The snail farm is the new business that has recently entered many markets . For the temperate climate conditions, the most appropriate species of snails are called Helix Pomatia and Helix Lucorum. They do not require special care, they do not require special shelters, thus they can be raised under the open sky.
The soil requires special treatment. The ph must be appropriate (from 5.8 to 7.5), and the earth must be amalgamated or mellow. There must be no plants on it, but it must be rich in calcium. It can be assimilated between 1.5% to 2%. In a snail farm the fertilizer (it can be formed out of manure mixed with fertilizers) can be used in abundance, because it does not affect the small creatures.
Another important factor in raising snails is the humidity of the soil. It must have the right amount of water in order for the snails to survive. There must be just sufficient water and the humidity must remain constant. For the biological life cycle to be complete an open-air zone must be provided with a diversified vegetation. The fence is an important element in the development of a snail farm.
In order to build it you need a wire fence with meshes of 0.5 cm. This plays many extremely important roles, namely: it prevents the small creatures from escaping, it protects them from predators and it separates the snails which are in different phases of growth.
You must not overlook the fact that the area on which you intend to raise the snails must be exposed to the sun. This is beneficial for them. All the above operations that must be carried for the future snail farm are: cleaning the area, cultivating plants and mounting the fence, using fertilizers on the soil, mounting an irrigation system, seeding clovers or Spanish trefoil, removing the plants, placing the snail for reproduction. The operations must be carried in that exact order. The sunflower is the essential plant for these creatures, because it’s their primary food source.
In order to start the business you need the snails. You can buy them from specialized firms or you can simply find them in forests during the summer (mostly during June). Snails are omnivorous, but the plants they adore are: carrots, sorrel, burdock, sunflower, clovers, Spanish trefoil. They will refuse to eat plants with defensive stem hairs and thorns. In order for the snail farm to always be growing you must know what plants make these mollusks grow, and these are: the pumpkin, tomatoes, cucumbers, apples, pears, green watermelons, strawberries and peaches.
The period during which collecting them is favorable is when their shell becomes solid and is resistant. The autumn is the best season for doing this. They can be collected with the bare hand, but you must do this in the morning or after the sun sets. This is the period when the snails are gathered in order to prepare for winter.
In the snail farm, this is a very important step. After the snails are collected and placed into boxes (filled only one third) they are left seven days without food. This is done so that they eliminate all the substances from their digestive system. The ones that will be delivered for food must have a minimum size of 26 mm, thus their weight being of 2 grams. The snails are the favorite food of ladies who care about their weight because they are easy to digest and are low in fats.
You must follow certain rules in order for your small snail farm to start developing. In May you must seed cabbage, salad and sunflower and you must irrigate the field. During the summer you will cut the plants at 25 cm and you will irrigate the soil once 2-3 days. In September you will cut again the vegetation and water the soil only if needed. October is the month when you cut the plant for the last time, you remove the grass and you plough the field. In November the snails start to seal themselves into their shells.
The ones which did not seal themselves must be collected with your bare hand and stored somewhere where the temperature is below 0 degrees. During the winter, you must seed plants and cover the snail farm. Around April the mating season of last year’s snails begins. Don’t forget to cut the grass. In the summer you gather the snails that have matured, and during this time the reproduction of the second year snails will begin. In September you collect the mature mollusks. From October the process will be repeated.
If you wish to start a small business, you can start it at your home. If you live in a house and you have a big yard that allows you to use it in different purposes (no just to cultivate vegetables) you can start thinking about a snail farm. It is not expensive but you must constantly involve in their development. You will only have to gain.