Studies on some reproductive parameters of the grasscutter (Thryonomys swinderianus) in south-west Nigeria

  • OA Fadeyi
  • OO Ajala
  • CE Obudu
  • WD Nafarnda
Keywords: Grasscutter, Reproduction, Biology, Fecondity, Nigeria

Abstract

A survey of seven grasscutter farms located in Oyo, Ogun and Lagos States, south-west Nigeria was carried out in order to analyze farm records concerning some reproductive parameters such as gestation length, litter size, sex ratio, birth weight and weaning age and weight. The overall objective of the study was to validate existing information, some of which has been inconsistent and often contradictory. Such knowledge is required to encourage prospective farmers adopt captive breeding of the grasscutter and hence reduce the incidence of environmental degradation associated with bush burning which is the usual mode of capture of the animal from the wild. Results indicated that the gestation length of grasscutters was 156 .61 ± 1.02 days, litter size of 4.6 ± 0.28, a sex ratio of 1.45 ± 0.13 males : 1 female, weaning age of 28.56 ± 0.38 and birth weight of 133.55 ± 42.31g. This study shows that with good management, grasscutters can be weaned at 4weeks of age in this environment without any adverse effects on the survivability of the young ones, instead of the 6 weeks advocated in certain quarters. This practice would make it possible for farmers to breed their stock twice a year for enhanced profitability.
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eISSN: 0378-9721