Free-range snail farming

The important issue in raising snails for food is how they are produced and the social responsibility to consumers.

Free-range snail farming is where snails roam freely and forage for food in open pastures of living food crops, rather than being densely confined in small enclosures and fed only compound foods.

There is a recommended limit to the number of snails to each square metre of ground space. Some snail producers use the term ‘free-range’ as a marketing tool, rather than as a reflection of the conditions in which snails are kept.

The freedom to roam in large areas allows the snails to avoid each other’s slime trails. Over-slimed ground and excess faeces can modify snail behaviour by putting out chemical signals like pheromones — detrimental to reproduction and growth rates in terrestrial snails.

Allowing snails to breed at their own pace and encouraging the natural biological cycle in an ecological farming system, results in better breeding performance, faster rate of growth, higher reproduction yields and it meets the highest standards of quality and sustainable accountability.

Growing snails in open pastures (or free-range) is sustainable. It’s possible to set goals, apply management strategies, measure progress and produce snails perpetually.

Implementing a breeding program ensures the right genetic base for size and colour. Trials conducted over many years have demonstrated that the colour of the flesh of the snail and the flavour of its meat is not influenced by the food it ingests.

Commercial farming of snails in organic, open pastures of living food produces large numbers of high-quality snails and combines tradition, innovation and science. The free-range system is easily managed and is a cost effective method of breeding and growing snails that are healthy for consumers and, it respects the physiological needs of the snails and the environment in which they grow.

To learn more about the benefits of free-range snail farming check out the video.

Details and images on how to establish a commercial, free-range snail farm click here.