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.
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.
Below are five reasons you might want to consider rabbit farming:
A growing market:
As earlier mentioned, there is an increasing demand for rabbits, particularly because it is a white meat, and health conscious persons are moving from the consumption of red meats such as beef and pork to the consumption of white meats, rabbits included. This is simply because there is an increased awareness of the harmful effects of cholesterol, which is usually high in red meats, in the African diet. Rabbits are also touted to contain the highest amount of protein and the lowest fat when compared to other types of meat. Rabbit is said to contain less calories and sodium, but more calcium and phosphorus, and the combination of these is beneficial to the human body. Moreover, it is said that no part of the rabbit goes to waste, and it is one of the livestock reared by man today that can be sold from nose tip to tail tip. Products that can be gotten from rabbits include high quality skins (used to make fur garments, clothing, hats and boots), meat, and bones etc. One other way in which rabbit is significantly used is in medical, cosmetic, and pharmaceutical research laboratories. Finally, there is a growing demand for rabbits as pets. Online markets in Nigeria such as jiji.ng are now advertising rabbits in their livestock section, a sign that there is now a huge market for the product.
High multiplication rate:
Rabbits have the innate capacity to grow very rapidly and are known to attain maturity and market size in 6 months or less, one reason for this fast growth rate being that rabbits are efficient converters of the food they eat. Rabbits also breed throughout the year and it takes just between thirty and thirty-five days for a pregnant doe (female rabbit) to give birth to its kits (baby rabbits). Does can have up to 40 kits in a single year, so beginning a rabbit farm with two mature rabbits (one male, one female), a rabbit farmer could end up with 40 rabbits in the span of one year. What more, rabbits are polygamous in nature, so beginning with one male and two or more does will guarantee a whole farm full of rabbits by year end. This rapid multiplication rate means a higher yield and higher profits for farmers, hence the new interest in rabbit farming.
You can begin your rabbit farming small:
For low scale farmers or entrepreneurs looking for ways to diversify their funds, rabbit farming is ideal because its initial cost outlay is low. As previously mentioned, your rabbit farm could be started with just two rabbits. And because rabbits don’t require as much space as other livestock (especially grazing or foraging ones), farmers may begin with a basic cage made of wood and chicken wire, and progress to proper hutches as time goes by and profits flow in.
Rabbit farming is not labour intensive:
Raising rabbits is not labour-intensive like raising poultry or cattle farming. These animals are quiet and relatively tame, not particularly prone to infections and diseases, and are relatively easy to feed. As a result, a rabbit farming business could be ran on a part time basis.
Health benefits of rabbit meat
Rabbit is a good source of meat because of its health benefits. Below are some health benefits of consuming rabbit meat, and they can form the building blocks for the farmer’s marketing strategy when he develops one: Rabbit is said to be very low in cholesterol, with a percentage concentration that is lower than that of pork, turkey, chicken and beef. It also has a lower fat content than turkey does, as well as beef and pork. It is especially recommended during the hot months as it does not contain the heating properties of other meats. It is tested and certified suitable for special diets such as diets for people living and dealing with diabetes and/or hypertension. It is said to have the highest protein content of all meat, and the highest level of unsaturated fatty acids.