The cool way to say rabbit farming is Cuniculture, except it is not likely anyone would know what you are talking about.
A young rabbit is called a kitten or kit. The male rabbit is a buck. The female rabbit is called a doe.
Rabbits are termed micro-livestock herbivores and they efficiently convert fodder to food better than most livestock.
There are about 49 unique breeds of rabbits.
One of the most prolific mammals on earth, rabbits can litter about six times within a year. An apolyestrous animal, rabbits do not have an estrous cycle and are able to conceive at almost any arbitrary moment. Thus, it is on “heat” 13 days out of 15 days, and having a gestation period of 30 to 33 days, rabbits can litter at each reproductive cycle 1 to 13 kits and on the average 8 bunnies.
China is the largest producer of rabbit meat accounting for approximately 40% of global production. The biggest importer of rabbit meat in absolute terms is Italy, importing well over 30000 tons, also apparently the prime consumer.
You don’t need to be squeamish about eating rabbit meat. Rabbits are not rodents but lagomorphs and rabbit meat is actually good stuff. Rabbit meat has the least calorie per pound as compared to chicken, veal, turkey, lamb, beef, and pork. It also has the highest protein percentage ranging from 20.8 -25.5% compared to chicken, veal, turkey, lamb, beef, and pork. Thus, rabbit meat is good for those with heart disease, the aged, and also for those who want to reduce weight.
In a space of 3 months, rabbits are ready for meat. In efficient production systems, rabbits can turn well over 20% of the proteins they eat into edible meat as compared to beef cattle that turn only 8% -12%.
Rabbit manure is highly valued because unlike chicken manure and others which can’t be applied directly without burning out plants, rabbit manure can be applied directly to plants without fear of burning out plants.
You can start a rabbitry with a seed capital of GH¢400.00 (approximately USD 105.00).
About the Author, Gagbah Moses Mallaghan.
Moses co-founded the Rabbit Ghana Association (RABGHA). RAGBHA provides a bridged network of breeders and buyers and can help you start your own business and become profitably self-employed. If you are serious about doing rabbit business, call them on +233 240 956 276 or +233 553 801 045. Alternatively, Whatsapp this number +233 262 176 420 to get your rabbitry started.