Snail farming is a lucrative businesses that can turn farmer into millionaire, it is a money spinner venture if farmer get it right and one of the way to get it right is to house a best breed of snail that are adaptable to Nigerian environment.
In Nigeria we have about 3 edible breeds of snail that farmer can rear, they were classify according to the size of their egg, their body size and reproduction rate.
For famer to make a lot of profit in snail farming business, he must choose the type of snail according to the target market.
A farmer who wants to sell hatchling should go for snail types or breeds that have high reproduction rate while those that want to sell mature snail should go for snail with big size and less egg production.
To make it clear, this article is about the details of the types or breeds of snail in Nigeria and not how to rear them. Our assumption is that you already know how to raise snail farming but if not click here.
Types of snail in Nigeria
1) Achachatina Maginata
Achachatina Maginata is a one of the big snail in the world no wonder people refers to it as West Africa giant snail.
It is predominant in Nigeria and has a length of 20cm with bodyweight of 400g to 500g. It has dark colour with round end. Achachatina maginata egg is very big and because of that they lay three times a year with their egg numbering between 200 to 500 per lay.
If you are a farmer l will advice you to house this snail if your purpose is to sell to restaurant since they are bigger than other breeds of snail in Nigeria.
But they take long time to reach maturity about 6 to 10 month.
Summary/ Characteristics of Achachatina Maginata
The head is a dark grey colour
The shall have capacity to reach 20cm in length
Achachatina maginata lay at 6 month of age though it can be reduce with good feed
They lay bigger egg compare to other breeds
They are found in south of Nigeria
2) Achatina achatina
The second on our list is achatina achatina, it is also called tiger snail due to the stripe on it shell.
Tiger snail is a little smaller than achachatina maginata and can grow to a length of 18 to 25cm with weigh of 400g. It is hermaphrodite in nature which means it can reproduce on its own.
The difference between Achatina achatina and other types of snail in nigeria is that they produce more egg though in small sizes and they lay more than five times in a year.
If you are a farmer looking for quick mature snail with high laying capacity this is the best breed for you, but the snail is small and have less market demand.
Summary/ Characteristics of Achatina achatina
It is brown in color with stripe
They lay more eggs than Achachatina maginata
They are found in southern Nigeria
They are hermaphrodite
3) Achatina fulica
Achatina fulica is the smallest of the snail breeds in Nigeria; they are brown in color with shell length of 15 cm and weight of 32 gram.
They have high reproductive rate and lay more egg than other breeds of snail. Unlike Achatina achatina they are not hermaphrodite and will need male and female before they can reproduce.
Summary/ Characteristics of Achatina Fulica
They are the smallest breeds
They weigh about 32 gram
They are brown in color
They have a shell length of 15cm
They can be found in Nigeria and other Africa especially East Africa
This is not a breed to go for if you are intending to go into commercial snail framing because of their low demand.
Question and answer
What can I feed my snail in Nigeria?
Below are the snail feed / food in Nigeria
- Cocoyam leave
- Pawpaw leave
- Okra leave
- Cassava leave
- Lettuce .
- Oil palm
Which snail is common in Nigeria?
The mOst common snail in Nigeria is Achatina maginata the others are
- Achatina fulica
- Achatina achatina
Differences between achatina achatina and achatina maginata
The deference between Achatina achatina (AA) and Achatina maginata (AM)breed of snail is not much and they are
Shell size: AA shell is 22cm while Am can grow up to 20cm
Shell color: AA shell is light brown with mark while AM shell is dark to brown
Maturity: AA reach maturity between 8 to 10 month while AM takes about 10-12month
Egg: AA lay more egg than AM
Read more: Common breeds of sheep in Nigeria
Where can I sell my snail in Nigeria?
Snail is very profitable but can be a problem if you did not locate your market early.
Before embarking on snail farming your first assignment is to set up a deal with restaurant and eateries around you or you can move to importer to help you import it.
Below is where you can sell your snail in Nigeria
- Social media
- On your blogs/website
- Major market in Nigeria
To sell your snail to restaurant you need to have a long leg not man no man, I mean you need to walk up to them with sample of your snail and set up a deal with them, if your snail is good and have NAFDAC registration number, they will surely contact you.
Do the same for hotels and office
Create a social media account
Though there is a lot of social media you can use to promote your snail business I want you to stick to one and post attractive pictures of your snail. Before you know they will start contacting you.
Create a blog or website
This will take a lot of time before you can see its result but if you can endure the process you will sell snail like crazy.
You can contact us to help you create website with a content that will drive traffic to it.
How long does it take Achatina achatina snail to mature?
It takes 8 to 10 month for Achatina achatina breed of snail to reach maturity.
Best snail species to rear in Nigeria?
The best snail species to farm in Nigeria is Achachatina maginata because of its high demand and big size, also they require less attention (hatching, mating) compare to others.
What are the types of snail rearing system in Nigeria?
- Intensive system
- Semi intensive system
In intensive system snail are housed in a confined space such as concrete cube, pile of tire, wooden cube, etc.
This system require a lot of labour because snail depend solely on the farmer for all it need. The feed given to snail in this system is usually concentrate and kitchen waste.
Semi intensive system
In semi intensive system snail are allowed roam about in a large space but also confined.
The confined space will be occupied with different leaves and plant that are edible to snail. In this system snail is less dependent on farmer since there is plant they can feed on.