Rabbit farming is one of the aspects of a successful agricultural business that you can be involved into. Over one million tons of rabbit meat is consumed every year. That`s a great source of income in Africa and especially in Nigeria. Moreover, rabbits can be used not only as meat, but a great source of fur, and you can even raise them to be home pets!
What is Rabbit Farming?
It`s a commercial rearing of rabbits, primary for sale purposes. You can breed them to sell their meat or fur. Rabbit Farming does not involve many expenses in the production of rabbits. Moreover, the nature of rabbits and their breeding preferences can certainly help a newbie in the business.
Risks and Advantages of Rabbit Farming in Nigeria
Risks of Rabbit Farming
- You should construct rabbits` cages difficult to be penetrated by intruders. Rabbits can be eaten or killed by almost any other animal. Therefore, insects, soldier ants, and snakes can easily destroy rabbit breeds.
- Infections can easily destroy your rabbit farming business. Therefore, watch carefully after any occurrence of diseases.
- Be ready to spend more money for feeding rabbits as they do not always concentrate on reproduction.
Advantages of Rabbit Farming
- Rabbit rearing is popular amongst Nigerians and the whole Africa.
- You can rear rabbits not only for meat but their fur can also be sold.
- There is always a market for rabbits in Africa. Therefore, you will not lack clients as farming is a profitable venture.
- It can be not your full-day business. Rabbits can take care of themselves if you create nice cages for them – you can still have your 8-5 job if you wish.
- You can use few rabbits as pets.
- Rabbits are cheaper to raise than any other livestock.
- Rabbits can grow very fast.
- Rabbits can be a great substitute for poultry products.
- You can employ cheap labor to look after your rabbits’ farms.
- Rabbit Farming does not require special knowledge about breeding processes.
- Some people find rabbits amusing and use them as pets. It can be your another sector of income from rabbits.
How to Start Rabbit Farming in Nigeria?
Find your Rabbit Breeds. It`s necessary to choose a right rabbit breed for your business, take a closer look at the most popular breeds.
It`s a medium size rabbit that reaches an average body weight of 3 kg. This breed is very friendly, and its appearance makes them easy to sell as pets.
It`s a gigantic breed of rabbits. It can reach up to 7 kg in maturity. Still, they require much grooming due to their dense undercoat and smooth coat. They can be referred as friendly giants. Their coats may be a good source of income for you.
These rabbits reach weight up to 5 kg. Do not forget about grooming their coat.
The dwarf is small and medium sized rabbits that reach a max weight of 2.5 kg. Their coat is very soft and dense. It requires grooming up to 3 times per day.
It`s medium sized rabbits which reach their weight of 3 kg when mature. They have very long and thick fur that requires constant grooming. They are good natured and sociable rabbits.
They can vary from small to medium sized and can rich the weight up 2.5 kg. They are easy going. Their fur requires daily grooming.
These rabbits can also vary from small to medium sized. When they reach adulthood, they can vary from 2 to 2.5 kg.
It`s another large rabbit that can be a fantastic source of fur and meat. It reaches up to 7 kg at adulthood. Their coat is smooth and medium length, which requires constant grooming.
New Zealand White
It`s a fully white rabbit that reaches a lifetime maturity weight of 5 kg.
Rabbit production facilities
- Rabbit Cages. 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.
- Grasscutter Feeds. The best options for rabbits to stay healthy is to feed them grass. 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.
Choose a farming method
When you have decided to start your rabbit farming in Nigeria – think about the type of farming you prefer to run. There are a lot of factors that can determine your method of rearing, like protection from the sun, cost, spaciousness, and access to light. There are two primary types of rabbit production popular in Nigeria.
It`s a highly effective method for commercial rabbit farming business. It`s the effective method to put rabbits in cages and provide them highly organized environment. Do not forget that space in the cages should be enough for rabbits to move around.
Deep Litter Method
This method is highly recommended if you have an intention to raise few rabbits. Do not forget to keep male and female specimens apart from each other. They should be together only for copulating purposes. This method of breeding bears a high risk of disease outbreak. Do not hesitate to illuminate ill rabbits if necessary. The infection diseases spread momentarily within rabbits.
Care and Feeding
Every rabbit has its own temperament. Even if they are fluffy and good looking, they can be quite Devils in feeding and care. Rabbits should be fed at least two times per day, and they also require a lot of water.
The best food for rabbits is grass, but you can also feed them with cabbages and lettuce. Rabbits are nocturnal creatures. It means that they prefer to eat at nights. Therefore, feeding them well in the evening is critical. If you have an intention to introduce a new type of food, then you should do it slowly. They can`t adapt swiftly to a new type of food.
When a female rabbit reaches six months old, she can breed other rabbits. Therefore, you can place her with a buck`s pen. Note, that buck`s shouldn`t be left in a female`s pen. Put them together and give them time for at least fifteen minutes to copulate. Do not forget to note the date of copulating, buck and female that were used for copulating.
Bucks can be used for reproduction at least once in four days. Female rabbits can produce up to four litters in a year. In commercial purposes, you can schedule mating process for every three weeks. If you can wait, then the mating can be scheduled for every six weeks.
If a female rabbit has reproduced for five years, she can be replaced with a much younger doe. If she produces no more than two-three rabbits, then it`s time to sell her.
Marketing in Rabbit Farming
If you want to sell your rabbits effectively, you would need to create your own marketing. You can sell rabbits online through various websites. If you have skills, you can even create your own website to sell rabbits. International clients pay the biggest sums for rabbits.
You can also sell rabbits in the local market. If you don`t want to stay all the day long to sell a rabbit, then you might ask somebody to sell the rabbits for you. Social Media can also be your platform for rabbit selling. Unfortunately, poor marketing is the main drawback for rabbit farming in Nigeria. Therefore, you may need to put much effort in marketing your products.