There are so many Lucrative Business Venture in Nigeria today and one of them is ‘ Rabbit Farming’. Agriculture is a field that can never be exhausted, as we discover one new set of discovery, many more are been unraveled daily, normally many decades ago, we only get rabbit by hunting, but today it is possible to domesticate them at home, thus giving us the ability to control, influence and hasten their growth, ensure their health is best and multiply them faster.
Many people keep Rabbit as Pet Animals at home, but much more than that is the Commercial and Health Value that Rabbit offers.
Today, I will be putting you the process of raising Rabbit on a commercial Scale, there are many people in Nigeria today, and in Africa that make a living from Rabbit Farming, it is a fast growing Venture and is making progress, the good thing is, we have a growing population in Nigeria, and there is an ever increasing demand for animal protein, the demand is high, and in order to meet up with the demand, there is a need to consider fast growing Livestock, and Rabbit is one of them.
Rabbit are small body hopping animals, which are wide spread all over the world with various breeds associated with various countries of the world, they are fast growing and very prolific, because of their ability to convert feed to meat faster, their gestation period is 1month, thus they can produce many times in a year, they are also a good consumer of grass, grain, legumes, cereals, and kitchen wastes, many people raise their rabbit solely on grass growing in their vegetable farm or their local surroundings and kitchen waste, yet the result is impressive, because rabbit makes the best use of the feeds they consume.
Rabbit also feed on concentrate feeds like Poultry, and they have their own formulate which is processed into a Pellet form, for best performance and ease of consumption, based on their mouth system.
Many Rabbit breeders don’t know they can make a lot of money from it, and even run it on a Commercial Scale, Rabbit is very lucrative and in Nigeria, a country with almost 200million + people, the demand for animal protein is on the increase daily, and many people with cholesterol issues, are advised to eat white meat, which Rabbit is a major one, so with good marketing and awareness, you will be astonished at the sales you’d incur from Rabbit Farming alone.
I would lie to share the story of a Rabbit Farmer in Africa with you, to encourage you and show you how lucrative the Business is right now;
Moses Mutua, CEO Rabbit Republic (Kenya)
Popularly known as ‘Mr. Rabbit’ in Kenya, Moses Mutua grew up in a poor family and couldn’t further his education because his family couldn’t afford to pay for it.
Although he always wanted to become a policeman, he never reached that dream. Instead he got a job as a security guard and worked at it for five years before he got fired.
Before he became Mr. Rabbit, Moses had already tried greenhouse farming, fish farming, organic farming, but settled on rabbits because they are the most lucrative domesticated animals in the world in terms of time, space utilisation and profit margins.
Moses learned everything about rabbit farming from the internet (by using Google) and finally started a small rabbit farm with just six rabbits. That’s how his company, Rabbit Republic, was born.
Today, Rabbit Republic has a turnover that’s more than Sh10 million (about $100,000) and slaughters about 2,000 rabbits every month.
His business has attracted investors and Moses is currently developing a five-acre farm that will breed about 30,000 rabbits. The video below shows Mr. Rabbit in action on his farm as he explains the profitability of the rabbit farming business and why more entrepreneurs should seriously consider it.
Rabbit Republic now has a network of over 1,000 rabbit farmers across Kenya who receives free training and support and in turn sell their mature rabbits to the company.
This expansion has paid off as Rabbit Republic has now opened shop in neighboring countries; Uganda and Tanzania. But that’s not all. By mid-2015, the company plans to export one ton of rabbit sausages to the US and Europe where the demand for healthy meats (like rabbits) is growing.
Mr. Rabbit wants to make Kenya a major player in the untapped global rabbit meat market. Currently, China, Italy, Spain and France are the leading producers of rabbit meat which has earned a reputation as a ‘super meat’ due to its nutritional and health benefits.
Rabbit Republic is now partnering with universities and local/international organizations to train more youths and women on rabbit farming as a means to alleviate poverty.
I believe the story is an eye opener into the potential that lies in Rabbit Farming?
Now, let’s proceed into the husband in full.
Feeding is a major part of the entire Rabbit Husbandry, and that is because, Rabbit grows well and live healthy when they feed well, their nutrition is a major part of their lifestyle, so attention must be paid into that aspect, the consume a lot of grasses and leguminous plants , which are easy to get around you, for example, Tridax, Guinea grass, alfalfa, Elephant Grass, Giant Star Grass, Peuraria, Calapogonium Mucunodes and many more are Rabbit feeds.
They also consume cereals, legumes, grains, and vegetables, most of the kitchen waste are good food for rabbit, this is another advantage, as a Rabbit farmer, nothing waste in your house again, most of the leftovers can be fed to rabbit, and they convert them into meat faster.
Rabbit are good animals, with high resistance to Diseases, that is why much emphasis must be placed on their feeding, as long as the feeding is well taken care of, the rabbit are bound to be very healthy and growing well.
We sell processed, pelletize rabbit feeds, (Concentrate with excellent formulation to enhance their growth and health) you can leave a comment below this article to make order for your rabbit feeds.
Feeding your rabbit with a right formular pellet feed is also a good way of enhancing their health and growth.
Attention must be paid to strategic points in the life and growth stages of Rabbit, for instance, when they are pregnant, (which lasts for 1month) they must be well taken care of, and well feed, less fat more cereals, fiber (Grasses) and water is needed for the doe (mother) to stay completely fit and healthy, while the baby are growing inside, don’t feed heavy fat food to the doe during gestation period, in order to avoid the babies becoming too big and having complications during parturition.
After Gestation period is over, quality feeding should resume, good concentrate and grass should be fed to the doe, so as to ensure, its taking care and breastfeeding the baby bunnies, as expected, the first milk release is ‘Colostrum’ and this is very vital to the health of Baby Rabbit, so the mother must be well feed, so as that it will reflect on the baby rabbit.
Weaning is done in 6-8weeks, when the baby would have been separated from their mother to stay on their own, this is the period when they begin to feed on solid food and stop suckling milk from their mother, they must be well feed, with protein and fiber, so that they can grow well and develop a healthy digestive tract.
Rabbit have caecum, with which, they digest grass and fibre, they under ceacotrophy; a process of eating their soft pellet feaces which was release in the early hours of the day, after this has been done, they reabsorb the nutrient and then releases out the final feaces, so it is crucial that grass be feed to rabbit, it can also be preserved and administer in forms of hay, these are the healthy rabbit feeds.
Housing is another very important factor in Rabbit Farming, you need to consider your purpose in other to develop the best housing system for your rabbit, if you are considering a few number of buck (Male Rabbit) and Doe (female rabbit) in your back yard, then you might not necessarily give so much attention to building big housing system, you can just construct hutches with few rooms to contain the Rabbit, but when it comes to a commercial scale Rabbit Farm, you have the option of considering either a Deep Litter system of housing, where there will be bedding and room for rabbit to roam about in the rabbitary or you build a massive cage system with a lot of partitions for various classes and age of rabbit.
Example of Rabbit Cages
Very important is the construction of Nest Box in the Female rabbit hutch, Nest Box are small space that are made available inside the doe’s pen, where parturition is done, the baby rabbit are kept in the nest box, and the mother shed off some of her furs into the nest box to make the environment conducive for the baby rabbit to live, in the first few weeks after birth.
The Nest Box is a defense for preservation and safety for the baby rabbit, in the wild, normally, rabbit tends to make holes into the soil deep down, and that is where they keep the baby bunny till they are weaned and can consume solid food on their own.
Benefits of Rabbit Farming
- Rabbit makes excellent home pet.
- Rabbit are good source of animal protein with low cholesterol, making them a very good white meat, and recommended for various health issues.
- Rabbit are good source of furs, which are used and processed for domestic and industrial use; many countries like new Zealand, china, California export rabbit fur to other parts of the world, thereby making it a larger part of their economic activity.
- Rabbit eats a lot of feeds, they are a good converter of feeds to meat, and they also makes use of your leftover foods and kitchen waste, like Yam peals, potato peals, corn, residue form processed soyabeans, maize and corn, rice, beans, bread, vegetables, and other forms of wastes.
- Rabbit Farming requires a very small space to get started and setup, it reduces a very low startup capital too, you don’t have to spend so much money to set up a Rabbit farm, the space in your backyard is a good starting place.
- Rabbit are very Friendly animals and compared to other livestock, they don’t make Noise, and they don’t cause any irritating smell whatsoever.
- Rabbit does not have any religious restrictions or barrier, it is consumed and accepted by almost everybody across the Nations of the World.
3 Reasons why you should seriously consider rabbit farming
The success stories of these rabbit farmers prove the huge and largely untapped potential of the rabbit farming business in Africa. In this section, I’ll reveal three major reasons why you should seriously consider the rabbit farming business opportunity. Here they are:
#1 There is a huge market opportunity for rabbits
The growing rate of heart disease and related ailments has increased awareness of the harmful effects of cholesterol in our diets.
More people are now going for ‘white’ meat which contains low amounts of cholesterol. Unlike ‘red meats’ (especially beef and pork), white meats like ostrich, poultry, fish and rabbit meat contain less fats and cholesterols and have higher health benefits.
Apart from fish, rabbit meat has the highest amount of protein and contains the lowest fat than all other types of meat. It contains less calories and Sodium than other meats but contains more calcium and phosphorus (which is very good).
As a result of these properties, rabbit meat has become the ‘super meat’ for people looking to eat healthy meats and live a healthier lifestyle. Rabbit meat is also very widely accepted. Unlike snails and pork, there are hardly any religious or cultural taboos about consuming rabbit meat.
More than 700 million rabbits are slaughtered worldwide every year, producing about 1 million metric tons of rabbit meat. The world’s leader in rabbit meat production is China, representing over 30% of total global production.
Rabbit meat is popular in countries such as Italy, Spain, France and China. These countries consume the most rabbit per person (about 8kg per person) and are the best export markets for rabbit meat.
Rabbits produce high quality skins that are used to make fur garments (like clothing, hats and boots), and to cover bicycle seats, etc. Another significant use of rabbits is in cosmetic, medical and pharmaceutical research laboratories. Rabbits are also purchased by people who want to keep them as pets.
#2 Rabbit farming is lucrative because rabbits multiply very fast
A single doe (female rabbit) can give birth to (litter) up to 40 kits (baby rabbits) in a single year. This means you can start with two mature breeding rabbits (one male, one female) and end up with over 40 rabbits in less than 12 months.
That’s because rabbits can breed throughout the year and it takes just about a month (30-33 days) for a pregnant doe to produce baby rabbits.
After they are born, rabbits grow very fast and can reach maturity and market size in less than 6 months. One of the reasons for this fast growth rate is that rabbits are efficient converters of the food they eat.
Compared to other livestock animals (poultry, cattle, pigs etc), rabbits convert up to 20 percent of the proteins they eat into body weight. That’s higher than any other animal!
A mature rabbit ready for market can sell for up to $22 (depending on the location and customer). However, the cost of raising a rabbit comes to about $1 per month.
According to Moses Mutua (CEO of Rabbit Republic), the resources and cost incurred on raising one cow is equivalent to what you’d use to raise 40 rabbits. As a result, rabbits offer a higher profit potential than cattle and other livestock.
And because rabbits mature quickly and multiply very fast, they offer one of the best opportunities to quickly recover your costs and investment in a short period of time.
#3 Easy to start, cheap to operate and maintain
Rabbits don’t need any elaborate preparation or huge capital to start up. You can start with two rabbits (male and female) using a basic cage made of wood and chicken wire.
Unlike chickens, cattle and pigs, rabbits are not noisy animals. They are very clean animals and don’t easily get attacked by diseases.
Above all, rabbits don’t require a lot of space like other livestock; it’s the ideal animal to raise in your backyard or any place with little space. (photo credit: backyard-rabbits.com)
Raising rabbits is not labour-intensive like cattle and poultry. Rabbits are easy to feed and often don’t need a lot of attention. As a result, a rabbit farming business can be run on a part time basis.
Some kitchen waste, grass, plant leaves etc. are favorite foods of rabbits. In fact, a single rabbit needs just about 120 grams of food daily. You can feed it in the morning before you go to work and then in the evening when you return.
So, in terms of capital, time, space and labour needs, rabbit farming beats poultry, pig farming, and cattle farming.
Ready to start your own rabbit farm? Here are two important tips.
If you’re excited about everything you’ve read so far in this article and can’t wait to join the small but fast growing league of ‘rabbit entrepreneurs in Africa, here are two very important things you need to do to get started:
#1 Learn the nuts and bolts of rabbit farming
I don’t believe you must pay someone to teach you how to raise rabbits. People like Moses Mutua (Rabbit Republic) learned everything about rabbit farming on the internet.
There are lots of free manuals and videos online that will help you. I have done some homework for you and found two of the best manuals on the internet that you can use to learn everything you need to know about rabbit farming. Here they are:
- Rabbits, A Producer’s Manual – This 61-page manual is the most comprehensive book on rabbit farming you will ever find. It contains everything you need to know about rabbits including breeding, slaughter and packaging. I strongly recommend it.
- Raising Rabbits for Meat – This is another great resource for learning everything about rabbit farming. It’s written in very simple language which makes it easy to understand. It covers a lot of topics including how to build rabbit hutches and the common diseases that affect rabbits. You’ll surely enjoy reading it.
#2 Find good breeder stock to get started
Breeder stock are the first rabbits a new farmer starts her rabbit business with. Like I mentioned earlier, the minimum stock you need to get started is one male (buck) and one female rabbit (doe).
If you want, you can start with more does; one buck can service up to five does. Ask around for local farmers who can sell you a good breeder stock. Ask for evidence that proves the gender of the rabbits you buy so you don’t end up with all males or females.
Keep in mind that there are several breeds of rabbit. However, some breeds are better suited for commercial farming than others.
Commercial breeds grow into large sizes and produce faster. Show rabbit breeds, which are often smaller than commercial breeds, are popularly used as pets or raised for their fur and may not be suited for commercial meat production.
The best places to find rabbit farmers are your local livestock markets, Agriculture ministry or department or through local farmers’ associations.
Breeds of Rabbit
There are various Rabbit breeds across the world, and when startng your own Rabbit Farm, the kind of Breed, you consider is very Important;
New Zealand White
Rabbit production facilities
When you establish rabbit cages, you should note that they must be adequate in sizes. You can create rabbit cages by yourself, but it`s preferable that professionals construct them. You can start your business in the backyard if you have good space management skills.
The living area of rabbits shouldn’t be too cold or too hot as it can severely damage their health. Do not forget that rabbits are helpless against any intruder. Keep in mind an adequate protection against infiltrators.
Water Channel. Do not forget about water supplies for your rabbits. Think about adequate water containers where your rabbits can drink clear water.
Grass and Concentrate Feeds. The best options for rabbits to stay healthy is to feed them largely on grass and then concentrate formulated pellet. You can choose from a large variety of grass for your choice, like elephant grass or Napier grass.
Do not forget that rabbits should eat at least twice a day. Knowledge. Even if rabbit farming business in Nigeria requires a little knowledge, it still requires knowledge.
Therefore, do not hesitate to find new methods of breeding rabbits when you have time to read.
If you will like to Buy Rabbit in Nigeria, Africa and anywhere you are, you can drop a comment below; or send a mail to Dunamisblog12@gmail.com, we have more than enough Rabbit to Deliver to you
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