Rabbit farming, a different approach and a change from the traditional cattle farming is being done all over the world. This has created a space in business in recent days due to its use in food sector and wool sector. Like any other livestock business rabbit farming also works the same way, but with higher returns in a short period of time. For you to start your extra income here, proper knowledge on care and management of rabbits is required. In this article I have crafted important information for commercial rabbit farming business which you can start. The main purpose of raising rabbits is for its meat and few other products. Follow the business plan which is given below to start your own profitable rabbit farming business.
Small farm or a massive farm?
Investment decides whether you should do it in a small farm or in a massive place with extra arrangements. Rabbits can be grown in any place until they have enough space to run around and play. The number of rabbits that can be accommodated in a place of 500 square feet area is approximately 80. One basic thing to remember is, the activity of the rabbits grown should never stop due to scarcity of space. So, consider this before you plan to raise rabbits.
Small farms are never less in any quality when compared to huge setups. It is the proper care management which brings favourable results at the end. Rabbits can be grown in terrace, backyard or even your balcony. But the number grown should always be much lesser than the space they live in.
Requirements for small farms
- Rabbit kittens- Start your business from a small point. Invest $50 or amounts almost equal to that to buy rabbit kittens.
- Food– Add some more money to the investment for purchasing rabbit feed.
- Containers– Use small bowls and containers as utensils for rabbit feed.
- Shed- Make your own small shed for the rabbits to protect them from climatic changes and other harmful situations. Keep the shed free from pests by cleaning it at regular intervals. Use antiseptic sprays and other similar medicines to keep the rabbits out from any diseases due to insects.
- Water– Provide the rabbits with clean water throughout the day.
Big farms – For Commercial Rabbit Farming
If the investment amount is quite high, you can choose to start the business in a higher level. This might include the installation of certain technical tools in the farm since the count of rabbits here will be high. As a single individual, it is not possible to take complete care of the rabbits in the farm.
Requirements for big farms
- The basic requirement to multiply the number is the rabbit kitten. Have at least 100 rabbit kittens to increase your number in future.
- A well-planned setup or a shelter for them to grow and play. The layout should be planned properly calculating the number of rabbit kittens in the present and the ones which be produced in future.
- Surplus water supply to avoid circumstances of shortage of water for cleaning and drinking.
- Regular supply of food for the rabbits on a daily basis. It is advisable to have contracts to ensure break-free flow of food.
- Containers for the rabbits to eat. These containers should be purchased in bulk to ensure all the rabbits in the farm have healthy food.
- Pest control devices and medicines should be a part of the farm.
- Proper ventilation for the rabbits to give them a natural environment
These are the basic requirements to initiate a rabbit farming business. But apart from these you will need certain other things to be present in your farm due to geographical or climatic changes.
Proper supervision – After setting up the farm, the rabbits should be taken care of with fullest dedication. Half of the rabbit business owners fail to do this and they end up shutting the business finally. You should understand that this business deals with a living thing and it is mandatory to check for their safety and health always. Regular check should be done to make sure if the rabbits are healthy enough and they are alive or not. Some rabbits die due to diseases which might not have any spottable reason. Leaving the farm with dead ones will directly affect the health of other rabbits.
Medical check – up by a vet- If rabbits are grown in small farms, there is no need for a formal medical check up since they are under close supervision. But if the rabbits are grown in large areas and are huge in number, they do need a regular medical check-up. If skipped, disease might spread all over the farm causing a great trouble.
Layout design – The layout should be designed in such a way that each rabbit in the farm has a minimum of 1square feet area to play and run around. Considering the health of the rabbit, it is better to let them free in a selected area with a proper compound around it. Caging them might be easy, but it will have a sizable impact on their growth. The total area chose should be well-conditioned with air and water.
The most important part of rabbit farming is feeding. The rabbits grown should never stay out of food even for a minute when they want it. Same goes for water which will be needed all day.
- Rabbits can be fed with any variety of greens. This food will be both nutritional for the rabbits and economical for you owning the business.
- As an occasional treat, vegetables and other food supplements can be provided to create a slight change in their diet.
- Hay should be given every day and make sure you don’t use lawnmower hay.Hay is highly recommendable due to its availability and nutrient rich feature.
- Try to provide food from same source to ensure disease free growth. Changing the source from where you get food will be a tedious task.
Breeding is something which again deals with the health of the rabbits. Just as how to care for food, breeding should also be handled properly. A rabbit attains the state of breeding when it reaches 6 months. This age limit is for small breeds. But for heavy breeds, breeding should take place only at the month of 8 or 9. Rebreeding can take place after an interval of 6 weeks.
Breeding is not a simple process. Proper study of the breeds and right time to breed should be known before breeding. Rabbits should be allowed to breed with the male rabbit only of the weights are complimenting each other.
Care for pregnant rabbits
Giving maximum care to pregnant rabbits is important and for this you must identify the pregnant rabbits. The symptoms will often turn positive, but at times may be just a false assumption. Rabbits become pregnant after 10 to 14 days from mating. Certain symptoms are, increase in size of abdomen and slightly aggressive behaviour.
You can gently touch the rabbit’s tummy if you feel she is pregnant. You will notice grape sized structure moving. The pregnant rabbit litters its kitten after 28-32 days. The average number of kittens produced per litter is 6. Feed the pregnant rabbit with enough of nutrition rich food to have healthy kittens of a pure breed. And also, avoid cross-breeding to come extent since it may spoil the health of the rabbits.
The baby rabbits are fed with milk from the mother rabbit in a very clean environment. In 3- 4 weeks the baby rabbits adapt themselves to the new environment, feeding on their own. This goes as a routine and a matured rabbit can give birth 4 times a year. This stays as an evidence to have multiple rabbits in a very short period of time.
Knowing the behaviour of the rabbits
The different habits of the rabbits should be keenly noticed to find the exact state of health. Not only this, misinterpretation should not happen while observing them. They too have different states of mind depending on their activity. Some may be aggressive all time and few other may stay calm the entire day. Handling them properly is very important. In case you find harsh behaviour in them, separate them out from the crowd to save others.
There are a variety of species in rabbits. It is your choice to choose the right one which suits your layout and environment. The climatic conditions of each country also affect the growth of the rabbits. A rabbit which can grow only in Australia should be grown in that country and the species which can grow only in India should be grown in India. Though proper care and setup can grow any variety of rabbit, their nature of living should not be disturbed. If you wish to grow 2 or 3 species at a time, maintain them separately.
Opportunities in rabbit farming
- Rabbits are one among the protein rich meats in the world, and to mention they are top ranked for their nutritional value. Thus, in countries permitting the consumption of rabbit meat there is an opportunity in food sector.
- Rabbits are known for their valuable fur. This factor makes the opportunity a valuable one in wool market.
- Selling rabbits for other owners wishing to start a rabbit farm is also a profitable business.
- Pet shops also look for healthy rabbits to run their business. Thus, you can sell the matured rabbits or kittens after a certain period of time to these pet shop owners.
Want to specialise in a particular business?
For people who cannot handle multiple businesses at a time, focus on one particular target. If you want a business in wool industry, grow rabbits which are known for their quality fur. Develop contacts with such industries which use rabbit fur and create a contract with them. Species which are great in fur are,
- French Angora
- American Chinchilla
Profits margin in rabbit farming
Any business carried out will earn reasonable percent of profits for the owner. Rabbit farming one among the most talked businesses, stands first in realising maximum profits. The point here is, other business ideas do earn profits but only after a period of time. Rabbit farming exceptional from that, generates income just in 6 months after the start of the business. Survey says, profits are double the investment or even more than that if management is proper.
Main reasons for huge profits are,
- Low maintenance charges- Even if farming is carried out in large farms, the costs incurred will be high only when it is compared with the costs in small farms. But if taken along with other businesses, it’s a really low investment. There is no technological cost associated with this type of farming.
- Fast productivity- Rabbits give birth fast and this increases the number of rabbits in the farm very soon. Even if you sell rabbits every day, the number remains stable always.
- Less cost for food- The food provided to the rabbits are really less of cost. Hay, cabbages, greens are very cheap items in the market. Even if purchased in bulk, it will use only quarter part of the income.
Rabbits are thus promising creatures for you to start a business. Plan well before you start and also maintain your farm after starting. Manage the income properly by spending wisely on the food and cleanliness needs of the rabbits. It is necessary to supervise the farm closely by allotting a special person for it. Spend more on cleanliness and medical expenses for interruption free farming.
Also, take care of the temperature of the farm to ensure active energy of the rabbits. If the rabbits do not feel comfortable due to temperature, unfavourable situations might arise leading to poor movement. If possible, learn the symptoms of various diseases that can occur in rabbits and treat it by yourself if the condition is serious.
Have certain medicines ready all time to treat injuries or any wounds. This will help you to lessen the chances of death. Treat the rabbits like they are your own pets because these things can also influence growth. Rabbits are also like dogs which will long for affection and play time. Do not allow them to grow without interactions. Try to interact with them whenever possible which will actually fasten the growth.