There are tons of excellent reasons why Grasscutter farming is increasingly gaining popularity in Africa. Greater Cane Rat better referred to as Grasscutter belongs to the rodent family and is extremely closely associated with the porcupine. they appear alike, but the porcupine is greater . The spiny fur on the rear and rounded nose distinguish Grasscutter from true rats. It reaches a length of about 720 mm when fully mature.d Grasscutter farming will cause you to a minimum of N3million annually if you are taking it serious.
Grasscutter farming – a manual for beginners
Grasscutter Cage or Pen?
The grasscutter pen or house has got to be built to be adequately spacious. In setting it up, you want to separate the region they sleep from the region they perform the other sort of activity. this is often especially important because grasscutters hate to sleep where they feed.
When placing grasscutters in their pens, you ought to make sure that each colony would be about 1 male to 4 to six females. Two adult males cannot live together, and would fight till one is dead. But by inserting a colony of 1 male to about four females during a cage, you will be assured that they’d live peacefully and have a rich replica rate.
In constructing your grasscutter cages, ensure it adheres to an in depth dimension of 180cm long , 60cm in breadth , and 45cm tall . they ought to all contain separate grasscutter colonies and be inbuilt such how that the temperature remains stable in the least times. Additionally the cage need to keep the colonies secure from potential pests like snakes, soldier ants, and humans. you’ll guarantee ants don’t got any access by running engine oils around their pens and shut areas; particularly throughout the season .
Choosing a Breed
In selecting the grasscutter breed you would like to rear, it’s vital to settle on one that’s most demanded for in your country or that’s accepted within the regions you plan to ship bent . The Thryonomys Swinderianus for instance are very fashionable in West Africa , whereas the Thryonomys Gregorianus are most well liked in Central and East Africa .
Once you’ve determined what breed you plan to rear, you’ll purchase 4 healthy females and 1 large and healthy male for a start to form one colony. The healthy state of your grasscutters is crucial to assist rapid reproduction. Since fertility is that the most vital thing in rearing animals, confirm you’ll purchase the healthiest grasscutters you’ll find.
If you’re operating with a very massive budget, you will be ready to purchase many colonies to start out with.
Feeding the Grasscutters
Feeding your grasscutters may be a lot cheaper than the other livestock . Since they’re fruit-eating animals, the majority of their diet lies majorly on grass. the foremost common grasses they’re fed with are napier grass or Elephant grass. they will even be fed with Congo grass, Guinea grass, groundnut, maize, cassava, sweet potato, rice, legumes, plantain, paw paw, pineapple, roots of oil & coconut palms, and most significantly , sugar cane.
Due to the regular feeding with rich (healthy) meals in the least intervals of your grasscutters , they will gain weight quickly and reach market size within a brief time.
The cane rats typically wish to drink liquid with artificial tastes, e.g palm wine (which is essentially why they destroy feather palm plantations). during a privately grown setting, they’ll be fed with water that has little or no additives in it.
The grasscutters within the weaning stage can stick with their mothers for about four to eight weeks. But when they’re within the wild or moving together as a family, they will all be with their mothers for up to four months. By the time they’re about seven – eight months old, they will be separated from their mothers and placed with the mature opposite gender, for mating to occur.
The male grasscutters reach their pairing stage at the age of seven months, whereas the females reaching their pairing stage once they’re about eight months old. The mating period should last 140 days, and will be resorted with different males if after 160 days, the feminine grasscutters show no signs of pregnancy.
Grasscutters are generally great for rearing due to their fast reproduction rate which begins about seven months after birth. they will be about 4 to 10 babies per reproduction cycle, which usually happens twice a year. With their market value going for as high as 7,000 Naira for every animal, 10 females could give birth to 200 grasscutters during a year, which might make about ₦1,400,000.
1. Initial Start-up Capital (In Naira);
2. 1 Colony = 5 grasscutters (1 male & 4 females) = ₦55,000;
3. 5 Colonies = 25 grasscutters = ₦275,000;
4. Cage/Housing = ₦80,000 for five colonies;
5. Feeding Cost = ₦40,000 per year;
TOTAL = ₦395,000.
Expected Income (In Naira)
1. 1 female gives birth to a mean of 4 to 10 grasscutters in half-dozen months.
2. 5 females can provide you with a mean of 20 to 50 grasscutters within half-dozen months.
3. 20 grasscutters x 5 colonies = 100 grasscutters within 6 months.
4. In 1 year, you’ll expect a minimum of 200 grasscutters.
5. The grasscutters weigh between 6 to 10kg at maturity.
6. Assuming you sell each for ₦7,000;
7. ₦7,000 x 200 = ₦1,400, 000.
Challenges of Grasscutter Farming
The major challenges of grasscutter farming are the technicalities involved in running a grasscutter farm and also the danger of pests and diseases.
Grasscutter farming is one of the usually overlooked agribusinesses that flips in high revenues. With only about 0.2% grown domestically out of about 80,000 tonnes of grasscutters consumed yearly in Nigeria, the opportunities for scale exceeds most farmers’ expectations.
If you’re unsure of an agribusiness to venture into and you’d like something relatively simple, less expensive to run, and still extremely profitable, grasscutter farming could also be the simplest bet for you.