Updated: Nov 15, 2019
Popularly known as “Bush Meat”, the Grasscutter is a meat delicacy in African homes, hotels, restaurants and bars. The animal is characterised by its high demand and inadequate supply as major suppliers are local hunters without the capacity for commercial production. The Grasscutter commands prices between N2,500 – N4,000 or more and its much sought after for its delicious taste.
The Grasscutter yields white meat of high quality
It is tender, succulent and very tasty
It possesses high proteins
It provides vitamins and minerals like Vitamins A, B, riboflavin, magnesium and iron.
Grasscutters lives in colonies of three to four, and it isn’t advisable to keep or separate them alone in cages. Two males don’t live together, A male to three or four females is the compatible colony. You can start with one colony or more depending on your resources.
Starting a successful Grasscutter farm requires selecting quality breeding stock. The animal in your breeding stock should be strong, agile and healthy. Females within the same colony should be of equal weight or no less than 500g difference in body weight. Males should weigh 0.5 to 1kg more than the females.
Males can be identified by their wrinkled, brown genitals and the distance between their anus and genitals (which farther than that of the females).
Females have their anus and genitals close together differentiating them for their male counterparts
Grasscutters reproduces fast and are ready for mating at 7 months, it gives birth twice yearly with a litter size of 4-7. This means if you start with one colony you can have a minimum of 12 offspring within a year, expanding your farm and improving your worth.
Housing is very important in Grasscutter farming. A secured, well-ventilated house, protected against sunlight and humidity should be provided
Cages or pens should be 180cm – 190cm in length, 60cm – 70cm in width and 45cm – 50cm in height. Provide Cages or pens with beddings like soft grasses to make it comfortable and protect them.
Grasscutters don’t sleep where they eat. Dining and sleeping spaces should be provided within their cages or pens.
Snakes and soldier ants are threats to Grasscutters. Pens or cages should be in location free from these threats and measures taken to prevent them especially during the rainy seasons.
Grasscutters are herbivores, grasses and legumes are their major source of food. Their feeding can be supplemented by high energy feed with proteins and minerals. Grasscutters require adequate forage for digestion and growth.
Elephant or Napier grass are their preferred choice and they have been known to love Sugar cane
Grasscutters can also feed on corn bran, groundnuts, cassava, sweet potato, peels of yam, cocoyam, cassava and fruits such as half ripen pawpaw, plantain, pineapple, coconut, mango etc.
Water Provision: Water should be provided constantly, sometimes before meals.
A healthy matured Grasscutter weighs about 4-5kg for male and 3-4kg for females with market prices between N2,500 – N10,000. They can be sold to homes, hotels, restaurants and bars for meat and to other farmers as breeding stock (colonies).
Grasscutter farming is a profitable venture but one that requires a lot of care and adequate management. Attention should be paid to adequate ventilation, sanitation and feeding, if profit is to be made.