Rabbit meat is one of the best sources of protein and is healthier than other meats. As a result, commercial rabbit farming in Kenya is becoming popular day by day. Rabbit meat contains more protein and less fat than beef, turkey, pork, and even chicken meat.
For a long time, commercial rabbit farming in Kenya for meat production has not been taken seriously. But now, rabbit farmers in Kenya are now raising highly meat-producing rabbits for commercial production of meat and they are earning good money by doing this business.
Advantages of Rabbit Farming in Kenya
There are several advantages of commercial rabbit farming in Kenya. The main benefits of the rabbit farming business in Kenya are listed below.
- Rabbits are very fast-growing animals like broiler chickens. They gain maturity fast and become suitable for slaughtering purposes within 4-5 months.
- The rabbit gestation period is less (generally between 28-31 days) and a doe gives birth to kids after every 2 months. Each time one doe can give birth to 2-8 kids.
- Starting rabbit farming in Kenya requires very little capital or investment. Even, you can start a rabbit farming business in a well-ventilated small space.
- The food-to-meat converting rate is higher in rabbits than in any other livestock animal.
- Rabbit meat is very tasty and nutritious. All types and all aged people can easily consume and digest rabbit meat.
- Feeding costs for commercial rabbit farming in Kenya are also very less. You can easily feed your rabbits’ kitchen waste materials, grasses, plant leaves, etc. with their regular commercial feed. This will help you for reducing feeding costs.
- Commercial rabbit farming in Kenya can be a great source of income and employment. You can successfully use your family labor for the rabbit farming business. Rabbit farming is also very pleasurable and entertaining.
Starting Rabbit Farming Business in Kenya
Starting rabbit farming in Kenya requires a very low investment. It’s very easy to set up and raise rabbits commercially. Here I am describing the steps for starting commercial rabbit farming in Kenya.
Breeding of Rabbits
Choosing suitable breeds for commercial rabbit farming in Kenya is the most important. The common rabbit breeds used for commercial production in Kenya are California White, Flemish Giant, New Zealand White, and some other local cross breeds.
All those breeds are suitable for commercial production according to the environment and climate of Kenya. Choose breeds according to your desired production.
How To Make a Suitable House For Rabbits
Making suitable rabbit housing is the most important part of rabbit farming in Kenya. Rabbits are very clean animals. They love to stay in a neat and clean house with a good ventilation system.
You can raise rabbits in both deep litter and cage methods. Choose the method according to your production type and investment capability.
Some important factors to consider when constructing houses for commercial rabbit farming in Kenya are described below.
- Depending on the breeds, various breeds vary in their weight. Generally, an adult rabbit weighs between 2-7 kg. And for commercial production 1200-1500 squire centimeters, clean space is required for 1 kg weight. That means 80cm * 80cm space is required for a medium-sized rabbit.
- Doe needs extra space for proper growth. 80cm * 115cm space is perfect for an adult medium-sized doe.
- Keep the kids or young rabbits in a group until they reach 4 months of age. 20-30 young rabbits can be kept in each group.
- A proper ventilation system in the house is very essential. You can cover the walls, doors, and roofs of a hutch with chicken wire netting or made up of bamboo or wood placed 20mm apart. This system is suitable for hot-tempered areas.
- In cold-tempered areas, you can easily make a house with solid walls and roofs.
- Make a drain inside the house so that you can easily clean the house.
- Clean the feeding and watering equipment inside the house on a regular basis.
How To Feed
A sufficient amount of nutritious and balanced diet food keeps the rabbit healthy and productive. For commercial production, you can feed your rabbits commercially prepared supplementary feed.
This type of food is available in the market. Along with this, you can add kitchen garbage, grasses, leaves of various trees, etc.
This will help you reduce feeding costs. A sufficient amount of clean and fresh water is also required with proper nutritious rabbit feed.
Breeding of Rabbits
Rabbit grows very fast and gains maturity earlier. They become suitable for breeding within 6 months of age. The gestation period of rabbits is less compared to other livestock animals.
Generally, a doe gives birth to kids after every two months. Each time one doe can give birth to 2-8 kids. The gestation period stays for 28-31 days.
Medical Care is Verry Important
Take some extra care and management of your rabbits. Vaccinate them timely to keep them free from all types of rabbit diseases.
Never feed them polluted or expired food. Try to monitor all their activities.
The marketing process is the most important part of rabbit farming in Kenya. Basically, there are no formal markets for selling rabbit products so far like chickens, goats, or fish.
But rabbit meat slaughterhouses are coming up due to the high popularity and increasing demand for rabbit meat. Right now you can try the local market, restaurants, and supermarkets.
Rabbit meat has a huge demand is in all over the world. So, if you have sufficient facilities then try to export to foreign countries.