Rabbit production or farming in Nigeria.one of the agricultural businesses youths can venture into Is rabbits farming. Millions of tons of this meat are eaten yearly either for meat production, fur production, pharmaceutical uses or even as a pet.
Commercial Rabbit Business
The commercial system of raising rabbits aims at selling rabbits in large portions. Rabbits are bred to be marketed for meat consumption, fur production, and some others just want it as a pet. Beginning a rabbit farm does not need high capital and is not time-consuming as there are a series of common breeds to be specialized in as a beginner in the business.
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Several common breeds in Nigeria at the periods include;
New Zealand Pure White Breed: they are friendly and develop to 5kg at maturity. They are a nice source of meat and fur production.
Flemish Giants: they grow up to 7kg at maturity and they are also nice for meat production and their coat is also a good source of revenue for the farmer.
English Spot: They are medium size rabbits and up to 3kg. They are a very friendly breed and their fur can also be a source of income
Chinchillas: They grow to 3.5-4 kg if adequately fed and can be a good source of meat, pet and fur productions. They also can be utilized as pets
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Other types include:
Rabbit Feeding And Housing Facilities
Rabbit cages: cages can be built by the farmer or a professional can be consulted. The cages can be designed at your backyard but the living area of the rabbit must not be too cold or hot so it does not harm their health.
Water supply: Rabbits require an adequate water supply although they consume less water when they feed on grasses alone.
Rabbits feeds: Rabbits are fed with a category of grasses, peels, and pellets. Grasses such as elephant grass, Napier grass, potatoes leaves, carrots, lettuce and lots more.
Peels such as yam peels, tomatoes peels, dried cassava peels, pineapple peels, etc.
Pellets: This can be brought from any of the agricultural feeds stores close to you
Other feeds include; maize, millet, groundnuts, or a simple formation of livestock feeds.
Caution: often study the drops of your rabbit when introducing new feeds. The drops should not be watery, so it is good you give them new feeds in lesser amounts while studying them
A female mature rabbit can be used to develop other rabbits by just putting her with a mature buck of a different breed.
The doe which is the female rabbit should not be left with the buck for additionally three days before separation.
The separation date should be reported so as to be able to calculate the due date for the doe which is usually between 28-31 days
A male rabbit can be used to cross a female rabbit every four days after separation from other females.
A female, old rabbit can be replaced with a fresher one for production between 3-5 years when her production becomes low.
The gestation moment of a female rabbit is between 28-31 day and can produce between (6-12 babies at a time) or 4-5 times yearly.
Marketing Your Rabbits
To sell your rabbits profitably and always you need to create your marketing channels.
The selling channels include the following:
Online e-adverts or marketing
Local markets; exhibiting them in the local market as we do for poultry products
Pharmaceutical firms use rabbit for experiments
Restaurant and food sellers; consumers demand rabbit meat because it has varieties of health advantages as a white meat
Rabbits are also reared as pets
Medications and vaccinations play a vital role in rabbit farming. Some people approve that rabbits should be given antibiotics and multivitamins monthly, mixed into their water. While the antibiotics prevent diseases, the multivitamin helps them to feed well and look healthy.
Finally, we recommend an amateur should start up a commercial rabbit farming with three colonies.
If you have three colonies of rabbits including twelve does and three bucks, then you should not expect your stock to be less than (370) within a year. Just for an onset.