Equipment

1. Use scientifically designed cages and equipment. The ideal guage for floor of the cage is 14-16 with a mesh size of 19×19 mm or 25×13 mm. The walls and roof can be constructed with lighter guage i.e. 16-20 with a mesh size of 25x25mm.

2. The feeders should be designed and placed in such a manner that the feed can be poured from outside and should be 5-7.5 cm. above the cage floor to avoid contamination by urine, faeces or water.The rim of the feeders should be round and turned inward ½” so that the rabbits do not spill the feed/water.

3. The watering equipment of 400-500 ml. capacity made up of aluminum, earthen or any other locally available cheaper material may be used.

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Location and Housing

1. Areas having temperature ranging between 10o C and 20o C and relative humidity ranging between 55 and 65% throughout the year are ideal for rearing Angora rabbits.

2. Ensure adequate facility for clean water, electricity, approach road, supply of breeding stock, feed, fodders, veterinary aid and nearness to market for sale of wool and meat of culled animals.

3. For small size rabbit farms hutch system may be adopted which is a self contained cage-cum-nest box with it’s own roof.

4. In case of larger farms cages may be arranged inside the sheds in single or two tier under hanging or step wise rack system.

5. Provide adequate floor space per rabbit. The space (hutch sizes) requirement for different categories of rabbits is given in Annexure – III.

6. Rabbitry roofing should be preferably of asbestos, wood, thatch or other locally available cheaper materials.

7. Construct sheds in such a way that predators and birds do not enter the shed. In case of open hutches proper fencing should be provided to protect the rabbits from their predators.

8. Construct rat proof civil structures for feed and wool storage.

9. Keep the shed/pens clean by regular cleaning and disinfection to make it free from flies/mosquitoes and a foot dip should be maintained at the entrance of the sheds.

10. Rabbit cages should be cleaned regularly, especially disinfected before kindling.

11. During kindling period cage/hutch nest box should be kept clean so that kits do not pick up diseases like coccidia.

12. Feeders and waterers should be cleaned regularly and mash feed should be removed from the feeders which can be used for feeding other livestock species.

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Selection of Rabbit Breed

1. Select right type of the breed for maximization of economic benefits. Various wool type of rabiit breeds and their characteristic features are given in Annexure – II.

2. Breeding males and females should be of different sire lines, below one year of age, devoid of visual deformities like patchy wool, buck teeth, sore hock, visual reproductive defects and should be true to the breed.

3. Purchase of breeding stock should be avoided from rabbitries with high incidence of diseases like pneumonia, sore hock, coccidiosis, enteritis or with poor reproductive efficiency i.e. <50%.

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Breeding Management in Rabbit Farm

* The average age at first mating is about 5-7 months and it varies with the physical maturity of individual rabbit and also breed.
* Mating should be done either early in the morning or in the evening.
* The doe is to be taken to the buck cage and never vice-versa
* The breeding should be planned in such a way that about 3 to 4 litters per doe are obtained per year during multiplicative stage.
* The nest box is kept in the cage around 25th day of pregnancy with loosened jute wool or wood shavings.
* Male rabbits can be used for mating until they are about three years.
* Inorder to prevent inbreeding depression rabbits from the same family should not be bred. Therefore, replace male rabbit about once every year.
* After three years, the full grown female rabbits should be replaced either by new purchases or females of own farm.
Care of young ones:
* The nest box should be removed after 5 weeks of kindling.
* Kits should be examined and dead ones should be removed daily.
* If the bedding becomes wet it should be replaced by a fresh and clean one.
* Weaning should be done at 5th or 6th week after kindling.
* No sudden change in feed is advisable.
Disease prevention/control:
* Clean sanitary conditions of rabbit cages, sheds and equipment, balanced feed and fresh clean water are essential to prevent chances of infection.
* The rabbits should be prevented from coming in contact with the feaces.
* Over crowding should be avoided.
* Proper ventilation should be provided.
* Flies which may act as carriers of the infection should be kept under control in the rabbitry.
* Rabbit cages should be disinfected with blow lamp after every shearing and kindling cages before the doe is shifted and after weaning.
* Burn dead sick rabbits at once to keep the diseases from spreading.
* The bedding of the nest box should be burnt after use.

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Now let’s make a rough calculation in Rabbit Farming

Suppose you buy 10 units of Rabbits.

That means 70 females and 30 males.

A female Rabbit delivers 5 to 10 babies every 45 days.

Let’s take 5 babies per female per delivery for minimum calculation.

That means 70 females will deliver 350 baby rabbits every 45 days.

Every baby Rabbit will grow 2 to 3 kgs. in 3 months.

Let’s take average 2 kg. per baby rabbit.

That means 350 baby Rabbits will produce an approx. total weight of 700 kgs.

We buy those baby rabbits from you at the rate of 100 to 120 Rs. Per Kg. [ this is so called minimum rate as per the market conditions. It can be more than this.]

Now just calculate the figure by yourself……..

And this much of money you can earn every 45 days.

Isn’t this simple, easy, affordable and huge & quick returns business.

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Let’s see how easy in Rabbit Farming

  1. Rabbit Farming business requires less space and it can be done anywhere at farm, backyard, on terrace or even at home.
  2. The capital investment for this is very less. One unit of Rabbits contains 7 females and 3 males. And the cost of unit is just Rs. 18,000/-
  3. As Rabbits are vegetarian you can feed almost anything vegetarian to the Rabbit including waste or surplus vegetables from the market, tree leaves, cattle grass or even kitchen scrap. Hence, it is very easy and affordable to feed a Rabbit.
  4. No skilled labour is required for this project.
  5. As per Indian Law we can not catch, kill or keep a Rabbit as Pet animal. But since 1960, the Government of India has taken initiative in importing Rabbits. Thus growing or keeping Imported Rabbits is authorized by Indian Law.
  6. The reproduction capacity of Rabbits is very high. One female Rabbit delivers every 30 days. She delivers 5 to 10 babies per delivery.
  7. 15 days after delivery the female Rabbit gets ready for mating again and the pregnancy and lection period is just 30 days. That means a female can deliver babies every 45 days, which is very fast growth of reproduction. In five years a mother Rabbit will deliver 34 times.
  8. Within 3 months a baby Rabbit gains weight of 2 to 3 kgs.
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Record Keeping for Rabbit Farm

An ideal rabbitry always progresses with good record for all the aspects.

A. Breeding Records

1. Rabbit’s number

2. Number of rabbit to which this rabbit was bred

3. Date bred

4. Date kindled

5. Number of bunnies born

7. Number of bunnies weaned

8. Weight of bunnies at weaning time

B. Feed Records

Concentrate as well as greens consumpion

C. Medication records

Drug used, dosage, period of treatment

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Rabbit Manure

Rabbit manure is considered to be highest in nitrogen among all the other domesticated species. Comparative approximate NPK Values of Various Animal Manures are mentioned below*.

Animal % nitrogen % phosphoric acid % potash
Dairy cow 0.57 0.23 0.62
Beef steer 0.73 0.48 0.55
Horse 0.70 0.25 0.77
Swine 0.49 0.34 0.47
Sheep/goat 1.44 0.5 1.21
Rabbit 2.40 1.40 0.60
Chicken 1.00 0.80 0.39

(*Anon. 1998. Fertilizer values of some manures. Countryside & Small Stock Journal. September-October. p. 75)

Thus in coming days rabbit manure can be an additional source of income for the farmers.

The manure has already been tried by few farmers in

India

on some crops with simple processing and has given excellent results. We think that rabbit manure will surely contribute to the concept of ‘Organic Farming’ because of its excellent nutirtivity .

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Disease Management for Rabbit

The common diseases in a broiler rabbitry are Pasteurella infections – Snuffles, Conjunctivitis, Abscess (mixed infection), Blue Breast, Enteritis, Coccidiosis, Ear mange and Scabies.

Fortunately the two most deadliest Viral disease of rabbit viz. Myxomatisos and Viral Haemorrhagic disease are not prevalent and not documented in India .There are no commercially available medicinical preparations for Rabbits as such in Indian market. Through our practical research and practical, We have concluded to an appropriate dose of almost all the preparations for the above mentioned infections. Most of them are fed on prophylactic basis either through feed or water thus decreasing the prevalence of diseases.

Following critical points should be strictly looked upon:

1. Cages, sheds, feeders and waterers should be cleaned daily.

2. There should be adequate space/animal

3. Proper ventilation should be provided.

4. Sick animals should be isolated and kept in separate cages and treated immediately.

5. Routine operations like Feeding, watering, cleaning cages and utensils should be carried for healthy animals first and then the diseased ones.

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Care of Rabbit Pups

1. Use appropriate material mainly low grade cotton or soft hay for bedding in nest box.

2. Replace the bedding material at regular intervals.

3. If mothers milk is insufficient for the pups, they cab be fed to a healthy foster mother.

4. Wean the puppies at 20-25 days age.

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