Snail Cultivation (Heliciculture)

Even today, snail cultivation has got a very real economic significance. In France alone, 40,000 tonnes of snails are eaten per year. A large part of those are, even today, snails picked in nature and imported from Eastern Europe and Turkey. From an ecological point of view this is intolerable. From the consumer’s point of view it also is, because those snails are not retraceable. Nobody knows where exactly they come from, sometimes not even what kind of snails they are.


French snail cultivation methods usually aim at fattening the snails by keeping large numbers of them in small spaces, greenhouses and pens, and feeding them with artificial food mixes.

In France, usually the Escargot Petit Gris (Cornu aspersum) is cultivated. Though this species cannot compete with the Escargot de Bourgogne (Helix pomatia) in taste and size, it appears to be practically impossible to cultivate <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<ources. Only<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<n snail, due to its abundant distribution on the British Isles, has very little demands and so can be kept using the described <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

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by cross-breeding with giant y form of nomenclature those are called e further, so they more resemble the desired >p>

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a hcultivation>>em>m/em>>>>>>m>em<<nto the Middle Ages. At that time, trade connections. for medieval standards almost worldwide, from peasant Swabia to Vienna and Paris, are witness to the success of Swabian snail trade.

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of their market.

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their own snail farms to provide the lord with a sufficient number of delicacies in shells.The tale of successful snail marketing has spread also into other countries. Snail raising being a French national discipline, the art of snail cultivation/p>

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hcultivationnse of taste. In contrary to that the German (the revised Italian) method aims at quality rather than merely quantity, keeping snails in an environment close to nature.

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hcultivationintroduces modern cultivation methods. Application of herbicides and artificial fertilisers is generally avoided, instead legumes are used for a natural nitrogen fertilisation – green fertilising instead of artificial fertilisers. Finally green food is fed instead of artificial food mixes.

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ls can be kept on one square metre (3300 snails are kept in an enclosure of 150 – 160 square metres). A snail’s slime contains a chemical agent limiting fertility. It is visibly disagreeable for a snail to have to crawl over another snail’s trace. So the number of snails able to be kept in one enclosure, in the long run, is limited. Which means that from the beginning there must be several enclosures to raise the young snails.<e snails. It is generally not feasible to mount nets against birdsdug deeply into the soil around the farm keeps other snail predators, such as mice, shrews and other four-footed snail hunters, out. Besides, a specially manufactured network fence keeps the snails in. There are, though, many other steps of works to be done, before one snail can be settled into the new enclosure. For example excessive plant growth must be avoided without applying herbicides, that would finally reappear in the snails’ organisms.<

calcium carbonate. A snail farm can be assumed feasible with certainty where snails occur naturally. Generally, sufficient natural humidity prevailing, it is not necessary to irrigate artificially. Humidity because of dew, but also because of the natural precipitation is usually sufficient. It is because of dew that no net should be mounted against birdse the snails from an important source of water. It is, though, prudent to build perches for birdslf.<

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ood plants, such as clover, chicory, turnip rape, spinach beet and wild cabbage can be used. Only fresh green food is not sufficient. In regular periods the snails must also additionally be provided with limp plant food. Legumes naturally provide the soil with nitrates. In empty enclosures the plants are ploughed in to provide a green fertiliser. Additional artificial fertilising so becomes unnecessary.

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processed now. As in any farm keeping animals, there is no way to pass the moment where snails, on which life lots of time have been invested, have to be processed. That means, the snails have first to be collected, and then to be killed.

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ing hot water, which means an instant and almost painless death. The visceral sac with digestive gland and most of the digestive apparatus is removed, which also means that the snails have not to be starved before they are killed.

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it complicated, as the route of transport must remain short, and special transport containers are necessary, otherwise the snails will escape, in which they are specialists.

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pspir eggs, and the fat lid snails, that are collected after the start of hibernation, when they have the largest weight and are richest in content.

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utside of France begin to show interest in snail recipes. Snail farms also appear quite often in the media: Snails as such and the people who keep them are still considered a little bit queer. So snail farms tend to have a constant amount of audience.

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y and therefore is to be considered a cruelty.

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rent sources.

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