Things to Know Before Starting Your Snail Farming Business

Updated on May 22, 2020
tony55 profile image

I am just a simple, hardworking webmaster who loves to write. My interests include traditional cultures, small business ideas, and movies.

Before you start a snail farming business, take these tips into consideration.
Before you start a snail farming business, take these tips into consideration. | Source

Snail Farming

The farming of land snails is called heliciculture, and it’s a very lucrative business venture for the practitioners.

Certain types of snails are favored for commercial farming because of their size and the quantity of meat they produce. Many species of snails that are good for farming are found in Europe, North and South America, Asia, and Africa. Each area has different species that thrive in varied environments.

Not all snails are consumed by humans; some can be downright toxic. Some have other uses: many produce substances used by cosmetic manufacturers. Luckily most large land snails are edible and are a highly sought-after delicacy that attracts a premium price in the marketplace.

Habitat for Snails

Snails are nocturnal and can be found in different habitats from woodlands to open fields, flower beds and gardens to moist sand dunes and under vegetation. Many are found in Europe, India, Africa and the Middle East.

What Do Snails Eat?

The snail despite its apparent sluggishness is a highly voracious feeder, depending on the choice of delicacies in its immediate environment. Snails feed on fruits, vegetables like cabbage, microscopic algae and moist leaves like banana or plantain leaves or lettuce.

Snails love lettuce and most vegetables we eat; they can also chow down on carrots, mangoes and apples. Snails prefer eating living plants, and you can also find them eating certain mushrooms and fallen leaves.

Other important food sources for your land snail can include algae, decaying leaves, flowers, and the bark of trees. Snails also actively seek calcium because it is an important ingredient that helps build their shells. Snails are not strictly herbivores but more like omnivores because they are opportunistic feeders.

Snails also drink water so farmers should provide a source of water that is easily reachable.

Starting an Escargot Business

The escargot business is lucrative and attracts a premium price for snails that are hand-reared in snail farms. The business can encompass the rearing, wholesaling or retailing of snails to customers and end users.

Escargot businessmen have to be acquainted with the rules and regulations of the country they operate. You can concentrate on the top species of snails in your locality. Then build your pen in a moist, humid area with good soil and stock with high-quality snails.

Introduce earthworms to help loosen the soil, and give your snails fresh vegetables and fruits. Remember calcium is important and proper egg distribution necessary. Source local and international buyers like supermarkets, restaurants, meat shops and the open market.

Snail Farming in Australia

Farming Snails

Snail farming is about gathering the right resources, like humidity and temperature controls, the type of pen needed and the quality of the soil. Other considerations are the sourcing of food and provision of calcium which constitutes 97% of the snail's shell.

Climate control is important, especially devices like sprinklers to keep the soil moist. Protective pens that are pest proof are needed. Snails can be eaten or killed by lizards, birds and rodents. They are surprisingly mobile so keeping them safe and secure should be your number one priority.

The equipment needed to farm snails include outdoor pens or indoor plastic tunnels for breeding. Climate control equipment like sprinklers and humidifiers is important, to keep the temperature range from 16° to 24°C.

A drainage system and adequate moisture are important, with soil whose components are partly sand and clay plus additives like limestone (for calcium), polyacrylamide, and magnesium.

A pen can be made out of galvanized sheet metal, wire gauze, wood or block material. There should be easy access and it should be fenced or covered to prevent predators like rats. A plastic pipe network can also be introduced into the pen. A sprinkler system and equipment to measure humidity levels is important.

You are free to explore different types of enclosures that can provide shade, good soil and proper temperature, and prevent the snails from escaping.

A nice vegetable garden; snails love such places
A nice vegetable garden; snails love such places | Source

Edible Land Snails

The two main genuses that farmers like are Helix and Achatina, but other smaller snail types are also farmed. Snail species regularly farmed in Europe include Helix aspersa and Helix pomatia, while the giant snail species are farmed in Africa.

Achatina achatina aka tiger snail the giant African snail, aka "tiger stripes," is the largest land snail in the world.

Helix includes Helix aspersa, Helix lucorum, Helix aperta and Helix pomatia, while Achatina includes Achatina fulica and four other species. Other snail types farmed for meat and other commercial purposes are Otala lacteal, Iberus alonensis, Cepaea nemoralis, Cepaea hortensis, Otala punctata, Eobania vermiculata, Theba pisana and many more.

Some Edible Snails

Scientific Name
Otala lacteal
Cepaea nemoralis
Helix aspersa
Europe, US, New Zealand, Southern Africa
Cepaea hortensis
Eobania vermiculata
Helix lucorum
Helix aperta
Europe and North Africa
Achatina achatina

An edible snail

 an edible snail
an edible snail | Source

A Large Snail

Click thumbnail to view full-size
African giant snailAfrican giant snail
African giant snail
African giant snail | Source
African giant snail
African giant snail | Source

Achatina achatina


Achatina achatina measures around twenty-one centimeters (10—15 cm) in length and seven point five centimeters (5.5 cm) in height, though it can be much larger. The coiling on the shell is either clockwise or anticlockwise. The snail is usually brownish in color and the color depends on what the snail eats and its environment.

The diet includes leaves, fruits, algae, worms and vegetables.


Achatina achatina is an invasive species that lives in warm climates, with subspecies like the Achatina fulica hamilie, Achatina fulica rodatz, Achatina sinistrosa and Achatina fulica umbilicata. The snail grows easily in warm regions of Africa and can be found in Ghana, Nigeria, Togo and may West African countries.

They love food-and shelter-plants like plantains and bananas and can be found living in the soil around such plants or under the large flat leaves.

Land Snail Anatomy


Snails are burrowers and live beneath the soil or in shaded areas. They have a spiral shell which doubles as protection and shade. The shell is 98% calcium-based. The pedal gland produces an adhesive substance that allows the snail to crawl.

Land snails also have a muscular foot, one or two pairs of tentacles, and lungs with which to breathe air. They have hard shells and lay many eggs during mating season, sometimes numbering one hundred depending on the species.

Snails have a mouth and a radula tongue with small corneous teeth for grabbing food, and salivary glands for digestion. Snails are hermaphrodites and have organs of both sexes, and are able to procreate with each other.

Snails as Food

Snails can be added to stew, boiled with vinegar, fried, grilled, stewed or cooked in spicy sauces. They are a delicious source of protein with fewer health hazards than red meat. Snails should be thoroughly cleaned and cooked to prevent infection, especially if harvested from the wild.

Snail meat can be found canned, boiled and salted, fried in oil and served as snacks, or cooked and spiced.

Preparing British Garden Snails

Government Regulations

Each government has many rules and regulations guiding snail production and sales, which might include permits and restrictions, business planning, state regulations, guides to small farming, slug control, and sales. Regulations cover imports, rearing and adequate facilities, others involve environmental issues and species control.

Some permits cover transporting the snails, type of species allowed into the country, import and export licensing and producing and canning process. Before venturing into snail farming find out all the regulations and laws guiding the country you reside.


Snail farming can make you lots of money because the creatures multiply rapidly under favorable conditions. They attract high prices but need time and patience. Before venturing into the business try to visit a snail farm and read many instructional materials to get a broader idea.

Snails are living things and are also prone to sickness and disease, so start small and learn the trade while going about your regular job or other things.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

© 2014 femi


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • profile image


      2 weeks ago

      Am interested in this snail business but I need more enlightenment

    • profile image


      7 weeks ago

      I really appreciate you for this great knowledge, God bless you

    • tony55 profile imageAUTHOR


      7 months ago from Nigeria

      What do you mean by senile farming or do you mean snail farming?

    • profile image


      8 months ago

      this is really interesting

    • tony55 profile imageAUTHOR


      20 months ago from Nigeria

      snail breeding is time consuming and miderately challenging. it is easier buying your fighting stock from the market

    • profile image

      rodger koo 

      20 months ago

      i am interested in snail breeding, so i can start my snail fighting league any suggestions on where to start?

    • tony55 profile imageAUTHOR


      22 months ago from Nigeria

      Visit your local market or farmers in your locality to buy stock. market grade ones are not ideal however they will grow..

    • profile image


      23 months ago

      Where can i buy giant tiger snails or african snails in malaysia?

    • profile image


      23 months ago

      use coconut fibers as substrate for your snails and as for calcium you can give them cuttle fish bones or egg shells with the membrane removed ( it is better to give them the bone though .my snails seem to enjoy it.)

    • profile image


      24 months ago

      Can I know a mail id of snail cultivator or a consultancy...interested in snail farming

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      Wow this is great.i want to know about the eggs and hatching them. Thanks

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      Hi I am interested to know more. Will you provide me any pdf?


    • profile image 

      2 years ago

      I am from UK and really struggling to get a place for training.

      anyone have a suggestion in east midlands?

    • tony55 profile imageAUTHOR


      2 years ago from Nigeria

      I would like to thank Mort for some corrections in the publication.

    • tony55 profile imageAUTHOR


      2 years ago from Nigeria


    • profile image


      2 years ago

      Great piece, very useful!

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      where can i get the snails to buy to start the farms in Ghana

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      I really appreciate this write-up. Have learn a lot. I am seriously considering venturing into snail farming, and i had a few question or should i say conflicts in my thoughts, but this write-up has touched on many of these conflicts.

      I would have love to visit a snail farm to see for myself what physically goes into it, but there is none close to my residence and none heard of in my region (hence the idea to venture).

      I will appreciate more write-ups from here as i believe your statements are facts.

      The comments tell me your name is Femi.

      Thank you once again

    • profile image

      sweet pee 

      2 years ago

      i have just started something and this piece is an eye opener. thanks very much.

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      Please how can I get calcium for my snails, and what kind of soil should i use in the pen. Thank you.

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      Please how can I get calcium for my snails, and what kind of soil should i use in the pen. Thank you.

    • profile image

      Ndibe Samuel 

      3 years ago

      snail business is a very good business but my challenged is how to build the hutches for the snails not to escape or die

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      coolio! but GALS (giant african land snails) illegal in U.S. cuz they took over florida :(

    • tony55 profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Nigeria

      Thanks for your comment Writerjanis, snail farming is serious business in Africa and parts of Asia.

    • WriterJanis profile image


      5 years ago from California

      I didn't even know there was snail farming. I learned something new here. That one snail is huge!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)