Rabbits are known to be animals that require tender loving care, are fragile and can die easily. But there is a growing market demand for them.
For a farmer seeking to venture into rabbitry (rabbit farming), there are things you should know before starting out.
“Avoid excitement,” Dr Beatrice Luzobe, a rabbit farmers and trainer, says.
“First understand what you are going into. Know what you want to do. Set clear and realistic goals.”
To understand rabbits, she says several facts a prospective farmer should know:
-They need care
-They are affected more by heat than cold
-They don’t smell
-They multiple quickly and a female rabbit can conceive on the very day it gives birth. So a farmer should be alert.
-They require very little space
Remote operation? Don’t think about it!
Therefore, to venture into the business, Luzobe says farmers need to acquire knowledge on rabbit keeping, including understanding the value chain.
The knowledge should include aspects of breeding, record keeping, proper rabbit management and market research.
“Understand the market demands to be able to favorable compete with other farmers,” says Luzobe.
Just like the other farming ventures, rabbits require both monetary and time investment.
“People who think they can conduct the enterprise remotely, should not even bother going into rabbitry. If you don’t have time, think of something else,” she says.
Prospective farmers should also think about how they are going to sustain the business and have clear plans on how to get inputs.
Luzobe says instead of thinking grand, farmers should start small and harness their neighbourhood as markets, as they seek to expand.