How to Start and Make Money From Snail Farming Business
Are you considering starting a snail farm? You should because Snail farming business is a goldmine for a steady stream of income.
But way too many of us have not discovered how profitable this slow-moving creature can be to its farmer.
Snail Farming is Lucrative only if you have the right knowledge to succeed in the business.
But, guess what?
After reading this post, you will gain enough knowledge on how to start a snail farming business.
To get more conviction for starting a snail farm, you need to see the benefits of snail farming business.
Did you know these snail facts?
As more and more people are picking interest in healthier living, snails fill in perfectly as a nutritional favourite in many homes.
Snails contain almost all the amino acids our body needs, and most of its by-products are ingredients for producing cosmetics and medicines.
The low-fat content and low cholesterol level of snails, make snail meat a good antidote for cardiovascular diseases such as hypertension, cardiac arrest, and stroke.
That’s not all!
Apart from the great taste and health benefits of snails, many people like to keep them for keepsakes as pets.
Many people use Snail shells for ornamental purposes.
Also, ground snail shells can replace the bone meal and oyster shell in animal and livestock feed.
Unfortunately, snails have downsides too!
The same snails that some people raise or gather as food are also agricultural pests that cause serious crop damage.
For this reason, countries like the USA and Australia have put a ban on the importation of live snails.
Even with the ban, you can still process snails and export to European countries or to North America.
Exporting to the USA makes sense because they import hundreds of millions of US dollars’ worth of snail meat annually.
Other important foreign markets for selling snails are Switzerland, Germany, Denmark, Belgium, Canada, Japan, Sweden, Austria, and the Netherlands.
Please note that you need to obtain an export license from your country before you can export snails to other countries.
What Snails are suitable for Snail Farming?
The best snail for snail farming business falls under the Achatina genus.
Achatina is a genus of medium-sized to very large, air-breathing, tropical land snails, terrestrial pulmonate gastropod molluscs in the family Achatinidae.
Here is another interesting snail fact!
There are a lot of species of Achatinidae in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Some snail species are kept for tourist attraction due to their size and colourful shells.
For the purpose of snail farming however, we will concern ourselves with only three species that are commercially viable, marketable, and of course profitable.
The three African Giant snails viable for snail farming business are;
- African giant tiger land snail – Achatina achatina
- The giant West African land snail – Achatina marginata, and finally,
- Achatina fulica.
Below is a collage image of the three African Giant Snails viable for snail farming business.
Things to know before starting a snail farm
There are a few thoughts that must come to your mind when starting a snail farm in Nigeria, they are;
1. Select a suitable site for starting a snail farm
Starting a venture in snail farming requires space. Your backyard, indoors or open-lands can all be used depending on the scale.
The soil is a major part of a snail’s habitat. Soil composition, water content, and texture are important factors to consider in site selection.
The soil should be humus or loamy that can support vegetable growth. It must be rich in organic matter and not water-logged or acidic.
If your snailery is too wet or water-logged, it would encourage the development of harmful bacteria and fungi.
Also, the site should have a flat topography (flat land surface), with adequate shade.
Snails do good in environments which provide cover, moisture, and food.
They will, however, do great in one that closely mimics their natural habitat.
2. Know the climatic factors that affect snail farming
Snails are easily dehydrated, and wind increases the rate of moisture loss in snail which in turn, leads to dryness for the animal.
To prevent snails from drying out, snaileries (snail house) should be situated in sites that are protected from the wind.
Also, the temperature and humidity in the area should be moderate.
3. Build a snail farming house for keeping the snails
The type and dimensions of your snailery depend, largely on the snail growing system you choose, and on the number of snails you intend to produce.
The age of snail, temperature, location, weather, and flooding vulnerability are all factors to consider.
Generally, your snailery must be spacious, well protected from insects and predators.
It must also be easily accessible for carrying out management activities and prevent snails from escaping.
READ ALSO: How to Construct a Snail House
4. Get viable snails for snail farming
Snails can be picked from nearby bushes after a rainy day (especially at night when they come out to feed).
Snails can also be gotten from the bush using this technique; clear a small area in the bush and spread fruits like plantain, pineapple, banana, or a pawpaw in the cleared area at about 4 pm – 5 pm in the evening.
Come back to the cleared spot when it gets dark (7 pm – 8 pm), and you will pick up snails suitable for farming.
This process can be repeated until you are satisfied with the number you have gathered.
An alternative to the method above is to buy giant breeders from existing snail farms or dealers.
However, if you are starting with breeders alone, you must make plans for hatching your snail eggs.
5. Learn about snail food and how to feed snails
Snails feed mainly on leaves, fruits, flowers, tubers, and household waste (peels of fruits and tubers like pawpaw, pineapple, yam, and potato).
Plants that have hairy leaves or produce toxic chemicals are not good for snails.
Snail needs a regular supply of calcium and phosphorus for shell formation, good health, and maximum production.
This can be found in calcium carbonate, eggshell, bone meal, oyster shell, etc.
READ THIS: What do Snails Eat? A list of 7 Categories of food for snails.
6. Determine the best time to harvest snails for the market
Snails in the forest take up to 2 years to mature, but correctly farmed snails can be ready for sale in 6-8months under a favourable environmental condition and a good feed.
As a means of identification, the brim of the shell of a mature snail is usually thicker and harder than other parts of the shell.
When harvesting your snails for sale, do not harvest all the mature ones.
Keep a few of them to serve as the base stock for further breeding and multiplication.
7. Know the pests and diseases that affect snail production
Pests that feed on snails include; mice, rats, frogs, crows and domesticated birds such as ducks and turkeys, lizards, snakes, millipedes, and centipedes.
Fungal and bacterial diseases are the only snail diseases that have been identified.
This is spread through physical contact by the snails licking slime from each other’s bodies.
Some sanitary measures can be taken to prevent the spread of disease in your snail farm.
8. Determine the best time to start keeping snails
From June all the way to October are the best months of the year to start a snail farm.
These months have something in common. Yes! Your guess is as good as mine. It is Rain!
Rainfall during these three wettest months drives out Giant African Snails from their period of aestivation in the forests.
This increase in supply during the rainy season makes the price of snails stable in the market, your local fast-food, snail farms and even on your plate.
However, prices usually increase from December to March when snails are in short supplies.
During this period, hotels, restaurants, resellers, and other snail lovers will beg you to supply them.
9. Evaluate the Cost of starting snail farming business
I know you are surprised to see capital appearing as the last subject for consideration.
The upside of snail farming business is that you can start with almost “any amount”.
Materials needed for snail farming does not cost as much as that needed for pig farming or goat farming.
The only thing that may cost you little money is the construction of a snailery and probably feed supplement (limestone, bone meal, etc.).
For a more sophisticated farm, the money needed to start a snail farm should be given consideration.
Summary of the 9 interesting steps to success in snail farming business
- Select a suitable site for starting a snail farm
- Know the climatic factors that affect snail farming
- Build a snail farming house for keeping the snails
- Get viable snails for snail farming
- Learn about snail food and how to feed snails
- Determine the best time to harvest snails for the market
- Know the pests and diseases that affect snail production
- Determine the best time to start keeping snails
- Evaluate the Cost of starting snail farming business
So that is all about the fundamentals of snail farming.
Now, it’s your turn.
Are these 9 interesting steps to success in snail farming business enough for you to start your snail farm today?
Let’s continue the discussion in the comment.
I always reply to comments, so bring them on.
I will also like for you to share this article using the social media share buttons on your screen.
What can I use to build house for my snail and how does the structure looks like
Here is an article that will show you the different types of snail housing construction.
Thanks for this is there a WhatsApp group that can be joined incase of further questions
Yes, click on the button at the bottom of your screen to join the group.
Hello there, thank you very much for the information provided. I would like to start a snail farming business in Equatorial Guinea and would like to know where to purchase in Africa big snaileries. Thank you in advance for your reply
Hello Angelines, I do not where you can get snails in Equatorial Guinea, but you can send a message to [email protected] to get your snails shipped from Nigeria.
Where is your location?
I am everywhere.
I’m in Sapele,Delta State. How do I get the supply of the best species of snail to start my small farm? I have a little space in my compound.
Please, send an email to [email protected] with your request.
I need a patner to open up a farm with
Where is your location?
This is a very good information. I have loved farming since childhood especially snail farming but I have almost no idea on how to go about it, it’s such a blessing that I stumbled on this site. I have learned a lot from the post, thank you very much.
I have just decided to start the snailery asap.. Will bookmark this site for more information on it. Thanks once again
You’re welcome, Alabi.
Thank you for such helpful article. My question is: when spreading condemned engine oil around the snail pen to keep out ants, is it “inside the pen” or “outside the pen” around where exactly?
Thank you very much.
You don’t spread the engine oil.
You actually dig a trench, make a gutter with blocks and add water until half way the depth of the gutter (1 foot deep is okay.)
After adding the water, pour the oil into the gutter.
It will keep crawling ants from entering.
For hutch boxes, you just need to dip the feet of the boxes into containers and then pour the oil into the containers.
Àm interested to start up snail farm
Please WhatsApp me 08029660785
Waooo! Great job sir. The article is mind blowing. The step by step analysis is amazing. The simplicity in answering people’s question is awesome. Keep the good work and may God expand your coast speedily.
My question is:1. Can we cross-breed? 2. How long can fulica be incubated before hatching. 3. Can snail shells along be used as calcium. 4 How long can snails continue to lay before reaching menopause, hahaha!
Thank you in anticipation sir.
You don’t crossbreed snails. They don’t cross in the wild.
We have an article in the snail farming category that explains the hatching process.
I prefer that you use oyster shell or eggshell so that the snails do not get used to feeding on their own shells ans increase the likelihood of cannibalism.
Well, you don’t need to allow your snails to reach menopause.
You may probably sell them off to create space for new layers.
Hi im not in africa but in the UK. I am a keeper of snails and recently had a snail wild caught from Nigeria a marganarta xxl ! Unfortunately it came over to the Netherlands and then on to me her and wassized about 20cm shell length. I wasvery excited until it infested all my other snails with rat lung worm and then myself and my 2 small children had to go to the emergency hospital as these worms can travel to the brain and cause meningitis.. since this last week I have had to get rid of 10 snails and 1 died, I’m devastated say the least, I was tolditwas quarantined but lied too I payed 70 euros for the snail and 40 euros for shipping and list on my money and now nearly all my snails, I have 3 left that are fulicas and I love them as my pets dearly how can I treat them as the worms are persistent and I tried everything from hemp and seeds to upping the soil pH levels, I’m lost hoe to treat this pest any help would be appreciated thanks
Hi Leannah, I’m glad that both you and your children are better now.
As for the snails, I recommend that you wash the pen (Habibat) with antiseptics.
Allow the pen for some hours before bringing the snails back.
While waiting for the pen to set, give the snails a calcium bath.
Simply throw them in a bowl containing water and calcium.
Allow for about 1 – 3 minutes before taking it out of the water.
Also ensure that you feed them with a lot of calcium supplements moving forward.
Thanks very much for this your articles. It broaden my knowledge more. And I have more interest in rearing snail. Pls is it the size of snails that determine the sizes of the egg they lay
Not at all. It is the species of the snail that determines it’s egg size. Some snail species lay bigger but fewer eggs while there some species that lay smaller but plentier eggs.
Am very much Grateful to u for this wonderful LECTURE….May GOD continue to Inspire U to Inspire Us….
Thank you very much, Chinenye. :)
How do I make Snail egg incubator?
Read our article on How to Hatch Snail Eggs in 6 Simple Steps
I love this. I never knew I spent so much time reading this until I saw an error due to staying too long. How do I make an Incubator for snail eggs?
LOL… That must be a very good error.
Click this link to learn how to make an incubator for snail eggs.
Found this piece very educative. It will help me more on my small snail farming.
You are welcome.
Please where can i get them to buy for rearing in Lagos, Nigeria
If you are buying about 100 units of snails, you can send a mail to [email protected]. Otherwise, you can buy from snail farmers near you.
Thank you for this wonderful write up. I have become interested in snail farming lately and I really want to start this year. Please, how can I prevent the snails from harmful animals such as snake, rats etc as you mentioned? And what improvise can I make to start it where I don’t have enough space?
Please, visit this article for further guidance.
Can I pick snails from the bush and grow them to large size for sale in the market?
Yes!! You can do that, but you need to know what species of snail you are growing.
In contrast, that is not sustainable since you are not sure of finding snails every time you go into the bush.
I am overwhelmed by this article. My interest has soared higher after reading it.
I’ll keep following your site for a detailed architectural design of the snail pen for a large commercial business.
In the meantime, I’ll start something small with what I have learnt.
Kudos pal, you’re doing a great job.
Thanks for your feedback, Emmanuel.
Thank you so much, I learnt so many things.
You are welcome, Philomena
I learnt a lot from this site. I want to be carried along.
Failure in our snail pen because of trial and error drove me here.
I could see my mistakes from the articles.
Thank you so much.
You are welcome, Joelson.
I’m glad you found the articles helpful.
I’m really grateful for this information, I look forward to starting a snailery, I pray o succeed in it. Thanks.
I wish you great success in the snail business.
Pls, What are the problem u encountered while starting ur snailrey. so that I can avoid such too…. Thanks in anticipation
Thanks for this information
Snail farming is really a profitable venture for people looking for side hustle with less stress and less startup capital
Great piece of information you have here. I have since childhood developed an interest in snail farming. This is just what I need. God bless you very much.
You’re welcome @Emma
Thanks for stopping by.
Pls I also read in one of your message that we can spread used or condemned engine oil in d snails farm, my question is won’t affect the snails?
Hello Mrs Abies,
You are not to spread the oil on the farm, but around the farm.
The surrounding should be spread with oil to keep the ants out.
Reading ur article about snail farming sir gave me the moral to develop interest in it. but sir as a starter, and insuficient funds can I use those white plastic bucket to house my snail
It’s great to hear that you found interest in starting a snail farm after reading this article from Agro4africa.
As for your question, you can use the white plastic buckets to keep your snails.
However, you will need to perforate the lid very well to allow proper ventilation.
It will make much sense to also perforate the bottom of the bucket so that excess water can drain out of the bucket.
You should note that using a bucket to do snail farming will only serve your family as you will not be able to produce enough to satisfy the market.
I appreciate the effort it has taken you to put this together.
I wish to put up an intricate snail pen; water tank, sprayers, vertical nets et al. I have the land to use already.
My issue now is getting a detailed architectural plan to construct/build my desired pen. I’ve searched the internet to no avail.
Please help. If you can.
Architectural plans are drawn based on the land area. You should probably hire the service of an expert to do the drawing.
I will make one available on my site, more like a template, as soon as I am able to.
Snail farming is a cool business
Thanks sir for your insight on snail business, I’ve about 23 big ones and 8 small ones, 98 eggs of snail now, but any time I add another snail I find from bush together with others that I have before, the new one added will die. And can I feed them with chicken starter feed, if there are no fruit for them?
This implies that the old snails are going through some serious stress which is made evident by the death of the new ones.
Try to change the soil and do a thorough cleaning of the snail pen before introducing a new snail.
As for the chicken starter feed, you can feed the snails with that as long as it does not contain salt. But I advice you mix it up with vegetables which are found in their natural habitat. I have written extensively on essential foods for snails. Do well to read the article also.
A friend send the site to me, going through the article I am impressed keep up the good work
Thanks for your honest reply.
good job! kudos to you for this piece of information. l need information on how to successfully manage baby snails, their food and how to hatch the snail eggs
Thank you Emmanuel.
We’ll update the article soon. Please stay tuned.
How many times will I feed them a day and how many times will I clean their house in a week……. Thank you so much sir God bless you am so delighted
Snails are nocturnal animals, so they feed at night.
The cleaning schedule will depend on the type of pen you are using and the number of snails you are keeping in each pen.
You can read our article on snail housing construction to see the different kinds of pen.
Its educative. What space do I need to keep 200 snails and how can I get matured snails to start the business
You can click on the “Join WhatsApp Group” button on the bottom left-hand corner of your screen to join our WhatsApp group where you can interact with other snail farmers who may be willing to supply to you.
thank you for this insight but how are the snail eggs hatched and how can one differentiate between the male and female.
Snails are hermaphrodites meaning, they have both male and female sexual organs. You can’t distinguish them. They produce both sperm and eggs.
The eggs take about 2-4 weeks to hatch, depending on the specie you have in your pen.
Hi, I do believe this is an excellent site. I stumbledupon it ;) I may return yet again since I book marked it. Money and freedom is the best way to change, may you be rich and continue to help others.
Thank you very much.
I constantly spent my half an hour to read this blog’s posts daily along with a mug of coffee.
? HaHa ? I believe you’ve learned a lot from this practice.
Thanks for the information. Am currently building my snailry now, and will like know more about snails. I have some challenges in my demonstration farm, some redish ants in their thousands invaded my snails sometimes ago. What will you recommend that I do in this case please?
You can spread condemned engine oil around the farm, leave for some days to keep the ants out. Cover every traces of oil with a new soil before stocking your snails.