Grasscutter farming in Nigeria is a very profitable business that is gradually becoming popular in Nigeria due to the large market for it. It is also known as Cane Rat or bush meat.
Grasscutter belongs to the rodent family and looks much like the porcupine. Grasscutter is good for commercial rearing because it is fast reproducing and reaches the reproduction age when it is seven months.
It reproduces two times a year and can give birth to roughly seven kids at a time.
Grasscutter sells for roughly five thousand naira. You can make millions of naira from the farm in a year depending on the size of your farm.
In recent years, grasscutter farming is gaining serious momentum. Grasscutter farming can be the rearing of grasscutter for both commercial and domestic use.
The greater cane rat is popularly identified as the grasscutter which belongs to the rodent family and is closely related to the porcupine, although the porcupine is bigger. You can distinguish the grasscutter from the rats due to their spiny fur on their back and a rounded nose.
The grasscutter grows to an average length of 720mm and weighs 2.5kg when fully matured. When the grasscutter farming business is taken seriously, it can earn you a lot of cash.
It is one of the animals that are extremely suitable for commercial rearing purposes.
There are various species of grasscutter,s such as the thryonomyid swinderianus and thryonomys gregorianus.
What Is Grasscutter Farming?
Grasscutter farming is the rearing of grasscutters for domestic and commercial purposes. Naturally, grasscutters don’t grow on farmlands.
They commonly live in the meadows, clearings, muddy territories, reed-beds, and riverbanks of sub-Saharan Africa and are normally caught by hunters from their natural environment and marketed.
The difficulties involved in the hunting practice and the explosive market for this rodent resulted in commercial rearing or farming of grasscutters.
Grasscutters grows big and very fast. It is one of the largest rodents in Africa.
A fully grown male weighs roughly 4.5kg while a fully grown female weighs roughly 3.5kg. The mature male grows as much as the size of a nine inches block.
Starting a Grasscutter Farm
Grasscutter Colony and Pen
The grasscutter lives in a colony where two mature males cannot be kept together. It will result in fighting until one kills the other.
Therefore, you are supposed to start with a few males and females together. You should ensure that your colony consists of one male grasscutter and three to four females.
Your capacity will help to determine the number of the colony that you will want to begin with.
For small farmers, it is best to start with one or two colonies. In each territory, you should have an arrangement of one male and three females. You should ensure that the pen is adequately spacious.
One is required to separate the place that they sleep from the area that they carry out the different forms of activities. This is because; the grasscutters do not like sleeping where they feed.
When you are building the grasscutter cage, you should make sure that it has a dimension of about 180cm in its length, a width of 160cm, and a height of 45cm.
You should construct the colonies in a way that the temperature will remain stable all the time.
Ensure that the cage keeps the colonies protected from the pests, for instance, the soldier ants, snakes, and humans.
The greatest threats to Grasscutter are Snakes and Soldier Ants. Ensure you build their house in a safe place and as well guard your farm from human predators.
You can prevent the access of the ants through pouring engine oils around the pens and the surrounding regions.
Ensure that the floor is required to be overlain with soft grass to keep their feet safe from getting hurt. This also provides the grasscutter with a condition that is a soft cushy playground.
This is important, especially during the rainy seasons. You should also protect the grasscutters from humidity.
Grasscutter is mostly breaded for meat production, although it is also used in the medical and pharmaceutical industry.
To be profitable, you must be able to grow the grasscutter to a good and marketable size within a short space of time.
Your choice of the breed determines your production rate greatly. The Thryonomys Swinderianus are most popular in West Africa whereas the Thryonomys Gregorianus are most popular in Central and East Africa.
Since meet is the main reason for keeping grasscutters. It is therefore required to grow well and healthy so that you can gain more profit.
For the farmer to achieve this, you should emphasize on the selection of the breeding stock. It is necessary that every colony have healthy stock.
When you are choosing the male grasscutter, you should look at the well being and good weight gain. This helps to determine how healthy the grasscutter male.
When looking at how to start a lucrative grasscutter business in Nigeria, you should choose a breed that is acceptable in the region. The health state of the grasscutters aids rapid reproduction.
The vital thing in rearing the grasscutter is fertility; therefore, ensure that you only select healthy grasscutter females and males. This is because, with a female that is not genetically healthy, it impacts the breeding stocks.
Grasscutters are herbivorous animals. This means their source of food is mostly herbs like Elephant grass or Napier grass.
They as well like sugar cane and the majority of farmers feed their grass cutter. They also feed on Guinea grass, Gamba grass, and Congo grass.
Hygiene and good feeding are essential to successful farming and rearing of Grasscutter.
To make the male grow to marketable size faster, you can feed it with broiler’s finisher or broiler starter’s feed for fattening it.
They also feed on the root and pitch of oil and coconut palms, the bark of the anacardium and fruits like half ripen pawpaw, plantain, pineapple, and mango, and so on.
Food crops like groundnut, rice, maize, grain, legume, tubers like cassava, sweet potato, and so on are as well used for feeding grasscutters.
It cost less cash to provide grasscutters with food. This is because; the grasscutters are herbivores animals as they mostly feed on grass.
The most common grass that the grasscutters feed on is the elephant grass and the Congo grass.
For the grasscutters to gain weight, you should continuously provide them with fatty, healthy meals all the time. This will enable them to reach the market size within a short period.
Grasscutter Weaning time
For the grasscutters that are in the weaning stage, they should be kept with their mothers for around four to eight weeks.
When they are in the wild of moving together as a family, you can keep them with their mothers for up to four months.
When they reach seven to eight months old, you can separate them from their mothers and place them with the mature ones of the opposite sex. This encourages mating to occur.
For the male grasscutter, they start their mating stage when they are eight months old. The mating period should be for about 140 days. It is required to be restarted with different males after 160 days.
In the female grasscutters, they do not show any signs of pregnancy. The grasscutters are the best for rearing due to their fast reproduction rate. This starts at a period of seven months after their birth.
In every reproduction cycle, it can be for about four to ten babies. For example, when you have ten female grasscutters, they can give birth to about two hundred grasscutters in one year. This will make you gain more profit.
The Market For The Grasscutters
The market for the grasscutter is huge. The grasscutter meat is one of the meats in the market with high demand.
A high population loves it; therefore, it sells fast. The meat is used in big local restaurants; It is also used for preparing price delicacies.
The grasscutter farming business is one of the most productive businesses. Therefore, with the comprehensive guide on how to start a profitable grasscutter farming business in Nigeria, you can get high revenues.
This grasscutter farming business is less expensive to run and yields high profits. The grasscutters can be used for medical purposes since their pancreas contains a high concentration of the insulin that is helpful in the treatment of diabetes.
Therefore, it is a primary key to the manufacturing procedures of various pharmaceutical firms utilized in the making of diabetes drugs.
Grasscutters is used in medicine due to the high concentration of insulin in their pancreas, which is extracted and used in the treatment of diabetes. Eating grasscutter meat as well is beneficial for hypertensive patients.
This makes it have more demand than the available supply.
Therefore, it is good to consider the above steps to get huge profits in your grasscutter farming business.
Grasscutter Farming In Nigeria
- Grasscutter is a good means of income and employment.
- It is a good source of protein.
- It is less expensive to rear than poultry, fish, or pig farming.
- The feed is not costly. They can be fed with only grass.
- It can be reared at the backyard.
- They sell very fast and at a good price.
- It has medicinal uses.
- The demand for it is more than the supply.
- They can be reared as pets.
List of Grasscutter farms in Nigeria
- Jovana Farms, Enugu State
- Olat Nigeria Limited, Iyana Ipaja Alimosho Lagos
- Samdiri Integrated Farms Nig Ltd
- Wispanet Farms, Kofar Kaura Katsina
- Diuto Farms, Nsukka Enugu
- Ktriumphant Nigeria Enterprises, Akure South Ondo
- Chinaegbomkpa Integrated Farm And Allied Services, Ngor Okpala, Imo, Nigeria
- La Commercial Enterprises, Alimosho Lagos
- Dele Ojo Enterprises, Ikorodu Lagos
- Ofarms Integrated Venture Limited, Owan West Edo
- Nukson Agric Konsult, Ibeju Lekki Lagos
- God’s Time Farms, Abuja
- Onyitex Poultry Farm, Karu Nasarawa
- Olabel Farms Limited, Ado Odo, Ota Ogun
- Reigners Farm, Delta States
- Jerolaade Agro Allied And Animal Health, Lagos Mainland
- T H Farms Limited, Abuja
- Fabulous Nature, Awka South Anambra
- Pavemgo Grasscutter Farm, Ibereko Badagry Lagos
- Pj Boaz Farms, Delta State
- Samedo Horticulture Plc, Idanre Ondo
- Insightlite International Company, Gbogan Olorunda Osun
- Donatus Farm, Benin City Benin Edo
- Hob Ideal Farms Limited, Ota Ogun
- Peniel Agrovet Venture, Kaduna
- Oakland Farms, Surulere Lagos
- Wonderland Agricultural Farm, Kwara
- Asiwaju Olabanji Nigeria Limited, Ekiti
- Ohabaj Animal Farm, Ojo Lagos
- C Williams Multi Purpose Farms
- Flourish Farms, Ibaban