How to treat soil for snail farming
Soil treatment is one of the most vital basics of snail farming because the soil in your snail pen influences several activities of the snails in the pen.
As a snail farmer, you presumably know how important treating the soil in the pen is to your snails.
If you are a beginner, understanding how to treat soil for snail farming is crucial to your success in snail farming.
Aside from the calcium supplied to snails by the farmer through feeding, snails get calcium and other nutrients from the soil in the pen.
Therefore, if you don’t treat the soil before introducing them into the pen, you risk allowing insects and other dangerous organisms into the snail pen.
That will be of great loss to your snail farm in the long run.
The more you allow insects to your snail pen, the more they grow and eat your snails, this, in due time will lead to massive loss and death of the snails.
I know very well that you don’t want that, we don’t want that too.
So, learning how to treat soil for snail farming is very important to the welfare of the snails and your farm.
Here, I will walk you through the various proven and effective methods of treating soil before introducing them to the snail pen.
You will also understand which soil is best for snail farming, lastly, you will learn why you need to treat the soil before introducing it into the snail pen.
The good thing is, all the methods of soil treatment here are easy to carry out.
You don’t need to spend or buy anything to implement the methods of soil treatments I will show you here.
Before we go into the various methods of treating soils for snail farming or how to treat soil for snail farming
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Here are the reasons for soil treatment in snail farming.
Reasons for soil treatment in snail farming
One of the main reasons why you should treat the soil before stocking your snails is because snails carry out the following activities on the soil in the snail pen.
These activities are important to the snail’s growth and productivity.
- Snails get an appreciable quantity of calcium from the soil in the pen.
NOTE: The snail external shell is almost completely made of calcium carbonate (The snail shell is about 95%-98% calcium).
- They also lay their eggs in the soil.
- Snails drink water from the soils in the pen too.
- Snails also dig into the soil to rest during dry times
With all these activities, you can see how important the soil is to the snail.
So, without treating the soil, it will be a housing ground for harmful insects, pathogens and pests.
Benefits of treating the soil for snail farming
- Soil treatment protects the snails from insects and pest attack.
- It prevents the snails from disease and infection.
- Soil treatment promotes productivity.
- It ensures zero mortality.
- It promotes farm hygiene.
- Reduces cost of management, infected soil is like a pathogen, if not treated, the snails are at risk of getting infected, treating the soil ensures fewer expenses on vaccination and loss management.
You can see that learning how to treat soil for snail farming is logically vital in snail farming.
But it doesn’t end in treating the soil, choosing the right soil for snail farming is also important in preparing the right environment for your snails.
As opposed to general belief, the best soil for snail farming is Sandy-loamy soil.
This is because of the distinct characteristics that make it better than loamy, silt, clay or sandy soil.
Sandy- loam soil has a good water-holding capacity, high organic matter content, balanced soil composition, no toxic chemical substance and good aeration.
You can read more on why Sandy-loam soil is the best soil for snail farming by clicking here
After collecting the soil from the field, to make it ready and suitable for snail farming, you need to treat it using any of the following methods.
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How to treat soil for snail farming
Here are the different methods you can apply in treating the soil before for snail farming.
These methods will help kill insects in the soil, ensure they are pathogen-free and make the soil conducive for the snails.
Remember that the target is to create an environment that will replicate the natural snail loving environment.
An environment void of pest, insect and is safe for the snails to grow on.
Here are the different ways of treating soil for snail farming.
Methods of treating the soil for snail farming
You can treat the soil for snail farming using the following methods
- Sun-drying Method
- Burning in pot or container method.
- Boiling water method.
- Chemical method
- Burning openly.
- Use of ash.
How to treat soil for snail farming by sun-drying
In this method, you need nylon to spread the soil on.
- Collect the required amount of soil with a shovel.
- Put the soil in a wheelbarrow and move to an open place.
- Spread thick nylon on the floor.
- Pour the soil on the nylon and spread it wide to every part of the nylon.
- Allow the soil to dry for 12-15 hours.
- Turn the soil after every three hours to allow the sun to reach every part of the soil.
- After 15 hours or more depending on your choice
- Move the soil to the pen using a cleaned and dried shovel.
- Add water to the soil and mix it, ensure that the soil is moderately wet and suitable for snail farming before introducing your snails.
The soil becomes suitable for snail farming after being exposed to direct sunlight for such a long period.
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Insects and other organisms will definitely not survive the hot effect of the sun.
How to treat soil for snail farming using boiling water
In this method
- Collect the needed amount of soil with a shovel.
- After collecting soil from the field with a shovel.
- Pour the soil on nylon and allow it to dry.
- After 5-7 hours of drying.
- Move the soil into the snail pen.
- Put large a quantity of water in a pot.
- Put the pot on the fire to boil the water.
- Once it starts boiling at a high rate.
- Use a basin to scoop the water and pour it all into the pen with the soil inside.
- Cover the snail pen and allow the water to dissolve for 24 hours.
- Introduce your snails after two days of the soil cooling.
The heat from the boiled water kills any insect, organism in the soil thereby making the soil suitable for snail farming.
How to treat soil for snail farming by burning openly.
This method is used for large scale snail farming, here the soil is big and therefore cannot be contained in a drum.
To treat the soil by burning, follow the steps below.
Here you need a wheelbarrow to transport the soil, a shovel to turn the soil and source of fire.
- Collect the required amount of soil with a shovel from a farm or land with good vegetation.
- Put the soil in a wheelbarrow.
- Transport the soil to an open place.
- Clear a portion of land and remove every plant debris and stones on the cleared land portion
- Pour the soil on the cleared portion of land.
- Mix the soil up and open the center of the soil
- Put firewood on the opened center part and light it up.
- Allow the heat from the fire to touch every part of the soil.
- You can achieve this by turning the soil while the fire burns.
- Once it’s done burning, remove the remaining part of the firewood
- Wash the shovel and hold it over the fire for a while
- Use the shovel to scoop the soil to the pen.
- Make sure you scoop the soil immediately.
- Do not allow the soil to cool in the same place it was burnt.
- After transporting the soil to the snail pen
- Allow the soil to cool in the pen.
- Water the soil after cooling before introducing your snails.
This is a great way of treating large quantity of soil
How to treat soil for snail farming by burning in a pot.
In this method, you need a big pot, tripod stand or blocks for making a stand for the pot and a source of light.
Follow these steps
- Collect the required amount of soil with a shovel from the garden.
- Make a tripod stand for the pot or drum.
- Make fire from the firewood or any other source of fire that best suits you.
- Place the pot or metal on top of the tripod stand.
- Pour the soils in small quantity into the pot.
- Allow the soil to heat.
- Cover the pot while the soil is burning to avoid heat escape.
- Turn the soil with a long stick or metal rod.
- When the pot becomes heated, remove the cover.
- Use shovel to scoop the soil into a wheelbarrow.
- Transport the soil directly into the snail pen.
- Once done, allow the soil to cool.
- Apply water on the soil.
If you are using plastic material as your snail pen, ensure to allow the soil to cool off before taking them to the snail pen.
The heat from the fire kills insects and other organisms in the soil, making it suitable for snail farming.
How to treat soil for snail farming using ash.
To treat soil using ash
- Fetch large piece of firewood from the bush
- Collect the required amount of Sandy-loam soil from the farm using a wheelbarrow
- Clear and are of land and transfer the soil from the wheelbarrow to the cleared portion of land.
- Spray the soil on the cleared portion creating a hole in the middle of the soil
- Put the firewood together and burn them.
- Allow the firewood to burn very well
- After burning, use a shovel to scoop the ash from the fire and put on the hole on the sprayed soil.
- Mix the soil and the ash together using a shovel.
- After mixing them together, move the soil immediately into the pen.
- Allow the soil to cool in the pen, after cooling, apply water (moderately), cover the snail pen for 5-8 hours before introducing your snails.
- The heat from the ash will kill any insect in the soil thereby making the soil fit for snail farming.
Though this method of treating soil for snail farming is not mostly used by snail farming, this is because many doubt its efficiency in killing insects.
How to treat soil for snail farming with chemicals
The materials needed here are nylon, knapsack, pesticides or insecticides and a metal turner.
- Collect the required amount of soil with a shovel or hoe.
- Use a wheelbarrow to move the soil to an open place.
- Spread a thick bag on the place, the bag should be big enough to contain the soil.
- Spread the soil on top of the bag.
- Spray on the entire soil the pesticide using knapsack.
- Mix the soil and the pesticide and cover them with another nylon
- Allow them for 5 to 8 hours before opening it
- Once opened, take the soil directly to the pen
Application of chemicals makes the soil fit for snail farming by killing insects and other dangerous organisms present in the soil.
It is not enough to treat the soil and introduce your snails, the leave you will use to cover your pen and provide shades for your snails should also be treated
Without treating the leaves, you risk introducing insect and other harmful organisms into the soil.
Most organisms live on the leaves and are highly unnoticed, these organisms are in most cases dangerous to the snail.
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Therefore, treating the leaves is also important.
How to treat the dried plantain leaves before introducing them into the snail pen.
- Gather the plantain leaves to be used.
- Boil a good quantity of water.
- While the water is boiling, squeeze the plantain leaves and put them inside.
- Turn with a stick while the water is boiling.
- Do this for 4 to 5 minutes.
- Remove the leaves and put them directly on top of the pen.
Ensure that there is not snail in the pen while you do this, the hot water from the plantain leaves will kill your snails if you allow them in the pen.
- Allow the leaves for 30 to 40 minutes before putting them into the pen.
Ensure that the leaves are no longer hot before introducing your snails into the pen.
As you can see, the soil must be made fit for the snails to survive on before introducing your snail else you risk getting the snails infected.
As a snail farmer (Old or New), the productivity of your snails is of great importance to you.
And the soil in your snail pen is very vital in ensuring that the snails produce greatly.
Therefore, adequate care should be taken to ensure that the soil is pest-free and bears no pathogens.
If the soil in the pen is not well treated, you risk exposing the snails to insects, termites, and other organisms.
These microorganisms in the soil can be very harmful to snails if not properly taken care of.
The reduction or complete eradication of these organisms in the soil through soil treatment before introducing the snails is an important managerial practice.
It mediates the presence of infectious insects and germs, ensures healthier and cleaner snails and productivity.
So, understanding how to treat soil for snail farming is a good snail farming practice and should be taken seriously.
You can use any of the methods discussed above,
Let me bring them here again
- Sun-drying Method
- Burning in a pot or container method.
- Boiling water method.
- Chemical method and
- Burning openly.
It is important to not only learn how to treat soil for snail farming but also how to carry out the process of treating the soil the right way.
This will ensure better, healthier, and productive snail farming.
It should be done properly to obtain the required result.
Let us know your thought on the comment box below. We appreciate hearing from you.
Which of the methods are you using and why, which do you think is the simplest?
Lets us know your thought below.