An affordable way to start Grasscutter farming
Grasscutter farming in Ghana is another profitable livestock business you can start in many parts of Africa.
The meat of grasscutter is very delicious lean meat with many healthy nutritious properties.
Grasscutter (Thryonomys swisnderianus) or cane rat are herbivores and their natural diet is mainly grasses Sometimes they also eat bark, fallen fruits, nuts, sugar cane , cassava different kinds crops, and grasses especially the elephant grass.
The Akan tribe in Ghana called it Akrantie and the Anloga called it Ehye La. The grasscutter is premium meat and a very important source of protein to many rural and urban middle class.
Almost all tribes and religious groups in Ghana eat grasscutter meat.
How Profitable is Grasscutter Farming In Ghana?
Grasscutter is Prolific breeder
First and foremost, Grasscutter delivers 2 times in a year but prolific. The animal reproduces very quickly and in good numbers. A fully grown female Grasscutter after gestation carries the pregnancy for 140 – 150 days (5 months) and delivers.
Each pregnancy produces an average of 4 -7 young ones. Sometimes up to 10, that means one female Grasscutter could produce 8 – 20 other Grasscutters in a year
Higher market demand for Grasscutter
Also.there is an established taste for grasscutter meat in Ghana, and, hence, the ready local market is available, and even demand grasscutter meat by Africans in the diaspora is higher.
Grasscutter Farming is Cost-Effective
grasscutter rearing is not expensive since it does not necessarily require big land to start with. Their housing and feeding materials are varied and available. They feed on green grass which is freely available.
morever, they have a low mortality rate and low cost of feeding as compared to cows and chickens but returns on investment for grasscutters are like that of a cow.
Attract Premium prices
more importantly, grasscutters are sold at very high prices. High-end hotels and restaurants sell grasscutter meat to their customers. Since you are operating at low cost and feeding them with free available grass feeds and less on pelleted feed and selling at premium price enhances your profitability.
Definitely providing services to the rich wont you poor anyway.
Grasscutter farming is a Gold mine
In brief, grasscutter meat is known to be of high nutritional value; rich in proteins but has a low level of destructive cholesterol.
It knows no religious barriers to its production. Grasscutter meat is very important bush meat in every community. It is the favorite of many
The profitability of grasscutter farming is exclusive to the fact that feeding is low, they don’t fall sick easily, there are ready buyers and the prices are great.
Qualities needed to be a successful Grasscutter farmer as a youth in Ghana
As with every business, there must be some qualities or traits that must be needed to be successful.
To be successful in these lines of business, It should be noted however that this business or grasscutter farming is not a get rich quick scheme or betting, but a real business that requires the application of God’s principle of Reaping and sowing and the law of reciprocity.
what you sow is what you reap
To make my points clear it will take one from a year to three to reap his investments and see real improvements if the farmer gets serious.
Unrealistic expectations in any business can be a demotivating factor and early killer of a business, many businesses fail because of high expectation,
There is no shortcuts to the top of the palm tree-Africa proverb
To succeed in the grasscutter farming you needed to have a lot of passion for the business. Without passion for what you doing, you will abandon your business and chase unrealistic goals.
At the beginning of every new business the zeal is high you just tried to maintain that fire until you start seeing some cash the following the year.
You need to apply a lot of intelligence to it.
You must closely observe the animals and be able to tell what each of them needs their characters, and their peculiar problems.
When staffing ensures you are employing a passionate and disciplined person otherwise your grasscutter farm may fail. Do your best to hire someone with a passion and love for the job.
Negligent laborers would not take proper care of the animals.
SELF MOTIVATION AND VISION
The journey of the entrepreneur is a lonely journey from the start but what motivates us is our vision. There may be up and downs in starting a business. and our part of the world being a graduate getting into a grasscutter farming, you may be ridiculed by friends.
Don’t give up focus on your big vision and your success will speak at the end.
Advantage grasscutter farming
- Grasscutter farming has high profits margins and low operating cost
2. The workload is low ( feeding and observing the animals is the main work as compared to crop farming which is tedious.
Conditions Needed To Start a Grasscutter Farm
- 1.A small plot of land (size of land maybe depends on a farmer capacity)
- 2.housing facility pens, cages
- A pen for fattening young grasscutters
- A pen for mating
- A pen for giving birth
- A pen for treatment or isolation pen makes management easy.
- 3.Feed and water
Grasscutter pen Construction
Grasscutter requires simple cages and pens which ensure optimum ventilation.
A pen should be cold-proof and not expose to environmental conditions such as strong winds, dust, excessive heat, and smoke
Avoid using bamboo or straw wood pens as they for will be eaten by the grasscutters
A 20 x 10 feet room size can accommodate 70 mature grasscutter
Pens constructed using wire mesh or iron rods soldered to be sturdy, spacious, and secure. Standard dimension for family (1:4 or 1:3) male: female ratio
Brick pen or House
Get a bricklayer to build a rectangular four-walled pond shaped enclosure 20L feet x 10 feet x4.5 feet on the floor and make a separation. A small opening for movement in between the two sections.
Advantage with the Brick house
Temperature control in the brick is optimal and security is assured since the grasscutters are not being exposed to the outside environment.
Stocking The cage/Grasscutter sexing ratio
Healthy breeding stock of males and females at the ratio of 1:4 is great.
Sexual maturity in males occurs between 8 months (32 weeks) and female occurs between 6.5 months (26 weeks)
Grasscutter Breeding Systems
with this method, the male and the female remain in the same pen or cage permanently.
In the event of newborns, the young ones are removed or weaned from the parents and hence reproduction continues.
with this breeding system, the male and female are placed together for the purpose of mating, after pregnancy is confirmed one is separated
Comparing Both systems
|Permanent system||Temporal system|
|Increased breeding cycle||Reduced risk of adult male killing offspring|
|Easy identification of the mother and offspring|
|*Excellent management of the breeding process|
Advantages & disadvantage of Both Breeding systems
|Disadvantage -Permanent||Advantage -Temporal|
|Difficulty in identification of offspring||*Increased investment (several pens required)|
|*Risk of cannibalism||*Larger space to house females|
|under exploitation of the male||*Reduced number of litters per year|
|Risk of exhausting the reproductive females|
How To Catch Grasscutter
1.Approach the animal gently and confidently with either a sudden movement or hesitation
2. The animal should be held by the tail the immediate tail from the anogenital area and not the last end, or rum and at the back of the neck
The animal once held or grasped should be held firmly but not so tightly as to suffocate.
A young light grasscutter is lifted by the tail by holding at the base of the tail. The base is the point close to the anus, then grab ts back with the other hand (just behind the front legs and without squeezing too hard, the animal is thereby turned on its back while holding the tail
Medium size grasscutter
A medium-sized animal can also be lifted by the tail .it’s best to grab it’s on the back with the other hand so that there would not be so much weight on the tail. The animal is turned on it back so that order to calm it down when it’s agitated and aggressive.
A pregnant grasscutter
A pregnant grasscutter should he handled calmly on the tail and mostly using a catch box. They should be allowed and with minimum handling and care.
Another simple method to catch a grasscutter
A squeezebox is used for easy handling of grasscutters. It should have dimensions that are the same as the animal to be handled.
A squeezebox or net can be made by building a rectangular box purposed for the grasscutter to enter and hence restrited.
The box shouldn’t be built in a way that the grasscutter can not turn or move about inside the cage
Why Grasscutter Catch From Bush not ideal for Grasscutter farming
Grasscutters catch from the bush directly for breeding is not advisable because of the stress they undergone and are mostly infected with zoologic pests and infections.
The probability of those grasscutters dyeing within the first seven days is higher.and the process of hunting for those grasscutters using hunting dogs causes injury to farmers.
Where to Buy Grasscutter?
For a new farmer wishing to start a grasscutter farm, contact the grasscutter farmers association and there are various farmers to get good breeding stock.
The animal research centre of Ghana
Feeding Habit of Grasscutter
Knowing your grasscutter very well helps in proving the necessary attention and care. The grasscutter is by nature a noctunal animal.its active in the night in the wild. This is the natural habit of the grasscutter.
|05:00-7:00||Rest ,coprography and sanity|
|12:00-18:00||Watering, suckling and rest|
|22:00-00:00||Watering and rest|
What does grasscutter eat?
Makes sure the feed you give the grasscutter is well balanced to provide it with a balanced combination of nutrients for optimum productivity.
The foods or grass should be mixed especially foods contain high sugar content like sugar cane must be mixed together with moringa leaves and sour foods must be mixed with sweat or succulent ones.
To motivate and also prevent bacteria and pest infestation makes sure fresh grass must be wilt. Dry the grass for some few hours lets an hour to lossen some water content.
Secondly, the grass can also be dipped in saltwater to remove some toxins and bacteria that may be present on the grass.
|Tubers &UnderGround stem||Speargrass|
|Fruits & grains||Mango (unripe)|
Salted corn cobs
Soya beans cake
Ananse Ntrumu homa(centrocema)Tonto
|Protein palm kernel cake; laucasua, Soya beans cake Minerals :|
Snails shells,Bone meal Egg shells
| Leafy materials|| Cassava|
Fresh groundnut tops
Fresh maize stover
African giant star grass
Oil palm seedlings
African marigold moringa dried Palm tree ribs
Sunflower heads or seeds
(vitamins) e.g. pawpaw lemon juice Green papaya
Pineapple roots and crowns,tops
The daily intake is 25% feed supplement and 75% fodder, this quantity is very necessary for their sustenance, good health, fast growth, and increased litter size.
Best Times To Feed Grasscutter
Grass can be given in the morning and afternoons, whilst supplement, if available, is fed in the afternoon.
Give grasscutter more food early in the morning and evenings. and in the Afternoon very little and provide clean drinking water all the time.
They eat more in the evenings and early mornings.
It should therefore be ensured that feed is always available in the evening and early morning.
i will write about how to feed your grasscutter without medication or without them getting sick in my next publication.any questions can be left in the comment section.
Thanks and start a grasscutter farm today.start small and God will bless it.