Have you ever tasted rabbit meat? Then you will appreciate those who practice rabbit farming. Come talk of the likes of rabbit barbecue, rabbit burgers or even rabbit sausage.
Oh my God! If you’ve never tasted, please give it a try, rabbit meat is highly appealing and palatable, yes, speaking from experience.
Asides the meat, there are numerous benefits from practicing rabbit farming. In fact, I consider a rabbit as an asset.
Are you ready to explore all the benefits that can be derived from a rabbit farming business in Nigeria? Then don’t miss this piece of writing about rabbit farming business.
What Is Rabbit Farming?
Rabbit farming is the act of rearing rabbits for food or for commercial reasons. A single breed or diverse breeds of rabbit can be reared for this purpose.
Rabbits can be sold life or even killed and dressed for sale as it can serve as a complete substitute for poultry products.
Unlike running a poultry, so many benefits come from practicing rabbit farming as nothing seems to waste even after it has been butchered.
The multiple bye products are a source of income to the farmer. It can actually be practiced at the backyard or on a large scale.
It feels so good to know that you don’t have to be a millionaire before you can venture into the business. Rabbit farming can be done on a full time basis or as a part time thing, depending on your schedule.
Is Rabbit Farming Profitable in Nigeria?
YES, Rabbit farming is a profitable business in Nigeria. From the breeding stage, rabbit farming is not as expensive as other livestock production including poultry production. Hence there tend to be more profit after it has being sold.
Within 6 months, just 1 buck and 2 does can perform wonders in terms of reproduction.
With average gestation period of 31 days, A doe can give birth to at 2-9 kits at once and in a year, a doe can reproduce 7 times meaning you can be sure to have at least 40 to 60 kits.
People are more informed about its health benefits and the income that comes from selling the byproducts.
Individuals who are health conscious, pregnant women, hypertensive patient, weight watchers and many others hunt for rabbit meat.
Rabbit has the highest protein and has the lowest calories. It is highly tasty and nutritious no wonder people readily demand for rabbit meat.
It could be in form of barbecue (Asun), some are well dressed and sold at fast food, restaurants, bars, clubs, hotels while some are experts in exporting rabbit either life one or the dressed carcass. Some even provide home delivery of grilled or roasted rabbit meat.
Depending on how mature they are life rabbits range from N1600 to N9, 000. In Lagos roasted rabbit meat can be sold for N4,500, N5,000, N6,000 or even N7,000 depending on the size.
In Ibadan you can still get for N1800 to N2, 000. Of course, these ones are not as big as those of N7, 000. Rabbit meat is available everywhere as there are no religious taboos concerning the animal.
The beautiful part of this is that there is a readymade market for rabbit farmers provided you create awareness, have online presence and take a move to individuals, stores and other business centers.
What about the byproducts? These tend to yield a lot of income after it has being sold.
How to Start Commercial Rabbit Farming In Nigeria
When compared to other livestock production, rabbit farming can be said to be EASY. This is because production cost is way cheaper than other livestock production.
Rabbit farming is no doubt one of the low cost business ideas in Nigeria. It requires less capital, less labor and you are sure to get profit from your investment within a short time.
Based on the nature of the animals, rabbits are quiet, noiseless and good looking. These attributes makes it easier to rear and market them.
Their housing system is simple; hence you don’t have to be a millionaire before you can practice rabbit farming.
Feeds for rabbit are not expensive. Rabbits feed majorly on grasses, shrubs, herbs, cabbages, lettuce, spinach, carrots, kitchen waste, and cucumber and of course clean water
All you just need is to get excellent breeds that will reproduce well, get a suitable house, feed them well, and maintain good hygiene.
Which Weather Conditions Are Perfect For Rabbit Farming Business?
Rabbits prefer cold weather to hot weather. That is definitely because of the fur created for them by God. The fur helps them to adapt and control their body temperature.
As long as the belly is protected, rabbits can survive a long time in cold weather. However, their feed intake must be increased during such periods so as to increase the heat produced by the metabolism of food.
However since it is impossible for rabbits to sweat, hot weather can easily make them become over heated. This can lead to their death or even make the bucks go sterile.
To keep a cool atmosphere during such season, rabbits should be provided with enough cooling fans, sprinkler system, and fresh cool water, pack of sealed ice blocks for them to lie on, or even take them to the shades of a tree nearby. Rabbits can also reduce their food intake during such periods.
Steps On How To Start Rabbit Farm Business In Nigeria
In this section of the rabbit farming business, you’ll need some pro tips for success. To start rabbit farming it is important to put the following factors in mind:
A rabbit business either for small scale farming or large scale production does not require large expanse of land.
This is because rabbits are small and as such can be raised in a cage or in a deep litter system.
While deep liter system gives them access to move about freely, and in the process, they can even fend for themselves in your absence, there is a high risk of infection thereby causing more stress for the rabbits and the caregiver.
Rabbits are defenseless; hence their cage should be carefully constructed so as to protect them from predators such as snakes, soldier ants, insects etc.
Also the cage should have enough space such that the rabbits can lie down without their body touching.
The housing system must be spacious, well ventilated and must be with a good source of light either natural or artificial.
Please note that bucks should not stay together except they are on their heat period and you wish they copulate.
Rabbits feed majorly on grasses, shrubs, herbs, Hay, cabbages, lettuce, spinach, carrots, kitchen waste, cucumber and of course a clean water.
Alongside this, rabbit pellets and supplement should be given as it helps to complement their daily diet.
You can also decide to purchase rabbit feed from stores. This feed should be formulated with the right nutrient and in the correct proportion.
In this case, feed should be bought in bulk and stored in a dry area as it needs to be fresh each time it’s given to the rabbits.
It is important to provide necessary equipment for the rabbits as it will make life easy and conducive for the rabbits.
Equipment includes water dispensers, feeders, nest boxes, fans, lighting system etc.
For a start, ensure to get excellent breeds for good production, I mean breeds that will weigh quickly and reproduce large litters.
Does can be used for breeding at 6 months while bucks should not be allowed to copulate until they reach a year after which Bucks can copulate every 4 days.
This will help them to be fully matured and as such guaranty awesome and excellent kits.
Foreign does breed from 4th month while Nigeria does start reproducing at 6th month. A doe should be sold off after 5 years of reproduction.
Please do not emulate those who give their rabbits broiler feed. Broiler feed only accumulate unnecessary fat in their body. This is not ideal and can be detrimental to their health.
Common breeds in Nigeria include: Chinchilla, California white, New Zealand red, Hyla, Angora, Rex, Dutch, standard giants, Flemish giants, Dutch etc
Large scale rabbit farming will require employing labor for the upkeep and maintenance of the farm.
Unlike other livestock production, you can employ any individual who can give proper care to the rabbits.
However as the owner of the farm, it is important to acquire continuous knowledge, skills and new methods of rearing rabbits. This you can impact into your labors, thereby increasing efficiency.
It is not too early to look for buyers even before the rabbits copulate. Marketing strategy should be developed as early as possible. The good news is that you will always find buyers provided you give it a try.
As long as rabbits are in proper condition and the weather condition is suitable, rabbits can be shipped to any distance in comfortable and well labeled crates without any crisis. Europe for instance is a fertile ground to export rabbit.
Open markets, supermarkets, restaurants, clubs, hotels, sidewalk vendors, pet stores etc. are very good places to market either the life one or the dressed carcass.
In fact, online marketing for international communities and Individuals is a very good way of marketing your rabbits to make sales.
Good health of your rabbits means wealth to you. This means the health of your rabbit should be of utmost importance to you because infections can easily destroy your rabbit farming business.
Also, proper handling of the rabbits is highly essential as their skeleton is not so strong and their backbone can be easily damaged.
Do not allow strange faces into the rabbitry as they can introduce pathogens and it will be detrimental to your rabbits.
It is best to isolate any sick animal so as to prevent transfer of the diseases to others.
Some of the rabbit diseases are highlighted in the table below:
Rabbit Diseases, Symptoms and Treatment
1. Overgrown teeth
Incisors overgrow in a curl, Rabbits unable to close mouth, Rabbits stop eating
Treatment: Burring of the teeth flat with the use of anesthetic.
Symptoms include: Fever, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle pain, sudden death
Treatment: Administration of coccidiostats
3. Epilepsy In Rabbit (Seizures)
Symptoms include: Eyes rolling in the socket, rabbit throwing itself on its side, etc.
Treatment: Administration of high dose of antibiotics like quinolones.
Symptoms: Paralysis, blindness, fever, Lethargy, aggressiveness.
Treatment: The rabbit will be put to death
5. Rabbit ear mite
Symptoms: Scratching, chewing the ears, drooping of the ears, weight loss, inflammation of the external ear.
Treatment: Administration of Avermectins.
6. Rabbit hemorrhagic disease
Symptoms: Poor appetite, restlessness, lethargy and fever.
Treatment: No active treatment but vaccines to prevent the virus should be given earlier enough.
Prevention they say is better than a cure. Yes, it is better to be proactive rather than being reactive.
Please ensure to maintain the best hygienic procedure in your rabbit farm so as to reduce the mortality rate to the minimum.
Rabbit Farming Cage Design
Cages constructed for does should be of 90 cm length, 70 cm breadth and 50 cm height while that of bucks should be of 60 cm length, 60 cm breadth and 45 cm height for bucks. Materials such as wood, bamboo can be used in construction.
The wire mesh should be 2cm x 2cm for the bottom and 4cm x 4cm for the sides. The legs of the cages should be in such a way that predators will find difficult to climb.
However, growers cage should be 20 inches tall, 32 inches deep and 38 inches wide. Ensure that cage Construction allows for easy cleaning and breeding.
How Much Can I Make Per Month Doing Rabbit Farming
Based on experience, if you invest N50,000 in a year into buying rabbits of good breeds, feeding, vaccination and medication.
At the end of a year, you should have returns of N300, 000.
N300, 000 – N50, 000 = N250, 000
This means that in a month, you should make over N20, 800
Rabbit Farming In Nigeria (Pdf)
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Benefits of Rabbit Farming Business
It will only be wrong to say that nothing waste in rabbit production as 95% of the body parts are useful. These include:
Food:The meat is highly proteinous and has fewer calories. It is nutritious, tasty, and easily digestible for all age groups:
Fur: This is the hair sheared from the body of the rabbits. It is used to produce wool after which it is sewn into beautiful clothing, lining of coats, sweaters, and yarn.
It is also used to fill toy dolls, mobile meditators, comforters and pillows. Since rabbits are of various colors, its products are of different range of colors and It can also be dyed.
Rabbit Pelt: The skin of a rabbit is processed into a pelt which is used as leather shoes or bags, coat, blanket, etc.
Rabbit Skin Glue: This gives high strength and elasticity. It serves as gesso for artist canvas.
Manure:This serves as good fertilizer and methane gas. The fertilizer is high in Nitrogen and as such good for gardens.
Tails:This part of the rabbit body is used to make trinkets while some use it for charm.
Blood:The blood is processed into blood meal, blood sausage or even blood pudding. It is a great source of protein for growth to other livestock.
Bone: This is processed in to bone meal. It is fed to other livestock for calcium.
Rabbit Paw or Foot: So many cultures around the world hunt for rabbit paw because they believe having it brings good luck.
Rabbit Farming Business in Nigeria (Summary)
Are you still thinking and wondering: should I invest in a rabbit farming business? Drop that doubt. Rabbit farming business is a very good way of investing that money.
Follow the right and simple procedures and be sure to get enough returns from the investment.
As long as you take proper care of your rabbits, you have all to gain from rabbit farming business. Rabbits are precious and fun, they are extremely great and efficient. You too can take advantage of it.
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