Grasscutter farming in Nigeria is a very profitable business that is gradually becoming popular in Nigeria due to the large market for it. It is also known as Cane Rat or bush meat.
Grasscutter belongs to the rodent family and looks much like the porcupine. Grasscutter is good for commercial rearing because it is fast reproducing and reaches the reproduction age when it is seven months. It reproduces two times a year and can give birth to roughly seven kids at a time.
Grasscutter sells for roughly five thousand naira. You can make millions of naira from the farm in a year depending on the size of your farm.
What Is Grasscutter Farming?
Grasscutter farming is the rearing of grasscutters for domestic and commercial purposes. Naturally, grasscutters doesn’t grow on farmlands. They commonly live in the meadows, clearings, muddy territories, reed-beds, and river banks of sub-saharan Africa and are normally caught by hunters from their natural environment and marketed.
The difficulties involved in the hunting practice and the explosive market for this rodent resulted in commercial rearing or farming of grasscutters.
Grasscutters grows big and very fast. It is one of the largest rodents in Africa. A fully grown male weighs roughly 4.5 kg while a fully grown female weighs roughly 3.5 kg. The mature male grows as much as the size of a nine inches block.
Starting Grasscutter Farming
Grasscutter lives in colony and a colony must not contain two matured males. It will result to fighting until one kills the other. You can start with one male and roughly three to five females in a colony.
Grasscutter is mostly breaded for meat production although it is also used in the medical and pharmaceutical industry. To be profitable, you must be able to grow the grasscutter to a good and marketable size within a short space of time.
Your choice of the breed determines greatly your production rate. The Thryonomys Swinderianus are most popular in West Africa whereas the Thryonomys Gregorianus are most popular in Central and East Africa.
Grasscutter don’t like sleeping and eating in the same place. If you are building a pen for them, you must provide both sleeping and feeding and playing space for them.
The greatest threats to Grasscutter are Snakes and Soldier Ants. Ensure you build their house in a safe place and as well guard your farm from human predators.
Grasscutters are herbivorous animals. This means their source of food is mostly herbs like Elephant grass or Napier grass. They as well like sugar cane and the majority of farmers feed their grass cutter. They also feed on Guinea grass, Gamba grass, and Congo grass.
Hygiene and good feeding are very essential to successful farming and rearing of Grasscutter. To make the male grow to marketable size faster, you can feed it with broiler’s finisher or broiler starter’s feed for fattening it.
They also feed on the root and pitch of oil and coconut palms, bark of the anacardium and fruits like half ripen pawpaw, plantain, pineapple, and mango and so on.
Food crops like groundnut, rice, maize, grain, legume, tubers like cassava, sweet potato and so on are as well used for feeding grasscutter.
When you feed grasscutter very well, a kid of grass cutter can be weaned between four to eight weeks. The baby grasscutter can be allowed with the mother for four months. They are usually separated from the mother between five to seven months and mated.
Market value of grasscutter
Grasscutter is reared for two major reasons:
Grasscutter meat is of a very high demand in Nigeria.
Grasscutters is used in medicine due to the high concentration of insulin in their pancreas which is extracted and used in the treatment of diabetes. Eating grasscutter meat as well is beneficial for hypertensive patients.
Grasscutter Farming In Nigeria
- Grasscutter is a good means of income and employment.
- It is good source of protein.
- It is less expensive to rear than poultry, fish, or pig farming.
- It has medicinal uses.
- The feed is not costly. They can be fed with only grass
- It can be reared at the backyard
- They sell very fast and at a good price
- The demand for it is more than the supply.
- They can be reared as pets.
The grasscutter species suitable for Grasscutter Farming
· Thryonomys Swinderianus (T.S)
· Thryonomys Gregorianus (T.G.)