Some basic facts about grasscutter with regards to reproduction are as follows:
Sexual maturity: Male grasscutters mature in 8 months or 32 weeks and they have a minimum body weight of 2.5kg while the female grasscutters mature in 6.5 months or 26 weeks having a minimum body weight of 1.8kg.Sex ratio: 1 male can service 4 to 10 females.Ovulation: Just like female rabbits (does), female cane-rats start ovulating on sighting a maleGestation period: 152 daysNumbers of litters per year: 2 littersNumber of young per litter: 3-11 youngSuckling period: 40 days before weaning
Selection for Breeding
In grasscutter production, random selection should be avoided. You should procure the best animals from the nearest breeding center or another grasscutter breeder. Additionally, when making your selection, it should be based on body weight. All the females within a family should be having almost the same body weight and the male grasscutter should be 0.5-1kg heavier than the females. Don’t buy or breed closely related mating pairs; that is, a male closely related to the females.
Mating in grasscutters
A male grasscutter is capable of mating with many females grasscutters in a single period. The male should be placed in the mating pen and the female grasscutter is moved from her own pen to the male’s pen. Leave both in the pen for 24 hours.
Note: Don’t move the male to the female pen because it may result to fight and mating may not occur. Also, avoid mating a male that is lighter than the female in weight.
There are two mating options in grasscutter farming:
Permanent mating: Here, the male and female grasscutters are allowed to mate together in the same pen but the young are moved to another pen after they have been weaned.Temporary mating: Here, the female is placed together with the male until she is pregnant and she is moved to another pen.
Both permanent and temporary matings have their advantages and disadvantages.
Advantages of permanent mating
Increased breeding cycle
Disadvantage of permanent mating
Difficult to identify the mother of each offspringLess control over reproductionRisk of cannibalismRisk of exhausting reproductive femalesUnder-exploitation of the male
Advantages of temporary mating
Clear identification of mother and offspringExcellent management of breeding processReduced risk of adult male killing offspring
Disadvantages of temporary mating
Increased investment (several pens needed)Need for larger space to house femalesReduced number of litters per female and per year
The gestation period for grasscutters or cane-rats is 152 days. After your male and female grasscutters must have mated with each other, it is necessary to check if the female is pregnant.
4-8 weeks after mating, carefully insert a cotton bud into the genital of the female. If it changes color to red, then that grasscutter is pregnant. If there is no discolouration, then the female is not pregnant.
Newborn grasscutters resemble adult ones. Within a few hours, they can move around. After the female has delivered, she must be provided with enough feeds and water for adequate milk production.
You should wean your newborn grasscutters 40 days after they are born. This is necessary because any extension will make the mother to grow weak due to prolonged breastfeeding. When weaning, separate the males from the females. You can identify a male grasscutter by distancing the genitals and anus, which is twice as large as those in the young females.
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When livestock is kept in the pasture-based system they are allowed to graze freely and eat nutritious green grass and other green plants that are easily digested by their bodies. The animals welfare is greatly increased when they graze on pasture.
Sustainable livestock raising also helps in lowering damage to the environment plus the produces such as meat, eggs and milk is much more nutritious and taste better then food from factory farms.
Livestock Health Benefits:
Livestock that are raised in limited factory farms have less quality life compared to those raised on pasture. Animals when raised on gree pasture can move around and live an organic life where else in factory facilities the livestock are all crowded in confined facilities. These facilities don’t have sunshine or fresh air allowing bacteria to develope and affect the livestock. This then contributes to the animals being provided with antibiotics which is not good for the livestock.
Since a whole lot of livestock eat grass, grazing them on pasture has a number of benefits. Some of the benefits will be the animals are able to produce drool which is good for neutralizing acids that is in their digestive system. Since grain fed livestock produce less saliva they often suffer from dehydration, intestine harm and even death.
Human Health Benefits:
Livestock raised on pasture produce more nutritious eggs, beef, milk which is ideal for consumers than livestock raised on grains. Adding to that, pasture raised foods have a more healthy balance of omega-3 plus omega-6 fats then your conventional foods. Their vitamin levels are higher as well.
It’s no doubt that sustainable livestock farming is the way to go if you want to be a successful livestock farmer. The livestock are raised in a healthy way and the produce is healthy for us human beings.