Breeding of snails. Step-by-step manual
Starting new business requires certain skills and knowledge. However, organization of snail farms needs minimal costs, unlike the developing of a he agricultural holding.
At the moment, this product is gaining popularity in our country. Unlike Europe, where cultivation of snails has become a well-developed business, former CIS countries are just beginning to increase production. At the moment, the export of this product has grown to 350 tons in 2016, meanwhile the turnover continues to increase.
European countries (France, Spain, Italy and Greece) have been using snails for a long time. In some cities this delicacy is considered national, therefore its consumption considerably exceeds the production resource.
Useful qualities of snails’ meat
A healthy lifestyle has become an integral part of the modern world. We are in habit of carefully studying the label of the products. Escargot is one of the most useful products, considering the amount of nutrients, amino acids, vitamins, macro and microelements, contained in it. Meat of snails is considered dietary, recommended to be included in the ration of pregnant women, small children and people with diabetes.
Ukrainians prefer exporting this product, so the volume of snails, exported to Poland, Romania and Lithuania is seven times higher than the volume of export of national product – fat! The cost of one kilogram of a live product is 1 USD, while the processed food, consumed from Poland, costs 5-7 USD.
Which snails are edible?
Our climatic conditions are the most comfortable for grape snails Helix Aspersa Maxima and Helix Aspersa Muller. Their meat is popular with European gourmets. These types of snails live everywhere and adapt to our climate. They can be found in gardens, lawns and lowlands near water. They got their name because of the high concentration around the vineyards, because the soil necessary for mollusks completely coincides with the needs for the growth of grapes.
In the wild, life expectancy depends on many factors, but the average age is 9 years.
Caviar is also in high demand.
What is the beginning of cultivation process?
It is necessary to start with the collection of the breeder’s stock. It consists of 50-700 adult species, ready to mating. They can be collected in the wild, but gathering will take much time, because these animals are active in low temperatures and after rain.
You can also buy the stock at Polish farmers. They are the specialists in this sphere. Farmers will provide you with the sufficient amount of snails, consult about their conditions of living and nutrition.
For the beginning, it is necessary to be registered as a private proprietor or a juridical person and indicate the code of activity, related to snails’ cultivation: SIC 05.00.11.300. The next step includes the choice of the taxation system and getting approval from the veterinarian service, which can visit your farm to conduct inspection. If you plan to supply your products to restaurants, you will need the quality certificate to verify quality of your products.
There are several ways snails’ breeding, including aviaries and greenhouses. Aviary is the most economical option, creation of which will require a fenced area, canopy (artificial or natural, in the form of trees) and sufficient amount of moisture. Accommodation is 40 snails per 1 sq.m. All you need is to provide high-quality food, saturated with calcium and a variety of greens; moisten the soil, maintain the necessary humidity and provide protection from predators. Reproduction will occur once or twice a year. The survived offspring will be 45-55%. At the onset of cold weather and lowering the temperature to 50 С, snails fall into anabiosis, burying in the ground, until the next season. It is more difficult to collect and prepare animals grown under such conditions, because more time is spent to find and separate the necessary mollusks from the total mass.
The greenhouse is an enhanced production option. Accommodation involves 200 individuals per 1 sq. m. desired temperature is 23-250 C, air humidity is 75%. You will be able to increase the population more rapidly: laying eggs will take place two or three times, while the amount of surviving offspring will be 80-90%. Anabiosis can be controlled by adjusting the temperature. Enhanced nutrition with special food will lead to rapid growth. Separate placement of young species will simplify the selection of individuals for sale, protect offspring and simplify the process of sorting.
Preparation for sales
Mollusk is ready for consumption as soon as it reaches 1, 5 year. Breeder’s stock and young species are selected for further cultivation, while the rest species can be prepared for sale. Snails are on the strict diet to clean the intestine from mud and greens. They can be sold either alive ( with enough access to oxygen) or frozen. Both types of product are in high demand, but they should be stored separately. Some farmers create the workshops for escargot production in their farms. Escargot is a half-ready product. In addition, snails are cultivated to get mucus, which is used in cosmetology.