species.

Allowing snails to breed at their own pace and encouraging the natural biological cycle in an ecological farming system, results in better breeding performance, a faster rate of growth, higher reproduction yields and it meets the highest standards of quality and sustainable accountability.

The free-range snail housing system, however, has its own disadvantages.

  • It requires more land than other types of snail farming.
  • It is difficult to locate and protect eggs and newly born snails when using the free-range system.
  • A fully enclosed and roofed pen is relatively expensive to build.
  • In the open type of free-range pen, it is more difficult to keep out predators and poachers.
  • It may be difficult to control disease outbreak because of the farm size.

If you have questions or suggestions, please use the comment box below.

REFERENCES

Wealth Result | Wikihow

213 Comments

  1. Thank u sir for great wealth ofknowledge about snails raring ,God bless and reward aubundantly. I have started snail raring inside a small building ,in which the top is a water tank.The snails lay eggs but hardly hatch.Also at times I see wall gaco, few baby snails, which would after sometime would disappear.I tried to kill d wall gaco but I could not.plse sir I need it advice.

    • You need to look for a way to close all holes from which geckos can access the snails. Also, you may want to use a mosquito net to secure the snails properly.

  2. Good day sir, thanks alot for your brilliant write up. i want to know the dimensions/area of land spacce required for 100000 capacity greenhouse snail production. thanks in anticipation.

  3. Hello. I’m ope from ajah.
    Can u please vividly explain why snails picked from the bushes not good for rearing.
    2, pls can can one know snails that are point of lays?
    Thank you

    • Snails picked from the bush are not adapted for captivity. Therefore, a sudden change in their environment, freedom of movement and diet may affect them negatively leading to the death of some of the snails.
      Point of lays are best identified by their size. Preferably, you should buy from a farmer who has tracked the growth of the snails. He knows better.

  4. Wonderful, awesome, whAOL!
    After picking a brownish black snail in my compound, I decided to rear it. I began to pick snails around the bush and water log cannal.
    Presently, I’ve over a hundred of both brown & white species. I started this on 1st Aug 2020,surprisingly on 19th checking them, I saw that they’re fat & robust. This got me joy & making research how I came about your write-up. Thanks for the wonderful lectures.
    My questions are:
    1. I don’t understand heating the soil. I cover the snails with baskets in my small garden not inside the baskets.
    2. Do I rub black engine oil around the basket outside to keep insects away?
    3. Do I drop eggshells without grinding them since I’m not using commercial feed or stiLl need grinding before pouring on the cabbages /leaves?

    Thanks sir

  5. since it,s difficult to locate and protect eggs,,,,,It is difficult to locate and protect eggs and newly born snails when using the free-range system. ,, what do i do ? should i leave the eggs hatch there?
    thank

    • That will be the best option for you. And it will be best if your free range system is in a greenhouse.

  6. Thank you for the FORINSIC message,how can i protect my snail against ant prediator in an open free farming system?

  7. Hi mr chibozur
    i really appreciate ur article. i have passion to start snail farming but my problem is weather condition that we have here in north, im actually wondering if snail fariming is achievable here in north especially here in Kano…

    • It is very much achievable in the North. It will just require you to water the farm always and maintain a cold environment in the snail farm.

  8. I picked about 20 snail in my garden because of the covid 19 we are st home l am a teacher but l know once the school sterts l will not have the time so l need to know how to construct open pen to rare this snail, please thank you for this eye opener God bless you

  9. Hello. This is my first visit to your blog and I must commend you for what you are doing. The level of content you have posted is very commendable and very inspiring for someone like me . I am currently using the Tyres for my snail houses and currently have 65 snails
    35 and 30 .

    How do I know when they lay eggs and how do I keep the eggs Safe. ?

    I thinking cleaning will be a challenge considering the fact that I have mounted 5 Tyres for each snail house and going deep to clean may be a challenge,
    Kindly guide .
    Thank you

    • If you are keeping point-of-lay snails, they should start laying almost immediately.
      However, if you don’t know the age of your snails, you can track for eggs by gently turning the soil once in a while to see if there are any eggs laid in it.
      As for cleaning… You can decide a fixed interval to clean the pen depending on the size of the pen and the number of snails in it.
      By all means, avoid overcrowding your pen.

  10. Nice work sir , pls my big snail dont lay eggs , onlybthe smaller ones are laying . what can be responsible sir?

    • It could be that they are different species and while the smaller ones have reached the point of laying, the bigger ones may just be far away from that.
      Other factors may be the case though.

  11. you are just too wonderful,you should be a lecturer,everything about your write up is great… I am sending an email

  12. Good day admin.

    Good job you are doing here, God will bless you even as you continue to bless others with your knowledge.

    Your answers are very in depth and opened my eyes to my mistakes, especially with respect to my Trench Pen.

    Take care,

  13. Seriously your write-up is very nice. I have been longing to start a snail farm but my problem is how to start (especially the habitat to create) and fund tho. Now with your write up I the spirit it’s now alive. We have a land space but I am a girl and you know girls don’t have land share in Nigeria. Please what is your advice.
    Also like how much can the trench pen making cost, and how many can I use for a commercial purpose.
    Thanks

    • Hi Anurika,

      I like that you want to beat the limitation placed on the girl child to start your own snail farm.
      Snail farming business is a good choice.

      But to be successful, you need to be able to cross the barrier of the initial cost of setting up the farm.
      After the farm has been built, the expenses you will incur will greatly reduce.

      For you to accurate get a cost estimate of what you need to make a trench pen, it will be a wise choice for you to ask a bricklayer near you to give you a quote.

      That way, you will not be working with a vague figure which may be too high or too low.

      I wish you success in your endeavour.

      Cheers

    • Please help me with the estimate of things needed in setting up a snail’s farm. If possible with prices, example how one snail cost, the quantity and the unit stuff like that. Thanks

  14. Gud morning sir
    I find ur information very useful to me cos am interested in going into snail farming by the end of this year my question is can I use the hentch box method for it and how and where can I get good snail.
    Thank u I will be expecting a reply.

  15. Good day from here sir I have been happy since last week I came across this wonderful write up, am glad and asking for God to bless you people.
    I sent you a message yesterday with the mail I saw here waiting for reply.
    How can I get snails from you guys to start a little farmbin our backyard because I don’t have money for big scale for now, am still a student, but have hope to grow tomorrow.
    Please help me am in Abia State, ABA precisely. Thanks my hutch box is ready sir.

    • Thanks for you comment, Raphael. I have responded to all my pending emails.

      Thanks for reaching out.

  16. thanks Prof. for such a lecture. God bless you! Please, can i start the farm with the snails i buy from the market and if yes what qualities must i look for in them in other increase productivity. thanks.

    Paakwasi Ghana

    • Hello William,
      Thanks for the love all the way from Ghana.
      When starting a snail farm, I will not advise you to use the snails you buy from the market.
      The reason is that those snails have been put through undue stress as a result of constant exposure to the sun.

      Another reason for you not to use the snails you buy from the market is that some of those snails are actually picked from bushes.
      As a result, they are not accustomed to staying in captivity for a long period of time.
      Snail sellers tend to sell off the snails quickly and the buyers consume them immediately, but that will not work for you because you want to keep them to reproduce.

      So, for these two reasons mentioned above, you should never start your snail farm with snail bought from the market.
      They may die on your farm if you buy them.
      Always buy from a nearby snail farm.

      Cheers.

  17. Am Benjamin am about to start the snail business.ur article is wonderful
    Please I may need your watsup number professor

  18. Beloved Master, I really appreciate your good work, may God continue to increase your wisdom and knowledge IJN. I am Mike, though, I have a little snail picked from our yard, after read through your article gear up my interest in Snail rearing. I have got your WhatsApp number hope to be chart with you, while looking for money so I can get the eBook on snail rearing. We have a just a quarter of a plot of land hope we can construct Free Range Snail farming. Thanks

    • Wow Mike! Good to know that you are already interested in snail farming.

      Sure, a quarter of a plot of land is a good enough space to start.

      I wish you the best and success as you start.

  19. Good work sir. my question is do l still have to change soil of a trench pen built outside where rain falls on it?Thanks, David Joshua

    • First, I need to understand how you built the trench pen outside without a roof over it.

      If rain falls, it will fill the trench and your snails will drown in the water.

      So, instead of using a trench pen outside, I will advice you go for the free range system of snail farming.

      Cheers.

  20. I am David Joshua, Good work, sir. do i still need to change the soil of a trench pen built outside where rain falls on

    • Hello Joshua, it’s not advisable to have a trench pen outside where rain falls on it.

      Secondly, if you are using trench pen to rear your snails, you must treat the soil every 4 months and then change it entirely after 18 months

    • You can use a flat plate to do that.

      I prefer you use a flat ceramic plate that is stable enough.

      Snails can easily tip a light plate over when trying to access the water.

  21. Hi Chibuzor, thanks for this eye opener article.i am highly interested in this snail business. i have a plantain plantation in which i am planning to construct snail pen but my fear is how do i secure the snails from this red and black insect that usually kill the snail?
    and also what type of materials will good to use for the construction of the pen?
    thanks

    • Hello Abu, thanks for your king comment.

      I’m writing a detailed article about this how to prevent insects in your snail pen.

      To give you a quick one, trying using engine oils around the pen.

      To do this, dig a trench round the pen and pour water into the Trench up to 3/4.

      Pour the black engine oil into the water round the pen so that it creates a film.

      The oil will keep the ants away.

      As for materials to use, ensure you use a mosquito net for the lid of the pen.

      This will further protect the snails from insects that can fly over the oil trench.

      I hope this helps you.

      Meanwhile, keeping check the blog for a a more detail article with plenty options to chose from.

  22. Hi admin.. I love what you’re doing.. You are supposed to be the president of Nigeria I swear down..

    Please I would love to enquire about trench pens and snails.. Please if I start with 100 snails, how many snails can I end up having based on probability? And how many trench pens can I end up constructing in year 2 if I start with 1000 in year 2?

    • Thanks @Chibuzor for your compliment.

      You got me smiling from ear to ear.

      To answer your questions…

      You will need about 10-12pens for 100 snails.

      The pen should be large enough to accommodate up to 40 breeder snails.

      Since you are starting with 100, you can split the snails into 3 parts and put them in 3 pens.

      The remaining pens will be the grow out pens.

      You can dedicate one of the pen for hatching all the eggs produced by the breeder snails.

      For 1,000 snails, you need 100pens.

      The breeder snails will be stocked in 25 pens at 40 snails/pen.

      The remaining 75 pens will be used for growing the hatched snails.

      You can dedicate 2 pens for hatching the snail eggs.

      Hope this helps.

      Cheers.

    • Yes it helps.. Thanks so so much! But one more thing, I would love to know how many snails I will end up having if handled properly at the end of the year if I start with 100 snails?

  23. this is a good write up. keep it up.
    I have a room on a second storey building. can I breed snails in it?
    would it be humid enough for the snails since it’s indoor but there is ventilation there

  24. Hello, great blog, really learnt alot, am now about to start my snail farm, how many AA adults make a kilo and how do I get ready market for the snails when they ready for the market

    • Hello Emmanuel,
      Great to know that you enjoyed reading this piece of article.

      To answer your question… There is no specific number of snails that amount to 1kg, but you should know that one snail can weigh anywhere between 150-259g.

      The market for snails is always available; hotels, market women, grocery stores etc are ever ready to buy off your snails from you. You can also sell Point of Lay (POL) to other farmers who want to start snail farming business.

  25. I so much love the write up and reading through the comments, I feel enlightened on this snail Job,

    @mbazu chibuzor, I’ll like to chart u up on whatsap for more guidance, I’m a baby in the business sir

  26. Waow thanks alot admin i have really learnt alot oooo but i still have more to learn can i get your whatsapp contact please???

    And also i recently bulit a snail pen cos i have a poultry already and alot of snails are roaming around there,so i put chicken dung and charcoal dust in d snail pen mixed with good loamy soil to improve PH, also i planted cocoyams and put Pawpaw leaves inside and plantain is planted around it…although i have not put in snails there Cos its not covered yet but i noticed Snails are already going in there seems the like it…now my question is how do i treat the soil if what i have done is not enough and how do i protect them against predators

    • Hello Chidozie,

      I’m glad you enjoyed reading this article.

      So, from your description above, it seems like you want to start a free-range snail farm.

      Please send details to agroforafrica@gmail.com let’s see what can be done about your farm.

      Cheers.

  27. Great work ADMIN, SIR,/MA’AM, CAN A FARMER CHANGE THE SOIL IN THE SNAIL PEN? IF YES, HOW LONG? AND WHAT OTHER CONDITION CAN LEAD TO CHANGING OF SOIL IN THE SNAIL PEN.

    • Hello Timchang,

      Thanks for the compliment.

      To answer your question, the answer is Yes! You can change the soil in your snail pen.
      Changing or treating the soil every three months is cool.

      This will ensure that the snail slime and droppings do not foul the pen.

      Rotten food, dead snail, and insect infestation are some other conditions that can prompt you to change the soil.

  28. Lovely piece ,thanks. Although I don’t have a land to start up but there’s a space at my balcony(at the backyard area) what instruction should I give the carpenter that will make the small trench and how do I get the snails? Sent you are message via WhatsApp but it seems like you are unavailable.

  29. Lovely piece! Thank you very much. How much is your AM to the point of lay? And also, how much do you sell AA to the point of lay?

    • Thank you very much Nathanael for your compliment.

      As for your question…

      The cost varies, it depends on the snail specie (AA or AM), size, age, weight, season, etc. Of course, the sincerity and credibility of the snail farmer also matters most here.

      Personally, I don’t sell any snails below 120g as POL and the price I charge ranges between #300 and #500 each for active and healthy POL snail.

  30. Good day,
    Thanks for your blog online. They are really helpful and inspiring.
    Please I started a snail farming inside the second bathroom in my apartment where I put soil on the concrete floor then used to put banana, pawpaw and cocoyam leaves to cover the soil (which I do change almost every two days) then put my snails and cover them with a bowl.
    The snails have started laying eggs, I picked the eggs with a paper and put them on soil inside a separate pot with cover. The eggs were layer
    on the 2nd of June but yet to hatch which I think is too long.
    Please is my expectation too early right or not. If not right, how long should I wait and what can I do to improve the condition of the eggs. (I do spray water on them)
    Thanks. Looking forward to read from you soon.

    • Good day Taiwo,

      When I saw the last statement in your commeny, I screamed Ouch!🤕

      You are not suppose to spray water. It’s not a plant.

      An incubator is suppose to have a consistent humidity and temperature all through the incubation period.

      When you spray water, you destroy the hatching process.

      Next time, What you should do is to prepare the incubation soil and loosely bury the eggs 2 inches deep.

      After that, you are not expected to do any other thing than to wait for 21 days.

      Some eggs will hatch and the snails will come out of the soil.

      At that time, use a plastic spoon to open the soil and remove all the hatched snails and then cover the remaining ones.

      If after 40 days the eggs are not all hatched, you can dispose off the leftovers.

      I hope this helps.

      Cheers to your success.✌

    • I really need to start a snailery. There is an empty land by my house. What type of snail pen do you advice. And how do I get the snails. Thanks

    • The type of snail pen you should use will depend on the size of the land, the resources you have to set up the farm.

      Knowing these factors will help you maximize what you have.

      To get quality stocking snails delivered to you, send an email to us via agroforafrica@gmail.com

  31. I appreciate every bit of your write – ups. God bless you more and more for being such a bundle of blessing unto many

    • That will work. But don’t you think it will be too expensive to continuously boil all the water you want to give the snails to drink.

      As long as your water is chlorine and salt free, it’s okay for the snails. It must be clean and free of other toxic impurities.

    • That will work. But don’t you think it will be too expensive to continuously boil all the water you want to give the snails to drink?

      As long as your water is chlorine and salt free, it’s okay for the snails. It must be clean and free of other toxic impurities too.

  32. Thanks for your post. I am reading up with the intention of starting a snail farm. I think I have answers to most of my questions from your write up and the questions posed by other. However I woul like to know how to treat the soil.
    Thanks

    • Hello Anna, great to know that you find the articles on Agro4africa very enriching.

      Thanks for the compliment.

      To answer your question…

      You can treat the soil by heating using a drum or using neem oil.

      I hope this helps.

      Cheers.

  33. Hello sir. My kids went round the house n picked about 30 small snails just moving freely around the house. That just opened my eyes to snailry. Can we start with this snails? Are they edible? Do you organize trainings too?

    • Hello Adewumi,

      Thanks for leaving a comment.

      To answer your questions…

      1. If the snails your kids picked around the house are viable snails, sure you can start with them.

      2. It’s possible to find viable snails around the house, but the most common snails you can find around the house is garden snail which is not viable.
      I can’t say for sure the type of snails your kids have picked.

      3. We organize training on snail farming once in a while if our tight schedule permit us to do so.

      I hope I have provided answers to all your questions.

      Extend my warm regards to your kids.

      Cheers.

  34. Hi Admin… I appreciate your effort in making sure Nigerians see the benefit of snail farming, your post has been a great motivation to me but I have a few questions, I will appreciate it if you answer it … 1) I like the trench pen but I don’t know what the cost of building it is like 2) how many snails are advised to start with if I want to start small but not so small… I mean the amount I can easily manage.

    • Thanks for the Appreciation Chibuzor.

      When I saw your comment, I was thinking I commented by myself because my name is also Chibuzor…Lol 😂😂

      To answer your first question, it totally depends on the size of the pen and the cost of building materials in your area.

      You can call a mason to write a quotation for you.

      As for the number of snails to start with, it all depends on you.

      Generally, snails are easy to manage. You only fear will be the problem of providing more pens when they start reproducing.

      If you can handle the expansion process, you can draw a growth forecast and plan for it.

      I advise you start with a minimum of 100 snails at their point of lay.

      You can divide you pen into 6 parts and have 25 snails in each of 4 compartments.

      The other two will be part of the experience process and for hatching your eggs.

      Hope you find this helpful?

    • God bless you my namesake lol…you have been really helpful

      Is it necessary to get snail feed? And how long does a 25kg bag of feed last if you start with 100 snails at their point of lay?

    • Yes, you can feed your snails with snail feed.

      A 25kg bag of feed should last 3 months max.

      In other words, no matter the quantity of feed you produce or buy for the snails, it should not exceed the shelf life of 3 months.

      Feeding you snail with the same feed after 3 months would be you feeding your snails with expired food.

      Get it?

    • Hello Admin.. You have been really helpful, I really appreciate you.. I would love to know how many snails I will end up having after a year if I start with 100snails (Pol) with all things being equal plus normal mortality rate?

    • Hello Buzzie,

      All things being equal, you should be able to get between 800 – 1300 snails after one year with 100 snails.

      You can contact us via email to get quality POLs that will ensure better output.

      Send an email with you Name, phone number, address and the quantity of snails you want to agroforafrica@gmail.com

      Cheers!

    • It’s the same method used in building Trench pens.

      Please revisit the Trench Pen snail house construction style in this article for details.✌

  35. You’re simply awesome!!! I desire to start a small snail farm and your write up and responses questions have made me more read and enthusiastic to start. I have half a plot of land in the village and will start with the free range system. I will plant some plantain suckers and other veggies first.
    How do I buy the good specie to start? On half or quarter plot of land how many snails do I commence with?
    Thanks and God bless you!

    • Wow!! Awesome.

      Half plot of land is large enough to make you some good money from snail farming in no time.

      Send an email to agroforafrica@gmail.com for a free consultation from me.

      The mail should contain your phone number and the location of the proposed site for your snail farm.

      Cheers, to your success in snail farming.

  36. I have achatina achatina which has hatched into thousands of small tiny hatchlings. HOW do I take care of them as they are dying each day.

    • Wow! Lee, sorry for those losses. Meanwhile, here are some simple things you should

      1. Separate the young snail from the adult. This will reduce cannibalism in your snail farm.

      2. Provide the snails with enough calcium filled foods so that their shells can form really fast and strong.

      3. Cover one part of their snail house with treated dry plantain leaves. This will provide shade for the young snails.

      4. Feed them regularly. You can read my post titled “The essential food snails.” There are a lot of food you can feed your snails documented there.

      5. Always check the snail pen weekly to sort the snails. All snails don’t grow at the same pace even though they hatched at the same time.

      6. Ensure that your pen is tightly covered with mosquito nets to prevent insects from invading your delicate young snails.

      I hope this helps.

      If you have more questions, feel free to ask. I love questions. 💝

      If you are satisfied with my answer, do let me know.

      Cheers!

    • Hello ADMIN, THANK YOU for your invaluable advise. Please find my responses below:
      1. Separate the young snail from the adult. This will reduce cannibalism in your snail farm.
      My Answer: It has been the practice of the farm from day one. We do the free range but divided in well demarcated compartments

      2. Provide the snails with enough calcium filled foods so that their shells can form really fast and strong.
      My Answer: We take back the shells from those we sell the snails to and grind them into fine powder which we mix with the feed

      3. Cover one part of their snail house with treated dry plantain leaves. This will provide shade for the young snails.
      My answer: The entire farm structure is covered with thatch and so there is total shade in the pen (at least 98%)

      4. Feed them regularly. You can read my post titled “The essential food snails.” There are a lot of food you can feed your snails documented there.
      My Answer: We feed them with maize, pawpaw leaves and fruit, banana, plantain and many others

      5. Always check the snail pen weekly to sort the snails. All snails don’t grow at the same pace even though they hatched at the same time.
      My Answer: At most every 3 days it is done

      6. Ensure that your pen is tightly covered with mosquito nets to prevent insects from invading your delicate young snails.
      My Answer: The entire pen is covered with mosquito net on all sides and on the roofing. No space for insects to enter, no ants etc.

      HELLO ADMIN I AM VERY SURPRISED AFTER ALL THIS OUR YOUNG HATCHLINGS CANNOT SURVIVE!! HMM your advise is welcome!

    • Hmmm… This is serious.

      How about the hygiene on your farm?

      Treat the soil in your pen or replace it completely with a freshly treated soil.

      Give them clean water that is free from chlorine. Don’t use tap water, it contains chlorine.

      Your water should not be salty too.

      Please give me feed back.

      It this continues, shoot me an email to agroforafrica@gmail.com with clear pictures of your snail farm for analysis.

  37. thanks sir for this write up, it has really helped me.
    My snails shell r fading , I nea rly threw them away, God bless u.

  38. Hi admin, I really find this knowledge useful. Pls I want to start snail farming using the hutch box , how many layers can I have to rear the snail in a box of 100cm×100cm×50cm and how many snails should be on each layer?

    Supposing I’m starting with 100pcs of snail what will be the length of my hutch box?

    • You can keep up to 15 to 20 large snails in a hutch box of that dimension. As for the number of layers, a double layered hutch box is okay, so that you can easily manage the pen without having to stretch yourself to reach for heights.
      When you are ready to stock your pen, you can still reach out to us via our email agroforafrica@gmail.com

    • If you really want to go into this business, a good option for you is to use trench pens. Trench pens are easier to manage and it lasts longer.

  39. Thanks admin for the insight you keep unavailing. My question is that I learned there is a specie of snail that’s highly productive in egg laying. What’s the exact one and how can one have access to them. Thanks.

    • AA and AF are the two species that produces high number of eggs mostly in hundreds but survival rate is very low.

      AA is economically viable especially in Ghana but not yet in Nigeria.

      AF is not commercially viable in Nigeria because they don’t grow big.

    • The soil can be treated using organic chemicals or neem water.

      I will write on this soon please keep an eye for it.

  40. I love the comments and the thorough answers you have given to each question. Please I want to inquire about pens. I have a room inside the house that is not in use at the moment and my snails are in a big rubber basin covered with just a net which I keep inside this room. Is there any negative effect with rearing them inside a house? And please give me advice on how to manage them well.

    • If the room has enough ventilation, it’s a very good place to use as snail house.

      You just have to supply them food and water periodically and also, make sure to keep the place clean.

      Remove all leftovers too.

    • The size of the trench used for keeping snails depends on some factors such as available space and the number of snails your intend to rear.

      Just make sure there’s enough space for the snails.

      You may leave the depth and the width at 1 x 1 metres, however, the length may vary according to land space and volume of snails.

      Hope you find this reply useful?

  41. Pls, i need your suggestions on how to treat the soil, i discover the plants around the pen are infested from termites. Does termites have adverse effects on the snails.

    • Termites do affect snails. You have to treat your soil to avoid them. Use organic chemicals or apply natural methods such as, planting repellant plants, and maintaining hygiene on the farm.

      Please keep an eye for my posts. I will explain how to eliminate pests and insects from your snail farm.

  42. Hi, I have mid size snail of about 15, small size of 35, and very small one of 50 pieces and am having space challenge for the presently i keep the in a bow in a room because my compound is not fenced which to me I think is affecting there growth what do you advice.thanks Femi Adebajo

    • I’ll suggest you use a hutch box stacked up to 3 or 4 snail-holding- layers-high on a single frame.
      Depending on the size of your room, choose a suitable dimension for the construction of the hutch box.
      The only difference between this design and the one explained in the post is that, the doors of the different compartments or layers will be by the side, and well netted.
      Add good soil to each layers and let your snails in.

      One more thing, ensure you use a good wood and place the four legs of the frames in a container filled with oil.

      Also, keep the body of the snail house away from walls to prevent crawling insects from infesting the snail cage.

  43. Good one admin. In a free range, how do I manage the soil in terms of slime production from the snail. Also if I have gutter with water and used engine oil in it, is it enough to protect the pen from ant attack? Or can the insect penetrate underground?

    • If you treated your soil thoroughly at the beginning, the engine oil should be able to prevent ant attack.

      As for the free range snail farming, you may not need to change the soil as there is a wide surface area for the snails to graze and rainfall and irrigation water will tend to wash off slime from the top soil.

  44. Thanks for a job well done.
    I have 30 adult snail which i believe would soon start laying eggs in a hutch. I wonder if they would hatch the egg without my involvement at all.Thanks

    • They will hatch.

      However, your involvement would be necessary if the eggs are being exposed as a result of the snails’ movements.

      You will need to cover exposed eggs with soil so that they can hatch as well.

  45. Thanks for. Your wonderful writeup.
    My questions are
    1. Can I put upto 20 snails into four tyres and do I need to cut all of them as you cutted the top one.

    2 how can I use bamboo to construct snailry

    • The number of snails you can put into a tyre depends solely on the size of the tyre. Just make sure your don’t overcrowd them.

      Using bamboo to construct a snail house is possible. However, you still need to use mosquito nets to cover the gaps between the bamboo so that insects can not find their way into the snailery.

  46. Is there need to take soil some kilometers away from my snail pond or will surrounding soil suffice for constructed snail pond?

    • If the surrounding soil meets requirements, sure, it will suffice. Otherwise, getting soil from a different location will be a safe bet.

  47. I use the trench method to rear my snails. I have some questions to ask
    1. How do I control pest like soldier ants?
    2. How do I prevent killer snails(those tiny snail like objects)
    3. Is it good to Cover the top of the snail pen with roofing material that keep the internal environment of the the snail pen always dark.
    4 . Is it good to feed the snail with left over carrots and cucumbers and cabbages?
    5. Is there any special feed one can buy in the market to feed the snails.
    Thanking you as I will appreciate your answers to these questions.

    • Treat your soil regularly and use repellant like engine oil to surround your pen and also, cover your snail house with mosquito nets.

      Roofing materials are not bad at all, but you have to manually water the snail house to keep it moist always. Keeping it dark is very good as snail feed in the dark than they do when there is light.

      You can feed your snails with leftover carrots, cucumber and cabbages but make sure they are not spoilt already. Clean the food properly to be sure they are not housing insect larvae.

      There are special foods for snails in the market. You can also feed them crushed chicken feed as long as it does not contain SALT.

      THANKS.❤

  48. your write up was so helpful to me but i still have an issue. how can one change soil when there are a lot hatch-lings on the soil?

    • You are advised to separate the hatchlings from the adults. The slime of the hatchlings is not as much as that if an adult snail.

      Just observe the hatchlings properly as they grow.

      It there is too much mortality, you should used a small trowel to pick them out and transfer to a safe spot.

  49. Some one said he is bath his snails once in a week,, what if he has up to 500 will he immerge them in water one by one ?

    • Lol!! Who baths a snail?

      Except he is trying to keep it clean so that it will be attractive in the market.

      What you should be cleaning is the soil or wood where the snails have left trails.

  50. Thank you for your post.
    I keep the free range type but enclosed completely.
    Also, I do collect the eggs and hatch them separately from the adult, but I lose all of them about 2-3 weeks after hatching.
    Please, what could be the possible cause of these mysterious mortality?

    • Probably. There is a likelihood that they will may hatch if there have not soaked too much water or exposed to a drastic drop in temperature.

      Pick the eggs and cover them properly with sand about 1-2 inches.

      But, you really have to do something about your snail pen if it is vulnerable to flooding.

  51. I love your detailed post and I appreciate your patience in replying to comments.
    I use the trench method to rear my snails.
    Please advise me on the best way to hatch my eggs. I have so much unhatched eggs.

    • Thanks for your compliment.

      To hatch your eggs, Cover them slightly with soil at your own discretion, and maintain moist soil.

    • Thank you for leaving a comment, Ampomah Osafo.

      I will like to know if you mean ‘GMG’ as a company’s name or ‘GMO’ referring to organic feed.

      For the former, I cannot be certain, but for the later, yes you can feed your chicken with organic feed, however, this may be more expensive than the regular chicken feed available in the market.

  52. I am an agricultural student,this post is really an eye opener. Thank you.
    Pls what are the dimensions for constructing a snail farm with nets round and plantain trees inside?
    Hope to get a reply soon. Thanks

    • Thanks for your reply.

      The snail farm will automatically take the perimeter of the land.

      Take measurement of the land space and enclose the trees within.

      I hope you are aware that the snails will feed on the plantain trees?

  53. Thank you for the writeup.
    I have a place called Batcher, ie, a store that is first built, when you want to begin the construction of a building, to store construction materials. It is made of blocks and roofed with iron sheets, with a small window and door. The floor is bare, not cemented.
    How can i make use of this to rear snails and what are the things to put in place in order to make a success of this venture.
    Thank you.

    • Firstly, you have to decide if you are going to keep the snails on the floor or in a container.

      -If you will keep the snails on the floor, then I advice you treat the soil thoroughly to kill insects and insect larvae in the soil and prevent future attacks. Otherwise, you can use a stack of hutch boxes to maximize space.

      Secondly, ensure you have a good source of non chlorinated water nearby.

      Finally, ensure you always provide fresh food for the snails. Remove all foods containing mould.

  54. Am highly motivated be answers to comments on your blog. As a beginner, and an intended big snails farmer, I want to solicit for more of your assistant in training and in any other area you can be of help.

  55. pls l really want to know what snails can eat and what kills them. l have a snail pen built. with wire goss. like five ft by five ft. My snail have been dyeing. Although l have not changed the sand for a long time.
    Tonia.

    • I feed my snails with paw paw leaves most times. I used to collect paw paw peeps from fruit sellers once in a while but the season of paw paw is gone. I also collect the back of cabbage from aboki(cabbage sellers). I also feed them with sweet potato leaves and also moringa(once in a while). My mother rears chicken so sometimes I give them chicken Feeds which they like. I get my calcium from egg shells which I collect from egg roll sellers.

      With regards your snail dying, I haven’t witnessed anything like that yet since I started in September 2017. Recently I notice my newly hatched snails are dying so I decided to go back to placing them in a nursery instead of the wooden snailery. It is important to change the soil every three months. Your soil can last longer if you remove wastes and faeces from the pen every night before feeding. I use my hand to just pick and throw away. So try to change the soil. Use hot water to treat the soil to kill any living organism, and place under sun. Bath or immerse your snail in water once in a week for a minute or two.

  56. Kindly advise on the possible causes of the snails death. I have 10 trench pen stocked with 20 matured snails each but of a sudden they started dieing with knowing the cassessment of thier deathe. I have changed the soil severally but they kept on dieing on regular basis.

    • Thanks for your honest opinion. We will try to add the causes of snail mortality and their cure soon.
      Thank you.

  57. I just noticed some baby snails in my snail pen…. I use tyres… I have 2 tyres and the snails are up to 50… And now i have baby snails…. How do i seperate the baby snails frm th bigger ones without hurting them?

  58. My snail hutchbox is about 1 metre square but the snails there are up to 25. Is it too much? The box is long so they have enough space to crawl up and down.

    • Hello Sadiq!
      The number of snails in a metre square area depends largely on the size of the snails you put in the box.
      As many as 100 hatchlings can be put in a metre square area. 50 juveniles can be put in the same size of the box, and about 15 adult snails is just perfect for a metre square area.
      Just ensure you change the soil often so that the slime does not spread all over the box.

    • I was told the soil should be change after 3months. I always pick up their faeces at night out of the box. I also clean the wall with a towel regularly. I have 5 big giant African snail, and about 25 average sized snails. I am planning to build a new cage but it will take a while.

    • You are doing a great job!!
      However, having an expansion plan is ideal at this point. Seeing that you already have 5 giant snails, egg laying may start anytime soon.
      As for the interval for changing the soil, 3 months is a good time. Although, you can observe the behavior of the snails to know if the time to change the soil is due before 3 months.
      Here is a quick tip… When your snails start hanging on the walls of the box more often than usual, it implies that they are no longer comfortable with the soil. A change of soil at that point won’t be a bad idea.

      Keep doing good!!
      Cheers! To your success.

  59. Thank you Admin the post explicit and clearly stated. please can you talk more on the feeding especially the compound feed and other feeds like fruits and vegetables .How do you make compound feeds and the constituents.

    • Snails do well in areas with climate falling within the range of 15–25 °C (59–77 °F) with high humidity (75% to 95%), though most varieties can stand a wider range of temperatures. The optimal temperature for snails is 21 °C (70 °F) for many varieties.
      When the temperature falls below 7 °C (45 °F), snails naturally shuts down into a long period of dormancy (I.e. hibernation or estivation)

    • During wet season, water goes up the tyres as a result of capillary action. To keep the pen moist enough for the snails, water is sprinkled from the top.

  60. Hello! This is my first visit to your blog! We are a team of volunteers and starting a new initiative in a community in the same niche. Your blog provided us useful information to work on. You have done a extraordinary job!

  61. My developer is trying to persuade me to move to .net from PHP. I have always disliked the idea because of the costs. But he’s tryiong none the less. I’ve been using WordPress on several websites for about a year and am concerned about switching to another platform. I have heard great things about blogengine.net. Is there a way I can import all my wordpress posts into it? Any kind of help would be really appreciated!

  62. Good morning. I have a snail farm, but all of a sudden I lust all the snails to soldier ants and other predators and infections.

    • It implies that your snail pen is not fully secured.
      A solution to ant infestation is to plant herbs that naturally repel ants (e.g. Marigold and Mint)
      You could also ground citrus peel and mix with the soil around your snail house. The caffeine contained in coffee grounds repels ants like citrus peel, or you could mix both. Ensure you wash your snail food thoroughly to remove insect eggs that may be hanging on them.
      I believe the steps above will help.
      Fee free to ask more questions.

    • I would have loved to help out, but we don’t offer such services at the moment.
      Thanks for reaching out.

  63. Greetings from Colorado! I’m bored at work so I decided to check out your website on my iphone during lunch break. I really like the information you present here and can’t wait to take a look when I get home. I’m shocked at how fast your blog loaded on my cell phone .. I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G .. Anyhow, very good blog!

  64. Hi there, everything is going well here and ofcourse every one is sharing information, that’s actually good, keep up writing.

    • Regards my dear lecturer, having red your teachings on snail business, what I found most tedious aspect when you confine them is changing of loamy soil because I intend to use my concrete fish pond for such purpose following your example.
      My question is, for how long will I continue to change the soil? I am into free range now inside a fenced farm and I want to delve into hatching and development of certain assured numbers. Thanks and God bless you more.

    • Depending on the population of the snails, you can treat the soil every 3 months and ultimately change it after 18months.

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