Lesson 1:
Organization of the Process of Harvesting the Snails
 
Harvesting
From the beginning of September, you should look closely at the snails in the field, so as not to miss the moment when you need to start harvesting. You can start collecting them when at least 80% of the first grade snails are under the pallet. The 1st grade meets the following parameters:
  • weight of 1 snail 12-14 g;
  • hard shell;
  • the presence of a hard cap (lip) in a snail.

A hard cap is a sure sign that it's time to harvest. Because it hardens last, after the shell has hardened.
More about Harvesting
Collecting snails is a very responsible and rather time consuming process. It includes not only the collection itself, but also washing, drying and sorting of snails. In general, this process can take from a few weeks to 1.5 months. It all depends on the area of the farm, the number of people involved and the organizational characteristics of the harvest.

Per 1 ha of the field involved in snail farming, 12-15 people are needed for the harvest period. It is advisable that they work full time, 8 hours, with breaks for rest and lunch, of course. Seasonal workers are usually hired for the harvesting period. They can work by the hour, by the day, or get paid for the number of kilograms of the snails collected.

Before the beginning of the process of collecting snails, 1-2 days prior, you should stop feeding them. This is done so that the snails can empty their stomachs before washing and drying. But they still need to be watered, because if you do not do it, they become excessively dry, so when the worker lifts the pallet during the collection they fall onto the ground, which can cause injury to their shells.
How Does the Collection Process Itself Take Place?
The workers go out into the field, carrying boxes, buckets, nets. The requirements for this inventory will be described below. Each worker is given gloves and sticks that will act as a pallet lock as it is lifted to collect the snails. 1-2 workers approach each pallet, lift it and support it with a stick. Then they pour the snails from the pallet into a bucket. It is important not to throw the snail from a height or a considerable distance into the bucket, as this may damage its shell (it may burst or crack).

When the bucket is full, the collected snails are poured into the nets, and already in the nets they are placed in boxes. Full boxes with snails are taken to the place where the snails will be washed. 4 nets of snails are placed into 1 box.

Once all the snails have been collected from the pallet, the workers must collect the snails left on the ground and on the grass.

After that, the grass in the sector is mowed and removed from the field, the pallets are also removed from the field and stacked in one place. The snails that have been missed and not collected will no longer be here, as they need the pallets' protection from the wind and sun, as well as grass to survive. Therefore, they migrate to as yet uncollected sectors or slide to the sides along the perimeter of the field. They should also be collected from these boards.

Requirements for equipment used during harvesting:
Tools for Collecting
It is best to use the boxes in which vegetables are sold in the markets. Those are black boxes measuring 50x30x22 cm.
A special net is used for the snail, it is usually yellow. It is sold in 2000 meter reels, the width at a cross stretching of 42-45 cm, a cell of 5х5 mm (that prevents the smaller snails from getting out).
The strength of such a net is 50 kg of tear per 1 meter. Nets should be cut at 1 meter. We supply such nets to our partners.
5 liter buckets should be used. They can hold about 3 kg of snails.
It should be understood that collecting snails is not an easy and rather monotonous work. Therefore, employees should know everything about the organization of this process and the requirements for their work. Be sure to conduct detailed training.
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