Have you ever tasted rabbit meat? If no, then you really need to try it someday. Rabbits are monogastric animals (non ruminants) which are mainly reared for their meat, pelt and their dung (feaces) which is very rich in nitrogen and phosphorus. They are small mammals which are very easy to take care of because they eat anything ranging from pawpaw leaves, potato leaves, water leaf, yam peels and many more.
Major breeds of rabbit in Nigeria
There are 3 major breeds of rabbits which are;
this breed is grey in colour and can weigh up to 5kg at maturity.
• New Zealand white:
this is the most popular breed, it weighs up to 4.5kg at maturity.
• Giant rabbit:
this rabbit is mainly black or grey in colour, it is the largest breed of rabbit.
Requirements for Rabbit farming
• Hutch: this is the housing Made for rabbits, you can tell a carpenter to make it for you, it shouldn't cost more than #5000.
• Cartons: to house little rabbits.
• Clean feed: the potato leaves, yam peels e.t.c used to feed them. Poultry feed can also be used, but you have to spray it with water so the feed will be in pellets (small bits of solid particles)
• Plates: to put their food and water
Rabbits are delicate animals, their food and surroundings should be clean always.
How to start up
• Buy rabbits: Buy 2 female rabbits and a male. The medium sized rabbits are sold at #1500 or #2000
• A well ventilated room or space: place the rabbits in a hutch and put them in a conducive room. Make sure the hutch is segmented and place the males in a separate section.
• Deliver food and water: Give them food and water as necessary.
The main gain of a rabbit farm is that the female rabbits can give birth to almost 60 litters (young ones) in a year. Rabbits also have a short gestation (time for carrying pregnancy) which is up to 30 or 31 days. The rabbit can mate anytime, as long as a male rabbit is in sight.
A baby rabbit can reach maturity within 5 to 6 months. They are also very diesease resistant, they are also more delicious than chicken. You may decide to start producing rabbit pepper soup in your house, or decide to produce roasted rabbit meat. You can also sell a mature rabbit at #4000 upward.
Precautions to be taken in rabbit farming
• Clean the surroundings where you keep the rabbits every day
• Clean their plates and hutch every morning
• Isolate any sick animal and bury any dead one
• Add antibiotics to their water weekly
• Weed the surroundings often
• Dont ever lift the rabbits by their ear, it may injure them permanently
• You can lift them by their hips or under their arms
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