Effect of feed on the growth rate of African giant land snail, Archachatina marginata Swainson
The effects of three feed combinations on the growth rate of the African Giant snail, Archachatina marginata, were investigated at the snailery unit of Forestry and Wildlife Department of University of Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria. Growth parameters measured included; changes in snail weight, shell length and shell height. The experiment consisted of three treatments replicated thrice with ten snails in each replicate. The experiment was laid out using the Complete Randomize Design (CRD). Result shows that Treatment A had the highest bi-monthly mean values of 2.47g for weight, 0.15cm for shell length and 0.13cm for shell height; followed by treatment B with 1.79g, 0.12cm and 0.10cm for weight, shell length and shell height respectively. Treatment C (control) had the least bi-monthly mean values for weight (1.50g), shell length (0.11cm) and shell height (0.07cm). Significant differences (p<0.05) were recorded for all the treatments for gain in weight, shell length and shell height. Therefore, it was concluded that feed combination of treatment A was well balanced in terms of dietary energy and protein densities resulting from its high acceptability to the animals which is responsible for the optimum performance indices recorded. It is recommended that the rearing of snails should be practiced in small farms where these crops are grown. Pawpaw fruit should be used as a part of feed combinations served snails; efforts should be made to ensure that soils rich in nutrients are used for snail rearing.
Keywords: growth rate, feed combination, height, length, snail, weight