Grasscutter farming is gaining popularity in Africa for good reasons. 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 720 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. Why? Because you’ve been allowing opportunities to pass you by all these years!
After reading this article, you need between 6 – 12 months to make at least one million naira in this business. If not, then something is wrong with you somewhere. So, let’s get down to business and see how Grasscutter farming works
Grasscutter farming is highly profitable, more profitable than you imagined. 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 N4,000 to N5,500. Five hundred Grasscuters in a year could earn you between N2 Million to N2.75 Million.
The animal reproduces very quickly and in good numbers. A fully grown female Grasscutter after gestation, carries the pregnancy for 140 – 150 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 3.5kg for the female and 4.5kg for the male. 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.
A good number of Grasscutter is consumed yearly but most of them still comes from the wild through hunters who goes into the bush to hunt for them but usually not easy to catch, making the animal meat very scarce in the market.
Getting Started In Grasscutter Farming
Colony – Grasscutter lives in colony, two mature male doesn’t live together. 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.
Breeding – Grasscutter is kept 100% for the meat, it has to grow well and healthy in other to be profitable. 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.
Grasscutter Pen – Grasscutter don’t like sleeping where they eat! 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 180cm in length, 60cm in width and 45cm in height. Build your cage that way, separate for each colony.