In this system the snail farmer is solely responsible for the daily management of the snails. This is in feeding, cleaning of the pen, wetting of the soil and other routine duties. Some of the major drawbacks of this system includes cannibalism, stunted growth, overcrowding and mortality; this is due to the compacted nature of the housing system.
Below are some examples of the intensive system
This system combines both the intensive and extensive system of farming. This system gives them a feeling of their natural habitat where the snail farmer has trees, fruits and vegetables planted in the snails’ farm or pen yet in a controlled environment unlike in the wild where there’s no control.
Moreover, external and formulated feeds can still be supplied to them outside the natural feed already in the housing for them.
Below is an example of a semi-intensive system
Extensive System (Outdoor):
The extensive snail farming system also known as free range system. This system simply replicates the snail’s natural habitat as applicable in the wild. This is the best snail breeding system as it helps them to stay active all year round compared to the other systems.
The extensive system can be structured in a convenient area, fruits, vegetables and shelter plants such as Plantain, banana, cocoyam, dwarf pawpaw, lettuce, cabbage etc., are usually plant in
the farm to serve as food, shelter and also for the regulation of temperature and relative humidity.
The main advantage of this system is that it is inexpensive to maintain. The snails have all they need as it relates to food just like in their natural habitat. Unlike in the intensive system, where the snail farmer has to provide everything needed by the snails.
However, some of the disadvantages of this system is that it is prone to attacks by snail predators such as ants, flies, lizards, snakes etc., theft as well as the possibility of your snails finding escape routes in the wild. This is so because it is a free system and not adequately protected.
Below is an example of a free range (extensive) system
Suffice to say that snail breeding is a profitable farming venture in Nigeria, one of the most important decisions you will make is in choosing your housing system, as this will determine how far you will go in this business.
Many a time, I have been asked by prospective snail farmers in Nigeria to educate them on the best housing system for their snail farm. The truth is, the type of snail pen to go for is dependent on so many factors such as available space, budget, resources, expertise, choice etc. However, my general rule of thumb is, if you have a very limited space or you simply just want to test the waters then your best bet is to go for the intensive system (tyre, cage, drums, boxes etc.) but if you have the space and of course the money to into commercial snail farming then you should consider the semi-intensive or the extensive systems of snail farming.
POINT OF NOTE:
You may have heard people say how profitable snail farming is in Nigeria and how easy it is also to breed (rear) snail in Nigeria. While this is true to an extent, my professional advice is that, except you intend to raise just a few snails for your personal consumption, it is a wise thing to undertake a snail farming training as this will help you succeed in the business.
Are you a snail farmer or a prospective snail farmer? We are assembling a group of giant and successful snail farmers in Nigeria. If you are interested in joining our Facebook group where we conduct regular trainings on snail farming, then simply comment “Interested” so we can add you to our group.