How to protect snails during dry season–Scientist

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Dr Yemi Popoola, an animal scientist has urged snail farmers to build shed over their pens with insulators to reduce heat stress during the dry season.

Popoola, who is of the Institute of Agricultural Research and Training (IAR&T), Ibadan, spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday.

According to him, the shed will reduce heat conduction by over 50 per cent and save more than half of the snails’ stockings from dying from heat in the dry season.

He said that there was need for moist environment for snails to survive and mulch materials to make the animal feel comfortable.

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Popoola also said there was the need for farmers to deploy rudiment of moistening the soil.

“Snails are invertebrate cold-blooded and nocturnal animals that are active in the night or at dusk. They live in cool environment under leaves or stones in their natural environment.

“It has been discovered that snails are very dormant during the dry season; they become increasingly scarce and the market is starved of adequate supply until the next wet season.

“This makes snail supply seasonal in some parts of Africa where they serve as food.  Farmers should give it adequate care during the period to curtail the challenges,” he said.

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The animal scientist emphasised that good housing equipped with adequate water and feed facilities were essential inputs to improve productivity of ruminants during the dry season.

He said that planting of multipurpose forage trees around the animal’s house to reduce heat stress and ensuring regular water supply from wells, bore holes and dams were critical.

“Farmers should embark on improved nutritional management practices that are suitable such as establishment of pasture and utilising adequate irrigation facilities to ensure rapid vegetative growth and continuous supply of quality forages,” he added. (NAN)

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