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visit of my breeding system

(attention, my aim is to obtain a particular stock, don't follow this method for usual breeding purpose ! )

 

reproduction:

from March to beginning of June. The breeders are put by pairs in flowers- stands of 50 cm in length placed in a greenhouse. This one is not heated apart from the effect of greenhouse, it is only maintained out-of frost with a thermostated electric heating. The possible excess of heat is avoided by automatic aerators. The couples which did not give a descent during the spring and which are particularly interesting, are again put to reproduce at the end of August, mainly if it is a problem of cycle of life according to their origin.

 

greenhouse

greenhouse (detail)

the photographs were taken in August the flowers stands contain on this date either the future isolated reproducers, or the snail couples which did not have a descent during spring; I can put a hundred boxes.

breeding box 1

breeding box 2

the plastic bottle protects food from watering, the blue stopper is used as trough in this box we observe a laying

The number of the box  is also the number of the couple which it contains, " 23 " for example, and the descendants of the couple 23 of the year 1999 will carry numbers 99-23-1, 99-23-2, 99-23-3 etc...

incubation:

Eggs are left in the pot of laying, I check simply their presence by removing the stopper left by the laying snail. The pots, numbered in their turn, are put to incubate in the garage, in a heated cupboard which is always at 20░C (69 ░F) with thermostat,  and with a transparent lid which avoids dehydration, and will retain the small babies...

incubator

nursery:

the pot of laying, with its small snails just hatched and stuck under the lid, is placed in a flower stand of 50 cm identical to those used for the couples, but equipped with another way:

nursery box

there is a bottom of compost, thick from 3 to 4 cm, quite wet.

The nursery is done in the greenhouse, the flower stand sheltering the small babies of a couple replacing that of this couple. It lasts 3 weeks on average.

final growth:

Each family is isolated and is thus placed in an individual pen of small size.

pen (detail)

  

very small pen

this pen measures 123 cm out of 65, its surface of 0.80 m▓ enables it to contain to 160 snails, that is to say a complete family generally this very small pen measures 60 cm by 30 and can thus contain only one sample of 30 snails from a family
global survey

 

selection:

the future reproducers are preselected mainly according to their size,  the color of their shell (character unicolor) and their speed of growth, at a rate of 3 to 5 or 6 per family, according to the estimated total performances of the family. They must be virgin (for pedigree), which implies their insulation rather early.

Preselected snails hibernate then in small individual boxes. Their quantity is higher than that of the reproducers really used during following Spring, to face a possible mortality and to keep any possibility of choice.

During the winter, I can study the passed season, and thus establish the plan of the pairing for the following season, by taking of account the real performances of each family (size, color, percentage of adult...) and for minimizing the rate of consanguinity. Foreign snails, often 25% of the whole number of reproducers, are introduced to this aim, and in order to bring various particular qualities. The total number of couples is about 60 currently, the rate of consanguinity remains very low. Results of this method are good, but it is heavy and does not allow manual management : the performances listing and the pedigree are computerized.

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