Lesson 4:
Awakening and Feeding the Breeding Stock
 
Reproduction
The awakening of the breeding stock, the process of its fattening and spawning occurs from late February to early March (it all depends on the weather) and lasts until about mid-May. This is a very important period, the success of which will determine how many snails can be moved to the field for further raising.
Snails from the breeding stock should be properly awakened after hibernation (anabiosis) and fed for some time so that they are strong enough for successful mating and egg laying. The baby snails hatch from the caviar and are moved to the field.
The breeding stock (breeder) is transferred from the refrigerator, in which it was all winter, to the previously prepared nursery with equipped tables (racks). If this is your first season of snail farming, or you did prepare it yourself, but bought a breeding stock, the purchased breeder is immediately placed in the nursery.

During the awakening and fattening of the breeder the work of 1-2 people per ton of breeding stock is needed.

The snail usually wakes up from anabiosis within 2 days. Then a certain rhythm is established in the snails: there are distinct periods of sleep and active life. Snails are nocturnal animals. At night they eat, during the day they sleep.
Step 1
1. Before spilling the breeder on the table, the bag with the snails should be placed in a tank with water at a temperature of 20-22 °C for 2-5 minutes. It can be a large trough, a tub, for example. The fact is that after hibernation (anabiosis) the snail is quite exhausted. To wake up, it needs to break the film that forms around it in the refrigerator in winter. It is easier for a weakened snail to do this if this film is soaked.
Step 2
2. After that, we spill the breeding stock on the tables. On 1 square meter of a rack (table) in the nursery the load should not be more than 10-12 kg of snails (it is somewhere up to 1 thousand snails). It is best to pour the breeding stock on the rack in the evening. By this time, all the parameters described above must be adjusted in the nursery. After spilling the breeding stock on the tables, you should watered it again, then turn off the lights and go home to sleep.
Step 3
3. The next day after the spilling of the breeding stock check how many snails have crawled on the screens (vertical films). This means that they woke up from anabiosis. You also need to see how many snails are left at the bottom of the shelves. This is the percentage who either have not yet woken up and will do so soon, or will not wake up at all because they have not survived the winter. Snails with empty shells or those that give off a pungent odor should be collected in a bucket and removed. The rest should be poured with warm water, hoping for their soon awakening.
Step 4
4. On the third day perform the same procedure. And in the evening of the third day we can start to feed a little the snails that woke up. An hour before the snail wakes up (i.e. at 18:00) it is necessary to lay out the feeders on the tables - wooden boards 20-25 mm thick and 20 cm wide. We spread special dry feed on the feeders. Fattening of the snail after waking up from anabiosis lasts 7-15 days. Let's focus on the feed for the breeder (breeding stock).

At first, the snail is given only compound feed. Then, when it is already able to lay eggs (after 7-15 days), carrots and pumpkin are added to the feed. It is believed that carrots act on snails like Viagra, and they begin to mate more actively. Pumpkins have nutrients such as zinc, phosphorus, and help the absorption of calcium, which is very important for the snail during the mating stage.

350-450 kg of carrots are needed per 1t of snail per season in the nursery (3.5 buckets per 1 ton of snail per day are given). Carrots and pumpkin are grated on a grater and added to the finished food. 1 ton of snails in this period requires about 1 ton of feed. We offer our partners to buy all kinds of feed for snails: for the breeding stock, for baby snails, and for snails in the field.


Step 5
5. After the food has been given to the snails, at about 19:00 we turn on the mist or watering for 15-30 minutes, which allows to moisturize the snails, as well as awakens them for eating (food for the breeder should be moist).
Step 6
6. It is necessary to clean the tables where the snails are daily to prevent the spread of infections. To do this, the dead snails must be removed from the tables to a bucket and taken out. If there are a lot of dead snails, they should be sent to a laboratory for analysis (for example, to the State Food and Consumer Service) to find out if they have died from an infection. Mortality of the breeding stock at a level of 2-5% is allowed.

A dead snail can be recognized by its empty shell and its pungent odor. If it is established that the cause of the plague (death) of the snail is an infection, it is necessary to add anti-disease drugs to the food (for example, the French bio-agent Pyretere, there is also a drug called Urlecon). You can also add St. John's wort, chamomile to the feed.

During fattening of the breeder a general cleaning of the nursery is done once a week. The room, floor, tables, all screens on racks are thoroughly washed, tables are pushed away from corners lest there remain any faeces and dirt on them.

A week after waking up, it is necessary to send the snail for analysis to the State Food and Consumer Service to detect infections: to see if they are sick and whether they can carry healthy eggs.


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