For an intending snail farmer, there is one question you must ask yourself before diving into the business of snail farming, and such thought still remains ‘How to construct a good snail house’ for my snails to be comfortable and grow bigger.
As the basic needs of man include clothing, shelter and food and having a good house has a way of boosting one’s morale, same applies to cultivating animals especially snails.
You don’t keep valuables in a dilapidated building therefore, you have to consider giving your snails the best house to keep them away from predators and also protect them from harsh climate.
Constructing a good snail pen therefore doesn’t require breaking the banks nor does it have to be expensive. You can do it yourself under twenty minutes, YES you can!
Interestingly, this article will avail you of the various Snail construction materials you can use, easily source for and detailed procedure whether you’re constructing for a farm to table or for commercial purposes.
You will have your snail house running in a short, while so let’s get started so you can have your snails living and be proud of yourself. It is important that you read through and not leave out any part of this resource!
Factors That Determine Location Of A Snail House
What to build is as important as how to build. There are various factors to consider when planning a snailery. You don’t build based on beauty or availability so you don’t end up losing your investment.
It is important to consider these when building a snail pen:
Your snail pen must be built to be useful at all times. It is important to know the reason for construction and put into account what type of snail farming you are going into.
Are you building a snail pen for farm to table or commercial purposes? The quantity a snail pen can hold is important when considering the housing styles available.
The weather conditions including an area prone to flooding, high temperature or insects invasion should be considered when locating a snail pen.
Types Of Snail Houses
Snail rearing requires little capital making it lucrative and a sought after by people interested in low risk farming. Howbeit, the quantity of snails to be reared will determine the financial resources to be invested.
There are majorly 3 types of housing styles for snails and they are;
1. Intensive snail house:
This is very similar to the snails natural habitat in nature. It is a recreated form of nature and is used by farmers in large scale production because it requires a huge land mass. Examples include but not limited to greenhouses, free range and plastic tunnels.
2. Semi-intensive snail house:
This is a little bit more conserving than the all inclusive type because it is in a controlled environment. Once the snail eggs are hatched, they are moved to a more spacious area for them to continue their lives away from the parents.
3. Extensive snail house:
This is the common method by people who have snails as pets, farm to table and small scale farmers. Examples include baskets, old tyres etc.
Features Of A Good Snail Habitat
1. Very Spacious:
Snails reproduce in very high numbers therefore, it is imperative that the snails would be houses where there is enough space to avoid overcrowding. The snails should have access to free unhindered movement as this can prevent disease outbreak.
A good snail house should be such that can protect the snails from pests, diseases as well as theft. When insects gain access to the pen, they lay their eggs and hatch on the snails and invariably, feed on the snails and cause high morbidity and eventual loss of investment.
Preventing poachers and thieves from invading the snails habitat doesn’t mean inaccessibility for the snail tenders. The snail habitat should be easily accessible for feeding, cleaning and treatment when the need arises.
One major enemy of snails is heat. Therefore, a good snail habitat should be well aired and ventilated, with enough shade protection from the sun.
5. Weather friendly:
A good snail habitat must be such that can withstand all forms of weather conditions ranging from intense sun, rainfall and wind.
Planting or locating a snail pen near trees can also help to protect the snails from harsh climate.
6. Equipment fits:
A good snail house must have all equipment used in snail cultivation be able to fit in without harming snails or the tenders.
Materials For Constructing A Snail House
They range from used tyres to baskets, bricks and more depending on the quantity of snail to be cultivated as well as available space.
Materials can also vary depending on availability of funds and style.
- Wood/ planks
- Concrete bricks
- Iron sheets
- Mosquito nets
When using trees, there are preferred species that are termite resistant and stay longer before decay such as iroko, mahogany and obeche.
Kinds Of Snail Housing
1. Wood/ planks:
These are wooden boxes constructed based on specifications. They can be square or rectangular in shape depending on choice. The wood to be used has to be termite resistant and not poisonous to the snails.
Procedure For Constructing Wooden Snail House :
1. Make a cubical wooden frame with dimensions of about 100cm by 100cm by 50cm with a stand of 35cm.
2. Allow little space for excessive water drainage.
3. Cover it with a lid and lock against theft.
4. Cover the lid with a mosquito net to prevent insects invasion.
5. Put the legs in a container filled with a mixture of kerosene and water or cover with used engine oil.
6. Fill the box with a stripe of loam and wet it. Remember to change the loan occasionally to prevent disease outbreak.
The major advantage of this housing styles is that it’s moveable, can be protected and easily accessible.
It’s disadvantage however is that it is expensive and can house a limited quantity of snails.
2. Tyre Housing Styles:
Just as the name implies, it is a snail pen constructed with the use of old tyres which are less expensive and can be gotten from a vulcanizer free or at a token. It is suitable for a farm to table snail farmers.
Procedure For Constructing Tyre Snail House:
1. Find adequate shade where there would be little sunshine.
2. Stack 3-5tyres depending on the height you prefer.
3. To prevent poor ventilation, puncture the tyres with hot steel to create holes.
4. Fill the bottom tyre with loam and wet.
5. Cover the top tyre with mesh and mosquito net.
The major advantage of using tyre is that it’s cheap to source and maintain however, disadvantage is that it can be eaten by the snails.
3. Drums/ Tanks Housing Styles:
Old drums whether plastic or iron can be reused for a snail house. If you’re using the ones used for chemicals, ensure they are washed properly before using as a habitat for your snails.
Procedure For Constructing A Drum Snail House:
1. Create holes in the drum for good ventilation.
2. Put nylon at the base to ensure the soil doesn’t wash out when wetting.
3. Fill with humus or loamy soil to a depth of a quarter of the drum.
4. Add some dry leaves (mulching).
5. Cover the drum with mosquito nets.
4. Free Range Snail Style:
Leaving the snails to breed, feed and live freely is the best way of rearing healthy snails and improved productivity. The snails are free to move about, avoiding each other’s trail and reproduce in high quantity.
However, it is expensive as it requires a large land mass. It’s also very difficult to protect the eggs and little snails from insects and being stepped upon.
As you can see, constructing a good snail pen can be done in twenty minutes with materials readily available and your snail business can kick off.
However, all you need to do is build the one that best fits your need, suits your purse and avails you the ingenuity of a good snail habitat.
Do well to leave a response when you get your snail pen constructed and let’s learn from you!