Common Mistakes in Snail Farming
1. Lack of Requisite Knowledge:
Snail farming is a knowledge-based venture.
It is quite unfortunate that many people view it a goldmine and dabble into it without first attempting to acquire sound knowledge of this creature.
The brunt is high rate of mortality, consequent frustration and eventual abandonment of the venture.
2. Lack of Mentorship:
Snails are wonderful creatures of various species passing through series of events in their life cycles.
Various life stages possess special features and pose different challenges.
Going into snail farming without a mentor, you may have to pay the learning price dearly.
To succeed in a snail farming business, you need a mentor, at least a successful snail farmer who you can take after.
3. Choosing Wrong Snail Species as Foundation Stock for Commercial Snail Farming:
Most times, newbies complained of high fertility and high mortality incidences at their farms; in most cases, these budding snail entrepreneurs might have chosen AF or AA as their foundation stocks.
It is highly advisable you start your snail farm with AM as these giant snails are mainly recognized for commercial purpose in our dear country, though not as prolific as others but they grow bigger faster than those mentioned above.
4. Poor Daily Practice and Farm Management:
Many acclaimed snail farmers perform poorly when it comes to daily practice in a snail farm, some mulch their snail with wet plantain leaves, some don’t know how to wet their snail farms during dry season, poor feeding system, ineffective pen, poor planning, to mention a few.
5. Too Know:
I learnt the basics of snail farming during my NYSC days almost a decade ago; thereafter I started snail rearing on a small scale with special focus on three major giant snails.
Up till now, I followed my mentors’ advice and guidance tenaciously.
Opposite is the case of some newbies, they always want to appear too perfect, too knowledgeable; hence they miss the wisdom of the elderly snail farmers.
On a funny note, I have once set up a snail farm for a client and I trained the handler for him.
Carried away with the success of his snail farming, the client just thought he could now do it alone.
Quickly, he built another pen and filled it up with matured giant snails he bought at the road side.
Normal incidence followed.
6. Many Snail Farmers Commit The Error Of Not Seeking For Right Information, Counsel Or Advice From Others:
Don’t be shy/afraid to ask questions from successful actors in the industry.
Gain the advantage of learning what the worst problems might be, based on the experience of those who have been there.
I mean those who have paid the learning price and now reaping the fruits.
Attend seminars and workshops, read articles and journals, buy and read books.
Always update your knowledge.
Nothing stands still.
7. Failure to Plan:
Another subtle mistake that most farmers give in to is poor planning or lack of plan.
Some people think that there’s no big deal in snail farming thus they fail to plan, and an adage has it that ‘fail to plan, is planning to fail.’
Some of the vital documents that a commercial snail farmer has to prepare beforehand include; cash flow statement, food timetable for your snails to ensure balance diets are given to your snails, a sales plan document is also essential due to seasonal nature of snail market.
Recall: The best way to avoid any surprising outcomes tomorrow is to plan ahead today for what the future may hold.
8. It’s Well Known That Snail Farming Is Not That Capital Intensive When Compared To Other Livestock Farming Such As Poultry or Catfish:
No doubt, snail farming is a labour-intensive venture.
Asides from acquiring requisite knowledge, the venture requires a serious commitment from the owners or handlers.
Apart from normal daily provision of food and water for your snails, to prevent disease outbreak, pest attack, there may be a great need you visit and inspect your snail pen daily or you assign the tasks to a trustworthy handlers.
You may have to take record of your snailery once in a month; all these tasks demand deep commitment and attention to detail.
9. Lack of Foresight:
Failure to envisage business downturns or challenges:
Be rest assured that you will experience challenges in your farm business.
Failure to accept this is a mistake.
No matter how prepared and informed you are, there will always be some challenges.
Business is never without risk.
10. Lack of Passion:
A handful of people we started the business of snail farming have quit due to lack of passion.
Passion is that drive inside of you that makes you want to move forward in your life, while doing the things you love.
It is that emotion that shows up even when things get tough.
As you know and have already experienced, things in life can be challenging, but when you are truly passionate about something you are willing to keep going against all odds.