Breed selection in Grasscutter
It is crucial to select good breeds for stocking; breed selection should not be done at random.
The selection should be made on the basis of weight; the male should be 0.5 to 1 kg heavier than the females.
Male and female that are closely related should not mate, but females of the same parent can be bred alongside with a male of another parent.
Animals in good conditions should be stocked, animals with rough coat or skin should be avoided, so also animals with weepy eyes.
The male grasscutter can mate with several females in a single period. The male, who can be identified by his wrinkled and brown genitals, is placed first in the pen so that it can mark his territory and thereby reduce the risk of fighting.
The female, identified by the closeness of the anus to the genital area, is put in the pen with the male for 24 hours.
During the mating session, make sure the male is heavier than the female.
There are generally two options for mating in captivity:
• Permanent mating: in this option, the male and females are kept together in the same pen, and only the young are removed after weaning.
• temporary mating: In this type, The female is placed in the same pen with the male at a particular point in time, and removed once the female is pregnant.
Each of these options looks interesting but comes with individual pros and cons depending on production goal.
In permanent mating, the breeding cycle of the female grasscutter is increased but the associated problems are:
• High rate of cannibalism.
• Inability to identify the mother of each offspring.
• There is less control of over production as there is regular mating among animals.
However, in temporary mating, there is little sense of organization here; there is full control of the animals’ affairs.
The advantages of these options are:
• There is reduced risk of cannibalism.
• The mother of each offspring can be traced for other management practices.
For this to effectively take place, there are some basic prerequisites which are termed disadvantages, they include:
• It requires space, thus, increasing the cost of production and maintenance.
• There is reduced number of litter per female per year due to the controlled mating between animals.