Rabbit Farming business requires less space and it can be done anywhere at your farm, backyard, on terrace or even at your home.
The capital investment you require for rabbit farming is very less.
You don’t need skilled labour to go into rabbit farming, however intense research is advised as these are just tips.
YOU CAN START WITH VERY LITTLE INVESTMENT
Rabbit farming business is one you can start with very little investment, but it will take time to develop to its full potential.
Patience and smart planning are key when going into the rabbit farming business.
Rabbit Farming is more economical.
Another reason for rabbit farming is that it is easy and economical to rear rabbits as compared to chicken, goat and other livestock.
Rabbits can be fed virtually at no cost; kitchen vegetables, green leaves and lots of locally available food can be more than sufficient.
HAVE ACCESS TO THE MARKET TO KNOW THE PROFITABILITY OF RABBIT FARMING
Like any business, you want to make a profit with rabbit farming so you really need to assess the market.
Do your homework first, before making an investment into rabbit farming to see if there is a market and where the market is.
Is there a market for rabbit meat, rabbit fur or both?
TAKE A VISIT TO RABBIT FARMS IN YOUR AREAS
You should visit rabbit farming businessess in your area, and talk to the people who run the rabbitries.
Find out your local start up costs, your running costs, your income and where you can sell your slaughter rabbits and to whom.
Visit several rabbit farming businessess, and whilst they are likely to give contradictory advice, you have to make your own decisions and there is nothing like learning on the job.
DETERMINE HOW STRONG YOUR COMPETITION IS
It’s essential to determine how strong your competition is in rabbit farming if you notice any.
It’s important to be aware of what your competition is doing, take the time to visit your competition to properly assess their strengths and weaknesses.
START FIRST WITH A SMALL SCALE RABBIT FARMING AND WATCH THE PROGRESS
Rather than investing your entire life savings in a large-scale rabbit farming, you should think about starting with a small-scale farm, make the necessary observation and then expand once you have established customer relationships, a reliable market and a sustainable business model.
BE AWARE THAT YOUR RABBITS ARE PSEUDO RUMINANT
You should be aware that rabbits are midway between ruminants and monogastric animals.
They are called pseudo ruminant.
They can convert cellulose into meat and can easily survive on kitchen scrap.
They are coprophagous in nature they reinvest their faeces in the early hours of morning directly from their anus through lips.
Thus replenish vitamins and cellulose content of faeces.
WHAT YOU NEED BEFORE YOU START RABBIT FARMING BUSINESS
Provide shelter that will protect your rabbit farming from extreme heat.
Rabbits can be housed indoors or outdoors.
If you want to house your rabbit outdoor, it is important to make sure that the rabbits are sheltered from the elements and extreme heat.
Production decreases significantly if rabbits are exposed to high temperatures.
When starting your rabbit farming business, you will need cages to keep your rabbit.
The ideal cages should provide enough room for a nest box, feeder, and still leave space for the rabbit to move around in.
Cramping your rabbits in small, factory farming cages can lead to disease and poor litter quality.
If you decide to house your rabbit outside you must have a water-repellent roof, and in cold weather the lower part of the exterior should be covered with tar paper to break the wind.
Since litters can’t be born outdoors when the temperature is below freezing, adjust your breeding schedules accordingly.
Open-air pens are, however, good for bucks, half-grown rabbits, and those being held for market.
AVOID DANGEROUS ANIMALS BY KEEPING YOUR RABBITS IN ENCLOSED AREAS
Make sure your area is enclosed somewhat.
Even if you have rabbits in hutches and cages – dogs, coyotes, and other animals can still get into the cages.
Keep your rabbitry free from mice and bugs.
This will help keep them healthy.
Make sure it allows light to get to the bunnies
CHOOSE YOUR CAGE ACCORDING TO THE SIZE OF YOUR RABBIT FARMING BUSINESS
For small size rabbit farming hutch system may be adopted which is a self contained cage-cum-nest box with its own roof.
In the case of larger farms, cages may be arranged inside the sheds in single or two tier under hanging or step wise rack system.
Your Cage should have room for waste disposal.
Make sure your cage has a smooth platform
A smooth platform should be provided in the cage to give your rabbits a resting spot off the hard wire.
STARTING WITH A BUCK AND TWO OR THREE DOES IS A GOOD IDEA FOR YOUR RABBIT FARMING
A good start for a beginner like you is a buck and two or three does, depending on how many pens you have.
A young animal’s sex, however, cannot be determined with the naked eye so how do you know which is which?
You could depend on the seller, but it’s better to be sure.
FIND OUT ALL NECESSARY DETAILS BEFORE YOU PURCHASE FROM THE BREEDER
You should purchase your rabbit from reputable breeders whom can be sought out in agricultural publications, online forums or livestock auctions.
You should ask sellers the average litter size of their does, the mortality rate, any recent infectious outbreaks, age of the rabbits for sale, and whether they are “proven” (having produced litters already) or unbred.
RABBITS WITH EXCELLENT HEALTH IS GOOD FOR YOUR RABBIT FARMING BUSINESS
Check your rabbits frequently for ear mites, fleas, urine staining, fecal matter crusted around the anal region, malnutrition, over or under bites, and mucus around the nose.
You want rabbits in excellent health and a healthy rabbit will be active, clean, clear eyed, muscular, and have a glossy coat.
PROPER RABBIT FARMING OBSERVATION IS NEEDED OF YOU FOR RELIABLE PRODUCTION
Your female rabbits are called does and your male rabbits are called buck.
The does should be around 7 months to breed and the buck 9 months old.
You could try breeding for a few months and see if it’s something you can do before investing more money into the venture.
It will take some trial and error in the beginning to start producing reliably.
PROPER FENCING IS REQUIRED TO PROTECT YOUR RABBIT FARMING BUSINESS
Construct sheds in such a way that predators and birds do not enter the shed.
In case of open hutches proper fencing should be provided to protect the rabbits from their predators.
Keep the shed/pens clean by regular cleaning and disinfection to make it free from flies/mosquitoes and a foot dip should be maintained at the entrance of the sheds.
HOW TO START THE BREEDING PROCESS
The average age at first mating is about 5-7 months and it varies with the physical maturity of individual rabbit and also the breed.
Mating should be done either early in the morning or in the evening.
In order to prevent inbreeding depression, your rabbits from the same family should not be bred.
When starting the breeding process, take the doe to the buck.
The buck should just be around for the breeding process and then separated from the doe.
They do not need very much time to breed.
The female does breed eight times in a year.
Female may produce five to eight young rabbits which attain sexual maturity in five to six months.
Life span of rabbit is about six to seven years.
Slaughter weight of rabbit is about 2 kg which can be achieved in 12 to 15 weeks.
Bucks and does are good for breeding for several years. Once you notice litter size or quality reducing, it is time to remove that rabbit from breeding.
You should never under any circumstance house bucks and does together in cages. It will stress out the doe; the buck may kill any kits born, and possibly deformed births.
Rabbits should be handled with care as rough handling may cause irreparable damage to muscles and may lower the carcass quality for your farrbit farming business.
FEEDING IS ESSENTIAL FOR ALL YOUR RABBITS
One important tip to breed successfullyand to make profitable your rabbit farming business is to feed your rabbits with the appropriate food.
Good feeding and watering equipment will supply feed and water in hygienic condition and will avoid causing discomfort or stress to the rabbits.
As Rabbits are vegetarian you can feed almost anything vegetarian to the rabbit including surplus vegetables from the market, tree leaves or cattle grass.
Hence, it is very easy and affordable to feed a Rabbit.
Although many people use feeding systems that include green feeds, hay, or home-mixed grains, the best feed is a commercially pelleted rabbit ration that meets all of the rabbit’s requirements.
When you feed rabbit pellets, do not give any other feed.
Different sized breeds will need different portions.
It is important to monitor their feed intake.
Watch your rabbits, they are very crafty animals and will favour barley and wheat over corn.
Overweight or underweight rabbits in your rabbit farmning business will not produce viable litters.
Watering can be provided through water bottles or through a watering system.
RABBIT FARMING AND DISEASES
Rabbits are susceptible to several diseases which must be checked severally.
If you leave them unchecked, these diseases can jeopardize the food supply and decimate your start-up rabbit farming.
Diseases to watch for include snuffles (mucus draining from nose), flystrike, and mite infestations, but there are diseases that can affect the human population and ultimately put you out of business. Tularemia, salmonella, pasteurella are just a few to name.
GOOD RECORD KEEPING FOR YOUR RABBIT FARMING IS IMPORTANT TO ASCERTAIN PROFITABILITY
The only way you can know how well you are doing in the rabbit farming business is to keep good records.
If you keep good records then you can make sound management and business decisions.
Good records let you know if you are making a profit, and they are necessary for income purposes.
MARKETING YOUR RABBIT FARMING BUSINESS
You do not need to limit your customer base to human palates. Your rabbits can be sold to pet stores, reptile owners, hunting dog trainers, and dog or cat owners that feed their animals a raw diet.
Once you are sure that you are ready to sell and have consistent numbers week to week, you can start seeking out commercial customers.
Seek out slaughterhouses, gourmet food distributors, meat markets, agricultural publications and classifieds, hunting publications, etc.
It is important as a rabbit farmer to develop good public relations with neighbours and council representatives.
Any complaints should be dealt with in a concerned, professional and sympathetic manner.
If you are located in sensitive a area, you may need to maintain a complaints register in order to monitor adverse impacts and assess management practices.
RABBIT FARMING BUSINESS RESOURCES
RabbitFarmingBusiness.com – You will find here loads of FREE Tips, tools & resources to help you easily and quickly get started in a business of rabbit farming
RabbitFarmingBusiness.com/tips – Questions And Answers to Do With Rabbit Farming
How To Start A Rabbit Farming Business
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