How to Hatch Snail Eggs in 6 Simple Steps

achatina snail and clutch of snail eggs
Hatching Snail Eggs - Modern farming methods

Have you been looking for a way to incubate your snail eggs so that you can hatch more snails for your snail farm?

Can I tell you something?

Hatching snail eggs is one of the easiest things to do in snail farming.

That’s why you don’t get to see many articles that give clarity to this topic.

They assume you should know how to hatch snail eggs by yourself without anyone teaching you.

In this article, I will take you through the entire process of setting up an incubator for snails eggs and also show you how to incubate snail eggs.

That’s not all!

I will also teach you how to care for the snail eggs while they are still in the incubator, and how you can track the hatching of new snails for business records.

At the end of this article, I have added a video that will show you practically everything you need to know about hatching snails eggs.

If you are ready, let’s dive right in!!

Snail Reproduction – How do snails reproduce?

Giant African Land Snails (GALS) are hermaphrodites, meaning they have both male and female reproductive organs.

Even though snails are hermaphrodites, they still need to mate with each other to produce snail eggs.

The mating process is usually like a fight.

You will think they would swallow themselves in the process.😂

After mating, each snail will lay its eggs in clutches and bury them in the dirt. 

Giant African land snails can lay between 40 – 100 snails per laying season.

two giant african snail Snails mating
Snail reproduction process: Two snails mating

Here is something that will make you smile…

Did you know that snails are very intelligent?

They don’t just lay their eggs in the dirt, they lay the eggs in the part of the soil that is suitable enough to incubate the eggs.

But unfortunately…

The snails are in captivity, so the farm manager’s activities within the pen tend to disrupt that perfect condition of the snail eggs.

Interestingly, some of the snails are also very stupid. LOL

They just lay a clutch of eggs on the soil without covering it at all.

So, this is why it is important for you to take out the eggs and incubate them in a separate snail pen.

Incubating the snail eggs by yourself increases your chances of having more hatched snail eggs.

Just in case you are yet to do so, you should read “How to start snail farming business” for more insight about snail farming.

How to hatch snail eggs.

The process of hatching snail eggs is a very simple one.

  1. First, collect the eggs from the snail pen
  2. Prepare an incubator for hatching the snail eggs.
  3. Incubate the eggs in the snail egg incubator
  4. Track the hatching progress of the snail eggs
  5. Take care of the snail eggs while they are incubating.
  6. Collect the new snail hatchlings and keep them in a new pen.
Achatina marginata laying an egg
An Achatina marginata laying an egg

Step 1: Collect the eggs from the snail pen

When your snails start laying eggs, you need to check the pen every day to pick out the eggs.

To do this, you need a hoe to till the soil gently and pick out the snail eggs.

Please note this!

Don’t ever use your hand to pick up the snails eggs.

When you pick up snail eggs with your bare hands, you reduce the chances of the eggs hatching.

Use a plastic spoon instead for picking the snail eggs and use a plastic tray to collect the eggs.

After collecting all the eggs, move to the next step to incubate the snail eggs.

Note this…

Once your snails start laying eggs, you have to come back weekly or bi-weekly to check for new eggs.

Step 2: Prepare an incubator for hatching the snail eggs.

The incubator or hatchery for snail eggs is not a giant electrical device like that of poultry eggs.

It is just a mixture of soil with a little bit of water in a Tupperware tub or in one of your snail pens in a commercial snail farming setup.

READ THIS NOW: How to Construct a Snail House.

If you wish to have an exact proportion of water you need to mix with the soil, you should consider reading this research about the effect of water on incubating snail eggs.

The researcher concluded that “Rural snail breeders are assured of high snail egg hatchability with the application of 15% water content (gram water per gram dry soil, weight per weight) during incubation of snail eggs buried in airtight containers to reduce evaporation.”

After getting the correct mixture of soil and water, choose how you want to incubate the snail eggs.

For those who keep snails as a pet, using a Tupperware with air holes in the lid is okay.

Snail eggs incubation using a Tupperware
Snail eggs incubation using a Tupperware

For commercial snail farming, fill your pen with soil to a depth of 15 – 20cm from the floor.

After that…

Use a hand fork or trowel to loosen the soil.

You can also use your hand to loosen the soil since its not really thick.

Loosening the soil before incubating the snail eggs makes it easy for snail hatchlings to emerge from the soil.

If you have followed the process to this point, it means you are done preparing the snail eggs incubator.

Easy right?

The next step is to introduce the snail eggs into the incubator.

Step 3: Incubate the eggs in the snail egg incubator

After preparing the snail eggs incubator, it’s time to introduce the eggs.

Using a hand trowel or your hand, open up the soil to about 2 inches deep.

The diameter of the hole should be wide enough to contain your snails.

Next…

Use the plastic spoon to scoop the snail eggs into the hole in the incubation pen.

After that, cover the snail eggs in the loosely with about 2 inches of soil.

At this point, you are done incubating the snail eggs. Yippie!!

Do you remember I promised to tell you how to keep track of the hatching process?

Let’s go there…

Step 4: Track the hatching progress of the snail eggs

Tracking the hatching progress of snail eggs is very easy too.

Here’s what you need to do…

After burying the snail eggs in the soil, get a sheet of paper and write out the date and number of eggs in the hole.

This will help you know when you started incubation and when you will stop.

The incubation period is between 21 – 40 days.

It means that the snail eggs will begin to hatch somewhere around the 21st day after incubation.

Naturally, when snail eggs hatch, they crawl out of the thin layer of soil covering them to the surface soil.

However, not all of them tend to come out of the soil.

So, you need to check after 21 days to get them out.

Using a plastic spoon, gently open the soil and pick out the hatched snails on to a plastic tray.

Count and record the number of hatched snails and the number of eggs left.

Make sure the sum of these numbers corresponds to the total number of snail eggs you put there.

Baby snails emerging from snail eggs
Baby snails emerging from snail eggs

When you are done picking the hatched snails cover up the remaining eggs for another 15 days.

After 15 days have gone by, come back again and pick out the hatched snails.

Any remaining eggs in the snail incubation pen after that day should just be discarded.

Following the steps under this subheading will help you know the number of new snails you have on your snail farm.

This number will help you know how many snails you are expecting to have after the farming period.

It will also help you to project the amount of feed you need to get.

Most importantly, it will help you forecast and calculate your revenue accurately.

Step 5: Take care of the snail eggs while they are incubating.

We are almost at the end of this guide, I hope you have learned something so far?

I have mentioned some tips on how to take care of snail eggs earlier in this article.

I will go ahead and repeat them here. Here are the ways

  • Don’t pick up the snail eggs with your bare hands
  • When digging for snail eggs, do so gently so that you don’t crush the eggs.
  • Check the snail pen every week or bi-weekly to pick up new eggs.
  • To maintain the moisture content of the soil especially in the northern area, use a hand sprayer to spray water lightly on the soil.
  • Do not waterlog the soil so that the eggs can hatch. When the water becomes too much in the soil, it destroys the hatching process.
  • Ensure that the incubator has a consistent humidity and temperature all through the incubation period.
  • Remember you only need to buy the eggs 2 inches deep so that the weight of the soil will not kill the young hatchlings.
  • Use only a plastic spoon to open the soil and remove all the hatched snails and then cover the remaining ones.

Step 6: Collect the new snail hatchlings and keep them in a new pen.

After you have finished hatching the snail eggs, collect the baby snails into a new pen.

Yet again, don’t pick up the baby snails with your bare hand.

You might crush their young and very soft shells.

The best snail farming equipment for picking up baby snails is the plastic spoon.

When you are done transferring the baby snails to a new pen make sure you provide them with some snail food.

The most essential food for a baby snail is calcium because it will help in strong shell formation.

I hope this article was detailed enough for you?

Watch the video at the bottom of this page to see every step in this article in action.

Don’t forget to hit the social media icons on your screen to share this article with others.

Best regards.

Process of Hatching Snail Eggs- Video

60 Comments

  1. Am indeed grateful for your keen effort in explaining the steps I’m caring for snail eggs and the young one,a good lesson I have learn,thanks millions of time.pls,if I may asked whatvis the composition for the best growers feed for snail,

  2. This is very helpful I must say.
    Thanks so much, am on a mini snailery farming of 50 nails, they started laying eggs but the sizes of the eggs differs which two distinct sizes just as the sizes of my snails differs, is this difference as a result of the sizes or their specie differs.
    Also, unfortunately i picked all the eggs with bare hands before reading your article, is there hope for them hatching?

    • The sizes of eggs is as a result of their species.

      For the hatchability of the eggs, let’s be hopeful.

  3. Thanks a lot. I just stumble on your comment when looking up information on hatching of eggs after what I think is a failed experiment on attempt to hatch 2 snail eggs that dropped from a snail we purchased. I did almost all this and even wet the stuff every other day but no acting take place now for over 23 days. i am still watching and taking more interest in snail farming acquiring more sanils

    • Nice. I guess the eggs are from a stressed snail.

      So, it’s possible that the eggs are not in good condition.

      But, it’s okay to wait and see

    • Does it lay in large quantities? From my guess, you probably have the Achatina achatina species. They tend to lay that much.

  4. Great literature. Thanks for sharing. I had about about 200-300 eggs and its almost 2months now and not a single one has hatched. I actually did all the wrong things by touching, watering etc. With this method subscribed, should the hatchery be covered airtight to retain the moist ?

    • Not at all. You don’t need to make it airtight. As long as the soil is covering the eggs, that’s okay.

  5. Oga Mbazu.. thank you for ur big heart. Am new to this venture just with a few snails to start with. One of my snails layed 5 eggs two days after arriving at the pen. Thereafter no more laying. What could hv gone wrong?

  6. Thank you for the video.
    Please I will like to know, is there need to wet the sand after the first water added to the sand when the eggs are put into hatchery?

    • Wetting the soil will depend on your location and the water holding capacity of the soil.

      If you are in the southern or eastern part of Nigeria for instance, you may only need to mix the soil with water loosely before incubating the eggs.

      After that, there will be no need to water the soil again as the soil I the southern and western species holds water for a very long time.

      On the other hand, if you are in the Norther part characterized by hot weather and loose soil that cannot hold water for long. In such area, you need to lightly water the incubator every day.

      Just make sure the water you apply is not too much so that it does not make contact with the snail eggs.

      In the western Nigeria, you may wet the soil every 5 days.

      These specification may differ from place to place.

      The goal is to make sure that the soil does not dry out, but at the same time remain loose enough for the young snails to come out when hatched.

  7. Wow. What a detailed explanation. Thanks so much for this.
    Just started a small snailery at my backyard using old tyres. They started laying, can I put the incubator inside the house and do I need to water it everyday, if yes?
    Thank you.

    • You can have the incubator outdoors in the same place where the snails are. Just ensure it has enough shed and the same cool temperature of the grown snails.

  8. Please I tried the number you left here but it’s not connecting. I would love to speak with you cos I want to learn more things, probably visiting your farm. Please contact or chat me via WhatsApp on 08104851992

  9. I really enjoyed the educative session learning how to hatch snail eggs. I will put it into practice and possibly feed you back. Thanks a lot.

    • Thanks for your compliment, Markus.
      I pray it turns out well for you.
      I look forward to getting your feedback.
      Cheers.

  10. The teaching is very comprehensive. God bless you. I hope t contact you for my intended commercial snail farm project.

  11. Thanks for this information, during incubation, do we still need to be wetting the soil with water before hatched, if yes,what is the frequency. Thanks

    • To maintain the moisture content of the soil especially in the northern area, use a hand sprayer to spray water lightly on the soil.

      Just make sure you don’t leave the soil waterlogged

  12. Good job bro. Please I need where to source for snail breeder within Lagos preferbly ikorodu. I will appreciate if u can be of help.
    Here is my WhatsApp num 08142*****

    • I truncated your comment to protect you from spammers.

      I’m sure you’ve gotten the quantity of snails you need.

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