Achatina Fulica. Smallest amongst the Giant African Snails used for farming.
ACHATINA FULICA: INTRODUCTION (COMMON GARDEN SNAIL)
Achatina Fulica are common garden snails. I call them “Wakawaka” or Busy Bodies” They are always on the move even in daytime when others are resting. It is easy to see them in your backyard when the ground is wet.
Couple of years ago I introduced a few into my backyard. Ever since they have been residents. They fend for themselves and are able to survive hard seasons. When I decided to revisit snail farming I found them in abundance in my garden when it rained.
They lay eggs in abundance even before reaching a reasonable body size.
Achatina Fulica lay over hundred eggs at a time. The eggs are tiny and so are the babies. Many of the babies will die within a few days after hatching if they are not handled with care. It is not easy caring for the fragile babies because they are so many and come in quick succession.
Their slow growth is a disadvantage when compared with other giant African snail species that mature faster.
HOW TO RECOGNIZE ACHATINA FULICA
They are so common that one can unknowingly step on them. It has a long body segmented into 7 to 9 spirals. These spirals are also called whorls, the body is brownish in color with white/creamish stripes. You can easily identify them by the pointed tip or apex peculiar to the Achatina species.
Though they are part of the African Giant snail family this species don’t grow as fast as the others. They are the smallest in size among the ones recommended for snail farming.
ACHATINA FULICA: WHAT THEY EAT
Caring for Achatina Fulica is easy and inexpensive. Although they are slow growers, farming these snails for consumption is worthwhile if you have a space to keep them. They feed on almost every type of plants and fruits. Household waste which ordinarily would have been thrown into the trash can be given to them and they will grow well.
The moment you have them they will always be there as they multiply very fast and will be meat for the soup pot.
When the condition of the place where they are kept becomes unfavorable they will burrow to the ground and have a lengthy sleep!
CHALLENGES ACHATINA FULICA FACE IN THE PEN
The Achatina Fulica for sometime were the only species in my pen and they were doing fine. The moment I introduced matured Archachatina Marginata species all that changed. Within a week of the arrival of Archachatina Marginata species I began to see holes in the shell of Achatina Fulica. Some of those holes were so wide that the flesh protrudes out and after some days the snail dies off. Over time most of the Achatina Fulica suffered the same fate.
There is enough calcium provided for all the snails in the pen but somehow it appears the Archachatina Marginata just don’t want to share space with the Achatina Fulica. The shell of juvenile Archachatina Marginata is thicker and stronger than the shell of Achatina Fulica of the same age.
It is good to separate snails of the same species into different pens to reduce cannibalism.
ACHATINA FULICA: CONCLUSION
Achatina Fulica is good for snail farming as hobby and for family consumption. I love using them in place of periwinkles for soup recipes. Despite their slow growth they are prolific breeders and are good sport for hobbyist like me.
If you are thinking of rearing Achatina Fulica for profit then look for the ones that are already very big. The bigger they are the bigger their eggs so also the babies.
Despite their growth limitation Achatina Fulica is good in the vegetable soup pot and other delicacies.
I hope to construct an additional pen in no distance time so I can separate them.
Visit my blog for more post on other species of snails and discover the best ones to rear profit wise.
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