Pashu Sandesh, 02 January 2019
Dr. Deepikesh Joshi, Dr. Vijay Amrit Raj Panwar, Dr. Mohit Budhalakotiand Dr. Surya Pratap Singh Chauhan
Rabbit farming, as a business, is gradually emerging in the country. The cause of its popularity is that there is a requirement of little space making it feasible for a farmer with no land, as well as, it provides additional source of income in hilly areas facing problems of less employment opportunities. Rabbit farming can create a decent income, even part-time, for a farmer along with providing a sustainable way to provide protein-rich high quality meat to the farmer’s family. Breeding of rabbits can be done for their meat, hide and fur to make clothes and other products.
Rabbits can be easily fed with available greens from waste vegetables or those in the yard as well as they can be fed grains from the households. Meat of rabbit contains more protein and less fat than most other meats. Due to ease in its digestion, its meat can be fed to toddlers as well as aged people. The wool from Angora rabbits is of high quality and it is mixed with carpet wool of sheep which improves the quality of woollen to a great extent.
Advantages of Rabbit farming:
Breeds of rabbit suitable for farming in India (according to the weather) are White Giant, Grey Giant, Flemish Giant, New Zealand White, New Zealand Red, Californian, Dutch and Soviet Chinchilla.
Methods of rabbit farming:
Rabbits can be raised in any of the two systems viz. deep litter system or cage system. Proper housing is necessary to protect the rabbits from inclement weather conditions of heat, rain and cold as well as from predator animals like cats and dogs. Sheds can be made in the backyard with a very less investment.
Feeding of farm rabbits:
High quality nutritious food must be fed to the farm rabbits for proper growth and good health. Grains, legumes and green fodders like Lucerne, Agathi, Desmanthus and kitchen wastes like carrot and cabbage leaves can be fed. Some amount of concentrate feed should also be fed. For 1 Kg body weight of rabbit, about 40 grams of concentrate food and 40 grams of green fodder is required along with ad libitum supply of fresh and clean drinking water.
Breeding in farm rabbits:
5 to 6 months of age is suitable for breeding in rabbits. Male rabbits at 1 year of age should be used for breeding purpose. Healthy rabbits should be chosen for breeding with proper age and body weight. Proper care of breeding male rabbits as well as that of pregnant females must be taken.
Care, management and marketing of farm rabbits:
Generally, diseases are less in rabbits. Healthy rabbits can be easily identified by their agility and shiny hair coat. No loop-holes in the management aspect should be left out by the farm manager. Local markets must be tried for the sale of rabbits along with the option of exporting to foreign countries. Also, help can be taken from various government and non-governmental organisations engaged in marketing of rabbits reared in farms.
Thus, from the above mentioned facts on various aspects of rabbit farming, we can conclude that it is a business with low investments and high profits just like swine farming. There is a high demand of fur obtained from Angora rabbits in India as well as in foreign countries due to which it can be a successful business venture. Rabbit’s meat is also consumed by a small population in India which can further add to the income obtained from fur marketing. Farm manager and the owner must dedicate themselves to the proper management of the farm, only then the farm will run smoothly to give high monetary profits to the owner and inspiring other people to accept it as a new business in the market.
Dr. Deepikesh Joshi1, Dr. Vijay Amrit Raj Panwar2, Dr. Mohit Budhalakoti3 and Dr. Surya Pratap Singh Chauhan4
Corresponding author: Dr. Deepikesh Joshi firstname.lastname@example.org