Effect of different protein levels on the growth performance of African giant land snail (Achatina achatina) fed soybean meal based diets
AbstractThe effect of different protein levels on the growth performance of African giant land snail (Achatina achatina) fed soybean meal based diets was investigated at the Snail Teaching and Research Unit of the Department of Animal Science Teaching and Research Farm, University of Nigeria, Nsukka. Sixty four (64) snails of 4 weeks old African giant land snail (Achatina achatina) with initial average weight of 1.71-1.84g, were randomly divided into four groups of 16 snails each. The groups were randomly assigned to diets at four crude protein levels (16, 18, 20 and 22%) in a completely randomized design (CRD). Treatments were replicated twice with 8 snails per replicate placed in plastic baskets measuring 30cm in diameter and 13cm in height with hot water-treated loamy soil at 5cm depth. Feed and
water were provided ad libitum for 16 weeks. Results showed that there were significant (P<0.05) differences among treatments in feed intake, final body weight, weight gain, feed conversion ratio, average shell length and average shell width. Snails fed diets containing 16, 18, 20 and 22% crude protein had FBW of 8.35g, 8.36g, 8.98g and 10.04g, respectively; weight gain of 6.51g, 6.55g, 7.18g and 8.33g, respectively and feed intake of 12.61g, 12.14g, 8.09g and 14.16g, respectively. There were no significant differences (P.0.05) among treatments in initial body weight, protein efficiency ratio, average shell weight, average visceral weight, average edible weight and feed cost per kg weight gain. The results obtained in this study show that dietary protein level of about 22% is adequate for the growth of African giant land snails (Achatina achatina) in the humid tropics.