Commercial meat rabbit farming is easy and profitable since there’s a huge market for the meat.
The amount of rabbit meat consumed yearly is now about 2 million tonnes and the market revenue amount to $10B.
While China, Korea, and Egypt top the list of consumers, this meat can be marketed in your local country.
For good production and yield, you should consider quality breeding stocks, good housing, feeding, and healthy management practice.
To become a successful rabbit farmer, you should consider the best species for meat production –
- New Zealand white rabbit
- Californian Rabbit
- Silver Foxes
These are my recommendations for high yield since they have higher meat than bones.
You can also consider the Flemish giants and the giant Chichilla because they grow fast.
Just like in other animal productions, you need to learn about this animal and may not experience high yield in your first year.
However, when you gain more experience, you can now understand the production system and plan your budget well.
Some of the things you need to be doing daily as meat rabbit care and to increase yield are the following.
Daily rabbit management Practices
- You should remove water served in the previous day and add fresh water to their bowl
- Serve a handful concentrate of growers mash in the morning
- Put litter away every four days.
- In the afternoon, serve grasses such as guinea grass and chop it for them or you hang it.
- You feed them twice a day – morning and afternoon and the hours should remain the same every day, that is 8 am and 2 pm.
Quality feeding is very important in livestock production, although the rabbit is not considered as livestock.
You should give a combination of quality pellets, fresh hay like timothy oat hay, etc and fresh vegetables.
You should avoid giving young rabbits root veggies, so also Hamster foods, pasta, cooked, silverbeet, bread, and cereal.
Once they’re over two months, you can feed very little amount if you’ve to.
However, don’t give the following to your rabbits as it could cause harm to them.
- Broad beans
- Iceberg lettuce
- kidney beans
A female rabbit is called a doe, a male is a buck while the young ones are kits.
Depending on the species, rabbits are mature at four months and they can be slaughtered (usually called fryers)
It can also grow old to full maturity at about eight months and get slaughtered for meat (Roasters).
The gestation period is between twenty-eight (28) and thirty-one (31) days.
The gestation period of Rabbits
There are some signs to show that a certain rabbit is on the heat period or not.
The vulva of the Rabbit should be reddish; and the deeper the color of the vulva, the more receptive the doe becomes.
After servicing the doe, you take the record from that day to 28 days.
Before the 28th day, that is, 3 days before kindling nest box will be introduced and this nest box must have been treated (washed with antiseptics) to discourage mastitis and metritis diseases.
The animals will put the fur inside the nest box. The fur will help to generate heat for the kits.
After kindling, you add three multivitamin tablets to the water so that the doe will drink.
If the mother (doe) refused to breastfeed the kits, oxytocin injection will be given to the mother to stimulate the rushing of the milk in the breast.
There must be a kind of sound that must be made by this animal to show that the animal has taken-in.
You weaned the kits after 6 weeks and the doe can be cremated after two months.
And between the ages of four to six months is good to start breeding of a junior doe.
Advantages of Meat rabbit
Studies have shown that rabbit meat is high in protein, B Vitamins, and minerals such as Iron, Potassium, Phosphorus, Calcium, and Selenium.
The meat is low in fats, sugar, Cholesterol, and Calories. It is one of the healthiest meat for both young and old.
This is more reason for people with challenging health issues like diabetes, HBP, heart patients, Stroke go for rabbit meat.