This information is from a past project and whilst it is outdated it may still be a viable diversification option under the correct circumstances.
Interest in Heliciculture has been generated by a shortfall in production in
France and Eastern Europe.
There are five systems of production. The two main ones are in the
semi-intensive `Parc' system (part indoors, part outdoors) and the intensive
indoor system. It has a lower capital requirement, but experience shows this
system is not particularly suitable to the Scottish climate.
The small number of intensive units have higher capital costs, running costs
and labour requirements, but this system is, perhaps, more suited to Scottish
conditions. The output may be breeding stock, fresh edible snails, processed
snails and by-products, e.g. shells and eggs.
The two main genera are Helix and Achatina. Helix is preferred for fresh and
frozen produce, while Achatina is the main one processed. Snails reach maturity
in 10 - 20 weeks depending on the species and they can then be sold for breeding
or for the table.