For snail lovers & farmers, the need to enrich the soil substrate for your snail to thrive on is something
Well as an experimental Agriculturist, I have dabbled into a lot of agric ventures and snail happens to be among them, the beauty in snail farming is the ease and fewer expenditures amidst others such as poultry or catfish, snails require less of your time and cash but this doesn’t mean it there are no challenges In it, unlike other if you get the basics right, everything will align itself without your interference, but these basics are so neglected most times by new snail farmers
The soil and the housing system are among the top 3 basics you should get right if you intend to be successful in keeping snails like Achatina Marginata with subgroups such as AMO and AMS, out of the soulless system which cant be encouraged for big commercialization or used in extensive farming,
you can not overemphasize the relevance of good soil to your snail environment or hutches, in this post, I am going to guide you on how to enrich the soil substrate for your snail farms,
What is soil substrate anyways?
its the soil material you will be using in the pens, hutches, or farm, the soil on the land, snails require soils that are rich in natural minerals such as calcium and phosphorous, iron zinc, etc and then the soil should be enriched in nutrients, well-aerated to allow air move in, out with any hindrance, the soil should not hold too much water, (waterlogged) or dries quickly such that it will leave the snails dehydrated,
All this leaves us with the option of choosing loamy soil right? but the problem is, loamy soil is not readily available in most cities or locations, I have had interactions with most city farmers or snail keepers, and most of the challenges outside space or access to feeding materials is the soil, how can I prepare my soil for the snails
Because in most big cities, all the available lands are being built upon and there is limited access to empty free space, the majority of the snail farmers make use of pens and hutch boxes, but getting a good soil free from contamination, filled with rich macro and micronutrients will seem elusive due to industrialization, so like I said in the beginning, this article will guide you effectively n how to make your soil best and conducive for your snails,
They are gonna love it, thrive in it, and lay big and fresh eggs for you, isn’t it what you were desiring? eggs, and more eggs lol, that’s the expectation of every snail farmer is your snails have attained the point of lay and are still not dropping eggs, it gives no joy, what’s the point of the cant multiple! but unfortunately, the soil contributes to it.
How to get any soil ready for snail farming
Oh yes these are the best practical steps to get any soil ready for your snail farm, be it sandy soil, clay, or sandy clay, provided you will stick to my instructions you will make a great soil substrate for your snails to thrive after now, I hope to receive words of appreciation after now
Materials you need for enriching your soil
- The soil substrate ( soil itself)
- Dead dry leaves
- poultry droppings (the feces )
- Saw dust ( yes you need it)
- Wood ash
- Calcium (eggshell or oyster shell powder)
- Pot and source of heat
I am going to discuss the two other soil substrates, which I know generally are not suitable for our snail farm, but because who knows if this is the only thing readily available in your area,
How to Make Sandy Soil good for your snails
Sandy soil is any soil that is very coarse, too loose, and can not retain water within minutes it drains faster, sometimes it contains tiny stones, graves, etc, a notable example is sharp sand used in building houses, it’s less in nutrients, plants can not thrive on it because it lacks the required soil moisture, minerals to sustain crop life,
because of these qualities, it’s not the best fit for preparing your snail floor but if it’s what’s available around your vicinity what would you rather do?
As an innovative farmer or someone so intuitive you need to address this defect and make do with anything available, you will need to enrich the soil substrate for your snails to live happily ever after!
Procedures to enrich your sandy soil substrate
- Step one: Get the soil ready, depending on the quantity you need you to gather it in a heap near your snail pen
- Step two: sieve the soil to remove big stones and coarse soil aggregate, we want the soil to be evenly distributed, you can use a basket a plastic sieve we normally used in sieving rice for this,
- Step three: for every 10 liters of sand introduce 4 liters of fine grounded sawdust, both the soil and the dust should be semi-dry or dry anyway, mix both thoroughly and ensure a well-spread-out mixture
- Step three: introduce the poultry droppings, ( fowl shit) that you got from a poultry farm, scoop up to 4 liters for the project, if you are using the above measurement, but user discretion is allowed, if there are dry leaves such as pawpaw, Magos, any leaves, smash it or crush it to fine grain and sprinkle on it
Heat or Boil the soil together with all these mixtures, I do not suggest you fill the container to the full just use your description to fill the point, with little water, by making a hole inside the sand and pouring the water.
The heat should last about 30 -45 minutes before you can bring it down to cool, introduce it now to your snail pen however, I am pretty sure it should be moist if ts dry you can sprinkle water on it
In the evening you can introduce the snails, including the shades, feeds & water
According to my observation, it can take more than 3 days for your snails to get used to their new environment, trust me on this they are sensitive animals, during these periods they might not eat s much, and will only be climbing or hiding. but soon enough they will become used to their environment
in my next post, I will write more about how to hatch your snail eggs and how to care for the new snail hatchlings,
I made this post in case you find yourself in the city and wised to start snail farming maybe as a pet project or for personal and commercial purposes
Hi, I am Joshua Nwankwo, The CEO of Startup Ng and the founder of Afripals Interactive, Well I am a Civil Servant in Day time, a farmer at noontime and a Blogger in the evening.
My passion for being free from Government paychecks and also helping my fellow young people to be self-empowered is why I run this blog
An Animal Scientist by Profession and a blogger by passion, you can always reach me on my contact page for help or support