Short Communication: Effect of Soil Moisture Level on the growth of the Giant African Land Snails, Archachatina marginata and Achatina achatina in different season.
This study focused on the evaluation of the effect of soil moisture on the feed intake and weight gain of the Giant African Land snails, Achatina achatina and Archachatina marginata in different seasons using a 2 x 2 x 4 factorial experiment with soil moisture at two levels (low 25ml of water/ week and high 100ml water/week), species at two levels (Achatina achatina and Archachatina marginata) and season at four levels (cold dry, hot dry, hot wet and cold wet) constituting the three factors. Result showed that there was a significant seasonal differences (P<0.001) for weekly feed intake of snails in which values of 3.85, 2.53, 3.88 and 4.44g were recorded in cold dry, hot dry, hot wet and cold wet seasons, respectively. Monthly weight gains of 5.41g recorded for Archachatina marginata was significantly higher (P<0.001) than the value of 1.94g recorded for Achatina achatina. There was significant interaction (P<0.001) between soil moisture level and species on monthly weight gains of the snails. The feed intake and weight gain of snails (4.28 g and 6.43 g) in the high soil moisture treatment was significantly (P<0.01) higher than those in the low soil moisture treatment (3.07 g and 5.30 g). In conclusion, it is evident that species, season and soil moisture level affected the feed intake and weight gain of the Giant African Land Snails.
Keywords: Soil moisture, season, species, feed intake, weight gain and Giant African Land snails