Are you thinking of starting a rabbit farm or rabbit business in Nigeria (commercial rabbit farming in Nigeria) and you want to make profits from it on a small scale & large scale? In this article, I will be teaching you everything you need to know about rabbit farming (rabbitry). How to start it and how you can make millions from the business.
Rabbit farming is a lucrative business in Nigeria and it has been this way for a long time but many Nigerian youths do not know this. Do you know that when you start a rabbit business today you spend little to no money on feeding and vaccines? Yes! This is because rabbits unlike poultry businesses do not need animal feed to survive. Rabbits can survive on just vegetables you see around you.
They do not also fall sick or get diseases easily if you get the rabbit’s farming cage design well and because they live in vegetables. All the nutrients they need to build their immune system are in the vegetables. So according to popular findings and testimonies of other rabbit farmers in Nigeria and Africa rabbit farming business is one of the animal farming businesses that is less capital intensive and can yield 80% profits in 3 months (if you know your gut and you digest every part I am about to share in this article).
Asides from all this, rabbit farming in Nigeria is also very profitable and lucrative because rabbits reproduce at faster rates and their young ones grow fast even while feeding on grass. Rabbits can attain maturity within 3 months depending on the rabbit breed in Nigeria. You can start a rabbit farm in Nigeria with just 10 rabbits (usually a colony) and in the 3 months have at least 210 more rabbits added to your farm by birth. This growth is unique and it is the fastest growth you can ever find in the animal farming world.
Is Rabbit Farming Profitable?
Another common question for those that want to go into the farming business in Nigeria is if rabbit farming is profitable in Nigeria. If you are one of those asking this question I will answer you boldly with a yes. Yes, rabbit farming is highly profitable because it yields massive returns. Another reason why animal farming is profitable is that nothing goes to waste in the business including the urine and the feces of the rabbits.
Here are points on why rabbit farming is highly profitable in Nigeria. You can sell the rabbits as pets to animal lovers, you can sell your rabbits for meat purposes, and you can sell the fur of the rabbits to cloth manufacturing companies and make millions from it. You can sell the rabbits’ urine and feces to farmers in Nigeria as fertilizer and manure.
Rabbit’s urine and feces are one the best fertilizers and manures in the world and this is because it is 100% organic and yields massive results than cow dung, goat dung, or chicken poop. Anywhere you see a rabbit farm you will certainly see farmers flocking in and out to buy rabbit’s urine and feces. If you combine all these sources of income together you can make millions as a rabbit farmer in Nigeria and Africa as a whole.
Types of Rabbits Breeds
There are different types of rabbit breeds in the world. Whiles some are good for pets some other types of rabbits are good for their fur. These furs are used to make art and are used to make clothes. The third most common type of rabbit breed is the breed used for meat. The rabbits that are bred for their meat are the most common type of rabbit bred in Nigeria – Africa. Anybody that is into rabbit farming always goes into these breeds for these reasons.
Best Rabbits Farming Cage Designs
Both the buck (males) and doe (females) of the rabbit family are clean animals despite the fact that they burrow and live in the ground (underground) in their natural habitat. They do not like smelly environments and they cannot live with their waste (their urine and feces). If they do they will get sick and start dying. So how do you make sure your rabbits live in a good environment where they can grow and reproduce faster?
It is by providing a good rabbit caging system for them. There are 2 rabbit farming cage designs in Nigeria that are mostly used by farmers. These are:
1. Deep Litter Method
The deep litter cage designs look more or less like the natural habitat of the rabbits only that you have access to the enclosure to clean it regularly and put food and water. Rabbits enjoy the deep litter caging system more because in the system they can dig and play on the soil. However, to keep your rabbit healthy you must always clean the cage regularly by removing their faces and adding a fresh layer of sand.
The deep litter cages must be built in sections that are one doe for a section and one buck for each deep litter enclosure. The female rabbits (doe) need to be kept in bigger deep litter enclosures in case they give birth to their young there will be enough space for them while the male rabbits (bucks) can be kept in smaller cages.
Disadvantages of the Deep Litter Method
The infection rate is likely to increase if you do not clean the deep litter system regularly. Flood and rain can also spoil the deep litter systems making the place inhabitable for the rabbits.
2. Cage Method
The cage method is a kind of rabbit farming cage design where you use bamboo, wood, or iron nets to construct battery cages for your rabbit farming. In this kind of cage design, you will place galvanized sheets under each cage to gather the rabbits’ poo and urine away from the rabbits. Rabbits that live in cage method (battery cages) often live longer than rabbits in deep litter systems cages.
Disadvantages of the Cage Method
The only disadvantage to the cage method is it doesn’t look 100% natural to the rabbits, unlike the deep litter cage system.
How to Start Rabbit Farming in Nigeria
How to Start a Profitable Rabbit Business in Nigeria.
1. Get a Space or Farm Land
Rabbit farming in Nigeria is a kind of farming in Nigeria that needs space – an abundance of space despite the fact that your rabbits will be in cages. So you need to look for how you will get a space for the farming business or if possible get an empty land for the animal farm business. If you want your rabbit farm to be in the city renting space like an unused uncompleted building, backyards, or boys’ quarters is better.
This is cheaper than renting land in the city. But if you want your rabbit farming to be in the village – the rural areas of Nigeria you can rent a fertile land instead.
2. Getting the Required Capital
After knowing the land or space you will need for your rabbit farming and how much you will need to rent or lease it you can do an estimate of how much you will really need to start your rabbit farming business. Except if you want to start your rabbit farming on a small scale you will need a huge capital to start a rabbit farm in Nigeria.
To start a standard rabbit farming in Nigeria you will need a capital of #700,000 – #1,000,000 but if you want to start on a small scale you can use #300,000 to start. Read our article on how to get funding for your business in Nigeria.
3. Buy or Build Cages for Rabbits
When it is time for installing cages for your rabbits you can buy the already constructed cages or get a professional cage builder that can construct the cages for you on-site. Rabbit cages can be constructed with three types of materials. It can be constructed using iron in the form of battery cages and it can be constructed using bamboo and wood.
You can use bamboo if you want to save money but the downside of this is that the cage does not last long as the iron-constructed cages. To build your deep system you will need blocks, bags of cement, sand, and a bricklayer to build it for you. You can check some tips about this on YouTube. When you are constructing the cage system for your rabbits make sure you connect all the waste passages together. This is to make sure the rabbit’s urine and feces do not go into waste.
4. Buy Rabbit Feed or a Vegetable Source
Rabbit feeds are not that common in Nigeria however, it does not mean that it is not produced but even if it is available it is cheaper to feed your rabbit vegetables than rabbit feed. If you plan on feeding your rabbits vegetables you need to plant vegetables in advance long before buying your rabbits. This is to make sure that the rabbits have enough food to eat and to make sure the source of vegetables is always consistent.
You can either go for rabbit feed alone (pallet) or vegetables alone or pallet and vegetables. It all depends on what you want, which of these is easily available to you, and how cheap it is.
5. Buy Healthy Rabbits for Parent Stock
The kind of rabbits you buy to start your rabbit farming will determine how fast your rabbit farm will grow and the satisfaction you get from your customers. Another thing you should also consider as a newbie going into rabbit farming is that you buy rabbits when they are close to maturity (almost 3 months) instead of too young rabbits.
This often makes you get familiar with old rabbits first before you engage in nursing for young bunnies.
6. Reproduce Rabbits and Start Selling
The moment you buy your parent-stock rabbits you should be preparing them to mate. Start giving them good feed and vegetables and make sure whilst you are doing this they are not underweight or overweight. The moment they attain full maturity you should start mating them immediately.
After each successful mating, you should note down the date so you can calculate their gestation period and know their expected date of delivery. When they start reproducing make the rabbits breastfeed their young.
If you notice they are not doing these themselves you have to help them do it or else the newborns will die. When you start taking care of your rabbits both the young and old you can now start selling your rabbits to pet lovers, those who use it for meat, and those who buy them for their fur.
Making Profits from Rabbit Business
I feel like I do not need to say much about this again because I already talked extensively about how to can diversify your income in your rabbit farming. There is nothing you get from rabbits that can go into waste even their urine and feces. I talked about this earlier. Rabbits are highly fertile animals that a doe can give birth to 5 – 9 kits at least 10 times in a year and they often have fewer losses of their kits.
This means that if you have 5 does and one fertile buck you can get up to 90 – 100 kits before the year runs out. When it is time to mate them which is when they are 3 months old you need to put the males inside the female cages instead of the other way around. This will make the female rabbits receptive to mate. As regards feeding whether you are feeding them rabbit feed or vegetables make sure you do not overfeed or underfeed them. If you do this they will become overweight or underweight and this makes them infertile.
Rabbit Farming Business Plan
If you are really thinking of going into the rabbit farming business on a large scale in Nigeria you need to write your rabbit farming business plan first. This is very important because it lets you know how you can really go about the rabbit farming in Nigeria from the start, how much capital is needed to start, and how you can make profits from the farming business.
It is only when you want to start your rabbit farming on a small scale you do not need a rabbit farming business plan. Read our guide on how to write a business plan in Nigeria
Risk and Challenges in Rabbit Farming
There are many risks and challenges in rabbit farming in Nigeria and all over the world. Some of these are:
i. Your rabbits could be killed by animals like snakes, rodents, and insects.
ii. Your rabbits could be exposed to diseases. This often happens if you do not take care of their cages often or you do not make their cage in such a way that the rabbits don’t come in contact with their waste.
The demand for rabbits for food might not be high in Nigeria at the moment but the animal is highly needed for pets. Many parents prefer to buy rabbits as pets than dogs. In rural states in Nigeria, rabbit is still a delicacy. If you are passionate about the farming business just follow the steps above. And if you have questions you can drop them in the comment below.