Joblessness and insufficient income can be a thing of the past
The main reason grasscutters are now preferred by some farmers for rearing purposes is because they are easy to house and you don’t buy food for them as you do in fish, poultry and pig farming.
Grasscutter is also called is a stress-free, profitable venture that will stimulate fast income without having to go to bed with one eye opened like say poultry business.
grasscutter farming is not as popular in Nigeria like other animals or livestock farming, nonetheless, it is a reliable fast income generating venture that many is yet to realize. “It is more assuring than poultry business which could bring fortune to you in the day, but could also bring unexpected problem suddenly to the extent that if care is not taken, one may run into serious financial crisis as well as other problems, he declared.”
grasscutter meat as a good, nutritious and medicinal delicacy for hypertensive patient in almost all the countries in the West Africa sub-region with the meat now receiving higher attention and prices compared to beef, poultry and goat meat.
“I advise any retiree or any individual looking for viable, profitable farming venture to go into grasscutter farming. Even President Obasanjo is now a grasscutter farmer. He realized the future in it and has invested heavily in it. As a producer of domesticated grasscutter meat, you are already a silent millionaire as I am also. It is not a child’s play but a reality and I encourage many people to join the millionaire’s club and take good advantage of the large market for this product, which few of us in it cannot meet the growing demand of the meat, he stated.”
General description of grasscutter
Grasscutter (Thryonomys swinderianus) also known as canerat among some people is one of the best animals now domesticated in Nigeria as well as in other sub-Sahara part of Africa. With grasscutter farming, income generation and making from the initial establishment would continue to accumulate because it is fast generation of income.
The animal has many traditional names depending on the tribe. Among the Yorubas, it is known as Oya, while some people called it Obije, Nohi as well as Gafya. It is a heavy, compact and the largest African rodent after the porcupine (Hystrix Cristata).
When fully grown, the body length varies between 42 and 58cm. its tail measure between 22 and 25cm and standing height is between 23 to 30cm. The average adult weight is 3kg for female and 4.5kg for adult males.
new entrants are advised to start with two families. A family consists of one male to four females. “In all, farmers can start with eight females and two males (i.e. ten in all) because of various risks.
Housing: Grasscutters are neat animals that live in a room and parlor. “Where they eat, they will not sleep there. Therefore the house should be neat and be cleansed every day which will assist their best performance.
They can be bred either in cages, under an intense management system or in a walled enclosure under a semi-intense management system. For example, for five animals, (i.e. 4 females and 1 male), the dimension of the cage should be 180cm in length, 60cm in breadth and 45cm high).
Also the production building must be designed to protect the animals from extreme of temperature and humidity. Predators and thieves must also be waded off from their house.
The house should also facilitate breeding management operations. It should encourage and facilitate easy monitoring and proper surveillance of the herd and optimum allocation of food.
Feeding: They are herbivorous animals whose source of food is basically 70 to 80 per cent from the forest. Their major food is Elephant or Napier grass (Pennisetum purpureum). They also love to eat certain gramineous plant with thick succulent stalks such as Sugar cane (saccharum spp), Guinea grass (Panicum maximum), Gamba grass (Andropogon gayanus), Congo grass (Brachiaria ruziziensis as well as dried leaf of Leucaena Seucocephala i.e. hybrid tamarind.
The animal also like Gliricidia sepium, herbaceous legumes like Stylo (Stylosanthes gracilis) and Pueraria phaseoloides. “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.”
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.”
They can also be fed with formulated concentrates like pellet as well as other processing by-products like wheat bran, corn bran, groundnut, so
Our guide will run you through questions you need to consider before constructing your Grasscutter pens begins. It will also give you a basic idea on what to expect when operating and managing your Grasscutter farm business.
Topic covered by Manual
CHAPTER 1 General Characteristics
Origin of the grasscutter
Behaviour in the wild
Behaviour in confinement
CHAPTER 2 Economic Potentials Of The Grasscutter
Conservational Problems Associated with Grasscutter Demand
Grasscutter as Minilivestock
Scientific Potentials of the Grasscutter
CHAPTER 3 Management Systems
When catching Grasscutters with your hands, keep the following in mind
Maintaining hygiene in grasscutter farming
CHAPTER 4 Construction Of Housing / Cage
Feeding and drinking troughs
CHAPTER 5 Feeding
Forage and concentrates
Water and mineral supplements
A self-mix Grasscutter feed formula
CHAPTER 6 Reproduction
The Male Genital Tract
The Female Genital Tract
Mating in Grasscutter
Pregnancy and Birth
CHAPTER 7 Production Planning /Health Care Management
Basic hygiene measures
Symptoms of sick Grasscutter
Parasitic Diseases of the Grasscutter
Financial Analysis And Fattening/ Profit Projection For 20 Grasscutter
Operational cost for stocking 20 grasscutters (16females and 4males)
Pre production feeding (4 months period before mating and gestation period)
Grasscutter fattening for (meat production)
Cost Constructing Cages/ Housing
Financial analysis for stocking and fattening
Profit projection for 20 grasscutter
Marketing & processing of grasscutter