GRASSCUTTER (THRYONOMYS SWINDERIANUS)
The grasscutter also known as Cane Rat belongs to thefamily of Rodentia where we have
Giant rats, rabbits, guinea pig, squirrel, porcupine etc. It lives in the savannah grasslands and
cultivated lands where it is hunted for food, most especially in Africa. The animal has a unique way of
feeding with its two hands which inserts the food into the incisor teeth in an automatic way thereby
producing a needle like sound.A well fed Buck as the male is called can weigh up to10kg which can be
compared to the size of an average he-goat. The Doe, female grasscutter also weigh 4 – 5kg averagely
with the ability to give birth to 5 -8 fries (young grasscutter) per birth. Grasscutter is a Bush meat that is
respected and loved by all due to its succulent delicacies/taste and this makes the animal to be a special
treat for people. No wonder it’s a bit expensive to purchase. Presently, the animal has being domesticated
so that without game hunting, you can rear it either on a commercial scale or subsistence depending on
your reason for venturing. Due to the polygamous nature, the animal can be divided into colonies of 4 does
and a buck. The buck has the ability to satisfy the sexual libido of the Does to pregnancy.
WHY GRASSCUTTER ?
The grasscutter is preferred to other animals becauseof the following:
1. Since it is regarded as a delicacy, there is high demand for the meat. This sees the farmers smiling to the bank always.
2. It is accepted by all. No religious or cultural taboo.
3. The droppings/faeces can be used as manure forplants.
4. A doe gives birth 2 times a year to minimum of 6 fries per birth thereby providing quick opportunityfor expansion.
5. It is an herbivore i.e it can feed on almost all grasses.
6. It requires a minimum start up capital.
EQUIPMENTS NEEDED IN A GRASSCUTTER FARM
1. Feeder ( Water and Food)
2. Catcher ( Holding cage for transferring the animal from one cage to the other).
3. Transport cage.
4. Shovel for packing the faeces and waste.
5. Big water bowl for rinsing, washing and changingwater in the feeder.
6. Broom for general cleaning of the grasscutterenviron.
In our next week post, we shall continue ourdiscussion on grasscutter where we will talk fully on:
a. The Grasscutter housing
c. Reproduction in Grasscutter
e. General management
f. How to turn your Grasscutter farm into a goldmine.
As we sign out for this week, remember that feedbacks are welcome and till next week, never relent in learning more.
OLA JACOBS( AGRIBIZ CONSULTANT OF 20 YEARS)