Snail farming is an activity that can be profitable because with low investments you can reach many possible points of sale.
Another important advantage is that, unlike other agricultural sectors, it is also characterized by low risk of product loss . Snails can be prone to some problems, but they are hardy animals. With a few simple precautions, we can prevent most problems.
Let’s see then what are the adversities one can find in raising from predators to diseases, and how trickery can protect snails.
Lizards and other reptiles
Snails are gastropod molluscs that they have a very low predisposition to get sick. Its natural protective agent is snail slime, which has now been rediscovered as an important ingredient in pharmaceuticals and cosmetics.
What are the main functions of slime?
It makes the snail insensitive to external contamination factors, it is a natural antibiotic able to defend the snail against pathogens. Thanks to slime, there are no epidemics, snails have a robust immune system.
Always thanks to the slime, the snail is able to climb any surface , avoiding falls that could break the shell, another protection factor. A snail can even walk upside down, defying the force of gravity.
If diseases are an insignificant problem, it should be noted that in the environment c there are many predators that yearn to eat snails , its meat is not only appreciated by haute cuisine. Mice, lizards and reptiles in general, birds and dolphins are animals capable of reproduction.
The predatory factor is a current risk for the heli-farming activity , but can be easily controlled: the important thing is that true colonies of any of the listed predators are never created. Obviously, the presence of a small percentage of snail enemies is normal and part of the natural food chain.
The presence of a few mice or lizards in the perimeter of the land should not worry the farmer so much: heliciculture is agricultural work that takes place on agricultural land and according to nature. there is an inevitable predation factor .
However, care should be taken not to underestimate the importance of create a barrier which prevents the arrival of colonies fed by predators, for this reason the sheet metal fence is essential .
An important method of reducing unwanted intake or controlling predator numbers is the completely harmless, natural, yet extremely effective way of relying on the careful and precise work of cats. fierce enemies of mice and certain other listed predators.
Rats feed exclusively on individual subjects and when the rodent’s action is in progress, it is immediately recognizable to the naked eye because the mouse’s modus operandi is to gnaw on the central part of the shell (helix) obviously removing the inside. In this case product loss is low precisely because the rodent is content with individual subjects at a time.
The solution to limit the entry of mice into the farm as much as possible is proceed with the perimeter fence soil with the help of sheets, which the farmer must take care of bury at least 30 cm because beyond this depth rodents will not be able to dig. It is also necessary to fix the support poles inside, so that the mouse cannot climb from the outside.
Lizards and other reptiles
Reptiles, on the other hand, such as lizards, lizards, lizards and others They feed exclusively on eggs laid by snails. or babies when the eggs hatch. The best form of prevention, even for these unwanted guests, is the placement of sheet metal as perimeter fence .
Birds, other harmful predators, are rather greedy snails and among these the most dangerous are seagulls and crows. Even here however, the loss of product in the brood is very low as the birds can only land on the posts supporting the fence netting and therefore have to content themselves with stealing only a few snails resting on the fence netting.
If the breeder has made a good and luxurious planting inside the enclosure, the bird will not be able to land on the vegetation and therefore will never be able to walk inside. Beets and other plants planted on fences are therefore a refuge for our gastropods .
The last (but not the least) type of predator is the staphylin , very often unknown to most people. This predator is a kind of insect cockroach-like which is almost always found in soils with snails inside.
It eats snails and its modus operandi is to inject a kind of poison into the snail’s head which promotes its death by acting through dehydration. In particular, this poison forces the snail to remove the burr as a source of defense, the gastropod can no longer stop the secretion of the liquid, and after a few days it dies.
There is no specific cure for staphylococcus, it is necessary to take preventive measures. Only prevention using as mentioned above is effective even here. sheet metal as perimeter fence because this unpleasant insect will be very difficult to penetrate the ground, precisely because of its inability to climb on smooth surfaces such as sheet metal.
In addition to predators, a possible source of problems is also due to adverse weather conditions. In particular, too cold temperatures in winter or when snails hibernate underground, they can pose a risk to the propeller system.
We only talk about possible problems for the temperatures constantly below 9/10 degrees below zero and therefore breeders in cold areas such as alpine or mountainous areas, who constantly reach these cold temperatures, should be more careful. However, there is no particular problem for farms located in mountainous areas or even near the sea.
In this case, the breeder can act, once the snails are buried for hibernation, covering each individual fence with non-woven fabric (tnt) , which is a special cloth that has the task of repairing the floor, keeping it warm and reducing night frost. In the market, you can find different weights of TNT, the choice of the suitable weight can be based on more rigid or less temperatures than others.
As can be seen the loss of product in helix farming is generally very limited and very simple precautions (sheet metal fences, non-woven fabric cover) are enough to avoid most problems.
With constant control of the breeder, carried out in a serious and precise manner, the breeding of snails will have no problems and can guarantee the satisfaction and income of the breeder.