19 February 2019

Namibia: Niche Farming With Rabbits

Rabbits have the potential to be one of the most profitable animals to raise.

Their ability to give birth to large litters (five to 15 per litter) every 40 to 45 days and the ability of these offspring to grow fast and reach market and breeding weight more quickly than any other livestock, gives rabbits the edge.

Rabbits are a healthy source of protein; unlike most other livestock farming, rabbit business is lucrative, easier to manage, generally quiet, clean and non-commanding.

Rabbit farming can be done in a limited space (you don't need a farm) and low starting up costs make it possible for virtually anybody, anywhere to farm with rabbits.

This venture is not effected by poor rainfall and drought conditions and guarantees a quick return on investment.

Relatively cheap feeding requirements attracted me to farm with meat rabbits in the first place. Basically, rabbit feed can be harvested and produced by yourself at a very reasonable cost.

Water for irrigation purposes is not readily available in all areas of our country but a mini drip irrigation system which uses very little water can to a large extent assist with additional feeding needs of rabbits.

Starting with good breeding stock is essential to make a real success out of farming with meat rabbits.

The following breeds are recommended: The South African phendula, New Zealand red and the New Zealand white.

Although all three these breeds perform exceptionally well, the SA phendula has a slight edge.

Also, interesting is that our customers prefer the New Zealand red over the New Zealand white. However, overseas markets prefer the white rabbit because the skins can be used for other purposes as well.

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