What is a grasscutter? A grasscutter is a rodent of the rat family that can be found in the wild mostly in West Africa. They used to be hunted but it can now be reared domestically. Why should you start a grasscutter farm? It is highly profitable People in both rural and urban areas like grasscutter meat. The demand is on the rise.

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Greater Cane Rat popularly known as Grasscutter belongs to the rodent family and is very closely related to the porcupine, almost look alike except that porcupine is bigger. The spiny fur on the back and rounded nose distinguish Grasscutter from true rats. It reaches a length of about mm when fully matured. Grasscutter farming can make you at least N3million per year if you take it serious.

So, how do you start Grasscutter farming in Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, South Africa or any part of west Africa where this animal is most fond of? This article will address that. Grasscutter is one of the animal that is extremely suitable for commercial rearing. If you are in the village and still complaining about money, you need to be brought out to the village square and be given 24 strokes of cane on a hot afternoon.

If not, then something is wrong with you somewhere. The meat is widely consumed allover the West Africa region and beyond, making it one of the top 10 animals whose meat is in highest demand in the market. A market ready Grasscutter is sold between N4, to N5, Five hundred Grasscuters in a year could earn you between N2 Million to N2. The animal reproduces very quickly and in good numbers. A fully grown female Grasscutter after gestation, carries the pregnancy for — days and deliver about twice a year.

Each pregnancy produces average of four to seven young ones. Sometimes up to ten, that means one female Grasscutter could produce 8 — 20 other Grasscutters in a year It grows big and very fast too. Grasscutter is one of the biggest rodent in Africa. A fully mature female or male that is ready for market weighs between 3.

While measuring 45cm to 60cm in body length. The standing height is between 25 to 30cm. The body size of a fully grown male is about the size of a nine inches block. Therefore, start with a male and few females together. A colony should consists of one male and three to four females. Your capacity determine how many colony you wants to start with. A small farmer may start with one or two colony, with the arrangement of one male and 3 females in each colony.

To achieve this, a new farmer must lay emphasis on the choice of breeding stock. Each colony must have a very health male. The male is the engine of reproduction, a healthy male makes a healthy stock.

While selecting the male, pay attention on the well being, good weight gain in male animals is a very important factors that determine how healthy it is. In any case, both the male and female stock you are selecting for breeding purpose must be healthy. While a healthy, strong, agile male animal should be selected for breeding programs, if the female is not genetically healthy too, it will also affect the breeding stocks. To ensure that you achieve the best possible result, both has to be healthy.

If you are providing them house you must put this factor into consideration — either cage or house, you must provide steeping place and dinning and playing place. They can be breed either in a properly build cages or in a house specially designed for them. Grasscutter is sensitive to good habitat, for a colony 1 male and 3 females the dimension of the cage should be cm in length, 60cm in width and 45cm in height.

Build your cage that way, separate for each colony. Grasscutter Cage Picture If you are using walled pen or house, make sure you build it in such way that the place they eat must be separate from where they sleep. Also the production building must be designed to protect the animals from excess temperature and humidity.

Make sure their house are built is a safe place and you must also be wary of human thieves. To protect them from the invasion of soldier ants, you may pour black engine oil around their houses, especially at night during raining season mostly. The floor should be overlay with dry soft grasses to protect their feet from being hurt and to provide them soft cushy play ground condition.

Their major food is Elephant or Napier grass. They also love Sugar cane and most farmers use sugar cane mainly for their feeding, Guinea grass, Gamba grass, Congo grass.

According to experience farmers, Hygiene and good feeding are the most important factors for successful, profitably Grasscutter farming. The root and pitch of oil and coconut palms, bark of the anacardium and fruits such as half ripen pawpaw, plantain, pineapple, mango etc are their delight.

Food crops such as groundnut, rice, maize, grain legume, tubers like cassava, sweet potato etc also make part of their food, stressed the grasscutter farmer. The farmer also stated that grasscutter feed on palm wine and that is why they destroy oil palm plantation.

They take their water mostly from the field and go to the river during the dry season only. But when domesticated, you can give them water by adding some attractant to it. Cane rate it should be noted does not dig a hole and cannot climb a tree either, he further stressed.

The rooms or cages where you keep them must neither be too cold nor too hot. Environment that is suitable for human is considered suitable for Grasscutters. Weaning time — With good, adequate feeding, the grasscutter kids can be weaned between four to eight weeks. But as a family, they can be with the mother for four months.

The kids can be separated from the mother between five to seven months and place with a male to mate with them. The weaned animals can be mated at the age of between seven to eight months from birth. Indefinite mating is expected to have taken place when the weaned male Grasscutter is seven months old and the female is eight months.

The indefinite mating period is days. But if after days of separation from the male, there is still no sign of pregnancy , then it should be taken back to the male for proper mating. Usually there should also be an extra male that can serve the same purpose. Grasscutter meat or Bush meat is probably the most desirable animal meet in the market. Everyone loves it and it sells very fast.

Big restaurants uses it to prepare high priced delicacies. Full meat of a mature Grasscutter goes for N4, in the market and the market women who trade on it are always in demand of it. It will take combined efforts of thousands of farmers to fill the need for bush meat in the market in Africa right now. Grasscutter is a fast reproducing animal and starts mating with 7 months after birth.

It gives birth twice yearly and produce at a time. That means, if you have females that gives birth twice in a year, you would be having to 1, in your farm within just a year! Such number will bring you nothing less than N5 Million when they are matured for marketing.


How To Start A Lucrative Grasscutter Farming Business: The Comprehensive Guide

The director noted that the rodent, if properly domesticated, would make the meat a delicacy readily available to consumers, and would also serve as source of employment for grasscutter hunters, and consequently lead to the protection of the environment as well. The director explained that rearing of grassutter did not require huge capital as they were mostly kept in simple cages, on a small land mass such that, even if the owner did not have a big compound to accommodate them, it would still not interfere with their ability to rear the rodent. Mr Yeboah urged the farmers in the region to abide by the nutritional demands of the rodent and make sure they were well fed, as such practice would translate into high production, which would improve the income of the farmers. Touching on the progress of grasscutter rearing in Ghana, Professor Miho Inoue-Murayama of the Kyoto University said the project, which started in the Upper West Region, had trickled down to other areas such that a lot more people were patronising the practice. For his part, a researcher with GIfT, Mr Titus Dery, stated a survey conducted by his outfit indicated that some rearers in the region had nutritional gaps when it came to the consumption of meat, saying although they reared the animals, they did not consume much of them.


How To Start Grasscutter Farming In Ghana. Complete Guide

In setting it up, you must separate the region they sleep from the region they carry out any other form of activity. This is especially important because grasscutters hate to sleep where they feed. When placing grasscutters in their pens, you should ensure that each colony would be about 1 male to 4 to 6 females. Two fully grown males cannot live together, and would fight till one is dead. In constructing your grasscutter cages, ensure it adheres to a close dimension of cm in length, 60cm in width, and 45cm in height. They should all contain separate grasscutter colonies, and be built in such a way that the temperature remains stable at all times.


‘Add grasscutter rearing to RFJs’

Greater Cane Rat popularly known as Grasscutter belongs to the rodent family and is very closely related to the porcupine, almost look alike except that porcupine is bigger. The spiny fur on the back and rounded nose distinguish Grasscutter from true rats. It reaches a length of about mm when fully matured. Grasscutter farming can make you at least N3million per year if you take it serious.

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