How to Start Grasscutter Farming in Nigeria.
Grasscutter farming is fast becoming popular at this age. That’s because the demand for bushmeat surpasses the supply. As such, it becomes necessary for anyone interested in making money to start grasscutter farming in Nigeria. First, a quick introduction.
Introduction to Grasscutter Farming
Greater Cane Rat (grasscutter) is a rodent that’s found in most of Africa. It can grow as long as 720mm when fully matured. And has a spiny back and rounded nose, which is the distinguishing physical factor from regular rats.
Grasscutter is suitable for commercial rearing because it reproduces very quickly and in good numbers too. It takes an average of 145 days for a female grasscutter to carry its pregnancy. It then delivers between 10 to 20 young ones every year.
That’s not all; this rodent grows at an alarming rate. A matured male and female grasscutter that is ready for market can weigh 4.5Kg and 3.5Kg respectively. With a body length growing to as much as 45 to 50cm and height of 25 to 30cm, it is one of the biggest rats in the rodent family.
Let’s delve a little deeper, talk about how you can start grasscutter farming in Nigeria
How To Start Grasscutter Farming in Nigeria
1. Keep them in Colony
You have to keep the grasscutters in a colony. That’s one male and three to four females together. This is because you cannot have more than one male in a colony. Your capacity will determine how many colonies you can afford to set up.
For example, if you are small scale, you may not be able to afford more than two or three colonies. It’s alright; there is still money to be made.
2. Pay Attention to the Breeding Stock
The more meat your grasscutters have, the more money you make when you sell them. As such, you have to pay attention to the breeding stock. You want rodents that’ll grow well and healthy to get a tidy profit.
This can only be achieved if each colony has a healthy male and female. The male is particularly important because it is the engine of reproduction. Select a strong, agile male for each colony. Check the female grasscutters too periodically to make sure they are healthy.
This is vital for you to make a decent profit when you start grasscutter farming in Nigeria.
3. The Grasscutter Pen is Important
Grasscutters thrive in a conducive environment. This means the cages must be built such that they have a sleeping and feeding place separately. It also applies if you are using a walled pen. They do not like to sleep where they eat!
Lay soft grass on the floor to protect their feet when they move around in pen.
The dimension of each colony’s cage should be a length of 180cm, 60cm width and 45cm height. Also, you must take the temperature and humidity of the production building into account while constructing it
4. Protect them from Predators
There are two major predators of grasscutters you’ll have to deal with, snakes and soldier ants. You have to make sure their house is built in a way that prevents snakes from getting it. Soldier ants can be discouraged by pouring engine oil around the home every night. Be wary of thieves too!
5. What Do Grasscutters Eat?
Grasscutters are herbivores. This means that they feed on grass. The list of food is endless. However, based on recommendations from experienced grasscutter farmers, they do better when fed;
- Congo grass
- Elephant or Napier grass
- Gamba grass
- Guinea grass
- half ripen pawpaw
- Maize Grain
- Sweet potato
- Tubers like cassava
- Wheat Bran
If you pay enough attention to their feeding and hygiene, they’ll attain the desired weight within a concise period. Profit would start rolling in no time.
If you don’t want to wait too long, you can fatten the male faster using either a broiler’s starter or broiler’s finish feed. You’ll be getting early profit.
6. Weaning the Young Ones
If you are diligent enough, the grasscutter young ones can be weaned within 4 to 8 weeks after birth. However, they can remain in the same cage as the parents for as long as seven months. After this period, you should move them to their colony for mating.
A grasscutter is ready to mate seven to eight months after birth. The period of mating should be 140 days before the male is separated from the female. However, if the female does not get pregnant after an additional 160 days, the whole mating process needs to start again.
Let’s Talk About the Money
The primary reason for you to start grasscutter farming business in Nigeria is the profit. The business is very profitable. The meat is considered a delicacy. As such, people pay good money to purchase it. A mature grasscutter can cost between ₦4,500 and ₦5,500.
Considering the rate at which these rodents reproduce and the high demand for their meat, you can sell as much as ten grasscutters per week. That’s a total of ₦55,000 every week. In one month, you can make as much as ₦220,000. As I said earlier, decent profit!
Wrapping Things Up
You don’t need much to start grasscutter farming business in Nigeria. It all depends on how large you want it to be. The profit is good, and there is a ready market for it. So, what are you waiting for?
What is your excuse for being poor?