Sincerely, with the increase in livestock farming in Nigeria which is not limited to the rearing of cattle such as cows, rabbit farming and its kinds are also becoming very popular and quite profitable both for the farmers and young entrepreneurs as they can also start this venture as an agricultural business practice to make money.
In most parts of the world, rabbits are considered a pet and may not be deemed fits for slaughtering for its meat and because of this, it is most times considered as poultry other than livestock in such areas. But whichever one it is, rabbit farming or rabbitry which involves the practice of raising such domesticated rabbits for their meat, as well as for their wood and fur production is very profitable and their meat is considered best after poultry birds as well.
Note; In Nigeria, it is regarded as a livestock because it is rarely used as a pet.
Rabbit farming can serve as a source of meat or be raised as pets, so anyone who wants to start such farming business in Nigeria and make your money should follow these steps.
• Rabbits have numerous breeds which are not limited to Chinchilla, English Angora, English Spot, Jersey Woofy, New Zealand White, Beveran rabbits and lots more. You have to decide on what breed you are going for by considering the ones we have here in Nigeria, you can start with a particular rabbit breed and then add other ones later to avoid mismanagement.
• Select a good location. One good thing about rabbitry is that it can be done at home if you have enough space to accommodate it, it does not require large acres of lands even if you are going into commercial farming.
• It doesn’t require also many facilities like poultry, which makes it a better choice if you are not financially stable. They can be raised in a cage which is good for sustenance farming or the deep litter method which is better for commercial farming as it will provide them with an opportunity to roam freely and also have access to grass which is their main source of food as well.
• Feeding rabbits are not all that tasking and won’t cost you a lot. Since they are herbivores animals, the grass is okay for them though you can feed them also with rabbit pellets and supplement which can complement their daily diet.
• Keeping the environment clean as always is very necessary because there are common diseases and health conditions which affect rabbits easily such as coccidial infection, infestation of mites and lice, other viral and bacterial infections. Therefore, it is important to disinfectant and wash their cages or environment very well to keep it clean and dry always.
• Selling your rabbit is not something you have to worry about, all you need is to create a little awareness by visiting fast foods and restaurant, etc., and you can supply your rabbits also to pet stores where they can sell it as pets. You can also make money either ways by having your own pet supply store where you sell them online or in-store and as well to individuals and others that may need it for either their meat or fur respectively.
Rabbit farming is very profitable and does not require much capital or work and most importantly they breed faster, as female rabbits can give birth to at 5-9 kits per birth and just after a month of their gestation period, which mean that they can give birth to as much as 40- 50 kits per year.