Rabbit meat is considered a “niche” product and as a result the producer can expect a better price than most other industries. According to Pieter Keyser, a rabbit farmer from Colicky in the North West Province, the South African market has not even started to fully experience this industry due to substantial exports to Europe, feeding the unsatisfied market.
Why Rabbit Farming?
Rabbit meat has been put in the same category as Chicken meat (Poultry). Rabbit meat has been dubbed as the most nutritional meat known to men. This emanates from the following facts about rabbit meat:-
- Rabbit meat has the highest protein content of all meats;
- Rabbit meat has the lowest fat content in meat as compared to other meats. In addition, 63% of rabbit meat’s fat is unsaturated fat, which is regarded as good fat.
- Rabbit meat is also low in calories compared to all similar white meat i.e. content per gram.
Other than the aforementioned health benefits, the rabbit business itself is financially profitable when high standards are maintained in the rabbi try, which results in high meat quality being produced.
How to Raise meat Rabbits
Prepare your facilities.
Rabbits need very little space. Banks of cages can be installed in a shed, or barn. Covered hutches are all that is necessary. Decide how many rabbits you intend to keep as breeding stock, and prepare enough cages for all of them.
You need to decide whether you want to raise pure bred rabbits or if you are more concerned with producing the most efficient rabbits.
Choose a high protein food that will sustain breeding stock, but also will lead to fast growth rates. 14% – 16% feed should be sufficient, and will cause kits to grow at their fastest rates.
Breed rabbits regularly. Always take the doe to the buck’s cage so that they will not be distracted by the new environment of the doc’s cage. The gestation period for rabbits is about 30 days.
Feed kits all that they will eat. You want the kits-to grow as quickly as possible to butchering size. You can butcher kits at 8 weeks old, and they will be “fryer” size. Typically you want your kits to reach about 4-5 pounds by the time the kits are 8 weeks old.
Always keep rabbits healthy. Watch for diseases, and watch for bad teeth. Both of these can be detrimental to your herd.
To set up a rabbit farming business doesn’t need much money like every farming do, rather it takes a lot of knowledge about the animal husbandry and how best to raise animals, You have to start with a profitable rabbit farming business plan in order to gain high profit in the short term.