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PROJECT TOPIC: ENVIRONMENTAL VARIATIONS AND PRODUCTIVITY INDICES OF TWO ECOTYPES OF GIANT AFRICAN LAND SNAILS (GALS) FED DRIED MORINGA OLEIFERA LEAF MEAL

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CHAPTER ONE

  • INTRODUCTION

Body weight is one of the growth parameter used to measure growth rate in animals. Esmiger and Olentine Akanni et al (2007) and Akanni(2012) stated that growth in terms of body weight gain is the most widely used growth index from birth to maturity. Ibon (2009) however reported that the weight of a Juvenile Snail at hatch is the first indicator of hatchlings growth rate and is useful as a starting point for measuring subsequent growth. The author further stated that body parameters (shell length, shell width and shell thickness) and aperture (shell “mouth’) parameters indices can be take at hatch and used to measure subsequent snail growth and growth rate. According to Holness (1991) and Akanni (2012) growth is measured as an increase in body weight over time and is largely dependent on the amount of nutrient supply, coupled with the specific tissue. According to Oguike and Okocha (2007) change in body weight relative to the initial weight of animal is referred to as growth rate, the author further stated that growth rate is influenced by such factors as genetics, nutrients, diseases and hormone. Fiat Zhurgh (1976) sated that body weight has been used by both local sellers/buyers and researchers as a parameter for selection. Besides Osinowo etal (2007) reported that growth rate in giant land snails, Archachantina marginata and Achatina archatina has generated interest among Nigerian researchers as farmers demand recipes for raising snails to market weight in less time. The junile phase (1-2months)­­ to sexual maturity (14-26months) is the phase during which every rapid growth takes place in snails (Cobbinah, 1993). The growth rate of snails varies considerably between individuals  each population group. In the same vain the author also reported that snails  differences in growth rate, weight gain, and shell growth correlate positively with feed intake in snails. Amisan and Omidiji (1998) and omole and Kehinde (2005) reported that the body traits of snails that can be used in the assessment of growth rate are the phenotypic qualities, especially the shell that is readily seen (Ibom, 2009). This can be measured in terms of length, width and thickness. Omole and Kehinde (2005), reported that snails increases as the body size increases and that the shell makes up 30-40% of the whole body of weight, as et al. Okon etal (2010a) and Okon etal (2010b) reported highly significant positive correlations among the morphometric traits of F1 crossed and albino (white skinned) hatchlings (Achachatina Maginata). A correlation between body weight and shell measurements can serve as important factor in marketing, and breeders can use it as guide to improve market value or quality of breeding stocks.



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