Dishes from the snail are a unique delicacy in Ukraine, which is becoming increasingly popular. At the same time, the demand for them in Europe and Asia is so high that it exceeds supply. Export to China is the highest. The leaders in purchasing and consuming snails in Europe are France and Italy.
Experts say that the demand for mollusks will not be met over the next 10 years. It means that now it is high time to start a snail business.
Ukrainian market has not many competitors (so far only 5 producers have the right to export the product to Europe and Asia), moreover, many of them offer only live mollusks, and even less companies supply ready-made frozen ones.
Advantages of snails cultivation before other types of animal breeding
Compared to other types of livestock, snail business is easier. It requires minimum investment, and the snails are relatively easy to care for:
- They are unpretentious in food (eat vegetation, fruits and vegetables).
- Rarely fall ill.
- Do not gain weight (only when adding special substances to the diet).
Snail meat is ecologically clean, rich in protein, calcium and potassium. It is a dietary product. It should be consumed in case of diseases of the digestive and musculoskeletal systems.
Which snails can be cultivated in farms?
Two types of garden snails (Helix aspersa) can be grown up in the farm. These are Helix aspersa muller and Helix aspersa maxima. Other types include gray small and gray big snail. Both have a pleasant taste that is why the snail fillet is used to prepare different dishes. Burgundy snails are also eaten and especially valued in France, but they are less common because they are not bred on the farm, since they are wild creatures.
Let’s speak about home types of snails:
- Small gray snail. Helix aspersa muller has the highest demand in the market. It is grown in fully enclosed conditions, open parks (only in the warm season) or according to a mixed system (in the summer in parks, and indoors in other seasons). When choosing closed conditions, it is important to maintain proper hygiene. For open conditions, climate is crucial. In both cases, it is also necessary to correctly create a diet, so that the mollusks receive the maximum of vitamins and nutrients and grow to the desired size.
- Big gray snail. Helix aspersa muller is less popular than small species. It differs with its larger size. It is grown in the same ways as the previous species.
How to start snail business?
Organization of one’s own farm does not require too much. The most important is getting breedstock of a certain species of snails or baby snails
Breedstock are snail-producers. It should contain of 500 pieces (about 8 kg and more) for effective increase. Snails are kept on a special diet rich in carrots and distributed in pairs so that they fertilize each other. It is worth noting that these pets are hermaphroditic, because any individual can lay eggs.
An alternative version of the breedstock is the baby snails. However, it requires special care.
Initial investment will be needed for the purchase of land, construction of the farm and the purchase of breedstock. The amount of the investment depends on the scale of the business.
Other important points in snail breeding business:
- It is necessary to register and arrange all the necessary documents.
- It is necessary to arrange comfortable conditions on the farm for high-quality cultivation
- Both live and ready-made mollusks can be sold.