Tuesday, February 16, 2016
AGRIBUSINESS: HOW TO REAR RABBITS FOR PROFIT.
AGRIBUSINESS: HOW TO REAR RABBITS FOR PROFIT. Rabbits are herbivores,easy to rear and manage. Their characteristic prolific mature coupled with short gestation period has made them the urban animals to rear.The meat is also nutritious as its fatless and has no cholesterol making it a healthy substitute for red meat. Rabbits an be reared in farms or in -house in hutches,wooden cages or wire cages depending on the scope of production.Rabbits feed on grasses,legumes and vegetables basically,but commercialized pellets can also be used to enhance growth.Rabbits must be given water alongside feed,also salt is essential for their diet. The male rabbit is called a buck and sexually mature at 5-6 months of age.,the mating ratio is 1 buck to 15 does. The female rabbit is called a doe,sexually active at 5-6 months of age,comes on heat every 3 weeks and can have an average of 5-9 kits per kindling and can kindle 3-4 times a year depending on management practice. The doe is taken to the buck when on heat,mating takes place within minutes with the buck falling on his back with a momentary stiffened posture.The doe is returned to her cage and the process repeated at day 2/3. The doe is palpated for fetus at 14 days after mating to ascertain pregnancy.The nesting box is placed in the does hutch on day 25 after mating,and the doe kindles 30-31 days after mating. Fresh feed,must be available for the doe until weaning at 4 weeks and the cycle continues,until you decide to sell off or slaughter to process for packaging. Starting with 10 does @ 10,000 naira at the start of the year the does averaging 7 kits/ kindle........70 kits then in a year will be 70 x3...........210 kits.This can be increased with proper management by choosing does from very prolific progeny. The medication costs can be reduced by ensuring strict bio security protocols,and giving clean ,nutritious meals and prevent exposure to sun.Rabbits do benefit from early morning sunshine,but they must not be exposed for long periods as this reduces fertility and also results in death when over exposed.