How can you start a Grasscutter farming in Nigeria?
Grasscutter farming is highly profitable acrross africa.The meat is widely consumed allover the West Africa region and beyond, making it one of the highest demands in the global market today. A full boided Grasscutter is sold between N4,000 to N5,500. Five hundred Grasscuters could earn you between N2 Million to N2.75 Million annually.
The animal reproduces quickly and in good numbers. A fully grown female Grasscutter after gestation, carries the pregnancy for 140 – 150 days and deliver about two times a year. Each pregnancy produces an average of about four to seven young ones. that means one female Grasscutter could produce 8 – 20 other Grasscutters in a year
they grows big and very fast too. Grasscutter is one of the biggest rodent in Africa. A fully mature female or male 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 nine inches.
A good number of Grasscutter is consumed yearly but most of them still comes from the bushes through hunters who goes to hunt for them. They are usually not easy to catch, making the animal meat highly scarce in the market.
Getting started in Grasscutter farming
Colony: Grasscutters lives in colony, two mature male doesn’t live together. Therefore, you start with a male and few females together. A colony should consists of one male and three to four females. Your capacity should determine how many colony you wants to start with. A small farmer might start with one or two colony, with the arrangement of one male and 3 females in each.
Breeding – Grasscutter is kept specifically the meat, it has to grow well and healthy in other to be profitable. To achieve this, A farmer must emphasize on the choice of breeding stock. Each colony must have a health male. The male help in reproduction, a healthy male makes a healthy stock. While selecting the male, you have to observe a good weight gain in male animals. it is a very important factors that determine how healthy it is. both the male and female stock you choose for breeding purpose must be healthy,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 to provide them a house you must put this factor into consideration, either cage or house, you must provide a place for sleeping, dinning and playing place.
They can be breed either in a properly built cages or in a house specially designed for them. Grasscutter is sensitive to good habitat, for a colony the dimension of the cage should be 180cm in length, 60cm in width and 45cm in height.
If you are using walled pen or house, make sure you separate the place they eat from where they sleep. Also the production building must be designed to protect the animals from excess temperature and humidity.
Snakes and Soldier Ants are the biggest enemies of Grasscutter. Make sure their house are built is a safe place and you must also be aware of thieves. To protect them from the invasion of soldier ants, you may pour black engine oil around their houses, especially at night mostly during the raining season
Feeding The Grasscutters
Grasscutter is a herbivorous animals meaning their source of food is mostly grasses, that’s why they are more comfortable in the bush where their foods could easily be found. Their major food is Elephant or Napier grass. They alsoeat Sugar cane and most farmers use sugar cane mainly for their feeding. According to experience farmers, Hygiene and good feeding are the most important factors for successful, profitably Grasscutter farming. You can also fatten the male with broiler’s finisher or broiler starter’s feed to help attain market weight within a short period of time.
farmers 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 only during the dry season. But when training them, you can give them water by adding some attractant to it. They can also be fed with formulated concentrates like pellet as well as other processing by-products. Grasscutter hate cold environment. The rooms or cages where you keep them must neither be too cold nor too hot.
Weaning time – With good, adequate feeding, the grasscutter upsprings can be weaned between four to eight weeks. But as a family, they can be with the mother for four months. Their upsprings can be irseparated from the mother between five to seven months and place with a male to mate with them.
Indefinite mating is expected to have taken place when the weaned male Grasscutter is seven months old, and the female is eight months. The period of indefinite mating is 140days. But if after 160 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.
The Market For Grasscutter
The market like I said earlier is a very big one. Grasscutter meat or Bush meat is probably the most desirable animal meet in the market. Everyone loves it and it sells quickly. Full meat of a mature Grasscuttercost about N4,500 in the market and the market women who trade on it are always in demand. Grasscutter is a fast reproducing animal. it starts mating with 7 months after birth. It gives birth twice in a year and produce 4-7 at a time. That means, if you have 100 females that gives birth twice in a year, you would be having 900 to 1,500 in your farm within just a year. Such number will bring you nothing less than N5 Million when marketted
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