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Author Topic: HOW TO START GRASSCUTTER FARMING BUSINESS IN NIGERIA  (Read 31313 times)
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« on: November 03, 2010, 09:06:33 AM »

Joblessness and insufficient income can be a thing of the past

The main reason grasscutters are now preferred by some farmers for rearing purposes is because they are easy to house and you don’t buy food for them as you do in fish, poultry and pig farming.

Grasscutter is also called is a stress-free, profitable venture that will stimulate fast income without having to go to bed with one eye opened like say poultry business.

grasscutter farming is not as popular in Nigeria like other animals or livestock farming, nonetheless, it is a reliable fast income generating venture that many is yet to realize. “It is more assuring than poultry business which could bring fortune to you in the day, but could also bring unexpected problem suddenly to the extent that if care is not taken, one may run into serious financial crisis as well as other problems, he declared.”

grasscutter meat as a good, nutritious and medicinal delicacy for hypertensive patient in almost all the countries in the West Africa sub-region with the meat now receiving higher attention and prices compared to beef, poultry and goat meat.

“I advise any retiree or any individual looking for viable, profitable farming venture to go into grasscutter farming. Even President Obasanjo is now a grasscutter farmer. He realized the future in it and has invested heavily in it. As a producer of domesticated grasscutter meat, you are already a silent millionaire as I am also. It is not a child’s play but a reality and I encourage many people to join the millionaire’s club and take good advantage of the large market for this product, which few of us in it cannot meet the growing demand of the meat, he stated.”

General description of grasscutter

Grasscutter (Thryonomys swinderianus) also known as canerat among some people is one of the best animals now domesticated in Nigeria as well as in other sub-Sahara part of Africa. With grasscutter farming, income generation and making from the initial establishment would continue to accumulate because it is fast generation of income.
The animal has many traditional names depending on the tribe. Among the Yorubas, it is known as Oya, while some people called it Obije, Nohi as well as Gafya. It is a heavy, compact and the largest African rodent after the porcupine (Hystrix Cristata).



When fully grown, the body length varies between 42 and 58cm. its tail measure between 22 and 25cm and standing height is between 23 to 30cm. The average adult weight is 3kg for female and 4.5kg for adult males.


new entrants are advised to start with two families. A family consists of one male to four females. “In all, farmers can start with eight females and two males (i.e. ten in all) because of various risks.


Housing: Grasscutters are neat animals that live in a room and parlor. “Where they eat, they will not sleep there. Therefore the house should be neat and be cleansed every day which will assist their best performance.


They can be bred either in cages, under an intense management system or in a walled enclosure under a semi-intense management system. For example, for five animals, (i.e. 4 females and 1 male), the dimension of the cage should be 180cm in length, 60cm in breadth and 45cm high).


Also the production building must be designed to protect the animals from extreme of temperature and humidity. Predators and thieves must also be waded off from their house.


The house should also facilitate breeding management operations. It should encourage and facilitate easy monitoring and proper surveillance of the herd and optimum allocation of food.
 

   Feeding: They are herbivorous animals whose source of food is basically 70 to 80 per cent from the forest. Their major food is Elephant or Napier grass (Pennisetum purpureum). They also love to eat certain gramineous plant with thick succulent stalks such as Sugar cane (saccharum spp), Guinea grass (Panicum maximum), Gamba grass (Andropogon gayanus), Congo grass (Brachiaria ruziziensis as well as dried leaf of Leucaena Seucocephala i.e. hybrid tamarind.



The animal also like Gliricidia sepium, herbaceous legumes like Stylo (Stylosanthes gracilis) and Pueraria phaseoloides. “The root and pitch of oil and coconut palms, bark of the anacardium and fruits such as half ripen pawpaw, plantain, pineapple, mango etc are their delight. Food crops such as groundnut, rice, maize, grain legume, tubers like cassava, sweet potato etc also make part of their food, stressed the grasscutter farmer.”



Grasscutter feed on palm wine and that is why they destroy oil palm plantation. “They take their water mostly from the field and go to the river during the dry season only. But when domesticated, you can give them water by adding some attractant to it. Cane rate it should be noted does not dig a hole and cannot climb a tree either, he further stressed.”



They can also be fed with formulated concentrates like pellet as well as other processing by-products like wheat bran, corn bran, groundnut, so


Topic covered by Manual

CHAPTER 1 General Characteristics
Introduction
Origin of the grasscutter
Behaviour in the wild
Behaviour in confinement
Social behaviour
Life span/longevity

CHAPTER 2 Economic Potentials Of The Grasscutter
Conservational Problems Associated with Grasscutter Demand
Grasscutter as Minilivestock
Scientific Potentials of the Grasscutter

CHAPTER 3 Management Systems
Handling Grasscutter
When catching Grasscutters with your hands, keep the following in mind
Maintaining hygiene in grasscutter farming

CHAPTER 4 Construction Of Housing / Cage
Housing
Rearing shed
Rearing pen
Feeding and drinking troughs

CHAPTER 5 Feeding
Planning
Forage and concentrates
Water and mineral supplements
Stocking food
A self-mix Grasscutter feed formula

CHAPTER 6 Reproduction
Sex Determination
The Male Genital Tract
The Female Genital Tract
Sexual Maturity
Mating in Grasscutter
Pregnancy and Birth
Pregnancy Diagnosis
Gestation Length
Weaning

CHAPTER 7 Production Planning /Health Care Management
Basic hygiene measures
Symptoms of sick Grasscutter
Veterinary treatment
Parasitic Diseases of the Grasscutter
Recordkeeping
Transportation cages

CHAPTER 8
Financial Analysis And Fattening/ Profit Projection For 20 Grasscutter
Operational cost for stocking 20 grasscutters (16females and 4males)
Pre production feeding (4 months period before mating and gestation period)
Grasscutter fattening for (meat production)
Cost Constructing Cages/ Housing
Financial analysis for stocking and fattening
Profit projection for 20 grasscutter
Marketing & processing of grasscutter


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« Last Edit: June 19, 2014, 01:56:04 PM by moderator1 » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2012, 05:48:53 AM »

The grasscutter (Cane-rat) is a hystricomorphic rodent endemic to Africa. The animal occurs in savannah grasslands, forest clearings, cultivated lands and secondary forests, where it is very common and is heavily hunted as a food resource in many areas on the continent. Grasscutters are herbivorous, their favorite’s food being savannah grasses .In captivity; they will also take sugar cane, corn stalks and cassava peelings. The animal is a wasteful feeder, cutting the grass at a characteristic angle with its very powerful incisors to eat the more nutritious, succulent inter-nodes, leaving behind scattered pieces of stem on the feeding grounds. This characteristic feeding behavior is exploited by hunters who look for the feeding sites, an indication of where the animals were active the previous night and concentrate hunting efforts in such areas. The animal does not burrow? But may shelter in hollows and burrows made by other animals. This means enclosures for captive rearing can be fenced in by mud walls. The grasscutter has a long gestation period, about five months, a relatively small litter size, maximum of four in the wild but up to twelve has been recorded in captivity. The young are born with their eyes open and the coats fully developed and are able to follow the mother immediately after birth. Females can be re-fertilized after parturition if paired with the male, thus two litters are possible in a year. Average weight of wild Grasscutters is 4 - 5kg; males can reach up to 10 kg. Captive Grasscutters can be kept in cages or boxes but are best kept in open areas enclosed within mud walls or other fencing material where males and females can be kept together. Depending on the size of cages used, stocking rates of one male to five females are possible. Pregnant females must be separated at full term since cannibalism of males on the newly born young ones is common.
Within the West African sub-region, grasscutter is the favorite bush meat species and accounts for the greater proportion of bush meat sold in markets. In most of the countries within the sub-region, grasscutter meat fetches higher prices than that of beef. The popularity of grasscutter meat led to the choice of the animal as the subject of several studies during the early 1970s, aimed at domesticating the species for large scale farming and production of the meat for human consumption.

Feasibility reports on grasscutter farming ventures indicate that the long term profitability is comparable to that of poultry farming and higher than cattle ranching However, the high costs of initial inputs (cages. breeding stocks), the slow returns and the limited technical expertise has hampered the adoption of back-yard grasscutter farming by rural households and the development of large scale commercial ventures. The market for both fresh and smoked grasscutter meat is effectively unlimited and there is therefore the need to invest in research to develop cheaper ways of production and extension services to enable the transfer of appropriate technologies to small scale farmers.


Grasscutter as Minilivestock
Conventional livestock such as cattle, sheep and goats are usually kept extensively, requiring substantial areas of land. Most of the land is threatened by human population growth, poverty, increased urbanization and increased pressure on land for other uses with higher economic benefits.
On the other hand, the grasscutter does not require much land and can even be raised in the backyard and on flat rooftops by the landless. They also do not produce great quantities of body waste, which in addition to being barely odorless, can easily be disposed off. Also the grasscutter could provide an important source of part-time job opportunities, particularly for the landless women and children. Therefore, in situations where agricultural land is scarce or unavailable, small sized animals such as the grasscutter whose meat is generally referred to as conventional meat could be developed along with livestock.
The grasscutter meat is a popular food item and has high market demand and also commands high price. Therefore, the, included the grasscutter in its list of Mini livestock, little known animals with a promising economic future.


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« Last Edit: November 22, 2013, 05:59:39 AM by moderator1 » Logged

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