PERFORMANCE OF GROWING SNAILS (Archachatina Marginata) FED MILK LEAF (Euphorbia heterophylla) SUPPLEMENTED WITH CALCIUM FROM THREE SOURCES (EGG SHELL, OYSTER SHELL AND BONE MEAL) (Published)
An experiment was conducted to study the performance of growing snails fed a basal diet of milk leaf (Euphorbia heterophylla) supplemented with calcium from three sources (egg shell, oyster shell and bone meal). A total of 120 growing snails with weight range of 100-110g were randomly allotted to four treatment groups (T1, T2, T3 and T4), replicated three times with 10 snails per replicate in a completely randomized design. The snails on T1, T2 and T3 were fed with milk leaf supplemented with egg shell, oyster shell and bone meal as calcium sources respectively. T4 consisted of snails fed with milk leaf alone. The feeding trial lasted 13 weeks. Calcium supplements analysed contained 73.6% calcium for eggshell, 59.4% calcium for oyster shell and 33.2% calcium for bone meal. The results showed that the total weight gain, shell length, shell width and shell thickness was highest with snails on egg shell (T1). Snails on bonemeal as the calcium supplement (T3) recorded the highest mortality of 40% and had the poorest performance which was similar to those of snails on control diet of milk leaf alone (T4). Comparatively, the growth performance and feed per gain in the egg shell treatment group showed that egg shell is better than oyster shell and bone meal for use as calcium supplement in snail production.
Keywords: Archachatina marginata snails, Bone meal, Egg shell, Milk leaf, Oyster shell