There are a lot of reasons why you need to keep and raise grasscutters or cane rats. Apart from the fact that they are easy to raise, they are also good entertainers, as they will entertain you with their playfulness. Additionally, your kitchen vegetable waste can be used to feed them, and they can be used for agricultural exhibitions.
Cane rat or grasscutter farming is very good and lucrative if you have access to a rearing space like a small parking store, room, or a kitchen. They are never a threat to you as they rely majorly on grasses as their food source. Cane rats are considered to be the most efficient bush-meat producers.
Why Do You Need to Raise Grasscutter?
- They are Cheap to Keep: You can start raising grasscutters with a wooden cage and one colony (a family of grasscutters). A colony of grasscutters comprises one male and four females. The cost of a colony ranges between ₦40,000 and ₦50,000, depending on the age and species. You should be able to get a right cage constructed by an artisan carpenter for as low as ₦10,000. You can place the cage anywhere in your compound, provided it not exposed to direct sunlight.
- For Meat Production: A good way to produce meat for human consumption is by raising grasscutters. They are fast-growing, tough and long-living giant rats. They attain a very good body weight within a very short time and with just little feeds. They are efficient converters of feed. They feed on and convert a wide range of grasses and vegetables to meat. There are many bushmeat consumers across the globe. The male attains a body size that doubles the size of chicken meat. Also, Thryonomys swinderianus (grasscutter) grows fast, and at 12 weeks of age, they are ready to be sold as a breeder. The combination of their rapid maturation and cheapness of feed qualifies cane rats to be kept and raised for market purposes.
- For Breeding Stock Production: The most lucrative part of cane rat farming is the breeding stock production. A cane rat is ready to be used as breeding stock at age 3-4 months old. I stated earlier that a colony comprises one male and four females. A productive colony that is well managed can produce between 50-56 cane rats in a year. Just imagine the profits!
- To Create Employment Opportunities: Financing, producing, processing, transporting, and exporting of the products of grasscutter creates employment opportunities for a lot of people. Additionally, keeping grasscutter for local human consumption will significantly reduce the rate of importing fish, turkey, chicken, and frozen meat, and there will be increased Forex earnings when grasscutter meats are exported. The GDP will improve and inflation and unemployment will also reduce.
- To Make Profit: Grasscutter farming is one of the ways you can put food on your table and generate money into your pocket without spending a lot of money. You can earn profits by selling grasscutters to restaurant owners (live or smoked), you can sell the manure to small-hold farmers and worm growers and you can as well sell to people who intend to raise them.
- There is a Ready Market: Undoubtedly, the meat of grasscutters is delicious and there is a market for your grasscutters or cane rats. Many people go to restaurants to eat grasscutter’s meat; hence, making restaurant owners demand more to satisfy their customers. No matter the number of cane rats you have, you will get buyers who are ready to buy them. You only need to do look for them. Don’t let me forget to inform you that the meat is low in cholesterol and it is believed that there are health benefits in consuming it. Nutritionists have also advised people to consume “bush meat” because it is in the class of white meat. Also, know that eating the meat of grasscutters has no religious or cultural taboos. Therefore, they are universally acceptable.