Rabbit Farming/Rearing & Project Guide for Beginners:
The following article details about “Rabbit Farming” or “How to start a Rabbit Farm”.
Little About Rabbit farming:
It can be a sustainable way to provide protein-rich high-quality meat to a family. There is little space needed as opposed to a cattle farm, and from a small investment, a rabbit farm can create a decent income, even part-time. Rabbits can be bred for their meat and also their hide and fur to make clothes or other items.
Rabbit production business is for anyone with the desire to raise livestock for a living. A farmer with no land will enjoy this trade as little space is required. Young adults not sure which path to take educationally can benefit from farming life. A stay at home mother can tend to the rabbits and keep her children entertained at the same time.
There are two ways to rear the rabbits. Both systems need a shed or shelter to protect the rabbits from predators and the elements. A Deep Litter System is used when rearing a small number of rabbits.
Rabbit raising the scope and its national importance:
Rabbit production is another livestock activity with great scope as it is relatively easy, rewarding and takes little space compared to other livestock activities. Rabbit production can also provide a very valuable additional source of income in the hilly areas where opportunities for employment are very limited. Another important consideration is the food production cycle, which shows that the rabbit need not be in competition with a man for its food. For producing high-quality woolen, blending with other fine quality fibers is essential, which are produced in limited quantity in our country. Therefore, currently, we are importing the fine wool. 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 woolen to a great extent. Rabbit production is affordable. It does not take many rabbits to start a farm. They are excellent breeders and the farm will grow steadily with about 8-12 rabbits per litter. Rabbits are easily fed with available greens from around the yard and waste vegetables and grains from around the house. If compared to other meats, rabbit meat contains more protein and less fat than most. It can be fed to small toddlers and aging adults because it is easy to digest.
Read: How to Make Rosemary Oil.
Main Advantages of Rabbit farming:
- Rabbits are highly prolific and a good female can produce 25 to 30 kits (young ones) per year.
- Rabbits can be reared in small groups (up to 50 nos.) in the kitchen garden/backyard of farmer’s house with kitchen waste as feed. Family labor is adequate to take care of the labor requirements of the unit. The initial investment cost is low.
- Quick returns i.e. within six months after the establishment of the farm.
- Rabbit meat is rich in poly-unsaturated fatty acids and is categorized as white meat.
- 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.
- Income generation at quarterly interval makes the repayment easy.
- Apart from providing wool, rabbits also provide income from the sale of kits, meat, pelt, and manure.
- Residual feed, together with rabbit manure is highly suitable for vermicompost which in turn provides excellent manure for fertilizing the agriculture fields.
- Rabbit wool is 6 – 8 times warmer than the contemporary sheep wool. It can be mixed with silk, polyester, rayon, nylon, sheep wool and other fibers to make good quality handlooms as well as hand knitted apparels.
- Rabbits consume a large amount of forage from diverse origins and hence, can be reared on roughage with very less quantity of costly concentrate feed.
Popular Rabbit Breeds:
There are numerous breeds available throughout the world. Some of them are highly productive. Some breeds are very suitable for farming in India according to our weather. Most productive and suitable rabbit breeds are listed below. You can choose any of those breeds.
- White Giant
- Grey Giant
- Flemish Giant
- New Zealand White
- New Zealand Red
- Siviet Chinchilla.
Rabbits can be raised in both the deep litter system and cage system. You can easily make a small shed at the backyard with a very small investment. Good housing or shed is necessary for keeping the rabbits free from weather conditions, rain, sun and various types of predators like dogs or cats, etc.
Read: How to Make Lemon Grass Oil.
Feeding of Rabbits
Good feed always ensures good health and proper growth. So, always try to feed your Rabbits with high quality and nutritious food. Rabbits can eat and consume all types of grains, legumes and green fodders like Lucerne, Agathi, Desmanthus and various types of kitchen wastes including carrots, cabbage leaves, and other vegetable wastes. In case of raising rabbits by feeding concentrate food, try to provide them some green food. For 1 kg body weight of rabbit, you can feed them about 40 grams of concentrate food and 40 grams of green food. Along with good and nutritious food try to provide them sufficient amount of fresh and clean water according to their demand. See full rabbit feeding management.
Breeding of Rabbits
Rabbits become suitable for breeding within their 5 to 6 months of age. You should use male rabbits for breeding purpose at their 1 year of age to get quality young rabbits. Always use healthy rabbits for breeding with proper age and body weight. Take extra care of the male rabbit used for breeding purpose and take good care of pregnant rabbits.
Rabbit Care and Management:
For better production, you must have to take good care of your animals. Generally, diseases are less in rabbits. Healthy rabbits become very active with a shiny hair coat. But if anyhow something goes wrong, then you have to take necessary steps immediately.
Marketing of Rabbits:
Marketing is still a big problem for commercial rabbit production in India. Although various govt. and non-govt. organizations are inspiring rabbit farming business. But the marketing problem is not still solved. Rabbit meat has good demand in some areas. You can try your local market and think about exporting in foreign countries.
Why Angora Rabbits are best for Farming?
Angora rabbits are mainly raised for their wool, which is known for its quality. Angora rabbits have their origin from Angora Province of Turkey from where they were taken to different parts of the world and various types of angora rabbits were evolved. The differences between these types of angora are mainly in the amount of wool produced and the percentage of guard hair in the wool. Among the various types, German Angora is the best and annually yields 1000 to 1800 gm of wool under ideal management practices. Angora rabbits require temperate climate and can be adapted to any set of circumstances right from a kitchen garden to a large intensive commercial enterprise. They produce 6.4 times more wool than sheep on per kg body weight basis and do not require vast grazing land. The wool produced by rabbits is the finest, lightest and warmest among all animal fibers and is preferred for manufacturing of high-value woolens which have got very good export potential. Rabbit wool also has medicinal properties and its garments are recommended in arthritis due to its electrostatic properties.
Now, We put down the Project Report in Angora Rabbit Farming:
1) Financial assistance is available from banks/NABARD for Rabbit farming business in India.
Bank loan Sanction and its disbursement:
After ensuring technical feasibility and economic viability, the scheme is sanctioned by the bank. The loan is disbursed in stages against the creation of specific assets such as the construction of sheds, purchase of equipment and animals. The end use of the fund is verified and constant follow-up is done by the bank.
Repayment Period of Loan:
Repayment period depends upon the gross surplus in the scheme. The loan will be repaid in suitable quarterly/half yearly/annual installments usually within a period of about 6-7 years with a grace period of one year. Quarterly repayments are preferred in angora units as the income is frequent and the interest burden on the borrower is reduced.
The animals may be insured annually or through long term master policy, where ever it is applicable. You can google it to see who are covering the rabbits.
Model Project Cost and Economics of Rabbit farming:
Project cost for a model of 10 female and 3 male Angora rabbits with economics is taken in this project.
Project Cost of Rabbit Farming table:
|Sr.No.||Particulars||(Amount in Indian Rupees)|
|1||Cost of breeder shed||24150|
|2||Cost of wool rabbit shed||44850|
|3||Cost of cages|
|(iii)||Wool producer cages||81250|
|4||Feeder and waterers||3000|
|6||Cost of breeders||13000|
|7||Insurance of breeders||1170|
|Recurring Expenses (one-year expenses capitalized)|
|8||Cost of feed|
|9||Water and electricity cost||1440|
|10||Medicines and miscellaneous expenses||1440|
Technical/Economic Parameters of Rabbit Production:
|2||Floor space for breeders shed – sqft||210|
|3||Floor space for wool rabbits shed – sqft||390|
|4||Cost of construction (/sqft)||115|
|5||Breeder cages required (No.)||13|
|6||Kindling cages (No.)||7|
|7||Wool producers cages (No.)||130|
|8||Cost of the breeder and kindling cages (/cage)||750|
|9||Cost of wool producers cages (/cage)||625|
|10||Cost of feeders and waterers (/animal)||20|
|11||Miscellaneous equipment (/animal)||5|
|12||Cost of breeders ( /animal)||1,000|
|13||Insurance – % of breeder cost – for 5 years||9%|
|14||Salvage value (/animal) – average||400|
|15||Depreciation on sheds and equipment (% per annum)||10|
|17||The gestation period (days)||30|
|18||Weaning period (weeks)||6|
|19||Inter kindling period (months)||4|
|(i)||Weaners (up to 1.5 months)||10%|
|(ii)||Growers (1.5 to 6 months)||15%|
|(iii)||Adults (above 6 months) per annum||10%|
|21||Feed Consumption (grams per day)||Concentrate||Hay|
|(i)||Breeding does and males||200||80|
|(ii)||Weaners (1.5 to 3 months)||50||30|
|(iii)||Growers (4 to 6 months)||70||40|
|(iv)||Adults (above 6 months)||100||75|
|22||Cost of concentrate feed for the breeder (/kg)||17|
|23||Cost of concentrate feed for others (/kg)||16|
|24||Cost of hay (/kg)||1|
|25||Vegetables and Kitchen waste|
|(i)||per grower month||0.75|
|(ii)||per adult month||1.50|
|26||Water and electricity (/animal month)||2|
|27||Veterinary and miscellaneous expenses (/animal month)||2|
|28||Wool production per shearing (gm per rabbit)|
|(i)||A grower at the age of 3 months||75|
|(ii)||A grower at the age of 6 months||175|
|(iii)||Adult above 6 months||225|
|29||Shearing of adults is done at quarterly intervals|
|30||The sale price of wool (/kg)||1,100|
|31||To maintain the strength of adult wool rabbits at 130, animals are sold after maintaining them for 18 months.|
|32||The sale price of rabbits (/animal)||800|
|33||Income from manure per grower||4|
|34||Income from manure per adult||8|
Feed /Fodder Consumption:
Wool production (Kg per year):
|Grower – 3 months||8.55||8.55||8.55||8.55||8.55|
|Grower – 6 months||11.9||17.85||17.85||17.85||17.85|
Income and Expenditure Details:
|1||2||3rd year onwards|
|Sale of Wool||29920||103290||118140|
|Sale of Animals||0||46400||69600|
|Income from Manure||352||932||988|
|Cost of Feed|
|Vegetables / Kitchen Wastes||792||2084||2219|
|Water & Electricity Cost||1440||3264||3444|
|Medicines & Misc. Expenses||1440||3264||3444|
|Total capital costs||224998||89783||94800||94800|
|4||Salvage value of animals||36000|
|5||The residual value of sheds and equipment||49950|
|Disc Cost @ 15% DF||503830|
|Disc Benefit @ 15% DF||650898|
Loan Repayment Schedule:
|Year||Gross surplus||Loan outstanding||Interest||Principal||Total outgo||Net surplus|
The interest rates will be decided by banks keeping in view RBI guidelines. However, for working out financial viability and bankability of the model project, we have assumed the rate of interest as 12% p.a.
Security will be as per NABARD / RBI guidelines issued from time to time.