Agriculture80 Comments

Grasscutter farming is gaining popularity in Africa for good reasons. Greater Cane Rat popularly known as Grasscutter belongs to the rodent family and is very closely related to the porcupine, almost look alike except that porcupine is bigger. The spiny fur on the back and rounded nose distinguish Grasscutter from true rats. It reaches a length of about 720 mm when fully matured. Grasscutter farming can make you at least N3million per year if you take it serious.

So, how do you start Grasscutter farming in Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, South Africa or any part of west Africa where this animal is most fond of? This article will address that.


Grasscutter is one of the animal that is extremely suitable for commercial rearing. If you are in the village and still complaining about money, you need to be brought out to the village square and be given 24 strokes of cane on a hot afternoon. Why? Because you’ve been allowing opportunities to pass you by all these years!

SEE ALSO: How To Start Quail Farming In Small Or Large Scale

After reading this article, you need between 6 – 12 months to make at least one million naira in this business. If not, then something is wrong with you somewhere. So, let’s get down to business and see how Grasscutter farming works

Grasscutter farming is highly profitable, more profitable than you imagined. The meat is widely consumed allover the West Africa region and beyond, making it one of the top 10 animals whose meat is in highest demand in the market. A market ready Grasscutter is sold between N4,000 to N5,500. Five hundred Grasscuters in a year could earn you between N2 Million to N2.75 Million.

The animal reproduces very quickly and in good numbers. A fully grown female Grasscutter after gestation, carries the pregnancy for 140 – 150 days and deliver about twice a year. Each pregnancy produces average of four to seven young ones. Sometimes up to ten, that means one female Grasscutter could produce 8 – 20 other Grasscutters in a year

It grows big and very fast too. Grasscutter is one of the biggest rodent in Africa. A fully mature female or male that is ready for market weighs between 3.5kg for the female and 4.5kg for the male. While measuring 45cm to 60cm in body length. The standing height is between 25 to 30cm. The body size of a fully grown male is about the size of a nine inches block.

SEE ALSO: How To Export Charcoal And Tomber To Oversea And Make Dollars

A good number of Grasscutter is consumed yearly but most of them still comes from the wild through hunters who goes into the bush to hunt for them but usually not easy to catch, making the animal meat very scarce in the market.

Getting Started In Grasscutter Farming

Colony – Grasscutter lives in colony, two mature male doesn’t live together. Therefore, start with a male and few females together. A colony should consists of one male and three to four females. Your capacity determine how many colony you wants to start with. A small farmer may start with one or two colony, with the arrangement of one male and 3 females in each colony.

Breeding – Grasscutter is kept 100% for the meat, it has to grow well and healthy in other to be profitable. To achieve this, a new farmer must lay emphasis on the choice of breeding stock. Each colony must have a very health male. The male is the engine of reproduction, a healthy male makes a healthy stock. While selecting the male, pay attention on the well being, good weight gain in male animals is a very important factors that determine how healthy it is.

In any case, both the male and female stock you are selecting for breeding purpose must be healthy. While a healthy, strong, agile male animal should be selected for breeding programs, if the female is not genetically healthy too, it will also affect the breeding stocks. To ensure that you achieve the best possible result, both has to be healthy.

Grasscutter Pen – Grasscutter don’t like sleeping where they eat! If you are providing them house you must put this factor into consideration – either cage or house, you must provide steeping place and dinning and playing place.

They can be breed either in a properly build cages or in a house specially designed for them. Grasscutter is sensitive to good habitat, for a colony (1 male and 3 females) the dimension of the cage should be 180cm in length, 60cm in width and 45cm in height. Build your cage that way, separate for each colony.

Grasscutter Farming Rearing

Grasscutter Cage Picture

If you are using walled pen or house, make sure you build it in such way that the place they eat must be separate from where they sleep. Also the production building must be designed to protect the animals from excess temperature and humidity.

SEE ALSO: How To Build Low Cost Poultry Pen For Small Scale Farmers

The biggest enemies for Grasscutter are Snakes and Soldier Ants.Make sure their house are built is a safe place and you must also be wary of human thieves. To protect them from the invasion of soldier ants, you may pour black engine oil around their houses, especially at night during raining season mostly.

The floor should be overlay with dry soft grasses to protect their feet from being hurt and to provide them soft cushy play ground condition.

Feeding The Grasscutters

Grasscutter is a herbivorous animals meaning their source of food is basically from the bush, that’s why they are more comfortable in the bush where their foods could easily be found. Their major food is Elephant or Napier grass. They also love Sugar cane and most farmers use sugar cane mainly for their feeding, Guinea grass, Gamba grass, Congo grass.

According to experience farmers, Hygiene and good feeding are the most important factors for successful, profitably Grasscutter farming. You can also fatten the male with broiler’s finisher or broiler starter’s feed to help attain market weight within short period of time.

SEE ALSO: How To Start Animal Feeds Production Business

The animal also like Gliricidia sepium, herbaceous legumes like Stylo (Stylosanthes gracilis) and Pueraria phaseoloides. The root and pitch of oil and coconut palms, bark of the anacardium and fruits such as half ripen pawpaw, plantain, pineapple, mango etc are their delight. Food crops such as groundnut, rice, maize, grain legume, tubers like cassava, sweet potato etc also make part of their food, stressed the grasscutter farmer.

The farmer also stated that grasscutter feed on palm wine and that is why they destroy oil palm plantation. They take their water mostly from the field and go to the river during the dry season only. But when domesticated, you can give them water by adding some attractant to it. Cane rate it should be noted does not dig a hole and cannot climb a tree either, he further stressed.

They can also be fed with formulated concentrates like pellet as well as other processing by-products like wheat bran, corn bran, groundnut, soya, oilseed, cotton seed cakes, brewer yeast, grain legume pods, brewers’ grains, maize shucks and cobs, brewer’s yeast etc as feed supplements.

Grasscutter don’t like cold environment.  The rooms or cages where you keep them must neither be too cold nor too hot. Environment that is suitable for human is considered suitable for Grasscutters.

Weaning time – With good, adequate feeding, the grasscutter kids can be weaned between four to eight weeks. But as a family, they can be with the mother for four months. The kids can be separated from the mother between five to seven months and place with a male to mate with them.

The weaned animals can be mated at the age of between seven to eight months from birth. Indefinite mating is expected to have taken place when the weaned male Grasscutter is seven months old and the female is eight months. The indefinite mating period is 140days. But if after 160 days of separation from the male, there is still no sign of pregnancy , then it should be taken back to the male for proper mating. Usually there should also be an extra male that can serve the same purpose.

The Market For Grasscutter

The market like I stated earlier is very big. Grasscutter meat or Bush meat is probably the most desirable animal meet in the market. Everyone loves it and it sells very fast. Big restaurants uses it to prepare high priced delicacies. Full meat of a mature Grasscutter goes for N4,500 in the market and the market women who trade on it are always in demand of it.

SEE ALSO: How To Develop Marketing Strategy For Your Business

Most people in the city couldn’t buy the meat because it’s very scarce, so no amount of Grasscutter you produced that can’t be sold within days. It will take combined efforts of thousands of farmers to fill the need for bush meat in the market in Africa right now.

Grasscutter is a fast reproducing animal and starts mating with 7 months after birth. It gives birth twice yearly and produce 4-7 at a time. That means, if you have 100 females that gives birth twice in a year, you would be having 900 to 1,500 in your farm within just a year! Such number will bring you nothing less than N5 Million when they are matured for marketing.

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  • Henry September 7, 2013

    Hello Darlington, thanks for the post. My question is, does grasscutter feed elephant grass that have been dried under the sun? What about silage?

    • Darlinton Omeh September 7, 2013

      Grasscutter feeds mostly on fresh succulent grasses and plant roots. However, they do eat dried foods too

      • ajayi niyi June 16, 2016

        @ mr darlintor,let me first appreciate you for your effort may God bless you, please i am interested in this business, i dont know if you sell for rearing and if yes please how do i get you,what is the price for a familly. thanks

  • Anonymous September 7, 2013

    Dear Darlinton,
    Thanks so much for the article. Please is it possible and safe(health wise) to have a chicken pen and a grasscutter pen on thesame farm.

    • Darlinton Omeh September 7, 2013

      If the farm is a big farm (build in five to ten acres of land) yes it is. But if the farm is a small farm (build in one or two plots) it not. The reason is because Grasscutter is a neat animal that doesn't survive well on dirty environment

  • Anonymous September 18, 2013

    To chinedu eluwa, please how long have you been in the business with one colony to be expecting one thousand next year December,then how many litters have you experienced per birth? And does all the female give birth the same month.Am planning to invest in it with more than two colonies but i have to now how profitable it is before i invest my time in it .

  • chinedu eluwa September 20, 2013

    @anonymous, i started in march 2011, its all about investing in knowledge, people like darlington invest heavily in knowledge and you can see the results in the contents he posts on his blog. grasscutter farming is a goldmine, you cant even meet the demands. I OFFER FREE GRASSCUTTER MANUAL THAT OUGHT TO GO FOR N15,000 AND FREE CONSULTATION FOR PURCHASING YOUR GRASSCUTTERS FROM OUR FARM. JUST CALL ME. THIS IS A LIMITED OFFER, I SUGGEST YOU TAKE ACTION NOW.

    • Pastor Obierika September 23, 2013

      Hello Chin edu I'm so impressed by your selfless generosity. You are the kind of people this nation needs to move forward.
      How can I get a copy of your free grass cutter manual? Am preparing my grass cutter farm and would like to get some healthy families from you to take off. Where are you based?

    • Ekom Nathan November 29, 2013

      Cld u plz, let me have ur number

      • samuel August 4, 2016

        chinedu., pls let me have your number and contact , I will need some nchi

    • Anonymous January 14, 2015

      @chinedu, pls drop ur contacts so pple dat need you would be able to get in touch with you. Pple like me for example, please I(we) r waiting.

    • Fidelis ufoh January 21, 2016

      How can I get grasscutter to start with. A male and 3 female. I live in lagos

    • okezie monday March 13, 2016

      please were is your farm i want to buy some colony

    • okezie monday March 13, 2016

      were is your farm.i want to buy some colonies, and how much is a colony

    • EBY. OBINNA March 14, 2016


    • okezie monday March 16, 2016

      where is your farm located and how much for a family

    • FRED EGBUEDIKE March 22, 2016

      How do I ccontact you?iI aminterested in grass cutter farming as a school project.. Who are suppliers and what are their contacts? Fredi

    • Handsome Jimoh May 3, 2016

      Thank you for your post. Can you please forward the manual and your contact phone and address to my box:
      once again thank you.

    • ajayi niyi June 16, 2016

      @mr chinedu, pls i will like get a family of grass cutter, how can i reach you if you have to sell please.
      my contact e.mail:
      pleas i will appreciate a good respond from you please

    • Victoria August 6, 2016

      May God bless this open heart and reward this generosity in Jesus Name. May he enlarge y’alls coast.
      I am interested in Grasscutter farming. Please let me know where you are located and how to reach you by phone also.
      My phone number is 08142360729

      Thank you

  • Anonymous September 24, 2013

    @Eluwa, pls how do you handle in-breeding with starting with a colony? I learnt inbreeding is not allowed in grasscutter farming. Tks

  • ALEX AKOSA October 14, 2013

    very nice one on the grass cutter business. another business i want you to explore on is steel business and plastic business here in Nigeria. a friend of mine spoke to me about it today and it sounds very interesting. hoping to hear from you soonest. thanks

  • ALEX AKOSA October 14, 2013

    nice one on grass cutter business. pls i want you to explore steel and plastic business here in Nigeria. a friend of mine spoke to me about it today, it sounds interesting and lucrative. thanks.

  • balafa evgenia October 15, 2013

    i have a grasscutter farm in benin-city,and i hope to grow-up as soon as the grassies in nigeria!

  • balafa evgenia October 15, 2013

    i have a grasscutter farm in benin-city,and hope to grow-up like the grassies in nigeria!

  • holysuccess October 16, 2013

    Hello, pls can I start this biz @ my backyard and will my generator noice not disturb this animal, pls I need ur phone number.thanks

  • holysuccess October 16, 2013

    Hello, pls can I start this biz @ my backyard and will my generator noice not disturb this animal, pls I need ur phone number.thanks

  • Deji October 21, 2013

    I am most impressed with your selflessness. As a means to an end, I implore our youths and the unemployed to explore agriculture as a business and an industry.

  • emuren kenneth November 7, 2013

    Can one combined this with snail village in 2 plots of land@chinedu

  • Onyekwere Munachi November 9, 2013

    @ Omeh please i want to start up this businees but i don't know how to get a good species to buy.

  • Johnbull Tade November 19, 2013

    Thanks for the article, I want to start this grasscutter farming how can I get the cage and good species to buy

    • Darlinton Omeh December 15, 2013

      Meet welders to help you construct good cage following the sample cage in this article. Then approach existing grasscutter farm to buy good species

  • samuel kwasahie December 15, 2013

    Thanks a lot for this eeducation on grasscutter i have just began with one male and one female but more about illnes and treatment pls. Greeying from Ghana.

  • samuel kwasahie December 15, 2013

    Sickness and treatments

  • Bravo December 19, 2013

    Pls @Darlington we need phone ur number so we can contact U if there's any more question

    • Bravo December 19, 2013

      @ Darlington we need ur phone number so we can contact u, I'm really interested in d business too

  • Ekom Nathan December 24, 2013

    Pls, where can I buy good breeds of grasscutters to start my own farm, & which time of the year is the most appropriate time to start

    • Darlinton Omeh December 24, 2013

      You can buy from any reputable farm near you. I don't have record of farms so I can recommend one to you

  • beraca January 21, 2014

    Hi Darlintonl
    Thanks for this information. How much space is required for this. I'm interested in starting.

  • Nelson Enweliku January 22, 2014

    i ve just finish building my pen and want to start with one colony. am in abuja any close farm?

  • chioma kalu January 27, 2014

    pls darlington can i start in one room?

  • Anonymous March 8, 2014

    Why do some grasscutters dislike pellet formulated feed?

  • vickky March 10, 2014

    Darlintonl Pls where can som1 get good breed of grasscutter in abuja?

  • agbajesadegoke May 2, 2014

    Thank you very much for the writeup.

  • agbajesadegoke May 2, 2014

    Thank you very much for the writeup.

  • Ogundijo OBA May 22, 2014

    Oga this is a good work, God bless u, but I need your no to make the contact more easier.

  • Anonymous May 28, 2014

    Pls can i make use of 2rooms for 2colony?

  • Anonymous June 6, 2014

    information on this site is invaluable. Tnx folks

  • nirvana32 September 29, 2014

    thanks so much for the write up. please are there no other ways or types of cages that can be made . because the type you have in the write up is too expensive for me now.

  • WT SHERMAN October 5, 2014

    Ya….let's raise a nasty disease filled rat that helps spread ebola just to make a profit.

    • Darlinton Omeh October 5, 2014

      GrassCutter is not rat and is not ebola infested. Meat is for consumption but if you decide to eat only meat-pie and burger, that's your choice 😀

  • Paul Omor December 8, 2014

    Wow! I learnt enough today through your post.,i will love to be among thoes whotrain grasscutter…were is the market located?

  • Anonymous December 25, 2014

    Woow! Dat's awesome…….but wot do dey eat.

  • Anonymous January 9, 2015

    Please where can I buy a colony?

  • Anonymous February 23, 2015

    I just want to ask you – How do we appreciate you individually financialy? You have been most helpful. Weneed to show our appreciation sir.
    From: Cheif Executive Abeddon Farms, Akpabuyo, Cross River State.

    • Darlinton Omeh February 23, 2015

      Akpabuyo, Thank you for showing appreciation. The best way to appreciate me financially is to invest with us. You will double your gain and at the same time enable us expand what we are doing. You an check the "invest" page for more details or use the contact form to contact me. Thank you once again

  • Ohene Firempong March 17, 2015

    I have read just about every Grasscutter Farming in W/Africa write ups online. This is one of the best by far, it is more straight to the point. I am hoping to retire in about a year or two and go into Grasscutter and Rabbit Farming at the edge of the city and some snails in the village. There is one thing that I am not getting which will be a key component on determining the return on my investment. How long does it take for a Grasscuter to be table ready? At what age is it good to sell it for consumption? I do not want to keep them too long if not needed but just the right time to sell them to maximize my profit, thanks.

    • EUGENE NDUKWE April 29, 2016

      kodos, u guys are doing a nice job. infact u are a nation builder. @ Chinedu I need some grass cutter families from ur farm to start with at list three colonies, pls how can I get them.
      my email is

  • Emeka Mbonu February 28, 2016

    Pls I what to invest in this? How do I get your phone number

  • E. J mega March 17, 2016

    Mr darlington thanks for ur explanation

  • Philemon Gaiya April 19, 2016

    I leave in Kaduna, can I buy the grass cutter from you? thanks.

  • tony May 2, 2016

    Hi I am from south Africa I need to buy stock to start in south Africa.will pay in rands. Brilliant article need somebody to help me

  • tony May 3, 2016

    Can I keep grasscutter and rabbit together in one house

  • Sam May 4, 2016

    Hello Mr Darlington,

    Please can you provide details on how to contact you?

  • Pedro Orbunde May 6, 2016

    Darlington, I Am From Benue State. Where Can I Get A Loan Of 1.5 Million Naira To Combine Cane Rat And Goat Farming? I Seriously Want To Be A Real Farmer. Thanks

  • emeka May 10, 2016

    how can one get the initial grass cutter stock and what is the cost?

  • prince oghene anthony May 21, 2016

    pls sir I want to know if grass cutter bite

    • Darlinton Omeh May 21, 2016

      Prince, lets do an experiment – Put your finger into its mouth lets see if it can bite it. If it does, it means it can bite. Are you ready? 😀

      Warning: Grasscutter teeth are very sharp.

  • Jude Anoliefo May 29, 2016

    Thank you Mr. Darlington Omeh, Please kindly send me your contact details and a farm address where I can go and have a practical tutorial and observation before starting up my farm… Thanks once again!

  • Onyebuchi Ann June 13, 2016

    Hello Mr omeh,thank u for the good work the lord is using u to do for our generation. Thumb up to u. God will replenish u on every side.Pls sir, considering the design of pen u posted with the wire gauss ,won’t the grasscutter be cold during the rainy season, how do we take care of it to avoid cold and u advised to make room and parlor. Should it be on the same line and separated with a door? Pls explain more on structural design. At what age will the sale yield more profit. Excluding structures, what is the minimum start up capital for two colonies?.thanks as I wait for ur sincere respond. Remain blessed

  • Blessing June 27, 2016

    Mr. Darlington Omeh, thanks for this piece. Pls enlighten me if it is possible to start the grasscuter business behind my house where I still have little space in the compound and or with a room apartment in the house. I will appreciate it if you can leave your telephone in my ebox. Thanks and God bless you abundantly as you have decided to move Nigerians from the poverty line.

  • Inno E. Nwufo June 29, 2016

    Grateful let me have contact of farms from whic I can source stock to start.

  • Fred July 7, 2016

    I have wasted real money on some unproductive ventures but i think what i have discovered from this article is the real key to achieve my goals in life. With this education i will be heading towards the office of the MOFA in Ghana for practical training so i can start this project. Thanks very much Sir, you’ve been real helpful to me.

  • anthony Onome July 10, 2016

    Darlinton and Co am a beginner. i need your contact so i can stock my farm and any reading material.

  • Wande July 26, 2016

    Good morning thanks for the info pls can you send your contact I am really interested

  • triumph777 November 9, 2016

    Please how much does one colony cost. I am really interested. Triumph

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