Naftal Mocha, a rabbit farmer in Mwiki, Nairobi [David Njaaga, Standard]
Rabbit farming has for a very long time been seen as a go time for teenage boys. However slowly, the tide is altering and many individuals are warming as much as it as an agribusiness enterprise. To run a profitable rabbit farming enterprise, that is what you want:
The most well-liked breeds used within the meat trade are New Zealand White, California White, Flemish Large, French Ear lop, Chinchilla and Dutch. The Angora breed is stored for fur and as a pet. The dressed weight of a mature rabbit is one and a half to 2 kilogrammes. For does (females), think about traits like progress charge, mothering capability, meat to bone ratio and physique measurement. Does and bucks mature inside six months and the gestation interval is on common 30 to 32 days. They offer delivery to between 4 and 12 kits, that are properly hidden in a nest for the primary eight to 10 days. One doe can have 4 to 5 nests per 12 months with a complete of 40 kits in a lifetime. A mature rabbit goes for about Sh2,500.
The rabbit unit ought to provide safety from excessive climate, noise and predators, together with birds, snakes, bugs and rats. Erect gutters for ease of urine and manure assortment. It’s best to accommodate them 90 cm off the bottom. You need to use a number of ranges to save lots of on area. There needs to be separate cages for the does and bucks to keep away from inbreeding. Hygiene needs to be maintained always by means of cleansing and disinfection.
Nutrient necessities rely upon age, intercourse, physique weight and stage of manufacturing. These nursing newborns or pregnant have increased necessities than non-producing ones.
Feed your rabbits with feeds containing carbohydrates, proteins, mineral salts and nutritional vitamins. The portions needs to be enough and be of excellent high quality. Rabbit pellets and hay is enough. Nevertheless, they’ll thrive on wilted maize stalks, candy potato vines, cabbage or sukuma wiki leaves and carrot tops.
Rabbits eat a considerable amount of water and it needs to be available.
Ailments and parasites
The most typical rabbit illnesses embody Coccidiosis, Pasteurellosis (snuffles), Pneumonia, warmth prostration and sore hock. Essentially the most infamous parasites embody tapeworms, roundworms, ear mange or canker, pores and skin mange, mites, fleas and ticks.
Ailments unfold throughout the cages in a short time so motion have to be taken instantly for those who spot something unusual. Full isolation of sick rabbits is important whereas they’re present process remedy. Search veterinary recommendation within the occasion of a illness outbreak. Use of footbaths and employment of biosecurity measures is essential to maintain illness at bay.
File the variety of does, date of delivery and repair, the buck used, the date of kindling (giving delivery), variety of kits reared, any deaths and deworming dates.
Rabbit meat, which is categorised as white, is nutritious, simply digested and more healthy in comparison with crimson meat. Rabbit meat has excessive meat to bone ratio, in comparison with hen meat. A kilo of meat retails at round Sh1,000 whereas a litre of urine which is a pure pesticide goes for Sh100. There’s additionally a possibility for worth addition of the leather-based into belts, luggage and coats, amongst different gadgets.
[Dr Paul Kang’ethe is a veterinary Surgeon and the Resident Vet at FarmKenya]
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