These little creatures are not just amazing but can bring you some profit as well. Grasscutters are loved and treasured in West and Central Africa. Their meat is considered to have one of the highest protein and lowest fat contents. Grasscutter meat can be very valuable. Let’s find out why there is a very intensive production of grasscutters in many African countries and how you can start this kind of business yourself. For those who want to learn more about grasscutter farming, a manual for beginners in Nigeria, continue reading.
The grasscutter farming intro
Grasscutters come from the family of rodent species and are considered to be a delicacy in many countries. In Africa, Asia, and Latin America, grasscutter meat markets have been around longer than any others, therefore grasscutter meat is very valued. The majority of these amazing animals are still captured from the wild areas of Nigeria where they are hunted and brought to the table. These days, more people wish to have a small grasscutter farm of their own. So, a lot of investors and businessmen are investing in this market.
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In addition, due to dry seasons and overhunting tendency in savanna region, more wild grasscutters are at risk. Thus, planning to start your own grasscutter farm is a good choice and a nice idea for investment. Grasscutters are in high demand and this means you can play around with a market price. Also, only a small amount of investment is necessary for starting the business. It is a great opportunity to raise your income. You can sell it either at small markets or to luxurious hotels and restaurants.
Grasscutter meat is perhaps the most wanted animal meat in the Nigerian market. Everyone loves it and that is why it is sold so fast. The poshest and expensive restaurants buy it to cook the high-priced and tasty delicacies. For example, it is estimated that the full piece of grasscutter meat can be sold for N4,500 in the market.
Now you are probably wondering how to start the grasscutter farming. Not a lot of people know what is needed to start the business. So we have prepared some tips for you to get more familiar with grasscutter business.
Stepping into grasscutter farming
Grasscutter normally lives in a colony which is why two mature male grasscutters cannot live together. You should put a male with few females together, which means one colony should have at least three to four females and one male. When it comes to the amount of colony, it is all up to you but at the beginning, it is better to start with few. The small farming requires at least two colonies, consisting of one male and 3 females in every colony.
Grasscutter in most cases is raised only for meat reasons. For breeding, you should put them in either a properly build cages or in a specially designed breeding houses. To ensure successful breeding, a brand new farmer needs to provide each colony with a good, healthy male grasscutter. The male grasscutter is the key to the reproduction and it is what you need to make your business expand.
When you are in the process of selecting the right male grasscutter for the colony, you should pay attention to several factors. The male should be of a healthy weight and look very active. You also should keep in mind that the female grasscutter also needs to be healthy, therefore pay attention to both the male and female grasscutters.
Grasscutters don’t like to stay dirty or sleep at the same place they eat. So, when finding them a place to live, keep in mind an important factor. In the cage or house where they live, you are supposed to provide both sleeping areas and dining areas differently.
The cage dimension is usually up to 180cm in length, 45cm in height, and 60cm in width. The grasscutter is a very picky inhabitant. Therefore, you have to build the cage in a way that each colony has a special area.. If you are making awalled pen or a built-in house, pay attention to the details. The cage should protect grasscutters from excessively hot or cold temperature and humidity. The floor of a cage should be filled with dry soft grass, which protects the grasscutters feet from any damage and gives them a chance to enjoy soft cushy ground.
Ants and snakes
Grasscutter does not like to have any other animals in the cage and moreover, it can be dangerous for the animal. Make sure the cages are secure and built is a safe place. To protect them from the attack of soldier ants, you can pour some black engine oil outside the cage. This is especially important during during the raining season. Snakes can do harm to your animals, as well.
The process of grasscutter feeding
Since the grasscutter is a herbivorous animal, it loves to eat grass and leaves. Also, they love to live in the bush and search for food in there. The major food which grass cutter enjoys eating is Elephant or Napier grass. The second choice is sugar cane and in fact, the majority of farmers give grass cutter mostly sugar cane, adding some Guinea grass, Congo grass or Gamba grass.
You can also feed them with root and pitch of oil, coconut palms or the bark of Anacardium. For an additional meal, you can use fruits, such, mango, pawpaw, pineapple and other fruits. Crops such as maize, grain, groundnut, cassava, sweet potato, rice can be also a part of the diet for a grasscutter. The animals can also be fed with formulated concentrates, such as pellets or other processing by-products. These can be corn bran, maize shucks, groundnut, brewer yeast, grain legume pods wheat bran, soya, oilseed, cotton, seed cakes, brewers’ grains, and cobs, brewer’s yeast and others.
Grasscutter weaning time
Grasscutter reproduces quickly and breeding begin within 7 months after birth. Grasscutter gives birth twice per year and delivers 4 to 7 little grasscutters at a time. Therefore, in the case where you have 100 females and they are able to give a birth, you can have from 800 to 1,400 new grasscutters annually. You just imagine how fast you farm will expand! You can make more than N5 million if everything goes well.
During weaning, proper care and adequate feeding in required for every female grasscutter. A newly born grasscutter should be weaned between four to eight weeks. They have to get separated from the mother on the fifth or seventh month and be placed in a place with a male for mating.
Starting at the age of seven to eight months from birth, the weaned animals can be mated. If a male grasscutter is seven months old and a female is about eight months, mating can be expected to take place. The indefinite mating period lasts for 140 days but in a case where, 160 days after separation from the male grasscutter, there is still no sign of pregnancy, then you need to put the female back in the cage to reunite with a male. You can also have one extra male to secure the breeding process.
There are a lot of Nigerians who wish to go into the grasscutter business. Grasscutter farming in Nigeria is a truly profitable and prosperous small livestock farming and you can get a lot of benefits out of it. Keep in mind the information leaned from the article and start your own grasscutter farming with ease.
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