How do I start a Grasscutter/cane rat farm?
The only species found in Ghana is Thryonomys Swinderianus and they live in the forest and savanna zones of the country. Grasscutters can grow about two feet long in the longest individual and weigh a little less than 8.6kg
Breed Stock Selection: Obtain your stock from a recognized breeder or breeding station
• Grasscutter with no abnormalities
• Grasscutter that produces more offspring
• Grasscutter whose offspring grow faster and bigger
Sex Diagnosis: The most reliable is the anogenital method, i.e. the distance between the anus and the clitoris or penis. This distance is shorter in females (7mm) and longer (20-30mm) in males when the young ones are about 3 months old.
Housing: Make cages (hutches) using the following materials. Hardwood (emir, Odum, danwoma, etc). Galvanized wire mesh, nails, felt for roofing, and plywood. Convenient hutch measurements are:
Height - 30-35cms
With - 60-75cms
Length - 120-130cm
Hutches can be in one, two, or three tiers.
Feeding: Feed grasscutters on grass like elephant grass, guinea grass, leaves of a leguminous plant, pineapple, yam tubers, cassava, sweet potatoes, cereal grains and maize husk, meal leftover, and agro-industrial by-products. Provide water as well as strong troughs that will resist damage by the grasscutter. Remove leftover feed and clean the hutch daily.
Hold the grasscutter by the tail, waist, and neck.
Oestrus and Mating Signs
The female grasscutter makes a noise and lashes her tail in the presence of the male. If the female attempts to reach the male, send it to the male for crossing. Use a 7-month-old male to mate. Pregnancy takes 140-160 days (5 months). Remove the young ones from the mother at 6-8 weeks. After 2-3 weeks, service the female again.
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