The type and dimensions of your snailery depend on the snail growing system you choose, and on the quantity of snails you intend to produce.
As far is housing is concerned, your snail farm could be extensive, semi-intensive, or intensive, in increasing order of complexity, management and financial inputs. Three options might be considered:
- Extensive system: outdoor, free-range snail pens.
- Mixed, or semi-intensive system: egg laying and hatching occur in a controlled environment; the young snails are then removed after 6-8 weeks to outside pens for growing or fattening or both.
- Intensive: closed systems, for example plastic tunnel houses, green-houses and buildings with controlled climate.
Note: the same options of extensive, semi-intensive, or intensive apply to feed and feeding. Meanwhile, regardless of the size and type of your snail farm, the housing system must meet the following conditions. It must be:
- Escape-proof; snails are master-escapists and unless prevented from doing so they will quickly wander all over your (or your neighbor’s) garden or house.
- Spacious, in accordance with the growing stage of the snails (hatchlings, juveniles, breeding snails, or mature snails fattened for consumption).
Snails suffer from overcrowding, which impedes their development and increases the risk of diseases.
Suitable rearing densities range from > 100/m2 for hatchlings to 7-10/m2 for breeding snails.
- Easily accessible and easy to work in or with, for handling the snails, placing feed, cleaning and other tasks.
- Well-protected from insects, predators and poachers.