A complete introduction to rabbit farming in kenya Sucessful Farming Made Possible
rabbit-farming
Share with others, Learn from others

A few years back, rabbit farming received a lot of publicity similar to the one quail farming got and I questioned whether it was a sustainable farming venture. It is now several years since then and rabbit farming has grown tremendously. Supermarkets, butcheries and other meat joints are now stocking rabbit meat. This just goes to show that rabbit farming in Kenya can only get better.

This can be attributed to the nutritional and health value of its meat considering it is categorized as white meat. It contains less calories and other harmful contents found in red meat. This has made it an alternative to chicken and fish which fall under the white meat category.

In my opinion, the greatest challenge facing rabbit farming in kenya is the development of a rabbit eating culture. Kenyans are not known for consuming rabbit meat and therefore a lot of public awareness has to be done to show Kenyans/Africans why rabbit meat is better. Thankfully this is already underway and a lot of ground has been covered in making Kenya a rabbit eating nation.

Other than the meat, rabbit skin can be processed and used in the manufacturing industry. There is however a need to develop the tuning industry in Kenya to accommodate rabbit farmers and help out the already existing ones e.g in thika.

rabbit-farming

 

Advantages Of Rabbit Farming

First and foremost, this can help you cut down on cost of purchasing meat since you will have your own source. With the cost of living rising rapidly in Kenya, a means of cutting down on expenses will help ease pressure especially for people in urban areas.

Rabbit meat is healthier than red meat (beef matton etc). The health conscious population worldwide is rapily growing as people become more choosy on the type of food they eat. This means that the number of people seeking healthier alternatives such as white meat is growing which will translates to greater demand for rabbit meat. The international demand for rabbit mat is massive and this is an area that players in the Kenyan economy are looking to explore. It shouldn’t be too long until a they break through.

Rabbits require little space making it ideal for people with small pieces of land. The housing units can be stacked onto each other utilizing space. I have heard of people keeping rabbits on top of goat sheds. So space shouldn’t be an excuse for people looking to venture into rabbit farming.

Costs of keeping rabbits are very low. Farmers can spend between ksh150-ksh250 on a rabbit from birth to slaughter. This ensures that you always make a profit. The price can be driven even lower if a farmer plants his own feeds and managing the rabbits well to reduce infection risks.

The gestation period of a rabbit is 28-30 days. Each rabbit can give birth to upto 15 young ones. This numbers make rabbit farming even more attractive as it takes very little time for you to grow your stock. A mature rabbit is ready for the market at around 3kgs. It take an approximate 5 months for it to get here.

How To Start Rabbit Farming In Kenya

I always advice farmer to have a business plan before going into any farming venture. This is because a business plan will make you think of thing you would have otherwise overlooked such as marketing, expansion plans etc. Remember farming is a business and at the end you have to make money out of it. Overlooking such factors usually results to failure and frustration of farmers. So first write down a business plan.

Source for good breeds. It is important to get the best breed to start off with. Make sure that you buy rabbits from good breeders. This is because many farmer do not observe best breeding practices. A common problem is inbreeding. This is where rabbits that are “related ” are bred resulting in an inferior offspring. As a farmer starting off, in bred rabbits would mean that you entire stock after that would be descendants of inferior quality rabbits. So choose wisely. Ask a lot of questions too as you wouldn’t want to start off on the wrong foot.

There are many different breeds available in Kenya. Some are specialized for fur production while others are best for meat as they gain a lot of meat. Examples of the breeds are

New zealand white

California

Chinchilla

Dutch

French lope

Flemish Giant

Among others.

Housing

Housing is important for rabbit farming an it is important to get it right the first time.

One of the things to consider in housing is wind direction. This is because rabbits get pneumonia and the houses/cages should face away from the wind.

Another thing to consider in constructing the house is cleanliness. Rabbits do not fare well in dump environments so make sure that the houses are easy to clean. Chicken mesh and wire mesh on the floor will ensure that urine and droppings do accumulate in the house. This will also make it easier to clean and collect rabbit droppings for manure. This can be done on one half of the cage and the other half can be wooden to become the sleeping area. As you can imagine, sleeping on wire can be very uncomfortable for rabbits. Dry hay can be used as a bed for the rabbits.

The cages should be such that you can easily reach out and catch a rabbit. This makes it easy when inspecting a rabbit.

rabbit farming in kenya

Feeding

Traditionally, farmers have been feeding rabbits on fresh greens. This however has been found to be less nutritious than feeding dry matter. These include grasses, lucern, callindra etc which are high on protein. These feeds guarantee a better nutritioned rabbit. Grains can also be fed to rabbits as well as commercial pellets.

Some farmers looking to cut down on costs of feeds make their own grains mixing high nutrient things such as maize germ/ bran among others.

Different feeding programs work differently for people as you feed your rabbit what you can acces. I advise new farmers to visit a successful rabbit farmers to learn about this as I believe this is the type of thing that you have to learn practically. Fresh greens are also a good source of rabbit feed.

Breeding

As I mentioned before, breeding is an important aspect of rabbit farming. As a farmer, you should always avoid in breeding to ensure you only get the best quality offspring’s. Keeping breeding records will also simplify you work when deciding which two rabbits to breed.

As a farmer, you should also be able to identify rabbits when on heat and know of best time to serve female rabbits. Female rabbits show signs when on heat. Check its behavior and its vulva to see if it is on heat. When serving, it is usually best to move the female rabbit to the male cage. It is recommended that this is done during early morning and late evening.

After birth, the female rabbit is left to stay with its litter for around 3 months. After this period, they should be separated. This creates a need for having several bigger cages to accommodate mothers and litter. Feeds given to pregnant and mothering rabbits should be slightly more to give energy for giving birth and suckling.

Conclusion

Rabbit farming in kenya is a cost effective, less labor intensive mode of farming and it can be done by anyone. It is an industry that is on the rise and the future looks promising for it.

Please feel free to comment bellow with your thoughts and make sure you subscribe to get such information straight to your email.

Eric K. (Farming Afrika Admin)
Eric K. (Farming Afrika Admin)
I am a farmer and business man, I love travelling, exploring and meeting new people. I think I was born a farmer. I want to make farming great again and tell the story.So help me God!

57 Comments

  1. felix says:

    Nice article.simple yet informative.

  2. Simon says:

    Hi am a new white new zealand rabbit farmer……..i need advise on rabbit urine and meat markets

  3. Am olonde, and i have interest in rabbit farming, where can i get feeds, medication n other related stuffs?

  4. I would like some advise on rabbit farming, I have 3acres in Athi river and need serious advise

    • Eric K. (Farming Afrika Admin) says:

      Hi Samuel.
      In my opinion, 3 acres is abit too big for rabbit farming. However there are very many ways you can run a rabbit business as well as other profitable ventures.
      Send us an email and we will get you a consultant to talk to and advice you

      • simbarashe says:

        i like your comment on rabbit farming. i need help with infrastructure for a small backyard rabbit farming business please.

      • mary says:

        hi.Erick
        I have gone through your article concerning rabbit farming…i would lke to start the same business in the near future.kindly advice on how.where to get the market.

  5. Ethel says:

    I am in Bungoma and wish to get into rabbit farming. which are the best breeds for meat and where can I get good quality breeders to start off?

  6. Maddo says:

    I have started keeping rabbit and I love them so much. I want to rear a very large stock of them given the inspiration I have got from this web site.

  7. ANTHONY kARANI says:

    This is FANTASTIC JOB. I am a rabbit farmer in Nairobi although was in small scale where most of my rabbits are consumed at home. As my stock rises, I feel I need to look for a market for the excess animals. Regrettably’ you did not touch on this area. Please let me know where I can get market for meat’ Urine and skin.

  8. Elizabeth says:

    Eric, thanks a lot gor the Rabbit Farming Article . Do you have a Business plan for Rabbit Keeping which I could read through before I get started ? Thanks

  9. Lucas says:

    I would like to have more information regarding rabbit housing/cage building, If you could send me some drawings of both wooden and or metal cages construction.

  10. godwin s manyengo says:

    Great insight. Am intending to get into this industry in 3-4 months time. Keep me updated on the latest news

  11. Fredah says:

    Am Fredah from iKendu Bay .Am very much interested in rabbit farming.Please can you link me up with someone who can help me construct a rabbit house and where to get the best breeds!

  12. Ingabire Juvenal says:

    I am Rwandan, I to start a medium scale profit oriented rabbit farming. Assist me with advises and a drafted business plan that i can follow. thanks

  13. Ingabire Juvenal says:

    I am Rwandan, I want to start a medium scale profit oriented rabbit farming. Assist me with advises and a drafted business plan that i can follow. thanks

    • Eric K. (Farming Afrika Admin) says:

      Hi Ingabire,
      There is proposal for funding that i have share here and a busines plan template that you can easily follow to create your plan. I would also recommend that you visit as many rabbit farms as possible to get detailed information to include in your plan e.g growth and expansion plans etc.

  14. beatrice wamuyu Gatinu says:

    I am a rabbit farmer in nyeri en am challenged by rabbit diseases. How can I get your assistance.

    • Eric K. (Farming Afrika Admin) says:

      Hi Beatrice,
      which specific diseases are you encountering? i can refer you to a good vet to assist.

      • Jeremy kibiru says:

        I am Jeremy in Embu I already have 25 rabbits which are increasing each day my issue is market and diseases attacking the young ones

  15. Anne K. says:

    Eric, thanks a lot gor the Rabbit Farming Article . Do you have a Business plan for Rabbit Keeping which I could read through i have already started rearing about 30 rabbits in Nairobi and am also looking for market kindly advice. regards, Anne

  16. Eliud Chai says:

    hi its good u people are encouraging us. am thinking of starting rabbit farming on dec this year. i’ll be comunicating with u. Thank you

  17. bob mugisha says:

    Hello am Bob from Kampala.i would like to go into rabbit keeping and i would like to start with 20 could you please advise on the cheapest structures for housing with photos of those structures.and where can i sell its urine cause am in contact with some farmers who are willing to collect it and sell it to me for easy collection. please advise .Thanks Bob.

  18. Oladejo Timilehin says:

    Rabbit farming is good,buh I need an help on how to produces local rabbit food

  19. PATRICK MADARA says:

    i long to start rabbit farming but i don’t have any idea. how do i go about it??

  20. Gladys Nyandia says:

    I love the article.its simple and understandable.where can I find the business plan for rabbit rearing?

  21. robert mhango says:

    its a great lesson , simple but clear.

  22. charles says:

    Hallo kindly help me get intouch with a good breeder for rabbits. I have a few but would like to get better breeds. Can you also touch on market?

  23. Nsabila says:

    Please assist with more info about the different types of breeds available and their advantages and disadvantages. Thanks.

  24. Margaret Okumbe says:

    Hi. I live in Nairobi and would like to do mushroom farming. Do you have a training coming soon?

  25. lilian says:

    wow, just what i have been looking for, i am a journalist in kisumu and also just got into rabbit farming, i have been looking for advice on how to improve and expand my farm to commercial, my challenges are
    1:market knowledge
    2:right breeds
    3: finances for expansion
    4: how to write bussiness plan cos i got into farming without on

    Thanks so much

  26. sekoh diana says:

    Hi am a contracted farmer wt rabbit repubic bt has experienced alot of problems wt them cd u pls accept me as ur contracred farmer since ave already started

  27. Eng maree john says:

    needs contacts of where to buy rabbits

  28. Paul Bkarigo says:

    please,where can i get good breeds? pleass refer me to reputable organisations /farmers

  29. oluoch brian says:

    i need a number to which i can contact

  30. David Kariuki Githinji says:

    Am willing to ve tunture on rabbit keeping.
    Is there a ready market?

  31. paul says:

    ls there market for ordinary Rabbit in Migori county? Or where can i sell?

  32. wyclife wasonga oduor says:

    great are your teaching thanks alot am venturing into it very soon.

  33. Edwin says:

    Hello, am Tanzanian living in Dar Es salaam, your article so good, looking forward to start farming rabbits for meat, your advice please

  34. esther says:

    Hallo,My name is Esther your teaching is great but where do you get the markets i tried once but i ended up giving them out to friends due to poor market

  35. Sarah L I says:

    I am a rabbit farmer in Kakamega. I started Rabbit rearing and I have a chinchilla which got six young ones. unfortunately, 3 were eaten up by a cat which got in through a small opening. 2 were injured. Please advise how I can treat these 2.

    • Eric K. (Farming Afrika Admin) says:

      Hi Sarah,

      Thanks for writing to us.
      I’m sorry for those losses. Such accidents happen i a farm and you are advised to regularly repair animal cages to protect the animals from predators.
      Please visit the government vetinary lab in your area. They usually have very qualified vets there who can really assist.
      There is where i usually go for assistance with my animals.

      Thanks

  36. magak says:

    mr.erick am so much humbled.your are indeed a farmer.well am venturing into the same next month plz give your email i would like to contact you

    • Eric K. (Farming Afrika Admin) says:

      Hi Magak,
      Thank you for your compliments.
      I wrote this article a while back when Rabbit farming seemed profitable for me. I have since stopped due to challenges of market. I advice you to do your due dilligence on market issues before starting.
      my email is eric@farmingafrika.com

  37. Nkatha says:

    I need to keep rabbits for breeding. I am a start up . Where do I get the good rabbits and is there a market?

    • Eric K. (Farming Afrika Admin) says:

      Hi Nkatha, i was a rabbit keeper and also struggled with market. At the moment i am not a very big believer in rabbit farming but i stand to be proven wrong.
      My personal advice would be for you to research more on the market issue as i have encountered many farmers with similar problems before investing.
      Thanks

  38. thomas N says:

    hi sir. am a cabbage farmer with interest to rabbit farming. can you take me as your student and train me. thanks in advance. I like your article.

    • Eric K. (Farming Afrika Admin) says:

      Hi Thomas,

      At the time of writing this article, i was convinced that rabbit farming could become a potentially good income generator for diversified farmers. In recent times the industry has had challenges with some of the big buyers closing down or facing challenges. At this time, i am not in a position to advice accordingly since i am not actively practicing rabbit farming.

  39. Magak says:

    Need market for urine

  40. Lamech Nyamongo says:

    I’m from tranzoia, I want to start rabbit farming

  41. risks of says:

    Rabbit Rearing in Kenya

  42. Shisya says:

    Very interesting.
    I’ve been thinking of rabbit farming. Your contact pls.
    I need lots of information and advice.
    Regards.

  43. Cannis Kipchumba Cheruiyot says:

    Very good article but would wish to know more about marketing

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>