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Monday, 14 November 2016

Rabbit Farming : Start with Thousands end in Lakhs

rabbit farming and  breeding , rabbit rearing
Unemployment is among one of the major issues faced by the youth of India , numerous young men are struggling hard to discover work while some are befuddled about picking what work they should do and some want to work freely. Well for these unemployed youths who want be self employed ,if they are interested in Agriculture allied sector , then Rabbit farming is a good opportunity , apart from finding an employment one can get decent income by raising Rabbit husbandry.
Rabbit farming is considered as a minor sector among all the other agriculture allied sectors , but the fact is that it has high investment conversion efficiency than other livestock activities .There is a greater scope for rabbit farming because unlike other livestock activities like Sheep or Goat rearing Rabbit farming does not require much investment and place . It can even be started with investment as low as 10,000 yet can yield lakhs if raised with suitable management techniques . It is a good source of additional income in the hilly regions where employment opportunities are limited. Rabbit meat contains very low cholesterol content hence it healthy and risk free and it is recommended by doctors for those people with high blood pressure and heart relate issues. Besides the meat preferred for its taste, tenderness and Juiciness. The multiplication ratio of rabbit eat is 1 : 4 to 5. A good healthy  female gives birth to 35 to 40 kits per year and the present day rate for rabbit meat ranges between Rs. 150 to 250. For this reason Rabbit farming is considered one of the most profitable sectors among all the other Allied sectors of Agriculture when viewed in a comparative manner since its not an input intensive activity. Apart from these the wool obtained from rabbits have various uses , there used to prepare decorative materials for houses and rabbit wool are 6 to 8 times warmer than sheep .The wool from Angora Rabbits is of very high quality and it's blending with carpet wool of sheep and silk improves the quality of woollen to a great extent and the wool is also  mixed with polyester, rayon, nylon, sheep wool and other fibers to make good quality hand looms as well as hand knitted apparels. Rabbits are the best producers of wool on per kg body weight basis. They require 30 % less digestible energy to produce one kg of wool as compared to sheep. All these advantages make Rabbit farming more preferable and profitable  compared to other Livestock activities.

Why should you take up Rabbit Farming :

  1. Initial investment for Rabbit farming is very low and Rabbits are suited to both small scale and large-scale commercial production and do not require much space and labor input when compared to other livestock activities . You can setup a Rabbit farm even in your backyard or garden according to your convenience .
  2. Rabbits can be fed with high forage, low grain diet that is largely non-competitive with human food and they have high feed conversion efficiency.
  3. Rabbit meat is a highly nutritious, tasty and excellent in quality. Meat is rich in protein, low in fat, cholesterol and sodium , it is also rich in poly unsaturated fatty acids and considered as white meat. Thus, can be recommended for cardiac patients .
  4. Rabbits are the best producers of wool on per kg body weight basis. They require 30 % less digestible energy to produce one kg of wool as compared to sheep and Rabbit wool is 6 to 8 times more warmer than Sheep wool hence there is a greater demand for Rabbit wool.
  5. Rabbits have high growth rates hence provides quick returns . Income can be expected within six months of setup.
  6. Apart from Meat and wool we can also derive additional income from selling the Kits and manure . Rabbit manure is highly suitable for Vermicomosting.

Loan Facilities for Rabbit Farming :

NABARD provides loans through banks for farmers who are interested in setting up Rabbit Farms . To avail loan from the bank the entrepreneur must submit a project report containing details about the land availability , water availability , breeds of animal , feed , technical and economic feasibility of the project , experience or the farmer. The Report must contain all these details in order to satisfy the eligibility criteria for sanction of loan. The cost incurred from initial setting of the farm till the point of income generation is covered under the loan except for the cost of the land. 
For more details visit the website : NABARD

How to Raise a successful Rabbit Farm 

1. Shelter : Rabbit rearing does not require much space unlike Sheep or Goat rearing , A small shed depending on the number of Rabbits can be built , Shelter is a very important factor that has to taken care in rabbit farming ,sheds can be built either in your backyard , in your garden or in your farm but it has to laid in a place with a lot of trees , shade , light, good drainage facility and most important of all the place must be quiet and away from people to ensure better growth of the Rabbits . The optimum temperature for rabbit farming is between 18 to 22 degree Celsius , and if the temperature exceeds 25 degree , then the growth of the rabbits will be hindered and thereby reducing the productive capacity of the farm. The optimum moisture required is 65 to 70. Fencing is recommended around the shed in order to prevent the intrusion of dogs , cats , snakes and other rodents which might be troublesome , Fencing can be done with the farm wastes like fallen sticks and hay to reduce the initial cost.

2. Feeding Habit : Rabbits are non ruminants and eat all types of grass (green grass , dry grass , hay ) , vegetables , sprouted seeds , pulses , carrot and even kitchen wastes but it is necessary to provide nutrient rich food like sprouted seeds , pulses and carrots and you can also feed concentrated food materials like soybean meal or peanut meal containing Protein - 13-18%, Digestible Energy - 8-13% and fibre - 8-18% to ensure better growth of the rabbits.

3. Breeding : The female rabbits are called Does and Male are called Bucks and rabbits will be ready for crossing within 6 to 7 months . The gestation period is 28 to 30 days .The pregnant doe must be well fed and protected in order to increase the milk yield . A healthy Doe gives birth to 7 to 8 kits in a single delivery and it conceives 4 to 5 times in a year producing 35 to 40 kits per year.

4. Breeds : There are roughly about 40 different breeds of Rabbits with distinct characteristics , many breeds are reared for meat while some breeds like Angora reared for wool so one most be careful about choosing the breeds considering the climate and other influencing factors.

Few Of the most Preferred Rabbit Breeds :

1. New zealand White : One of the best commercial breed can attain up to 5 kg.

2. Grey giant : Adult weighs 4.5 to 5 kg , it is bred for both meat and fur.

3. Chinchilla : Adults can weigh up to 5 kg , mainly reared for meat.

4. Angora : These are known to be the oldest rabbit breeds , they are mainly reared for their wool  and can weigh up to 3 kg and avg wool yield is 300g to 1000g.

4. Diseases : Most common diseases of Rabbits are Pasteurellosis , Pneumonia , salmonellosis ,enteritis and Snuffels . These diseases are mostly caused by the infection of micro organisms so as a preventive measure early vaccination to the rabbits is recommended , Buy good qulity breeds from a certified breeder , implement quarantine measures.

5. Marketing : Even though demand for rabbit meat and wool is increasing there is no proper marketing structure for rabbit farming , Since the meat has low cholesterol it is recommended by doctors to people with high blood pressure and heart related issues and also there is a greater demand for rabbit wool so certainly  Rabbit farming will gain more scope and demand in future.