Most of the developing  countries of  the  world,  especially  Africa is currently  been plagued  with  the alarming  drop in per capita and  food production, particularly in the last few  decades (Osho et al., 2007). The food deficient situation is indeed more serious with protein deficiency when compared to the availability of calories.

            The alarming  increase  in population implies  that many people require the supply  of protein in their  diet because of its important role in  human well  being which include growth, maintenance of  hormonal  and enzymatic activities   and improvement of the defense  mechanism of the  body (Ademolu et al., 2004).

             Most of the conventional animal protein sources like beef, goat, pork and mutton have become too expensive for an average citizen. These major sources are being affected by persistent drought, diseases, high cost of feeds, primitive animal husbandry techniques and low productivity of local animal breeds. There is need for intensive system of snail rearing instead of gathering snails from the bushes (Ademosum, 1991).

            It has been observed that snails collected from the wild cannot meet man’s demand as a source of animal protein. Hence there is need to rear them on household and commercial   basis.
            Omole  et al (2000)  reported  that different  breeds  of snails are found in Nigeria  and they are characterized  by their  best efficiency  of nutrient  transformation into quality   protein. 

            Snail   meat is a high quality food that is rich in protein, low in fats and very rich in iron (Orisawuyi, 1989). It also contains calcium, magnesium and zinc (Ademosun et al., 2004).

            Imevbore and Ademosun (1988) assessed the nutritive value of snail meat and discovered that it has a protein content of 88.37%.
            This value compared favourably with conventional animal protein sources whose value ranges from 82.42% (pork) to 92.75% (beef).
            Akinnusi (1998) reported that snail meat contains 70% water while its dry matter is high in essential amino acids such as lysine, leucine, arginine, tryptophan and also 30% minerals. Snail is also a source of calcium or the phosphate which is a chemical substance for curing kidney disease (Imeubore and Ademosun, 1988).

            The main problem facing farmers in rearing of snails is non availability of food that will meet the nutrient requirement of snails at cheaper cost.  This problem of non availability of food has resulted to slow growth which can be addressed through improved nutrition.

1.2       Objectives of the study
            The objectives of the study were to:
1.      Determine the growth performance of growing snails fed diets supplemented with mulberry and siam weed.
2.      Evaluate the cost benefit analysis of the treatment.

1.3       Justification of the study
            The high cost of conventional feed materials like soya bean meal  and fish meal  which seems  to be the  chief  supplier of protein to livestock  diet  has  intensified  the search for non-conventional feed stuffs  that a re cheaper and easily  accessible. Morus alba (mulberry plant ) and chromolaena  odorata (siam wee) are two promising  tropical plants  with high protein  content of about 18.6% and 18.7%  respectively (Shayo, 1997).

            Mulberry plant  is a perennial plant  which is usually  cultivated  as  mono crop for its leaf to  rear silk worm  majorly  (Gunasekhar et al., 1998).  Its protein quality is comparable to those of soya bean meal (Machily, 1989).  Mulberry leaves are sometimes eaten as vegetable and are useful as animal food supplement. It serves as a cattle fodder and helps to improve milk yield of diary animals (Reed, 1976; Rojas and Benavides, 1994; Oviedo et al.,  1994; Esquivel et al.,  1996 and Gonzaloz et al., 2008).

            Chromoleana odorata belongs to the family Asteraceae.  Its common names are Awolowo, independent weed or skin weed (Okon and Amalu, 2003). It is used as a ruminant feed because of its high protein content  and less anti-nutritional  factor (Iwu, 1993).
            The major constraints to the use  of leaf meal  of both plants   mulberry and siam weed in feeding   of animals  is the presence of anti-nutritional factors   (Checke and Myer, 1975) and this probably  could be avoided by  adopting  proper harvesting and sundrying  procedures (Fasuyi et al.,  2005).  However, much literatures have not been cited  on the effect of   mulberry and chromoleana leaf meals on the growth  performance of African giant  land snail, hence,  the need for this study. 


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