Want to start Rabbit Farming In Nigeria?
Cuniculture is the practice of rearing and breeding rabbits for their fur, meat or even as domestic pets. Cuniculture is lucrative, fun and not that expensive to venture into.
Rabbit farming can be widely versatile and lucrative in Africa, especially in Nigeria. Despite this, not many people have ventured into this business. If you are about to venture into the business of rearing rabbits, this article is for you. This article is a walkthrough of the entire process of Rabbit farming in Nigeria.
Also, permit me to welcome you ahead, into the world of Cuniculture.
EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT RABBITS.
Rabbits are mammals, they can be as little as eight inches(weighs a little over a pound) and can grow up to twenty inches, which is about 4.8 kg. Their teeth and nails never stop growing but they do regulate their teeth growth through cutting through food. Their ears can develop up to four inches and their eyeballs can be rotated up to 360 degrees, this helps them locate predators as they can see and hear predators from far and near.
Their predators often include wild birds like falcons, owls, hawks, eagles and other animals like wild dogs.
Rabbits are highly social creatures that can get bored and they live in large groups. A large group of rabbits living together are called colonies. They also require the company of their own and there are more than thirty species of rabbits
Rabbits have a high level of reproduction. Two rabbits, male and female can give birth to over forty offspring within a year! The gesticulation period of a rabbit is usually within thirty-one days and at delivery, a female rabbit can give birth to four to eight offspring at once! However, only 15% of rabbits make it to their first year. Baby rabbits are commonly called Kits than Kittens.
Rabbits are often able to take care of themselves after three weeks and are able to start families of their own after two to three months.
Rabbits are nocturnal creatures. They are often more active at dusk than dawn and they eat more during that period.
Rabbits often need a lot of nutrients and as a result, they eat their own excrement to retake any other nutrient that might have skipped the first digestion process.
Rabbits are prey animals and as a result, are petrified of the outdoors.
Rabbits require space and a lot of hydration.
The above is basic knowledge that should be acquired and remembered at all times by rabbit owners and breeders.
HOW TO START A RABBIT FARM IN NIGERIA.
You have decided to venture into rabbit farming and I say congratulations. To start up your own rabbit farm in Nigeria, you do not require a million-dollar capital. You can start a rabbit farm with as low as 45 thousand nairas.
At first, you need to outline a plan. In your plan, here are a couple of things to consider:
- What breed of rabbits will you rear?
- How many rabbits will you take on?
These two questions help you ascertain various factors such as:
- Cages: Deciding what breed and the number of rabbits you would like to rear would determine how large a cage should be built, how many compartments in the cage, and how many cages to build as well. You could start breeding your rabbits in your yard. In setting or choosing a spot, ensure a room temperature as rabbits can not thrive under harsh weather conditions; their home can neither be too hot nor too cold. Seeing as Rabbits are also defenseless creatures, you may want to reinforce their cages to ensure maximum security against predators that are always lurking around.
- Water Channels: Rabbits require frequent hydration. Provision of an adequate supply of fresh, clean clear water is also an imperative factor that cannot be neglected.
- Feeding: Rabbits require feeding at least two times a day. Provision for their adequate feeding and plans for their nutrition and medication should be considered before breeding.
WHAT DO NIGERIAN RABBITS EAT?
Rabbits require constant feeding. If they are not well fed, they become restless, they could lose weight and they could die of malnourishment. Rabbits eat a variety of foods and they are vegetarians of course. Here are a couple of foods you might want to consider for your Rabbits
- Rabbits eat Grass. Elephant grass, millet grass, gunner grass. If you are rearing your rabbits in your backyard, having these grasses is an added incentive that could boost the growth of your rabbits and your business with less stress.
- Rabbits eat Trees. Rabbits enjoy tree leaves such as banana leaves, mango leaves, etc.
- Rabbits love fruits. Rabbits enjoy fruits, such as mango, carrots, watermelon, and pineapples.
- Concentrate. You may want to consider rabbit feeds such as pellets for your rabbits. This is an efficient method for giving them the adequate nutrients required to grow healthy.
Rabbits also eat their excreta. If you come across this, it is a common practice among most rabbits and so there’s no need to fret. They eat their poop to redigest nutrients that may have skipped the first digestion process because they require a lot of nutrition.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO START A RABBIT FARM IN NIGERIA.
Like said earlier, you do not need a million-dollar capital to start a Rabbit business. Below are the costs of some of the most popular rabbits:
- Weaner rabbits cost about #2,000 to #4,000
- Preder Rabbits cost about #4,000 to #5,000
- Delop cost about about #6,000 to #7,000
- English Matured Rabbits cost about #5,000 to #6,000
- Chinchilla Matured Rabbits cost about #5,000 to #6,000
You could choose an assortment or a specific breed, a startup with just two or four, male and female, and within a year, you would have over a hundred rabbits if you buy just two and over two hundred rabbits if you buy four.
Considering the costs of the cage, feed, vet consulting, and rabbits, of course, you would require a minimum of forty-five thousand Naira and a maximum of a hundred thousand nairas at the inception of your rabbit farm. Note, a hundred thousand naira would most likely be the highest you would ever be required to spend on a rabbit farm.
IS RABBIT FARMING IN NIGERIA PROFITABLE?
Yes, rabbit farming is profitable in Nigeria and there are many factors accountable for making it so. These factors include:
- More demand than supply: There are fewer rabbit farms than the demand for rabbit products. Even though rabbits are used for their meat and fur and at times, like domestic animals, many Nigerians have ventured into cuniculture. The demand is higher than the supply of goods. You can rightly leverage on this and increase the prices of your “money bunnies”.
- They multiply quickly: If you began your farm with just two rabbits, you could have over a hundred rabbits on your farm within a year as their level of reproduction is high. Rabbits are polygamous, hence more babies.
- Low cost of capital: One does not require much capital to begin and to maintain a rabbit farm. Their feeding can be obtained locally on farms and nearby lands if you do not use concentrate as a means of feeding.
With the right business techniques, plan, and right customers, you could make over four times your initial start-up fee within a year! Now that’s good business!
CHALLENGES OF RABBIT FARMING IN NIGERIA.
- Little to no information. Many Rabbit farmers are often ignorant about the safety measures for running a rabbit farm.
The lack of information is also responsible for the stagnation of many Nigerian farms. Cuniculture is highly lucrative and has the potential to spread largely as well as create employment for many unemployed, but as Rabbit farming is only engaged In by the locals and shunned by the literates.
- Lack of a specified breeding stock:
The absence of licensed breeding stock centers has relegated farmers to purchasing substitute stock among farmers and has led to an inbreeding of stock.
- Disease Outbreak: Rabbits are prone to diseases and even death if they are exposed to harsh weather conditions, tight and overcrowded cages, and filthy water. This is the case in most rabbit farms in Nigeria which leads to disease outbreaks and deaths of many rabbits.
- Adequate feeding: The high cost of concentrate often faults in inadequate feeding of the rabbits, they eventually lose weight, then die of malnutrition and/or starvation.
- Inadequate access to modern technology: Most Nigerian rabbit farms happen to be archaic in their dealings, behind the rest of the world in cuniculture. With the application of modern technology, production can be heightened, accounted for and business managed properly.
THE BEST RABBIT BREEDS IN NIGERIA.
Either behind your house, grassy areas, in the gutters on the streets, and so on, here are a couple of rabbits you might have come across and are widely reared in Nigeria.
- New Zealand rabbit breed.
These kinds of rabbits are characterized by five colors only which are usually, red, white, blue, black, and broken. Broken is a combination of colors.
- Cottontail rabbit breed.
These rabbits are distinct because of the small to nonexistent black spots on their forehead, smaller ears than any other breed, and smaller size.
- Hyla rabbit.
These rabbits are genetically modified rabbits. They often look like albinos.
- Chinchilla rabbit.
There are four breeds of chinchilla rabbits. They usually have a slight curve to their bodies from their neck to their butt.
- Californian rabbit.
These rabbits often look like a bride; all white and they usually have black or blacks like margin markings on their nose, feet, ear, and tail and they must always have pink eyes like a little barbie doll.
- Giant Flemish rabbit.
These rabbits are humongous, they have powerful bodies and their head is always proportional to the rest of their bodies. They are characterized by standing ears and glossy fur.
- Rex rabbit.
These rabbits have broader heads, standing ears, smaller feet, and a huge flap of skin under their chin.
WHAT IS RABBIT FUR USED FOR?
Rabbit fur which is also called Lapin is most commonly used for knitted goods. Rabbit fur is known for its warmth and it is also blended with other fibers for that special warm effect.
There are widely projected and accepted things about rabbits that are not necessarily true. To run a rabbit farm successfully, you need to know these myths, avoid them, and continue learning to improve your farm.
These myths may include:
- Rabbits love carrots.
This is false! Often projected by the media, carrots are not a bunny’s favorite meal. A rabbit’s standard meal should consist of pellets, hay, and water. If they would be given carrots at all, it should be as a reward or a treat. Rabbits cannot survive off carrots because they contain a high level of sugar and could cause diarrhea in your bunnies.
- Rabbits stink.
Any other pet that isn’t kept clean would stink, including humans. As a farmer, If you clean their cage regularly and as a pet owner, if a litter box, train your pet rabbit, they would be odorless.
- Rabbits have a short lifespan.
This is untrue. Agreed, barely fifteen percent of bunnies make it to their first year, but those who eventually do can live even up to seven years.
- Rabbit meat isn’t healthy.
This is another false statement. Rabbit is healthy, has a low percentage of fat, is high in protein, and might just be a lot better than other kinds of meat.
Rabbit farming in Nigeria is a highly lucrative business, easy to venture into. An increase in rabbit farming in Nigeria will birth new jobs, boost the economy,, and in turn make the pioneer rich. If you have decided to run a rabbit farm, I welcome you into the world of cuniculture, hope that this article helped you,, and good luck!