South Africa has very good conditions for profitable snail farming, however, still few people are interested here in that business. Most of the country has an optimal mild climate, which allows snails to grow and reproduce effectively. There is little competition in this field on the South African market, so snails are needed for both internal and export needs. There are also already first precursors of snail farming in South Africa from which you can learn and with whom you can cooperate, if you will decide to start your snail business there.
To start snail breeding you do not have to bear large costs. You can start almost for free. All you have to do is to get snails of the species you choose. Some species you can collect yourself by searching for wild ones living in South Africa Other species you can buy. You can buy inexpensively the basic amount of snails for their breeding. Generally, their breeding and maintenance will not cost much in South Africa and will bring you big profits.For this reason, snail farming in South Africa is a very lucrative idea and it’s worth thinking over it. You can start this business by spending very little money. The risk of failure associated with snail breeding is low. And you can really gain a lot. You will only have to be patient and gain more knowledge and experience about heliciculture
ARE NATURAL CONDITIONS IN SOUTH AFRICA GOOD FOR SNAIL FARMING?
Climate: The temperature in South Africa is in most places ideal for snails. They flourish in a mild climate (59–77 °F) and high humidity (75% to 95%). While the temperatures in South Africa are almost perfect for snail farming, humidity in most places in South Africa is a bit too low, but it is not a problem, because it can be easily increased. To do that, use a hydrometer to verify the humidity. If the humidity in your snail farm is lower than 75% create your own humidifier. All you need to do is put a dish with water in the snail farm that will have a large evaporation surface or it can be dripping water that falls on the lignin.
Soil : The soil in South Africa has the perfect pH for snail farming. While the perfect pH for snails is around 7 most of soil of South Africa is about 6-8 pH, which is great. The best, perfect pH of soil is in the center of the country. Limestone can be added as necessary because calcium in soil is essential for snail shell growth.
THE MOST IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT SNAIL FARMING
While farming snails in South Africa remember about these things:
Snail needs some time to be mature. It takes from 7 months up to 2 years for snails to be sellable. The brim of the shell of a snail tells if it is matured or not. The thicker and harder the shell, the more mature it is. Once the snails are matured, you can sell the snails and keep a few for breeding.
You will need a lot of water. Snails consume a lot of water. They need to drink it and usually need air humidification. Cheap and easy access to water will make the farming much easier. Access to the river or having your own well will be perfect.
If you provide the perfect temperature and humidity, you will earn more quickly. It’s good to ensure the above-described temperature level (roughly) and humidity are provided. Otherwise, at lower temperatures, snails stop growing and eventually hibernate. Higher temperatures or dry soil conditions caused by excessive wind may also lead to dormancy. Temperatures in South Africa will not kill the snail, but in some regions they may slow down its breeding.
Protect your snail farm against birds, rodents and other predators. Many wild animals like to eat snails, so they should be tightly fenced.
There are several best species for breeding. Depending on your expectations and conditions, choose the best snail species for you. The most popular of them are: Helix pomatia, Cornu aspersa, Helix Iucorum, Iberus aloneness, Elona quimperiana, Lissachatina fulica
You can get more useful information and tips about snail farming in this PDF presentation.
A reportage about a couple successfuly breeding snails in central South Africa
They are breeding Helix aspersa Muller (brown garden snail)
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