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Complete Guide to rabbit farming – MkulimaTODAY.co.ke

7 min read
how to do rabbit farming

 

Ever thought of investing in rearing rabbits? Well you should. This is one of the most lucrative agribusiness ventures.

It is less labor intensive and easier to manage than rearing any breed of poultry.

For you to have a successful venture you must invest your time, money and be dedicated to taking care of the animals.

Management

Rabbits are clean animals, to avoid any losses as a result of diseases you need to maintain high levels of hygiene. They can be easily affected by pathogens and lead to huge losses.

Housing the rabbits in a clean environment is one of the easiest ways to boost production at no extra costs.

Reproduction

Rabbits grow rapidly and there is a high and quick return on investments. Rabbits reproduce at a high rate compared to other domestic animals. They can produce between 6-10 0ffspring at a go and after a period of almost 4 weeks.

New Zealand and California are some of the breeds that do well in the country.

Maintenance

If you are afraid of gaining weight or eating meat that has a lot of fat then white meat (rabbit meat) is your solution. Rabbit’s meat is good for your health as it has no cholesterol.

Clean the rabbit’s house especially where they spend the night by removing feed droplets and their waste.

Also read:

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You can clean the house at least once a week to ensure the environment is always clean and free of pathogens.

Remember don’t remove hair droppings from the mother rabbit as it is a sign she is about to reproduce.

Rearing systems

There are two types of rearing systems that has great yields and ensures the safety of the rabbits.

  1. You have the rabbits without setting them free (caged system)
  2. You house them for a given time and the other they are free to move around in a fenced area.

You want to ensure that your housing system of choice offers security from predators like rats since they feed on the young rabbits.

Other larger predators (dogs, cats and eagles) may attack the larger animals with much ease leading to huge losses on your end.

In free range, you can fence the area to avoid entry of rats and other animals like cats, dogs or eagles. Though this is a major step towards security of the animals, human presence still goes a long way to guarantee safety and reduction of losses.

If you go with the caged system don’t use glass cages as it has low air circulation and hard to clean. Suffocation may lead to the death of the rabbits or enhance spread of infections.

Instead of glass I would recommend your construction to be done with wire mesh since it has no rough edges that might hurt the animals and the availability of free flow of air.

Drugs

In case of an injury like a cut to the rabbits it is difficult to treat. This is because rabbits don’t do well under medication and the best remedy when hurt is to avoid infections and let the wound heal by itself.

The other option is to slaughter the animal to relieve it of the pain if it is a major injury.

Main reason why rabbits don’t do well under medication is if for example if you administer antibiotics to an injured or sick animal, they don’t have a mechanism of synthesis the drugs out of their body system.

When the sick animal is slaughtered it will still have the medicine in its body and even when you smell you can identify the scent of the medicine administered with ease.

Unlike other livestock rearing ventures rabbit maintenance is easy since it can feed on a wide variety of products like grass, vegetables and commercial feeds.

For the best return on investment, from rabbit farming you must ensure the feed issued is well balanced.

Include both green and dry vegetables in the feed for up to a period of four months after it stops suckling.

Rabbits are choosy animals though they might feed on dry feeds, they don’t enjoy vegetables that have lost high water contents and will avoid them completely.

A good feeding routine ensures the rabbits have the right market weight that is 4-5kilograms.

Advantages

Feed them a lot of vegetables to lower the cost of buying commercial feeds

To increase the productivity of the farm. Stop the young ones from suckling at the ages of 4 weeks (at month old) this ensures the mother rabbit reproduces between 7 to 8 times in a year.

In this breeding method you are guaranteed to harvest offspring 50-60 if your females are of a good breed.

The maturity of the offspring’s depends on your efforts as a farmer and those of the mother in rearing them.

Organic fertilizers from rabbits is good for plants unlike that from chicken that can end up burning some plant varieties due to high concentration levels.

  • They don’t use a lot of medication
  • Attacked by few diseases
  • Rabbits have a ready market
  • First maturity
  • Low production costs
  • Small area houses a lot of rabbits
  • Food
  • Fertilizer (Rabbit waste can revive dead soil)
  • Urine can be used in the control of flies and bacteria

 

Marketing

Rabbits are sold in kilograms @ Kshs 320 per kg (this might vary depending on your locality)

Keep a consistent supply of your produce so as not to lose your clients and retain your market.

To ensure you earn more from your rabbits weigh at least 3kgs, healthy looking and without diseases like warms   or fungus infections.

Health

To effectively manage diseases, infections and spreading. After every two months ensure you deworm the entire flock.

To boost and maintain the productivity of the farm ensure you work closely with experts and follow their guidelines.

Diseases and signs

Diarrhea– watery waste

Pneumonia can only be diagnosed after death by a postmortem

Etherifies diarrheas– watery waste (affects mainly 1-2 month olds)

Menjimite affects nose and legs areas

Warms visible warms on the skin and in the waste

Long teeth-this will reduce their ability to feed, and you should trim them

At all times you should ensure the housing is comfortable to the rabbits and easy to clean with good ventilations.

 

Estimated startup costs (This can vary from place to place)

Housing                                                                                 40,000

Rabbits                                                                                   44,800

Feed                                                                                       23,040

Medication                                                                            4000

Maintenance                                                                        16000

Power                                                                                      4000

Total                                                                                      131,040

Rabbits 14

Estimated profits                                                               92,160

Having an agribusiness problem? Do you know of a successful agribusiness venture story that you want to share I would like to hear from you? Send me the TIPS at team@mkulimatoday.co.ke

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