Step-by-step manual for snails cultivation
Starting new business is a great deal, with requires proper preparation and financial investments. Starting the snail farm is less money-consuming, but knowledge and patience are required.
Unlike Europe, where snail farming has become a well-developed business, bringing high profits, former CIS countries are just on the edge of the development of this type of business. Nowadays, the export of snails has increased to 350 tons in 2016, while the turnover keeps on increasing.
European countries, such as France, Spain, Italy and Greece are the champions in snails consumption, because this delicacy is considered national in some cities.
Useful properties of snails’ meat
Since many people are currently trying to lead a healthy lifestyle and choose healthy products, snails is the right choice. Escargot is one of the most valuable products, which contains high amount of amino acids, vitamins, macro and microelements. Meat of snails is dietary, suggested to be involved in the ration of pregnant women, children and people with diabetes.
Since snails are not popular among Ukrainian gourmets, this product is exported to Poland, Romania and Lithuania. The volume of snails export exceeds the export of fat in seven times! The price of one kilogram of live snails is 1 USD, while the treated product in Poland costs 5-7 USD.
What snails are edible?
Grape snails Helix Aspersa Maxima and Helix Aspersa Muller are the most frequently met in our climatic conditions. Their meat is prevalent with European gourmets. These snails are found in gardens, lawns and lowlands near water ad especially in vineyards, where the soil contains all the necessary ingredients for their growth.
In the wild, life duration depends on many factors, but their average age is 9 years.
Caviar is also very popular
Beginning of the breeding process
It is required to collect the breeder’s stock. It consists of 50-700 adult species, which are ready for mating.
The stock can be also bought at Polish farmers, who are considered to be experts in this sphere. They can consult about the growth, nutrition and treatment of snails.
Start of this business requires registration as private proprietor or a juridical person and indication of the code of activity, related to snails’ farming: SIC 05.00.11.300. Choice of taxation system, approval from the veterinarian service is the next step. In case, you plan to cultivate snails for further delivery to restaurants, you will need certificates, proving the quality of your products.
Organization of a farm
snails’ breeding can take several forms: aviaries and greenhouses. Aviary is the most inexpensive option, for the formation of which one will need fenced area, canopy (artificial or natural, in the form of trees) and adequate amount of moisture. Housing is 40 snails per 1 sq.m. Presence of high-quality food, soaked with calcium and a diversity of greens; moisten the soil, maintenance of the necessary humidity and protection from predators are required. Snails usually reproduce once or twice a year. The endured offspring will be 45-55%. At the beginning of cold weather and dropping of temperature to 50 С, snails fall into anabiosis until the next season. It is more problematic to gather and cook snails grown under such conditions, since finding and separation them from the total mass requires more time.
The greenhouse is an improved production choice. Housing involves 200 individuals per 1 sq. m. preferred temperature is 23-250 C, air humidity is 75%. Increase of the population will be more rapid: snails will lay eggs two or three times, while the number of surviving offspring will be 80-90%. It is possible to control the duration of anabiosis by adjusting the temperature. Improved nutrition with distinctive food will lead to fast growth. Detached placement of young species will streamline the selection of individuals for sale, defend offspring and make the process of sorting faster.
Preparation of snails for sales
As soon as the snail reaches 1.5 year, it is ready for consumption. It is necessary to select breeder’s stock and young species for further cultivation, while the rest species are ready for sale. Prior to sale, snails are kept on a strict diet in order to get rid of mud and mucus, and greens. In addition, snails can be stores live and frozen, but in this case they must be kept separately. Some farmers produce the workshops for escargot production in their farms, while some farms specialize in production of mucus, used in cosmetology.