Preliminary Studies On Performance Of Cane Rat (Thryonomys swinderianus) At The Forestry Research Institute Of Nigeria (FRIN)
AbstractThe study focused on the performance and reproductive traits of grasscutter being domesticated at the Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria (FRIN). Data was collected for a period of three years (2003-2006).
Results revealed that elephant grass, which is the choice, feed for grasscutter is of low nutritional value, hence necessitating the use of formulated concentrates as supplement. Performance results showed that the mature bucks (male grasscutters) gained more weight than the does
(female grasscutters) and also consumed more feed. The buck consumed 175.50+5.00g of concentrate per day while the doe consumed 150.80+7.50 per day. The average forage intake was 608.33+18.33g and
504.00+5.10g for the mature bucks and does respectively. The result also showed that the average weight gain (g/animal/day) was greater in the buck (4.26+0.81g) while that of the female was (2.67+0.61g). The
feed conversion ratio for the buck was 0.08+0.001 and 0.02+0.003 for the forage and concentrates respectively, while that of the doe was 0.005+0.0008 and 0.018+0.0007 for forage and concentrates
respectively. The cost of concentrate in Naira per kilogram is N 22 and the cost/ unit weight gain is N 0.90 and N 1.24 for the bulk and doe respectively. The doe had a gestation period of (151+3 days) and a litter
size of (3.90+0.7). The litter ratio showed that the doe gave birth to more males than females and the male is heavier at birth than the female.