If you are thinking that you would like your own free range snail farm in the back yard here are a few tips to get you on your way.
In Australia the common brown garden snail Cantareus is farmed and is also one of the most popular snails consumed in the European market.
Get 10 expert tips and tricks and find out how easy it is to do in your own backyard!
1) Snails adapt well to cooler climates with temperature ranges from - 4°C to a maximum of 30°C
2) It is important to have a farming area that is as large as possible and to limit snail numbers accordingly to discourage overcrowding.
3) A large, free range farming area results in higher production rates, lower mortality, a more ethical and less stressful environment resulting in a better quality of snails
4) Once you have constructed a galvanised corrugated iron perimeter fence it is important to install 5) mesh holding pens made from open weave shade cloth. Robyn recommends a double layered cloth (or flaps) to prevent the snails escaping
5) A true organic free range snail farm should only use natural fertilisers.
6) A good irrigation system is crucial for maintaining a healthy food source and ensures the snails are kept active for eating, breeding and growing
7) Snails need a diet rich in protein, fibre, vitamins and minerals. Robyn’s snails especially like to forage on brassicas, kale and canola but they also enjoy wild turnip, hybrid turnip, dandelion clover and silver beet amongst others.
8) In the southern hemisphere mating commences in spring and if conditions are optimal this can continue until Autumn
9) It’s crucial to “purge” the snails before consumption. This involves feeding them a combination of organic unprocessed bran and/or wheat germ for 2 days in a controlled environment
10) After purging for 7 days the snail’s digestive systems are clear of dirt and grit and they are ready to be consumed.