Grass cutter meat is one of the most desired, popular, highly delicious and scarce meat used in preparing various delicacies in Nigeria and other West Africa countries. The meat gotten from grasscutter is popularly known as bush meat in Nigeria. It is also highly rich in protein and gives unique taste to any meal prepared with it.
As rich and delicious as this meat is, it is very scarce in the market, as farmers don’t catch enough grasscutters to sell to consumers and retailers. Due to the scarcity of the meat in the market, hence the need for an increase in the number of grass cutters farmers.
Getting into grass cutters farming part-time or full-time is one business that can give you good income today. Why do I say say?
Grass cutters business is so lucrative that you can make your first million within the first one year of the business. How is this possible? A fully matured grasscutter for the male weighs about 3-6kg and the female weighs about 2kg to 4kg. A matured female grasscutter produces up to 2 times in a year and each deliveries can be up to 7 or 10 little grasscutters which makes it 14-20 per year.
A matured grasscutter can be sold between N4000 to N6000. Having up to 3 female grass cutters properly mated twice a year will give you up to 60 grass cutters in a year, having 10 female cutters can produce 200 baby grass cutters in a year. Looking at a simple arithmetic of 200 grasscutters groomed and ready for sales x the lowest amount you can get it in the market which is N4000, e.g 200 x N4000=N800,000 which is close to a million Naira.
This is quite very lucrative business which many persons are now aware of, grass cutters are not difficult to rare or feed as they can easily be reared at any space available at your home.
How to start grass cutter farming in Nigeria or Africa
See below the ways to start up, the benefits and the nitty gritty of the business.
How to get good stock for breeding
You can get good breeding stock from the market, Just ensure you check for healthy ones that are not light weights starting from 4 months old.
Grass cutters do not live alone, neither do you put male grasscutters together, they primarily live in small colony of one male and 3-4 females. Males in each colony has to be very healthy in other to reproduce well, a sign of a healthy male or female grasscitter is weight gain.
Grass cutters can live in cages, pens, or boxes depending on what you can provide. It requires large spaces in the pen or box so as to move around. Extreme cold or hot temperature is not suitable for grass cutters.
Grass cutters are easy to feed as they do not select foods. They eat grasses, sugar canes, corn, unripe pawpaws, mangoes and also enjoy palm fruits.
Grass cutters can also be fed broiler feeds to help increase weight gain and make the animals market ready on set dates.
An important factor to consider is grasscutters eat anything ranging from fruits to grasses.
Always ensure the cleanliness of the cage as this helps in their growth and also helps them to maintain good weight gain at all times.
The male grass cutters is said to be mature at 4 months, then it can be separated from the mother and left to live alone.
The females get matured for sales too at 4 months, but sexual maturity is attained at 7 months.
The best time to transfer females into the male cage is at 7 months. At 7 months the females are ready to mate.
A common sign of mating in grass cutters includes some scratches on the females in an attempt by the male to climb it.
And also you can notice the protrusion of the vaginal walls on the females.
Weaning the young ones
It takes the grasscutters up to 4-5 months to deliver it’s young ones.
Baby grass cutters are allowed to stay with its mother for a period of two months or maximum of four before you separate them in a different cage.
With a startup capital of N50,000 to N75,000 you can start your own grasscutters business.
Breakdown : purchase of 12 females and 4 males
=16*4000= 64,000 spent on buying the animals.
4 males means 4 colony for each set of 4 females.
Feeding requires little or nothing from you, if you live in an environment where easy access to fruits and grasses can easily be made available for them.
Also note worthy is the cages or pens for the grass cutters, this is another aspect you spend close to N10,000 depending on the colony you choose to have and your location determinate how much you will be charged for the Cage.
To save cost, if you have a free space in your house or kitchen, you can start your business there, as grasscutters generally have odourless excreta which is not offensive to humans.
Profit potentials of the business
Grasscutters start producing babies at eight months, and each female grasscutters can give you up to 14 to 20 babies in a year which means if you have up to 12 females multiply by 20 babies in a year equals to 240 babies, which when sold go especially you a profit of N960,000 in a year which is so much more than the capital invested in the business.
Grass cutters is quite scarce, as it is a healthy white meat which makes doctors recommend it to patients with various heart conditions, and it is a meat that cannot be under priced due to the difficulty of getting it daily or getting it at a convenient time.
Grass cutters meat can be dried, smoked and exported to different countries of the world, it all depends on how you want to market your business.
Challenges of the business
Lack of training can make one experience some mistakes in the business. Therefore, it is important for anyone who wants to go into this business to visit a farm where it is reared in order to get some practical knowledge about this business too.
Ability to identify right stocks can also be a challenge. Like it was mentioned earlier in this article, you can identify good breeding stocks by the weight of each grasscutters and how thick the fur is.
Another challenge you may likely experience if you bread your grasscutters in a farm, snakes and insect attack. You need to guard against snakes and soilder ants attack. Those are two enemies of grass cutters.
It is worthy of note that grass cutters are mostly found in some parts of Africa, and it is a meat rich in protein.
To rear grass cutters in a small scale may not even occupy a room space, as you can demarcate the room into different pens showing different colonies.
Anyone can engage in grass cutters farming, graduates, undergraduates, singles, married etc. It can be done part-time or full-time in order to increase your streams of income.
When you start this business in a large scale, you could be the sole distributor of grass cutters in your locality, or you can smoke the meat dry and start exporting it other countries by getting the necessary rights from the government. You can also export to states within the country.
The key words being consistent and patient with the business and watch your small capital turn to millions within a few years.
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About The Writer : This was written by Salome Precious,senior content developer at MyAfribusiness.com. She is an accountant by training and a business enthusiast by passion.
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