Comprehensive Guide On How To Hatch Snail Eggs From Start To Finish
Table of Contents
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Snail Reproduction process – (How do snails reproduce?)
Giant African Land Snails (GALS) are hermaphrodites, meaning they have both male and female reproductive organs.
Even though snails are hermaphrodites, they still need to mate with each other to produce snail eggs.
The mating process is usually like a fight.
You will think they would swallow themselves in the process.
After mating, each snail will lay its eggs in clutches and bury them in the dirt.
Giant African land snails can lay between 40 – 100 snails per laying season.
Did you know that snails are very intelligent?
They don’t just lay their eggs in the dirt, they lay the eggs in the part of the soil that is suitable enough to incubate the eggs.
the snails are in captivity, so the farm manager’s activities within the pen tend to disrupt the perfect condition of the snail eggs.
Interestingly, some of the snails are also very s****d.
They just lay a clutch of eggs on the soil without covering it at all.
So, this is why it is important for you to take out the eggs and incubate them in a separate snail pen.
Incubating the snail eggs by yourself increases your chances of having more hatched snail eggs.
READ ALSO: A Complete Guide On How To Incubate Chicken Eggs
Two Giant African Land Snails Mating:
Just in case you are yet to do so, you should read this article “How to start a snail farming business” for more insight about snail farming.
How to hatch snail eggs.
The process of hatching snail eggs is a very simple one.
- First, collect the eggs from the snail pen
- Prepare an incubator for hatching the snail eggs.
- Incubate the eggs in the snail egg incubator
- Track the hatching progress of the snail eggs
- Take care of the snail eggs while they are incubating.
- Collect the new snail hatchlings and keep them in a new pen.
Step 1: Collect the eggs from the snail pen
When your snails start laying eggs, you need to check the pen every day to pick out the eggs.
To do this, you need a hoe to till the soil gently and pick out the snail eggs.
Don’t ever use your hand to pick up the snail’s eggs.
When you pick up snail eggs with your bare hands, you reduce the chances of the eggs hatching.
Use a plastic spoon instead for picking the snail eggs and use a plastic tray to collect the eggs.
After collecting all the eggs, move to the next step to incubate the snail eggs.
Once your snails start laying eggs, you have to come back weekly or bi-weekly to check for new eggs.
Step 2: Prepare an incubator for hatching the snail eggs.
The incubator or hatchery for snail eggs is not a giant electrical device like that of poultry eggs.
It is just a mixture of soil with a little bit of water in a Tupperware tub or in one of your snail pens in a commercial snail farming setup.
If you wish to have an exact proportion of water you need to mix with the soil, you should consider reading this research about the effect of water on incubating snail eggs.
The researcher concluded that “Rural snail breeders are assured of high snail egg hatchability with the application of 15% water content (gram water per gram dry soil, weight per weight) during incubation of snail eggs buried in airtight containers to reduce evaporation.”
After getting the correct mixture of soil and water, choose how you want to incubate the snail eggs.
For those who keep snails as a pet, using Tupperware with air holes in the lid is okay.
Snail eggs incubation using a Tupperware
For commercial snail farming, fill your pen with soil to a depth of 15 – 20cm from the floor.
Use a hand fork or trowel to loosen the soil.
You can also use your hand to loosen the soil since it’s not really thick.
Loosening the soil before incubating the snail eggs makes it easy for snail hatchlings to emerge from the soil.
If you have followed the process to this point, it means you are done preparing the snail eggs incubator.
The next step is to introduce the snail eggs into the incubator.
Step 3: Incubate the eggs in the snail egg incubator
After preparing the snail eggs incubator, it’s time to introduce the eggs.
Using a hand trowel or your hand, open up the soil to about 2 inches deep.
The diameter of the hole should be wide enough to contain your snails.
Use the plastic spoon to scoop the snail eggs into the hole in the incubation pen.
After that, cover the snail eggs loosely with about 2 inches of soil.
At this point, you are done incubating the snail eggs. Yippie!!
Do you remember I promised to tell you how to keep track of the hatching process?
Step 4: Track the hatching progress of the snail eggs
Tracking the hatching progress of snail eggs is very easy too.
Here’s what you need to do:
After burying the snail eggs in the soil, get a sheet of paper and write out the date and number of eggs in the hole.
This will help you know when you started incubation and when you will stop.
The incubation period is between 21 – 35 days.
It means that the snail eggs will begin to hatch somewhere around the 21st day after incubation.
Naturally, when snail eggs hatch, they crawl out of the thin layer of soil covering them to the surface soil.
However, not all of them tend to come out of the soil.
So, you need to check after 21 days to get them out.
Using a plastic spoon, gently open the soil and pick out the hatched snails onto a plastic tray.
Count and record the number of hatched snails and the number of eggs left.
Make sure the sum of these numbers corresponds to the total number of snail eggs you put there.
Baby snails emerging from snail eggs:
When you are done picking the hatched snails cover up the remaining eggs for another 14 days.
After 14 days have gone by, come back again and pick out the hatched snails.
Any remaining eggs in the snail incubation pen after that day should just be discarded.
Following the steps under this subheading will help you know the number of new snails you have on your snail farm.
This number will help you know how many snails you are expecting to have after the farming period.
It will also help you to project the amount of feed you need to get.
Most importantly, it will help you forecast and calculate your revenue accurately.
Step 5: Take care of the snail eggs while they are incubating.
We are almost at the end of this guide, I hope you have learned something so far?
I have mentioned some tips on how to take care of snail eggs earlier in this article.
I will go ahead and repeat them here. Here are the ways
- Don’t pick up the snail eggs with your bare hands
- When digging for snail eggs, do so gently so that you don’t crush the eggs.
- Check the snail pen every week or bi-weekly to pick up new eggs.
- To maintain the moisture content of the soil, especially in the northern area, use a hand sprayer to spray water lightly on the soil.
- Do not waterlog the soil so that the eggs can hatch. When the water becomes too much in the soil, it destroys the hatching process.
- Ensure that the incubator has a consistent humidity and temperature all through the incubation period.
- Remember you only need to buy the eggs 2 inches deep so that the weight of the soil will not kill the young hatchlings.
- Use only a plastic spoon to open the soil and remove all the hatched snails and then cover the remaining ones.
Step 6: Collect the new snail hatchlings and keep them in a new pen.
After you have finished hatching the snail eggs, collect the baby snails into a new pen.
Yet again, don’t pick up the baby snails with your bare hand.
You might crush their young and very soft shells.
The best snail farming equipment for picking up baby snails is the plastic spoon.
When you are done transferring the baby snails to a new pen make sure you provide them with some snail food.
The most essential food for a baby snail is calcium because it will help in strong shell formation.
I hope this article was detailed enough for you?
Watch the video at the bottom of this page to see every step in this article in action.
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Hatching snail eggs can be as easy as anything else.
How you carry out the process will determine whether you will get a lot of baby snails or only a few.
Besides getting a lot of snail hatchlings, one thing that is more important is how you care for the baby snails.
If you handle them carelessly, you might lose your precious snails because they are very delicate at a young age.
Use the information in this guide to properly hatch your snails and take care of them until maturity.