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A colony of Grasscutter

There is no better time than now to start Grasscutter breeding business. This is because Grasscutter breeding business is becoming popular day by the day in Nigeria and other African countries.
There are two species of Grasscutter namely;
1. Thryonomys Swinderianus (Greater Cane rat)
2. Thryonomys Gregorianus (less Cane rat)
Greater cane rat is the most common type in Nigeria and in other West African countries. Grasscutters at full maturity grows to a length of 72cm and height of 25cm – 30cm. Grasscutter belongs to the rodent family, it has rounded ears, short nose and coarse bristly hair. Its forefeet are shorter than its hind feet, each with three toes. It has a close resemblance with Porcupine while the only difference is that Porcupine is bigger.
Grasscutter is one of the animals that can be domesticated and reared for commercial purpose. Ask any hunter how easy it is to hunt down a Grasscutter not to talk about hunting for hundreds of it; they will tell you it is not an easy task at all.
To guide against this tedious process of hunting Grasscutter, smart farmers have devised means of domesticating this animal by housing, feeding and nurturing it to maturity for the purpose of making profits.
Grasscutter breeding can enrich you if you take it serious; this business is highly profitable if you will follow the steps highlighted in this article. Within 6-12 months, you would have started earning good money from this business all things being equal.
A female Grasscutter reproduces twice in a year and each time giving birth to about 4-10 young ones. A well fed Grasscutter will be market ready in seven (7) months and each market ready Grasscutter goes for between N3,500 – N5,500 with an average weight of 3.5kg – 4.5kg.
Look at the Chart below to determine how profitable Grasscutter Breeding is;
Startup Capital (N)
1 Colony = 5 Grasscutter (1Male and 4 Female) = N50, 000
5 Colonies = 25 Grasscutter = N250, 000
Cost of Housing = N60, 000 for 5 Colonies
Cost of Feeding (Per year) = N30, 000
Total Expenditure =N340, 000
Expected Profit (N)
Assuming 1 female gives birth to an average of 4–10 Grasscutters within 6 months
5 females will be giving you an average of 20-50 Grasscutters within 6 months
Then, 20 Grasscutters x 5 Colonies = 100 Grasscutters in 6 months
.: in 1 year, you will be expecting at least 200 Grasscutters
Now, a well fed matured Grasscutter weighs between 3.5kg and 4.5kg
Assuming you then sell each at N5, 000
That is 200 x N5, 000 = N1, 000, 000
In six (6) months you will be making a profit of N560, 000
So you can see how profitable this Grasscutter breeding business is.

Grasscutter has its peculiar usefulness over all other types of animals. This is highlighted below;
1. Source of Meat
Grasscutter is a very good source of protein. This animal is meaty and its flesh is a good source of animal protein and it is in great demand
2. Medical Use
Grasscutter consumption has advantages other bush meats don’t have.
This is because its Pancreas is useful in the pharmaceutical industry as it is used for producing insulin. Insulin is used by the medical doctors to treat diabetes.

Another advantage of eating Grasscutter meat is that, it reduces high blood pressure which causes hypertension. Simply put, eating Grasscutter meat reduces hypertension.
Advantages of Grasscutter Breeding Business
• It is so cheap to run, cheaper than Fishery, Poultry and even Piggery
• Its meat is medicinal, so many people will be willing to buy it
• It is a source of income and employment
• Feeding is cheap.
How is Grasscutter Reared?
If you are serious about starting this business, then you have to know how you can run the business profitably.
1. Colony: Grasscutters live in a family of five. A family consists of a male and four female Grasscutters which is referred to as a colony. For you to have a great colony, you must carefully select when stocking your farm. Ensure that your male Grasscutter is healthy and well fed.

2. Housing: Grasscutter’s house is called a pen. This animal shouldn’t be kept in either hot or cold place, they like the same weather condition as humans. Their house should consist of a room and parlour per colony. They like to sleep in a separate place from where they eat.
The pen size for a colony should have a dimension of 180cm by 60cm by 45cm. The house should be dry at all times and should be cleaned daily.
3. Feeding: Grasscutters are herbivores; meaning that they feed on grasses and leaves. Their favourites are elephant grass, Napier grass, Congo grass, Gamba grass, Guinea grass. They also like eating Sugar cane, unripe pawpaw, cassava and the likes. Grasscutters like drinking palm wine as well.

To fatten your male Grasscutter in order for it to attain market weight quickly, you can give them finished feeds, such as pellets, broiler starter and broiler finisher.

4. Breeding: Grasscutter reproduces at a rapid rate. The average gestation period for a female Grasscutter is between 140 – 150 days. This is why a female Grasscutter reproduces twice a year. Each female Grasscutter can give birth to between 4 – 10 at a time

5. Weaning Time: A well fed young Grasscutter can be weaned 4 – 8 weeks from birth. Though they are left with the mother Grasscutter till they are 6
– 7 months. At 7 seven months you have to separate the young Grasscutters from the mother so that they can be mated.
It will take repeated mating for pregnancy to take place. And if after some time you discover the young Grasscutter is not pregnant, take it back to the male for another round of mating.
Please note that the greatest threat to the business is from Predators such as human beings, snakes and soldier ants. Ensure you protect them from the reach of reptiles and unwanted guests. You can prevent soldier ants from getting to them by pouring black oil around the cage; especially during rainy seasons and in the nights.

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