How To Start A Profitable Rabbit Farming in Nigeria
How to start a profitable rabbit farming in Nigeria should be part of the employment ways youths should consider. Especially now that we are faced with a mirage of unemployed youths.
How To Start A Profitable Rabbit Farming in Nigeria
Rabbit farming, alternatively known as rabbitry or cuniculture is getting more popular among the Nigerian youths. Learn how to start a profitable rabbit farming in Nigeria to reduce the increased rate of unemployment in the country, and the youths have to think of the way out, hence the idea of how to start a profitable rabbit farming in Nigeria.
Though, some go into rabbit farming because of the love and passion they have for animals, some go into it for meat production, while majority of the youths go into it because of money, so that they can be gainfully employed.
It is only a few people rear rabbits for pet. This is not even common in Nigeria. So, if you wan to know about how to start a profitable rabbit farming in Nigeria, have a purpose for going into it.
Cost of Starting a Rabbit Farming in Nigeria
How to start a profitable rabbit farming in Nigeria. Fom my experience in rabbit farming, starting small and grow bigger can cost nothing less than 50 to 60,000 Naira. Now let us break it down.
Building a small hutch where your rabbits will live will cost around 30,000 Naira. It could be more than this if you have to buy a ready-made hutch.
Getting your parent stock, a buck and a doe will cost you around 20,000 Naira, depending on the quality, size, age, breed, distance and the farm where you are getting them.
The price varies from location to location, especially in Nigeria. It could even be more with the rising cost of feeds, subsidy removal and other costs involved in rabbit breeding in Nigeria.
Having taken the delivery of your rabbit’s, you have to go into work. When they newly arrive, you need to expose them to ventilation or possibly spray them with room temperature water.
Chances are that they would have been stressed up in transit. You know they might be delivered to you in carton. This will make them feel hot, another possiblity is that they might be sent to you through commercial busses, whose the driver will not care much about the live of the rabbits.
The carton in which the rabbits are kept will be placed on the floor of the bus which is always hot. The water you spray on them will make them feel cool. Don’t worry, rabbits like coldness more than heat. They will surely like the water.
Now, introduce your rabbits into their new abode- the hutch. Be careful when carrying your rabbits, they like jumping, carry their by their ears and support the base by placing your second palm at the bottom of the rabbits. Carrying them by their ears without support will have a negative impact on the rabbits.
Rabbit Cage Design
Rabbits are clean animals who live in a burrow (underground hole) in their natural habitat. They dig ground and live in it. But, the domesticated rabbits cannot be allowed to live in burrow, as they can escape.
Hutch or cage
Some people call it a hutch others call it a cage. This is where we use irons and nets to design rabbit house. We should avoid using wood or bamboo as they are capable of eating it and escape. In this hutch system, net is used around the irons which serve as the frame.
It is designed in a way that the faeces will be passing out through the bottom net that is wide enough for the rabbit faeces to pass. Under it, there will be an aluminum sheet for collecting faeces. A design is also made for urine collection.
The only problem with this is that it is not a natural abode and your rabbits may not like it. It doesn’t also give them enough space to jump around. They are restricted in an area. And you know, rabbits like roaming and jumping around.
You also have to put box in the case, especially for the does (female rabbits) they like littering (giving birth) in a corner or a cool dark place. They will.enter inside the box to litter. Sometimes, they litter on the cage floor. As some of them are stubborn.
The sign you will see when they are about to litter is that few day to the delivery day, they will start pulling off their fur in preparation for the kittens arrival. If you notice this behaviour, put box in her cage if it was not there before.
Like me now, I have tried both the cage and colony systems. The colony system is where you put all your rabbits in one big room. They will be living together without separation. Both does, bucks, weaners, growers and kittens live together.
The only problem to this system is that they can dig ground and escape, especially if you do not floor the ground with cement. Or you floor it with weak cement. They will escape and your neighbours will enjoy them, thinking they are enjoying wild rabbits.
Colony system can be a very interesting system as all your bunnies socialize together regardless of their age. They interact freely as if they are in the wild environment. You will be amazed watching them. The.only problem I had with it was that they were digging burrows, so I had to go back to caging system.
Feed your rabbits with quality feeds that are purposely prepared for rabbits. These feeds usually contain everything your rabbits will need for their nutritional health.
Don’t just give them anyhow feeds. Rabbit rearing is like a computer, garbage in garage out. You get what you put in. The quality of feed they eat will show on their quality of health and life.
You will likely spend less on drugs, injections and vaccines if you take good care of them by giving them quality feeds. You can also supplement their pellets with vegetables like cucumbers, carrots, lettuce, cabbage and any other fruit available around you.
They like eating fruits too just like us. LoL. Another supplement you can give is greens. Leaf like tridax is also good for them, they enjoy it. You sometimes give sunflowers, bitter leaf and basil, this will boost their immune system.
If you are someone that knows about feed formula, you can choose to be making your rabbit feeds yourself. Just take the formula to feedmill and they will mill it for you.
This saves cost on feeding, and you can be sure of the quality of the feed you are giving your rabbits. If anything goes wrong you can trace where it comes from. If you don’t know about this, you can stick with buying the feeds.
I stay in Ilorin, and I mill my rabbit feed from Ogooluwa Feedmill around Sango area, here in Ilorin. This makes it cheaper for me to feed my rabbits, as it is not as expensive as buying the prepared feeds.
When learning how to start a profitable rabbit farming in Nigeria, we should also learn how to take good care of the rabbits. Change your rabbits’ water every single day. Like humans, they also need to drink pure water. Rabbits are neat animals, they don’t like dirty feeds, water and environment either.
Rabbit’s gestation period is one month. Though, sometimes, it can be more. Some rabbits even have false pregnancy where they will continue to be pregnant till forever.
Give your rabbits quality feed this time, I have said it before, but I will re-emphasize this for the umpteenth time. If you fail to give your pregnant doe quality feeds, the litters may also fail to survive.
Getting the kittens that will survive largely depends on what you feed rabbit with during the gestation period. At this period, you should take the feed quality very-very important.
Rabbits usually litter between 5 and 12 kittens. You can see how profitable it can be for you to have 12 kittens from two rabbits. That is why it is important to buy young adult or adult rabbits when just starting your farm, so that you can have a short waiting period before seeing the results of your hard work.
You can decide to expand your rabbit farming business by leaving all the kittens to grow and not sell of as weaners or growers. This will quickly multiply your rabbits and you rabbit farming will be on its way to expansion.
Price of Rabbit Meat in Nigeria
A kilogram of rabbit meat is sold between 1,200 and 1400 Naira, depending on the location. An adult rabbit can go for between 7,000 to 12,000 Naira, depending on the weight and quality. It can cost more if you want to buy a breeding stock.
This is so as people are advised to buy high quality rabbits. This is how to start a profitable rabbit farming in Nigeria. Rabbit farming is a big business. There are many ways to make money in rabbit farming in Nigeria.
Rabbit’s fur otherwise called pelt is also sold.for around $20 which is around 15,000 Naira. Though, not every rabbit farmer knows about this. And it requires some connection and access to information before you can key in.
Rabbit urine is also there for you to make money as a farmer. Farmers use it to spray their crops for pest prevention. It also serves as a fertilizer. A litter is sold for between 250 and 300 Naira. And the faeces are also used as manure in crop farming.
A bag of rabbit faces can go as much as 5,000 Naira. No waste in rabbit farming. Dead rabbits can be fed to your fish or be given to your dog to eat. There are some dog rearers who sometimes aske me for dead rabbits. They want to buy.
In Lagos for instance, price of rabbits is not the same. If you are a business oriented person, you can choose to prepare the rabbits and roast them before selling. A roast rabbit can go for as much as 2,500 per kilogram.
Rabbits can be very profitable considering the short gestation period and the number of litters they can produce in a short time. Sometimes, 6 10,12 or 15. Some people say they have experienced a case where their rabbits give birth to 18.
Demand for Rabbits
When thinking of how to start rabbit farming in Nigeria, the first thing that always comes to people’s minds is marketing. Is there a market for it? There is a huge market for rabbits.
Some don’t eat red meat, they depend solely on rabbits and chickens as their sources of meat. Demand for rabbit meat will continue to increase in Nigeria as a result of increase in population and the need to eat.
Some people use rabbits for pet. Others like students use rabbits for experiments. Potential farmers like you will also need rabbits as their parent breeding stock.
There was a time I heard ShopRite mall in Jos needed about 1000 rabbits. I could not supply them because of the distance. The cost of transportation from Ilorin would have eroded the profit I wanted to make.
During the tenure of Oyetola in Osun State, there was a programme designed targeted to youth employment, rabbi farming was the major focus of the programme. They sourced for rabbits from neighbouring state as at then, Kwara inclusive.
The demand is always more than supply in rabbit farming in Nigeria. We could not meet the demand of Osun State Government then. I also supplied. I told many other rabbit farmers here in Ilorin who almost sold their breeding stocks, still, wr didn’t meet up their demand.
Same goes for Lagos State. The farmers in Ikorodu axis of Lagos State cannot meet up with the demands. Buyers usually book ahead so that they can get supplied. People are getting to know more about the health benefits of rabbits nowadays, hence the high rising demand.
Rabbit has no haemoglobin , gluten or cholesterol. People with heart disease, hypertension and palpitations are recommended to be eating rabbit meat.
Requirements of How to Start a Profitable Rabbit Farming in Nigeria
Rabbit farming requires expertise, training and consistency. Rabbits can be very delicate sometimes. As a rabbit farmer, you will be a veterinary doctor yourself. You should learn how to give vaccines, drugs and injections.
You can’t be inviting veterinary doctor to your farm everytime. They will be telling you they are busy, and your rabbits are dying. You just have to learn all these things along the line, they are required.
Also, you should be someone that is ready to learn. You will also read as if you want to write JAMB. This will give you the knowledge needed to wage through the huddles of how to start a profitable rabbit farming in Nigeria.
Like I said earlier, a rabbit likes pure water like a human being does. They cannot do without water for a day, but they can manage to do without food for a few hours. So, someone that is not ready for them should not raise them they can die easily without any sign of sickness.
A sick rabbit is easy to identify, it will stay in a place alone without mixing with others. A healthy rabbit moves and jumps up and down. If you are not observant of their behaviour, you will keep losing them. Observation skill is also a requirement in rabbit farming business.
Rabbit kittens are born blind, deaf and without fur on their bodies. But they have a sense of smelling. They feed from their mothers through smelling the breast milk. It is important to note that their mothers should not be disturbed at this period, as they can abandon the kittens to die if disturbed.
Grower rabbits are about three to four months old. Farmers prefer selling at this stage as they are no longer feeding from their mothers. Weaners can be left to grow more up to the stage of growers, as they can easily die if they are no.longer with their mothers.
Thinking of how to start a profitable rabbit farming in Nigeria as a youth should be given a priority and a thoughtful consideration, especially for a graduate and youths without a job. It can be their source of wealth generation. It doesn’t require much capital to start. Also, rabbit farming is a very interesting and profitable business.
Anybody going into it should be ready to learn, unlearn and relearn. This will ensure a successful rabbit farming business. Also, you have to be persevering as a rabbit farmer. Start small and grow bigg. This is my advice as an experience rabbit farmer.