Dr Beatrice Luzobe, a professional agriculturist and trainer in rabbitry, says a good rabbit keeper should take care of the following aspects;
Know that like any other livestock business, rabbit keeping requires investment into structures, feeds, veterinary services and labour. The level of investment depends on the location and availability of inputs.
Rabbitry is a TLC (tender-loving caring) project, which requires daily attention, record keeping and serious follow-up on breeding and maturity dates.
Acquire information from technical people and experienced farmers. Avoid opportunists who masquerade as experts in the field.
Acquire good breeds from farms with technical persons or experienced farmers. Avoid the temptation of becoming a breeder, unless you are technically qualified.
One of the best breeds for our environment is the New Zealand White. lAvoid in-breeding because it weakens the quality of the breed as time goes on.
Scale up production to economically viable and sustainable levels. For the peri-urban farmers, who adopt the intensive system, at least 50 breeders with an output of over 150 fryers per month would be viable. The rural dwellers can target five to 10 breeders since they are most likely to feed on foliage, which can become a limiting factor during prolonged drought.
Concentrate on the meat market and deliver a ready-to-cook product. This is convenient to the consumers, who may not even know how to slaughter and process rabbit meat.
Price your product close to that of the biggest competitor, chicken meat. Overpricing may make a one-time big kill, but may not sustain the business.