3 main types of snail farming system and their features

3 Main types of snail farming system and their characteristics

Starting your snail farm could be troubling if you have no prior knowledge or experience. Choice making is one of those big challenges faced by beginners.

This happens in stages like constructing your snail house, choosing breeds, management systems etc. Before constructing your snail house, many factors come in to play.

Factors such as the types of snail farming system the farmer wish to practice, available capital, size of available land and desired size of the farm are all important determinants.

In this little but informative post, we will discuss the types of snail farming systems.

In snail farming, there are three main types of snail farming systems one can choose from. Each system has its unique features, advantages and disadvantages and is practised by different farmers.

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Types of snail farming system

They are three main types of snail farming system.

  • Intensive type of snail farming (indoor)
  • Semi-intensive or mix-snail farming
  • Extensive type of snail farming  (outdoor)

Intensive type of snail farming

Types of snail farming
Intensive type of snail farming

This is a system of snail farming in which the snails are kept in an enclosed environment.

Their activities are controlled by the farmer.

The snails are closely monitored and are under total supervision by the owner.

They are intensively managed in terms of feeding, water supply, cleaning and other daily management practices.

This system is mostly found among snail farmers with access to little space.

It involves the use of boxes, tyres, trench pens, drums, empty cans and fenced pens to keep snails.

In this type of snail farming, the farmer is tasked with the responsibility of feeding the snails, wetting the pen, birthing the snails and fumigating the snail house etc. are all on the farmer.

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This system is mostly seen in small-scale snail farming.

Advantages of an intensive system

  •  It gives room for close monitoring of your snails.
  • It is more secure than the other snail farming systems.
  • Your snails are less exposed to external attack in an intensive system of farming.
  • Snails of the same size can be kept in the same pen, this is a very important practice in snail farming, it checks mortality in snail farming.
  • The intensive system gives you better control over the management practices in the snail farm.

Disadvantages of the intensive type of snail farming

Due to the dense nature of this system, its disadvantages are as follows

  1. Overcrowding
  2. Cannibalism 
  3. Slow growth 
  4. and in extreme cases, death due to overcrowding.

Semi-intensive type of snail farming

Types of snail farming
Semi-intensive type of snail farming

This is a combination of the intensive and extensive type of snail farming.

Here, the farmer tries to create an environment similar to snail’s natural breeding environment.

You can plant shrubs, flowers and vegetables around the snail house.

This is to create a green vegetation type of environment for the snails.

In this system, egg-laying and hatching occur in a controlled environment. 

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The snail activities are controlled, but to an extent, they are not under total supervision after a few weeks of birth.

The snail house can be fenced with nets and wires to prevent insect attack and invasion by other animals.

Advantages of Semi-intensive type of snail farming

  • It is relatively easy to practice.
  • It contains more snails, therefore, offers more growth of the farm.
  • It is not capital intensive because snails also feed on the fruits planted around the snail house.
  • It can contain commercials snail farming.

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Disadvantages of the Semi-intensive or Mixed system 

  • A fully enclosed and roofed pen is relatively expensive to build.
  • It is less protective of the snails than the intensive system.
  • It requires more space

Extensive, outdoor or Free-range type of snail farming

Types of snail farming
Extensive type of snail farming

Free-range snail farming is a type of snail farming system where the farmer allows the snails to move freely in open pastures for their food instead of keeping them in a close house.

The snails feed in the open but have shades for shelter and cover.

This type of snail farming tries to recreate an exact natural habitat of snails using artificial methods.

Plastic tunnel houses, greenhouses, free-range snail pens and buildings with controlled climate fall under this category.

This type of snail farming system makes the snails feel the same way as they do in wildlife.

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Plants, fruits and vegetables like pawpaw, banana plantain, pineapple etc. are planted in the farm to provide shelter and help in regulating the climatic condition of the farm

Advantages of the Extensive or Free-range system

  • The snails are made to feel their exact natural environment 
  • It is cost-effective 
  • It is easy to manage.
  • The snails are supplied with natural products as food.

This system is usually practised by farmers who do snail farming business for commercial purposes and occupy a large expanse of land.

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Disadvantages of Extensive or Free-range system

  • It requires more land than other types/systems of snail farming.
  • It is difficult to locate and protect eggs and newly born snails when using the free-range system.
  • In the open type of free-range pen, it is more difficult to keep out predators and poachers.
  • It may be difficult to control disease outbreaks because of the farm size.


Choosing any of the types of snail farming system isn’t down to just whether your desired type is better than others.

Factors such as the desired size of the farm, capital, available land and workforce should be considered.

If you want to run a small-scale snail farming, you should go with the intensive type of snail farming.

For large-scale farming, the semi-intensive or extensive system is best.

One thing you must note is that no matter the system of farming you are using to raise your snails.

How profitable your farm will be, will depend on how well you manage your farm.

Ensure you get professional training before starting your snail farm.

Do not just assume that, it is easy to rear snails, no, it is easy but you need to learn to avoid costly mistakes.

You can join our WhatsApp group by clicking on the “Join WhatsApp group” you are seeing on the side of your device.

That’s all about the types of snail farming system.

What do you think about the various types of snail farming systems?


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One thought on “3 Main types of snail farming system and their characteristics

  • April 26, 2021 at

    Thanks for this simplified work


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