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, Ghana and Kenya.
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 Ghana Kenya South Africa
Risks of Rabbit Farming and Rearing
- 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 and Rearing
- 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.
- Other benefits of rabbit farming business include
1. Rabbit is very potent in treating Stroke. A 1-year old Buck, Okro, and knife are the three main things that are used without any Juju for treating Stroke for 7days. A man in the Offa community rears it mainly for this purpose.
2. Good Luck Charm- Some Herbalists also buy rabbits regularly purposely for good luck charm. The rabbit is a unique creature. Its usage depends on the level of research.
3. Rabbit Meat is medicinal in nature. It is white meat with shallow fat and cholesterol compared to chicken and other beef. Medical Doctors recommend it for diabetic patients, patients with high blood pressure, heart disease, and cancer.
4. Rabbit Meat is also used as manpower. It is a proven fact that rabbit meat has a component that boosts libido in men. This is one of the reasons that corporate people who sit down for long patronize rabbit meat to increase libido. You can’t be eating rabbit meat and be weak on the bed.
5. Rabbit Feces and some other things are used to formulate Layer Feeds to boost egg production. With rabbit feces, there is nothing like an old Layer (spent Layer) because if you use it for old layers, they will lay more at the commercial level like a young layer or even better. Apart from boosting egg production, it will save you N1,000.00 per bag of Poultry Feeds. Mr. Samson of Bella Rabbits World shared some bags of this feed freely to some farmers. Professor Ajala in Osun State gave his feedback to Mr. Samson that the feed truly boosts egg production in number than regular feeds, but there was no noticeable increase in the size of egg production.
6. Rabbit Feces and other things are also good ingredients to fatten Ram and Goat for commercial purposes.
7. Rabbit Feces is an excellent source of manure. Therefore, it serves as a daily source of income for rabbit farmers. Bella buys a tonne of rabbit feces at N30,000.00. Rabbit Farmers create wealth daily as their rabbits defecate. Wealth creation is not an overnight thing, but every day, wealth is being built over time. Nothing like a waste in the rabbitry.
7. Rabbit’s Urine is used as a Folier Fertilizer because of its high Nitrogen and other properties. Cucumber, maize, yam, and vegetable farmers who use the rabbit’s Urine as organic fertilizer make a lot of money from their harvest. This is the reason that Bella Rabbits World buys 1000 liters of Urine at N65,000.00 from farmers who use Bella Feeds in Nigeria.
8. Rabbit’s Urine is also used as pesticides. In short, everything from the rabbit is Gold.
9. If you eat Rabbit Pie, you will vow not to eat other pies again. There are several uses of rabbits, but the aforementioned are the ones that Bella has used or known the users like the use of rabbits to treat Stroke or the use of rabbit for good luck charm. Bella doesn’t know how to use a rabbit for charm, but he has customers who buy a rabbit from Bella Farm for this purpose. If you want to learn its usage for treating Stroke, Mr. Samson can refer you to the man who uses it in Offa, Kwara State. On the last note, you cannot be a rabbit farmer and be miserable if you have a guaranteed market with instant payment. Bella Rabbits World buys rabbits, Urine, and feces from all users of Bella Feeds in Nigeria.
A female rabbit Weaner of an exotic breed like Hyla is bought at N10,000.00 each. It means that if you have just 100 female Weaners, you will be paid N1MILLION instantly. Bella Rabbits World hates credit purchases. As of today, Bella is proud to say that some customers of Bella Feeds are building houses, and they have bought cars through a partnership with Bella Rabbits World. Bella Rabbits World is owned by Mr. Samson Olawale Ogunwole and some other Investors. As of today, Bella Rabbits World has grown her capital base to over N90Million with over 60 Distributors nationwide. Bella Rabbits World is also into the empowerment of people in Nigeria. Monthly stipends of N5,000.00 each are paid to 40 older women in Nigeria. Several youths are also empowered with a minimum of N100,000.00 each. The personality and value system of the Founder of Bella Rabbits World makes it challenging to define Bella Rabbits World rightly as a Charitable Organisation or as a Profit-Making Organisation. However, we stand for both.
How to Start Rabbit Farming in Nigeria Ghana Kenya South Africa?
READ ALSO: Snail Farming: How to start a lucrative snail farming business ?
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 rabbit farming method to adopt
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.
Hutch Cage Rabbit farming Method
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 Rabbit farming 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.
Rabbit / bunnies 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 plans or strategy. 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. Running a social media advert will go a long way in creating awareness and rabbits sales for you.
In any free market economy, the forces of demand and supply dictate the price. Rabbit farming business in Nigeria is not an exception to this economic theory. At a time as far back as 1993 when the founder of Bella Rabbits World commenced rabbit farming to support his parents for his secondary school education, a 30-day old baby rabbit was sold at N50.00 while a matured regular rabbit was sold at N250.00. The main food then were grasses, leaves, dried cassava peels and kitchen wastes.
This was not the era of social media and technological advancements. Rabbit farming in many parts of Nigeria then was really at a subsistence level. Farmers were less concern about the weight gain. Commercial Rabbit Feeds was not common. Customer’s basis for buying rabbits then was not on weight but physical appearance. The market for rabbit in Offa Community, Kwara State was great because it was like a bandwagon effect. Rabbit farming then was like hobby and not business driven.
The current Nigerian Rabbit Industry is very distinct from what was obtainable in those days. Rabbit farming is now business driven and like a gold mining business. Exotic rabbits such as Hyla, American Chinchilla and Angora are among the most sought after rabbits with high market values. Although, there is no organized open market for rabbits like that of chicken and fish, but there is an unimaginable high demand for quality exotic rabbits in Nigeria.
In the last 3 years, the high demand for these exotic rabbits led to an upward increase in market price of rabbits. This is not unconnected with the emergence of Bella Rabbits World as a reliable Offtake of exotic rabbits from users of Bella Feeds in Nigeria, coupled with instant cash payment for rabbits, faeces and urine. Nigerian Rabbit Farmers began to enjoy what Coffee Farmers in Rwanda and Cocoa Farmers in Ghana are enjoying from Offtakes. Over the years, the rabbit off taking scheme serves as a Catalyst and forces behind geometric upward demand for rabbits in Nigeria.
On a daily basis, as awareness for rabbit farming business increases, the demand for exotic rabbit increases including rabbit meat consumption and its health benefits. Surprisingly, as at today, a baby exotic female rabbit of 1kg is N10, 000.00 while a quality matured exotic rabbit is on the average of N25, 000.00 per one. I don’t know if there is going to be an increase in the price of rabbits in the year 2021 but I am 100% sure that the demand for rabbit will skyrocket.
For now, no farmer can meet demand for meat rabbit in Nigeria. On a daily basis, I turned down Restaurants owners who demand for rabbit meat. Bella started off taking rabbit meat from farmers at N1, 800 per kilo when there was no supply, the company increased it to N2, 000.00 per kilo. No single supply till today. A farmer with just 100 quality matured rabbit is a Millionaire. With just 200 female quality baby rabbits, you are sure of N2Million from the sales.
The era of rabbit rearing as hobby has gone. Rabbit farming is now a very lucrative business in Nigeria to the level that the Federal Government of Nigeria has shown interest in it by using it as part of means of empowering youths. Some years ago, the fear of any potential investor in rabbit farming business was how will i market the rabbits. However, with the current rabbit market situation in Nigeria, market is not the area of concern but how to start the farm with quality foundation stocks and knowledge to manage the farm in a profitable direction and prevent the farm against infection and deadly virus.
I will continue to echo it that the fear of RHD Virus in rabbit farming is the beginning of wisdom. Many people shy away from talking about the negative aspects of rabbit farming. Let me discuss few of these challenges but not problems. As a passionate and focused rabbit farmer, I don’t see any problem in rabbit farming business but I see challenges which give me opportunity to draw learning points from every summoned challenge.
RHD Virus is a great killer and destroyer of any rabbit farm within few days regardless of the size. It is not a respecter of any farm except those people that have fully ready for it.
Let me state it categorically and authoritatively with all humility and sincerity that Nigerian Rabbit Industry is still at a confused stage as regards administration of Vaccine to prevent RHD Virus in Nigeria. Some government officials of Vet. Services at both state and federal levels are kicking against it. One thing that is sacrosanct is that a responsible rabbit farmer should not joke with regular disinfection of their farms at least twice in a week and make sure that their rabbit’s immune system is strong.
A rabbit with strong immune system may likely survive RHD Virus outbreak. Farmers should not joke with it. Most Organic Immune Booster is very effective in boosting immune system of rabbits and serving several other health benefits for rabbits and other animals. If you know how to formulate an effective organic Immune Booster, you can formulate and use to protect your farm. The earlier rabbit farmers take that mantle of responsibility to secure their farms, the better.
Rabbit farming becomes enjoyable and source of wealth creation when the right knowledge is in place, guaranteed market and instant payment. I can confidently say that rabbit farming can easily turn a farmer to a Millionaire. I am in the right place to say this truth.
I have some other animals and birds like cattle, Sahelian goats, sheep, Duck, Chicken in a commercial quantity but I can confidently say it that they are not as profitable as rabbit farming.
The love for rabbit farming turned me from a senior officer in the Bank to a modern farmer.
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