Rabbit meat is one of the best source of protein and healthier than other meats. As a result commercial rabbit farming in Kenya is becoming popular day by day. Rabbit meat contain more protein and less in fat than beef, turkey, pork and even chickens meat.
For a long time, commercial rabbit farming in Kenya for meat production has not been taken seriously. But now, rabbit farmers in Kenya are now raising highly meat producing rabbits for commercial production of meat and they are earning good money by doing this business.
Benefits of Rabbit Farming in Kenya
There are several benefits of commercial rabbit farming in Kenya. The main benefits of rabbit farming business in Kenya are listed below.
- Rabbits are very fast growing animals like broiler chicken. They gain maturity fast and become suitable for slaughtering purpose within 4-5 months.
- Rabbit gestation period is less (generally between 28-31 days) and a doe give birth of kids after every 2 months. Each time one doe can give birth of 2-8 kids.
- Starting rabbit farming in Kenya requires very little capital or investment. Even, you can start rabbit farming business in a well ventilated small space.
- Food to meat converting rate is higher on rabbit than any other livestock animals.
- Rabbit meat is very tasty and nutritious. All types and all aged people can easily consume and digest rabbit meat.
- Feeding costs for commercial rabbit farming in Kenya is also very less. You can easily feed your rabbits kitchen wast materials, grasses, plant leaves etc. with their regular commercial feed. This will help you for reducing feeding cost.
- Commercial rabbit farming in Kenya can be great source of income and employment. You can successfully use your family labor for rabbit farming business. Rabbit farming is also very pleasuring and entertaining.
How to Start Rabbit Farming in Kenya
Starting rabbit farming in Kenya requires very low investment. It’s very easy to set up and raising rabbits commercially. Here we are describing the steps for starting commercial rabbit farming business in Kenya.
Breeds For Commercial Production
Choosing suitable breeds for commercial rabbit farming in Kenya is most important. The common rabbit breeds used for commercial production in Kenya are California White, Flemish Giant, New Zealand White and some other local cross breeds.
All those breeds are suitable for commercial production according to the environment and climate of Kenya. Choose breeds according to your desired production.
Making suitable rabbit housing is the most important part for rabbit farming in Kenya. Rabbits are very clean animal. They love to stay in neat and clean house with good ventilation system.
You can raise rabbits in both deep litter and cage methods. Choose the method according to your production type and investment capability.
Some important factors to consider which constructing house for commercial rabbit farming in Kenya are described below.
- Depending on the breeds, various breeds vary in their weight. Generally, an adult rabbit weights between 2-7 kg. And for commercial production 1200-1500 squire centimeter clean space is required for 1 kg weight. That means 80cm * 80cm space is required for a medium sized rabbit.
- Doe needs extra space for proper growth. 80cm * 115cm space is perfect for an adult medium sized doe.
- Keep the kids or young rabbits in a group until they reach 4 months of age. 20-30 young rabbits can be kept in each group.
- Proper ventilation system in the house is very essential. You can cover the walls, doors, roofs of a hutch with chicken wire netting or made up of bamboo or wood placed 20mm apart. This system is suitable for hot tempered areas.
- In cold tempered areas, you can easily make a house with solid wall and roof.
- Make a drain inside the house so that you can easily clean the house.
- Clean the feeding and watering equipment inside the house on a regular basis.
Sufficient amount of nutritious and balanced diet food keeps the rabbit healthy and productive. For commercial production, you can feed your rabbits commercially prepared supplementary feed.
This type of foods are available in the market. Along with this you can add kitchen garbage, grasses, leaves of various trees etc.
This will help you reducing feeding costs. Sufficient amount of clean and fresh water is also required with proper nutritious rabbit feed.
Rabbit grows very fast and gain maturity earlier. They become suitable for breeding within their 6 months of age. The gestation period of rabbit is less compared to other livestock animals.
Generally, a doe give birth of kids after every two months. Each time one doe can give birth of 2-8 kids. Gestation period stays for 28-31 days.
Care & Management
Take some extra care and management to your rabbits. Vaccinate them timely to keep free from all types of rabbit diseases.
Never feed them polluted or expired food. Try to monitor all their activities.
Marketing process is most important part of rabbit farming in Kenya. Basically, there are no formal markets for selling rabbit products so far like chickens, goats or fish.
But rabbit meat slaughter houses are coming up due to the high popularity and increasing demands of rabbit meat. Right now you can try the local market, restaurants and supermarkets.
Rabbit meat has a huge demand in China and some other countries. So, if you have sufficient facilities then try to export to foreign countries.
Every business goes with some problems. Don’t fear about marketing your products. Formal markets are not available right now. But the rabbit meat popularity and consuming rate is increasing rapidly. And a suitable market place is coming up soon. So, for earning some extra income, start commercial rabbit farming in Kenya.
Tips for Successful Rabbit Farming in Kenya
Commercial rabbit farming is gaining popularity in Kenya due to its numerous benefits and economic potential. Rabbit meat is not only a delicious and nutritious source of protein but also a sustainable alternative to traditional livestock farming.
With the right knowledge and practices, rabbit farming can be a profitable venture for farmers in Kenya. Here we are trying to list some essential tips for successful rabbit farming in Kenya.
1. Complete Training First
First of all, try to complete a rabbit farming training from any farm or existing farmers. Completing a training and having practical knowledge will help you to run your farm perfectly without any problem
2. Research Well Before Starting
Before starting commercial rabbit farming business, it is crucial to conduct thorough research. Understand the basics of rabbit rearing, the market demand, potential challenges, and available resources.
3. Select Suitable Breeds
Selecting the right rabbit breed is vital for success. Some popular rabbit breeds suitable for Kenyan conditions are New Zealand White, Californian, Chinchilla, and Dutch.
Consider your local market before choosing the right breed for your business. You can consult with some existing farmers in your area for having good recommendation.
4. Purchase Quality Breeding Stock
Ensure that you obtain your breeding stock from reputable and reliable sources to ensure good genetic traits and health. Good quality animals will grow well without much problem, and you will be able to make much profits.
5. Ensure Good Housing
Rabbits require suitable housing that provides protection from predators, extreme weather conditions, and enough space for movement. Good housing system also helps the animal to stay healthy and grow faster.
6. Hygiene and Sanitation
Maintain a clean and hygienic environment to prevent diseases and ensure the well-being of your rabbits. This is also a very important part of your rabbit production business. Your animals with stay healthy and produce more in good and clean conditions.
7. Ensure Adequate Nutrition
Balanced and nutritious diets are essential for the growth and reproduction of rabbits. Provide them with a combination of commercial pellets, greens, and fresh water. Provide them supplement if required.
8. Follow a Feeding Schedule
Establish a consistent feeding schedule to help rabbits develop a routine and ensure they receive the right amount of food each day. Doing this will help you to reduce food wastage and overall cost.
9. Always Provide Them Fresh Water
Always provide clean and fresh water to keep rabbits hydrated and healthy. Clean and fresh water also helps the animals to stay safe from many water borne diseases.
10. Monitor Health Regularly
Regularly check for signs of illness and consult a veterinarian if any health issues arise. You can also stock some necessary medicines for using during emergencies.
11. Ensure Good Breeding Management
Understand the breeding cycles of rabbits and manage mating to control population growth effectively. You should learn more about rabbit breeding management before starting this business.
12. Provide Nesting Boxes
Provide nesting boxes for pregnant does to ensure a safe and comfortable place for giving birth. Doing this is very important especially for the female rabbits.
13. Caring for Newborns
Newborn rabbits (kits) require special attention and care. Ensure they are warm and well-fed. Keep the newborns in separate room if possible.
14. Weaning Process
Properly wean the kits at the right age to encourage their healthy growth. Weaning is the process of transitioning a young rabbit from a diet of mother’s milk to solid food.
This is an essential phase in a rabbit’s life, as it marks the beginning of their independence from the mother and their ability to eat on their own. The weaning age for rabbits typically occurs between 4 to 8 weeks, depending on the breed and the individual rabbit’s development.
15. Keep Records
Maintain detailed records of breeding, health, and other important information to track progress and make informed decisions. Keeping records is a very important part of commercial rabbit production business.
16. Preventing Diseases
Implement preventive measures to keep rabbits healthy and minimize the risk of disease outbreaks. Consult a veterinarian asap, if any health issues arise. You can also stock some necessary medicines for using during emergencies.
17. Parasite Control
Regularly inspect rabbits for external parasites and implement control measures when necessary. Parasites harm a lot and your animals will suffer.
18. Space and Density
Avoid overcrowding to prevent stress and the spread of diseases among rabbits. The amount of space needed per rabbit in commercial production can vary depending on the specific husbandry practices, local regulations, and the breed and size of the rabbits.
Generally, commercial rabbit production systems aim to provide enough space for the rabbits to move comfortably, exhibit natural behaviors, and maintain good health and productivity. Around 4 square foot space is required per rabbit.
19. Consider Environmental Factors
Provide adequate ventilation and temperature control in the rabbitry to ensure a comfortable environment. And ensuring a comfortable environment will help the rabbits to grow better and produce more.
20. Handling and Socialization
Handle rabbits gently and encourage socialization to make them more docile and easier to manage.
21. Manure Management
Utilize rabbit manure as a valuable organic fertilizer for crops, promoting a sustainable farming system.
22. Integration with Crop Farming
Integrate rabbit farming with crop farming to create a mutually beneficial ecosystem.
23. Develop Good Marketing Strategies
Develop effective marketing strategies to reach potential customers and expand your market reach. Your production will be much profitable if you can market your products easily and at good prices to your customers.
24. Value Addition
Consider adding value to rabbit products, such as processed meat or fur products, to increase profitability.
25. Training and Education
Stay updated with the latest practices and attend training programs to enhance your knowledge and skills. This is important for enhancing your business.
26. Networking and Collaboration
Join rabbit farming associations or groups to network with other farmers and share experiences. Try to help the new farmers who want to start new rabbit farming business.
27. Financial Management
Maintain a detailed financial record and manage your finances wisely for better profitability.
28. Passion and Patience
Lastly, rabbit farming, like any other venture, requires passion and patience. Success may take time, but with dedication and determination, you can achieve your goals. Start in small scale, gather experience and expand gradually.
Frequently Asked Questions
People ask many questions about rabbit farming in Kenya. Here we are trying to list the most common questions about raising and breeding rabbits in Kenya, and trying to answer them. Hope you will find your answer. Don’t hesitate to ask us if you have more questions.
Is rabbit farming profitable in Kenya?
Yes, commercial rabbit farming is a profitable business in Kenya. Commercial rabbit production requires less investment, but the profits are much higher than many other livestock farming business. Although, you have to set your marketing strategies before starting this business. Because your production will not be profitable if you can’t sell your products well.
How much does it cost to start a rabbit farm in Kenya?
A rabbit breeder locally cost between Kshs. 3,000-6,000 and the average number of rabbit bunnies per mother is 3-8 every two months.
Is there market for rabbits in Kenya?
Yes, the market is huge. But you have to contact the right person for selling your rabbits. You can directly contact with some hotels in Nairobi for selling rabbits in large numbers.
Can you raise rabbits with chickens in Kenya?
Yes, sure! You can raise rabbits with your chickens. But try to make a separate space for your rabbits within the chicken house.
How much does a rabbit cost in Kenya?
Average cost of a mature rabbit is between Kshs. 1000 and Kshs. 1500. And a baby or small rabbit of 1-2 months of age will cost you around Kshs. 300 to Kshs. 500.
How much is a kilo of rabbit meat in Kenya?
You can expect the price around Kshs. 500 per kg.
Is there demand for rabbit meat in Kenya?
Yes, and the demand is increasing gradually. You can target selling your rabbits directly to some hotels in Nairobi for more profits. Rabbit buyers in Kenya have improved the market for rabbit meat and other rabbit products.
How many rabbits do you need to make money?
Having around or up to 20 breeding pair will be enough for making good money yearly.
Where can I sell rabbit meat in Nairobi?
You can target hotels and rabbit butcheries first and then schools, and open markets.
Where can I sell rabbit urine in Kenya?
You can contact with the buyers listed here for selling your rabbit urine.
- Location: Kanyariri-Gitaru Road, Gitaru
- Phone 1: 0725 893 963
- Phone 2: 0718 784 649
2. Aqua Farm Consultants
- Location: Standard Building, 6th Floor, Nairobi
- Phone: 0720 586 990
3. Rabbit Breeders Association Of Kenya
- Location: Township Kenyatta Hwy, Thika Livestock Offices, Nyeri Town
- Phone: 0721 219 092
4. Rabbit Urine Extra
- Phone: 0775 591 851
5. Rabbit Consortium Limited
- Location: Dagoretti, Kabiro Kabiro, Dagoreti North, Nairobi
- Phone: 0725 600 710
6. Rabbit Republic Limited
- Location: Standard Building, Wabera Street, Nairobi
- Phone: 0720 586 990
How much is rabbit urine per liter in Kenya?
Pure rabbit urine for organically raised crops Kshs. 100 per liter.
What do Kenyan rabbits eat?
For commercial production, you should feed your rabbits with commercial rabbit feed. Along with this you can also feed them pellets and hay, grass, potatoes, fruits, vegetables etc.
How much is rabbit pellets in Kenya?
On average, the cost of rabbit pellets is between Kshs. 90 to Kshs. 150. Please visit the store directly to know the current price of rabbit pellets.