Rabbit Farming has seen considerable growth in the recent past as the world trends of traditional cattle farming have changed. The increase is due to the use of products obtained from farming in the food and clothing sector.
Rabbit farming is known to generate more profits in time compared to most other cattle farming businesses. If you own a large plot and plan to get into the farming business, rabbit farming can prove to be a great option. There are some things that you need to understand before you get into this business. Read on for details.
The first thing that anyone wonders about before starting any business is the space required for the setup. For rabbit farming, the space setting is more or less flexible. You do not need an enormous farm space if you are planning to start small. If you are looking for a large-scale commercial business, the space requirement is comparatively more, but still not as much as many other cattle farming businesses.
You can raise around 50 rabbits in a small area if you plan out the space available properly. Decide on the space requirement based on the scale at which you wish to start the business.
Small Farm Requirements
If this is the first time you are venturing into any animal farming business, we suggest that you start small. There are very few things you would require to start a small rabbit farm. They are listed below:
- You can spend as little as $50 on rabbit kittens available from various sources across the world. If you have specific requirements in terms of rabbit kitten breed, the prices might vary slightly.
- Foods and vessels are needed to feed the rabbits. Purchasing the food and containers for rabbits requires a minimum investment.
- Clean water is required for the rabbits to drink and stay healthy. Make sure you have a clean water source or procure clean water for your rabbits.
- A shed or a living space for the rabbit kitten is required. It can be a small space made of wood or similar materials. The shed should be free of pests and should not be too hot or cold, providing an optimal temperature for the rabbits to grow and breed.
- Medicine and Pesticides are needed to keep the rabbits healthy and safe from infections and the living space free of pests and insects, respectively.
Commercial Farm Requirements
If you are planning to start the business on a commercial scale, you would need the following:
- A comparatively larger space is needed to hold at least 100 rabbits. You need a minimum of 100 rabbits to start breeding on a commercial scale. You should have additional space, leaving space for newborn kittens.
- A more organized setup is required to allow enough space for the rabbits to live, feed, and play. You need to provide them a healthy requirement to grow and multiply.
- You can make use of machinery for pest control and cleaning of the farm.
- Ventilation is necessary for maintaining the proper living standards of the rabbits.
- Bulk containers and food to feed the rabbits are required to keep the rabbits healthy.
- Enough water supply should be available for the rabbits to sustain themselves.
- Purchase medication in bulk for the commercial rabbit farms.
How to take care of the rabbits?
Just having a farm for rabbits with the requirements is not enough. You need to keep a close check on your rabbits to ensure they are healthy and free of diseases at all times. For this, you must make sure of a few things. They are as follows:
1. Proper Supervision: Whether you have a few kittens on the farm or many, supervise the kittens regularly. Make sure that each of them is eating and drinking as much as required. In case you come across some diseased rabbits on the farm, isolate them and have medical checks done. If not done soon, it will start affecting the healthy rabbits on the farm, which isn’t very desirable.
2. Regular Medical Check: A regular medical checkup needs to be conducted, making sure that each rabbit is healthy and disease-free. In case some rabbit dies due to disease, age, or any other factor, remove it from the farm immediately to avoid affecting the other healthy rabbits. Hire a vet to come for a visit to the farm at short intervals.
3. Proper setup: Before starting the business of rabbit farming, make sure to set up the farm properly. You must design the farm in such a way that there is enough space for the rabbits to eat, drink, play around and live. Too many animals clustered in a small area will not provide optimal living conditions for them. The health of the rabbits is dependent on the living conditions. The setup should be well-ventilated, have enough air and light, and should not be too hot. You might think of keeping the rabbits in cages, which may be a good idea initially, but will affect the growth of the animals in the longer run.
4. Cleaning: Regular cleaning of the farm is another aspect. You need to maintain proper ventilation, install a cooling panel and exhaust fans, and use jet sprays to clean the farm regularly, keeping infections at bay. Cleaning of rabbit excreta is needed to provide a clean living condition to these rabbits.
What do the rabbits eat?
You need to understand the eating habits of rabbits if you are investing in the business of rabbit farming. The food habits of these animals are not restricted to carrots, as we might believe. Ensure that there is no shortage of food and water on the farm for the rabbits to feed.
- You can give green leafy vegetables to the rabbits. It can be an economical option of food for the business as well.
- Food supplements are available to maintain the health and wellness of the rabbits.
- Make sure that you procure the food from reliable resources so that they are disease-free and healthy.
- Hay can also be a high nutritional option for rabbits. Procure the hay from authentic sources and ensure that it of high quality for the better health of the rabbits.
Breeding of Rabbits
To run the business, you must breed the rabbits on the farm. For this, you need to maintain a proper breeding condition on the farm. Smaller rabbits breed only after six months of age, while bigger ones need to grow till eight to nine months to reach healthy breeding age. Furthermore, breeding ages vary from one breed to another, so you must research before you start breeding on your farm.
The weight and health of rabbits should be in check before they start mating. There must be a gap of six months before rebreeding of rabbits. Once a rabbit is pregnant, proper care is needed. You need to keep track of rabbits after mating as they take around 10 to 14 days to get pregnant. You can keep an eye out for symptoms such as aggressive behavior, increase abdomen size to differentiate between normal and pregnant rabbits. The pregnant rabbits litter the kittens in about 28 to 32 days, and each litter can contain up to 6 kittens.
These kittens need to be fed the mother rabbit’s milk for 3 to 4 weeks. After that, they get accustomed to the environment and start feeding on their own. Rabbits can breed up to 4 times in a year. Ensure you have enough space for the kittens to grow on the farm.
Scope of Rabbit Farming
Rabbit farming is a very profitable business. The scope of rabbit farming is in the following aspects:
- The rabbit meat is known for its nutritional values. You can sell your rabbits in countries that have no restriction on the consumption of rabbit meat.
- Rabbit wool is quite popular in the clothing industry. You can sell rabbit fur to the wool industry at a very profitable price.
- Selling healthy kittens to people planning to start a rabbit farming business is also a profitable opportunity.
- You can find a profitable opportunity in the pet industry. Selling healthy rabbits to pet shops can be a profit-making business.
- Rabbit manure is rich manure used by gardeners and landscaping companies.
Know the breeds
Before you start a rabbit farming business understanding the industry and the different breeds of rabbits available is necessary. You can decide to specialize in a specific breed or multiple breeds, depending on your business plan. Cross-breeding might not be a good idea as it hampers the health of the rabbits. Some of the scopes of business and the breeds in the market are as follows:
For Meat: Rabbits farmed for meat with high nutritional value are:
- Satin Rabbits
- New Zealand White
- Blanc de Hotot
- Belgian Hare
For Wool: Rabbits farmed for their fur in the wool industry are:
- French Angora
- Rex Rabbits
- American Chinchilla
For the pet industry: Rabbits farmed for supply to the pet industry are:
- Dwarf Hotot
- Mini Rex Rabbits
- Netherlands Dwarf Rabbits
How is the rabbit farming business profitable?
There are many reasons why the rabbit farming business is gaining popularity in recent years. Some of them are:
- Quick production: A matured rabbit can breed four times each year with an interval of 6 months between its pregnancies. Each rabbit litter can consist of up to 6 kittens on average.
- Low maintenance: Compared to most other animal farming opportunities, rabbit farming is a low maintenance option. It is not very capital intensive, or you do not require a large area for running the farm. Technology and set up cost is also pretty reasonable in rabbit farming.
- Low food and medication costs: Food, water, and medication required to raise rabbits are less if you compare to other cattle farming options. You need no fancy food for rabbits to grow and be healthy. The medications required to maintain the health of the rabbits are also inexpensive.
Steps to start the rabbit farming business
Some of the simple steps to start a rabbit farming business are as follows:
- Get the kittens: You need a minimum of 100 rabbits to start a rabbit farm. Out of these 100 rabbits, there should be at least 60 to 70 females and 30 – 40 males. You can procure from rabbit farm owners or commercial sellers.
- Get the setup done: Make arrangements to keep and raise the rabbits. The space must be open, with an optimal climate for breeding the animals. A place with less pollution can be a good idea for rabbit farming.
- Food and Water supply: Ensure that there is enough supply of rabbit food and water to your farm. It allows a healthy environment for the rabbits to grow.
- Register your farm: You must register your business with the legal authorities of the country. Make sure that your farm meets all legal requirements to stay out of any trouble in the future.
- Make initial investments: You can have a minimum of $100 investment to start your business in Rabbit farming. However, make sure that you have enough backup funds in case you need them.
So, are you wondering if rabbit farming is a good idea to start a business? Be informed that it is a very profitable business venture. Many business owners and business enthusiasts are venturing into the rabbit farming business, owing to its scope and good profits. The best thing about this business is that it is not very capital intensive, and you do not require a large area to start.
The few things that you need to ensure in terms of a rabbit farm are cleanliness, ventilation, the health of animals, quality and regular supply of food and water for the animals, medicine supply, and you are good to go. You will be able to see high profits in no time. However, before starting the business, Ensure that you meet all the legal requirements and all the legal documents ready. Start your rabbit farming business today and gain profits soon.
Yes, Rabbit farming is a highly profitable business, especially for small-scale producers. Rabbits have a high reproductive rate and produce a large number of young in a short period of time. Rabbit meat is extremely versatile and highly sought after, making it easy to market and sell.
There are many different types of rabbit breeds suitable for rabbit farming, including New Zealand White, Californian, Dutch, Polish and Himalayan.
Rabbits need at least a 6 foot by 6 foot hutch for each individual rabbit for adequate space.
Rabbits eat both fresh vegetables and store bought pellets. Additionally, you may provide hay and fresh Timothy grass as treats.
The first step is to create a plan and develop a business model. Research the market and determine your goals and objectives. Next, secure the necessary supplies, such as cages, feed, and water bottles. Lastly, register your business and ensure that you understand and comply with all applicable regulations.
Clean the cages daily, provide fresh water and feed once a day, give them plenty of exercise, and make sure they are protected from extreme temperatures.
You can market your rabbit meat by building relationships with local butchers, farmers markets, and health food stores. You can also sell the rabbits directly to consumers through your own website.
Rabbits generally take three to five months to be ready for sale, depending on the size and type of breed.
Generally, rabbits should be vaccinated against Myxomatosis and Viral Haemorrhagic Disease (VHD).
Cages must be large enough to prevent overcrowding and must be kept clean and hygienic. Additionally, you must have a food supply and regular medical care for the rabbits in your care.