Effects of Protein Levels on the Growth Performance of Giant African Land Snails (Achatina achatina) in Captivity

  •  Tchowan Guy Merlin    
  •  Ngoula Ferdinand    
  •  Kenfack Augustave    
  •  Tchoumboue Joseph    


In order to preserve and conserve the Giant African Land Snails, a study was carried out between September 2015 and January 2017 at the University of Buea (South-West Region, Cameroon), to assess the effect of protein level on the characteristics of growth of Achatina achatina in captivity. 90 young snails of one month old, weighing between 1 and 1.5 g, of shell length between 15.5-23.85 mm and shell diameter between 12.60-16.85 mm and free from wounds or shell defects were divided into 3 groups of 5 snails each and 6 replicates in cages equipped with feeders and drinking troughs. Each treatment was randomly assigned to one of the experimental feed with variable protein levels (20, 22 and 24%) in addition to pawpaw leaves as a staple feed. These were previously weighed as well as the remnants using a 0.5g precision balance. The cultured substrates were watered daily (0.50 liter/substrate). At the beginning of the test, and then every week, the snails were weighed, and shell measurements done using a digital caliper of 0.05 mm accuracy. The animals were monitored for fourteen months. The results show that feed intake (3.01±1.57), weight gain (24.50±5.72), daily weight gain (0.058±0.016), gain of shell length (30.26±4.19) were significantly higher (P < 0.05) in snails receiving 24% protein in the diet compared to snails from the other treatments. The highest consumption index was recorded in snails receiving 20% protein in the diet but the statistical analyses did not find any significant difference. In conclusion, the protein level of 24% can be retained in the diet of growing snails.

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