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Utilisation of snail meal as a protein supplement in poultry diets

  • S.S. DIARRA (a1)


There are several species of snail with varying nutrient profile. The protein content of snail meal (53-83%) is comparable to or higher than fish meal. Apart from lower methionine, the essential amino acids composition of snail protein is similar to fish meal and better than soybean meal. The fat of snail meal is high in polyunsaturated fatty acids and has a good supply of essential fatty acids (linoleic, linolenic and arachidonic acids) and minerals. These qualities make the meal a suitable substitute for more expensive, conventional protein feedstuffs. The variability in nutritional content, potential presence of anti-nutritional factors (cyanide, tannins and saponins) and the seasonal availability of snails (mainly during the moist season) are major factors limiting the use of snail meal in poultry diets on a commercial scale. However, heat processed snail meal could be effectively utilised for practical on-farm feed applications to reduce cost and provide an environmentally friendly method of controlling snails, especially where they are major agricultural pests. In suitable regions, snails could be intensively bred to ensure the availability of the meal in commercial quantities for poultry feeding. Heat processed snail meal is recommended at 10% in the diet of meat and egg-type chickens but raw snail meal is not. The composition of snail meal (nutritional and anti-nutritional properties), recommendations in diets for domestic chickens, results of some feeding experiments and major constraints to its efficient utilisation are discussed in the following paper.


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World's Poultry Science Journal
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