For the entrepreneur who is interested in animal husbandry or livestock farming, a rabbit farming venture can prove to be very lucrative.
We have discussed many business ideas on this website and today we want to discuss commercial rabbit farming
To start a rabbit farming business in Nigeria, farmers do not require an extensive capital investment, and turnover period is low. This makes rabbit business easy to start.
For the farmer with the technical knowhow, the low cost outlay – high profit output can be very enticing.
Why Rabbit farming
There are several reasons why someone might consider starting a rabbit farming business in Nigeria.
Success stories from several rabbit farmers from different parts of Africa prove that the market has potential that has lain largely untapped till now.
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.