Diseases Affecting Snails And How To Avoid Them
Snail farming is one lucrative business venture people are yet to explore especially the young graduates. Just two healthy snails can give you thousands of other snails in a short period of time. In a short period of time, I mean from 2 years and above.
Commercial snail farming in Nigeria requires a lot of tactics but the business is very simple and achievable. Snails, as we know, are good source of Vitamins, Omega 3, Selenium, Protein, Magnesium, and Iron.
Predators, parasites, and diseases affecting snails that lead to mortality are the major issues farmers are faced within the business. One would ask, “Do snails have diseases? Yes!
According to an expert, there are few known snail diseases that make their treatment difficult. However, taking certain precautions could help to curb mortality.
Fungi disease is one of the diseases known to be affecting snails when in captivity (snail pen). Snail fungi disease is contracted when they leak the slime of affected ones or through contact with affected ones. This is why overstocking the pen is never advisable.
Just like every other animal, snail rearing requires lots of care and tactics if you will ever make a reasonable profit from the venture. Moving forward, let’s see snail predators and how to prevent them from ravaging your farm.
Snail Predators And Parasites
Snails are rugged animals, however, plan and protect them from parasites that may cause harm to them. Below are some of the snail predators and parasites and how to prevent your snails from their attacks;
Reptiles: These include frogs, rats, mice, snakes, centipedes, and millipedes. These parasites cause havoc in snail farms by eating up both small and big snails. To prevent them from creeping into your farm, your snail pens must be covered with wire gauze and mosquito net.
Soldier Ants: I liken these creatures to Boko Haram terrorism in this part of the world. Soldier ants pose a serious threat to commercial snail farming in Nigeria. Prevention they say is better than cure, to protect your investment you should build a gutter around if you are making use pen system or the legs of hutches inside tins of condemned engine oil when using hutch boxes.
Flies: flies of any kind could be a threat to your snails. The housing system should be covered with a mosquito net so as prevent any kind of fly from laying eggs inside the pen. Fly eggs develop into larva and feed on the snails thereby causing diseases leading to mortality.
Other Methods To Curb Diseases From Affecting Your Snails
Soil Treatment: soil treatment for snails should be considered first before introducing the snail into the pen. There are three methods of soil treatment for snails; (a) submerging the soil with boiling water inside the pen.
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(b) Subjecting it to heat. To do this, you pour the sand into a cooking pot and allow it to stay on fire for some minutes to kill possible flies and eggs that might be harmful to the snails.
(c) Mix the soil with ashes from burnt wood. This method eliminates ants from the snail pen(s).
Dry Leaves Treatment: dry leaves treatment for snail farming is very important for reducing snail diseases to the barest minimum. To get this done, gather cocoyam or plantain leaves you intend to use then soak them in a bowl of hot water for some minutes so as to kill everything that might cause harm to your snails. After soaking, spread the leaves to cool before introducing them into the pen.
Daily Cleaning of the Pen: just like every other animal, snails love a clean environment free from parasites and predators. Ensure regular cleaning of the pen and also remove leftover food every day