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 weighs 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 ano-genital 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. Hard wood (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 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 in strong troughs that will resist damages by the grasscutter. Remove leftover feed and clean the hutch daily.
Hold grasscutter by the tail, and waist and the neck.
Oestrus and Mating Signs
Female grasscutter makes noise and lashes tail in the presence of the male. If the female attempts to reach the male, send it to the male for crossing. Use 7 months 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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