Grasscutter is a greater cane rat, belonging to one of the African rodent family (porcupine family). They grow to about 60cm (2.0 feet) in length, and weigh almost 8.5 kg.
Grasscutters are nocturnal and most at times burrow underground. They have a life span of about four (4) years. Their conservation condition is lower peril.
These greater cane rats, lives in the plantations and feeds on agricultural crops such as wheat, maize, cassava, sugar-cane. Because of this they are sometimes described as agricultural pest.
Aside these, grass-cutters (as often called by the people of Ghana and Nigeria and other West Africa), are a source of food (bush meat). Their meat is a delicacy, it makes a good soup (grass-cutter soup).
They also serve as a source of livelihood for some people as the are being raised in cages for sale.
Some characteristics of grass-cutters
- Grasscutters become sexually active and mature at 5-6 months. At this age they can reproduce and give birth to as high as 12 young.
- They are calm and relatively productive animal.
- They can grow speedily in intensive conditions.
- They can be easily reared or managed, and this made their domestication as an alternative to poaching them in the wild.
- The meat of grass-cutters is very rich in protein and economically valuable.
Price of Grass-cutter in Ghana.
Grass-cutter farming has been a thriving business and even a hobby now for most people in Ghana especially in Accra.
I am sure this is because of its status as a bush meat and the delicacy of its soup. Grass-cutter restaurants are very busy places. Their rearing has gained wide public acceptance and demand.
Grass-cutter price- GHS60-GHS100.
Sometimes the prices increases during special occasions, especially festivals.
You might want to buy and raise or breed Grasscutters, and so below is how to raise or breed grass-cutters.
How to Raise or Breed Grass–cutters
The best or top-quality way to raise or breed grass-cutters is by raising them under intensive systems or environments, i.e. keeping them in cages or pens inside a very safe and sound shed.
It is very crucial to choose a very good location as this is highly critical for successful grasscutter rearing.
Grasscutters should be supplied with food always. Also, the grasscutters should be fed with feed 2 hours before feeding them with food products in the morning and evening.
It is also very essential to provide water always to the animals. Hence, grassy feed needs to be dried in the sun for 1-2 days before feeding them to animals.
Nonetheless very little understanding of the nutrition of this animal, its disease pattern and housing.