How To Easily Start a Grasscutter Farming (Beginner’s Guide)
In this article, we will be learning how to start a Grasscutter Farming, even if you are a newbie in Grasscutter farming, you don’t need to panic as we will be walking you through all you need to start your own Grasscutter Farming.
Grasscutters, sometimes known as cane rats, is a popular meat choice in many West African countries, and they’re starting to catch on in other areas of the world. Grasscutter farming is a lucrative business that is not as difficult to start as you would imagine.
Before we move further, let’s understand what Grasscutter Farming is all about and its characteristics.
What is Grasscutter?
Grasscutters (Thryonomys swinderianus), also known as Cane Rats and Grass Cutter in English-speaking West African nations, Agouti in French-speaking West African countries, and hedgehogs in Central Africa, are rodents found in wet or grassy environments throughout Africa. Despite the fact that these species are regularly killed in Africa, they can be tamed in the same way that other micro-livestock animals like rabbits can.
It is known for its adaptability to tropical vegetation and is found in mangroves, savannas, rainforests, and swamps. It belongs to the Hystricomorpha (porcupine family) and can be found in mangroves, savannas, rainforests, and swamps.
What is Grasscutter Farming?
Breeding or rearing grasscutters as a business for micro livestock, commercial uses, or agricultural purposes is known as grasscutter farming. Grasscutter farming has proven to be in high demand thus far.
It is a very profitable enterprise that any business-minded individual should take advantage of because it is a tremendous source of money for the person who raises it as well as for the nation’s economy.
According to statistics from the worldwide market, grasscutter meat is in high demand, and grasscutter breeding has expanded fast in a short period of time, most notably in Nigeria and West Africa as a whole, making it one of the top 10 animals whose meat is in high demand in the world.
What Are The Characteristics Of Grasscutters?
- Grasscutters are peaceful and prolific mammals.
- At 5-6 months, they become sexually active and mature. They can breed and give birth to as many as 12 young at this age.
- Because they are readily reared or managed, domestication has become a viable alternative to poaching in the wild.
- In high-intensity environments, they can grow quickly.
- Grasscutters have a high protein content and are economically valuable.
Types of Grasscutter
There are two species of grasscutters, the greater (Thryonomys swinderi- anus) and the smaller (Thryonomys gregorianus). The greater species is the second-largest African rodent after the porcu- pine.
What Are The Things To Consider When Starting a Grasscutter Business?
When starting a grasscutter business, there are numerous variables to consider. When you disregard the parameters, it may have a bad impact on the pace of grasscutter production, therefore it is critical that you pay attention to them and do what is necessary to succeed in this industry.
It’s good to realize that the grasscutter can be highly profitable while also posing some problems that can discourage you if you’re not doing it correctly.
We’ve included a few things to think about when you get your grasscutter business off the ground.
- Target Market
- Grasscutter Farming Cages
- Cost Of Breeding And Production
- Pests And Diseases Common To Grasscutters
Grasscutter meat, also known as white meat, is in high demand, especially among hotels and metropolitan populations that value high-quality and unusual items.
if you want to know the best strategy for getting the best sales, then you just need to site your farm in close proximity to the location we mentioned earlier and you will be more successful in the business than some that started before you.
Grasscutter, on the other hand, isn’t polluted or unclean meat in any way, as it is acceptable by every tribe, tradition, and religion.
Grasscutter Farming Cages
Here you have to consider what it takes in building a cage, the cost, and the materials needed.
Grasscutters, Breezeblocks, bricks, straws, and bamboo are some of the materials that can be utilized in the construction of the raising shed. To save money on building, it’s usually a good idea to use local resources.
The presence of enough light and ventilation in the building is required. The pen’s long sides must be low-walled (1.5 meters high), with the upper half-covered with a chicken net. The roof of the rearing shed can be made of corrugated iron or other waterproof materials.
How to construct a grasscutter’s house, pen, or cage
Grasscutters are frequently housed and reared in rearing pens. The amount of pens to build is determined by the manufacturing objectives. A breeding female should be kept in each enclosure, and each adult grasscutter should have 0.2 m2 of floor space.
A grasscutter pen setup could be:
- A pen for adults
- A pen for mating
- A pen for giving birth and feeding the young
- A pen for fattening young grasscutters
The pen’s construction materials determine the layout of the pens. Brick pens are fixed and unmovable while metal pens are movable.
Using wood, bamboo, or straw to construct pens for grasscutters is not recommended because the grasscutters can eat them. Rearing pens can be opened or closed, and when constructing, it is important to have passages to move around between rearing pens.
These are enclosures with a surface area of 3 m2 and a height of 1.5 meters that are not covered at the top. The pens include side entrances that allow the farmer to go in and out of them more easily.
These are enclosures that are roofed at the top with suitable roofing material. Partitioning these pens into divisions is possible. It might have a surface area of 2-3 m2 and a height of 0.8 meters.
Cost Of Breeding And Production Of Grasscutters
What does it cost to start a grasscutter business? You should be aware that grasscutters are extremely important to acquire, maintain, and breed because any misbehavior could have disastrous implications.
For a small-scale production method of a grasscutter farm, an average beginner farmer will invest up to 85,000 Naira.
You can acquire matured bucks for as little as 12,000 Naira with as little as 85,000 Naira, and the doe for around 14,000 – 15,000 Naira on average.
A serving doe costs between 18,000 and 20,000 Naira. While their monthly feeding costs around N230 per lawn cutter, this is a relatively low amount.
Pests And Diseases Common To Grasscutters
Grasscutter farmers must be aware of common livestock diseases so that they may make the necessary preparations and take the necessary precautions to avoid pests and diseases. Medical care should always be available for fish farmers, crop farmers, cattle farmers, and other farmers, just like it is for everyone else.
You must be aware of disease-carrying pathogens as well as diseases specific to grasscutters in order to maintain a clean and healthy farm.
It happens to all types of grasscutters on a regular basis. Diplococcus Pneumonate, a bacteria that thrives in frigid temperatures, causes it.
To avoid this, make sure the grasscutters are well shielded from the cold throughout the winter months and avoid feeding them dusty food.
Ecto-parasites like fleas, lice, and ticks are very common among grasscutters. A medical immersion method can be used to eliminate these parasites.
Worms can also get into the grasscutter by hiding in moist and polluted plants that the grasscutter eats, as well as in withered fodder. Deworming the grasscutters on a regular basis is a good way to get rid of worms.
Other prevalent disorders include Staphylococeamia, which is caused by the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus and causes nasal and vaginal discharge that can be treated efficiently with antibiotics.
These are not common, but knowing them will help you deal with any circumstance involving the diseases listed. Coccidiosis is a parasitic infection caused by Eimeria protozoa that cause diarrhea, lack of appetite, and weariness.
The following are some basic facts concerning grasscutters in terms of reproduction:
- Male grasscutters reach sexual maturity in 8 months or 32 weeks, with a minimum body weight of 2.5 kg, whereas female grasscutters reach sexual maturity in 6.5 months or 26 weeks, with a minimum body weight of 1.8 kg.
- 1 male can service 4 to 10 females, depending on the sex ratio.
- Female cane rats, like female rabbits (does), begin ovulating when they see a male.
- 152-day gestation term
- Litters produced each year: 2 litters
- The litter size ranges from 3 to 11 young.
- Before weaning, there is a 40-day suckling interval.
Not only should you concentrate on grasscutter rearing, but you can also make extra money by breeding grasscutters. If you’ve decided to start a grasscutter breeding business, here are the conditions you’ll need to meet:
Because the quality of the progeny will mirror the quality of the parents, you must select healthy and well-developed grasscutters for breeding.
You must guarantee that the grasscutter you wish to use for breeding does not weigh more than 8 kilograms and does not weigh less than 5 kilograms.
Make sure you keep track of the mother’s output so you know what to expect from her.
The female grasscutter is due for mating at the age of 6 months, after which you will get a much more small grasscutter every 6 months as the mother’s gestation period takes up to 150 – 152 days, which translates to twice a year.
Pregnant women endure a rise in temperature and frequent urination at this time, so don’t be alarmed if this happens to you.
Also, the male should be roughly 8 months old and not younger; you can also group the males you want to employ for mating purposes.
Feeding in Grasscutter Farming
Grasscutters require a well-balanced meal on a regular basis. Giving their livestock just green fodder is a green blunder made by some grasscutter farmers. One of the causes for nursing female grasscutters’ delayed development and limited milk output is this.
On the other side, they will have stomach issues if they are not fed green forage such as grasses or legumes. In male and female cane rats, a balanced diet would result in average weights of 3.5 kg and 2.8 kg, respectively.
The following are some examples of forage and concentrates that grasscutters could be fed:
- Grass and legumes that are edible
- Garden waste, leftover vegetables, ripe or unripe fruits, coconut, leaves, pawpaw, and bamboo shoots are examples of agricultural by-products.
- Brewers dried grain (BDG), corn bran, wheat bran, and groundnut cake are examples of agricultural processing byproducts (GNC).
- Yam, yam peels, cassava, cassava peelings, potato, potato peels, cocoyam, and cocoyam peels are examples of tubers and roots.
- Rice, millet, sorghum, and corn are examples of cereal grains.
- Egg shells, oyster shells, and bone meals are examples of shells.
Grasscutters should be fed on a regular basis. In the morning and evening, the grasscutters should be fed fodder two hours before being fed concentrate. It is also critical to ensure that the animals have access to water at all times. As a result, green fodder must be sun-dried for 1-2 days before being fed to livestock.
Concentrate and feed could be blended. A single component or a combination of substances can be used to make the concentration. If you’re using a single ingredient concentration, it’s a good idea to switch it up. If the concentrate contains more than one element, it could be fed to the grasscutters on a regular basis.
Grasscutter Price In Nigeria
In Nigeria, how much does a grasscutter cost? In Nigeria, a matured market-ready grasscutter costs between N4,000 and N5,500, while grasscutter colonies cost between N35,000 and N40,000, and 500 pieces of grasscutter can make you between 2 million and 2.7 million Naira.
Colonies can sell for as much as N80,000 depending on their size and location.