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Title: Some ecological and economic aspects of the grasscutter, Thryonomys swinderianus Temminck (Mammalia, Rodentia, Hystricomorpha) in Ghana
Author: Asibey, Emmanuel Osei Agyeman
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 1975
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Some ecological and economic aspects of the grasscutter Thryc x8.yr.ia Teasainck as a protein source in Ghana were investigated from July 1970 to June i 973o The grasscutter's diet consisted of 27 grasses and 14 herbs or shrubs* Crops were frequently eaten. Its diet, seasonally related to rainfall, also met its water requirements. Females produce two litters a year: breeding throughout the year with peaks related to rainfall. The litter size is 1 tc 8 with a mode of 4 and a sex ratio of unity. Litter size and total litter weight are correlated with maternal weight. The gestation period was 155 - 9 days, with a specific foetal growth velocity of 0.04, A post parturn oestrus may occur. Birth weights vary within litter mates and embryos implanted at the cervical end(s) of the uterine horn(s) are usually heaviest, A incidence of embryonic resorption occurred. In captivity, cubs were usually weaned onto adult diet when 4 weeks old and attain sexual maturity at five months. Females had their first litter at a year when they weighed 1 kg. Tooth eruption pattern and eye lens weight together with the appearance of mammae in females and perineal stain in males were useful criteria of age. 39*732 grasscutter carcasses, weighing 181,327 kg. were sold for '?38,517o35o Carcass weights, up to 8.9 kg. in males and 6.9 kg. in females were recorded. About 13% of the .7eight is edible meat. it is the third (to mutton and bushmeat) most expensive meat on the market. It is complementary to beef but substitutive to mutton. It has great demand and its price continues to rise rapidly. The grasscutter is a potential pest whose control must be kept under vigilance, but whose domestication was found to be technically and economically feasible.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available