This is a detailed post on how to start and succeed in grasscutter farming business. If you need a lucrative farming business with little risk, capital requirement and attention. Then this post is for you. So, follow me as I unveil to you all you need to setup and run a successful grasscutter farming business.
Grasscutter farming involves the rearing of grasscutters for sales. Grasscutter also known as cane rat belongs to the rodent family. But unlike rats, they grow bigger and reach a length of about 720mm at full maturity. And are mostly found in bushes and grasslands. Unlike rats that are seen around homes and streets.
With a dying economy as ours, you don’t need to be told that there is a need to have multiple streams of passive income.
Generally, agriculture is a money spinner. And grasscutter farming is not an exception. Particularly, grasscutter farming unlike some other livestock farming is less costly and risky to manage. It also require less attention. Thus, giving you ample time to pursue other activities.
Some of the benefits of starting a grasscutter farming business are:
• FAST MATURITY: unlike snails that that take between 1 to 2 years to mature, grasscutters mature very fast. Usually, grasscutters attain maturity between 5 to 6 months. And sometimes, with a healthy breed and properly fed, matures faster and ready for market in 5 months or less. At full maturity, the females weigh between 3 – 3.5kg. While the male weighs between 4 – 4.5kg.
• FAST REPRODUCTION: Grasscutters reproduces very fast and in good numbers too. It takes a female grasscutter about 5 months to mature. After which it is ready for procreation. On taking in, it takes a pregnant female grasscutter approximately 150 days to deliver.
They deliver between 5 to 7 young ones per birth. And can take in twice a year. This means that a female is capable of producing between 10 to 14 grasscutters yearly. And sometimes more. Depending on the breed.
• HIGH DEMAND: The demand for bush meat delicacies in Nigeria is very high. Particularly, grasscutter delicacies are seen as luxury dishes in the southern part of the country. Thus, it is widely demanded by restaurants and homes. The fact that grasscutter meat has been said to be medicinal for hypertensive patients means many also prefer it to beef and poultry meat.
• EASY/CHEAP TO RAISE: Like I earlier stated, grasscutter farming is unarguably one of the easy and low capital intensive farming ventures to embark on. Grasscutters feed mainly on grasses, and certain vegetables. Also, constructing a grasscutter house relatively cheap as you don’t necessarily need a large space of land.
• LOW RISK: Grasscutters are very strong creatures. And less vulnerable to diseases like fishes and poultry. This, with little attention and maintenance, it is very difficult to encounter disease outbreak in your grasscutter farm.
• GOOD SALES PRICE: At full maturity, grasscutters are very expensive. Selling for about #4,000 to #4,500 depending on the weight. Live ones are even more expensive. As people especially homes prefer live and domesticated ones. This is because they are hygienically raised, disease free and since they are alive, you are not to be afraid of the cause of the death. Also, new farms buy live ones for raising and reproduction.
• EDUCATION: Starting a grasscutter farming business does not require any form of formal education. In fact, following the guidelines I have laid down in this post puts you in a good position to running a successful grasscutter farming business.
I know that by now you will be thinking that everything about grasscutter farming is easy and without challenges. That is not right. Just like every other business venture, grasscutter farming also comes with its share of risks. However, the risks are little compared to the challenges faced in setting up and managing other farming ventures. Moreover, they are risks that could be easily managed with adequate precautions. These risks include:
• PREDATORS: Snakes and soldier ants are the biggest enemies to grasscutters both in the wild and under domestication. Thus, it is advisable to ensure that the grasscutter house is built safely. And also, endeavor to maintain some level of hygiene to keep off soldier ants.
• HUMAN THIEVES: Another challenge to grasscutter farming is human thieves. Thus, it is very important that the grasscutter house is built to be very secured and in a well secured environment too.
1. MARKET RESEARCH AND GOOD BUSINESS PLAN: Like I always say, any business without a good business plan is like a football field without a goal post.
So, for you to start and successfully run a grasscutter farming business, you need a detailed business plan. And this can only be achieved after you have conducted a rigorous market research.
A thorough market research will enable you to know your potential customers and competitors. Where to get the right breed, how to treat them in case of disease outbreak, and every other item needed to start up at an affordable price.
Also, a good business plan will ensure you remain focused in managing the business.
2. HOUSING: Grasscutters are very easy to house as they can be reared in any environment suitable for human existence. They can be bred in a walled room, a wooden or metallic cage. However, they are very neat creatures. Sensitive to dirt. So, usually to ensure that they are comfortable, each cage should be built in a room and parlour system. So, that where they eat is different from where they sleep.
Secondly, male grasscutters are very domineering. So, grasscutters are better kept in colonies. Each cage housing one colony – 4 females and one male. And the cage or pen should be securely built. So, as to be protected from human thieves and predators.
3. FEEDING: Grasscutters are herbivorous creatures. So, they basically feed rely on grasses for most of their nutritional needs.
They feed on a variety of grasses and vegetables including Elephant grass, Gamba grass, Guinea grass, Sugar cane, Stylo. As well as fruits like oil palms, half ripen pawpaw, plantain, pineapple, mango and so on. They also consume food crops like rice, maize, sweet potato, groundnut, cassava and a host of other leguminous plants. You may also decide to
The male can also be fattened using chicken finisher feed. Thus, unlike fishes, feeding grassies are generally cheap.
4. BREEDING: It is advisable to get your first stock from a good grasscutter farm. This way you are sure of the state of health of the breed. To be successful in grasscutter farming business, you need to start with a healthy and agile male. And prolific females. This is because your profit in the business lies in the ability of your initial breed to produce in good numbers. And healthy offsprings too.
Thus, each colony should consist of strong, agile, healthy and prolific male and female grassies. Particularly, when selecting the male, watch out for their behaviour and weight.
Finally, young grasscutters are weaned between 4 to 5 weeks. However, they can be left with their mother for up to 5 months after which the females are placed with the males for mating.
5. THE MARKET: The market for bush meat especially grasscutters is very large. Like I stated earlier, grasscutter meat is in high demand in Nigeria. In fact, the demand far exceed the supply. Thus, it is generally insufficient and expensive.
Homes and special restaurants demand it for preparing local delicacies. And a full grown adult grasscutter sells higher than a live chicken despite being relatively cheaper to raise.
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