Rabbit Farming Business is one of the most profitable and lucrative business throughout the world. One can obtain decent profits with a proper rabbit farming business plan. As meat consumption is increasing and rabbit meat is considered as healthy and nutritious. Commercial rabbit farming has different steps to consider to be successful in rabbit farming business. You must learn some basics of rabbit farming and their management before starting on a large scale. There are many training centers available for taking the livestock courses. Department of Livestock or animal husbandry in your region is the best source for the rabbit training information.
Why should we consider Rabbit Farming Business?
Rabbit farming requires less space and little investment compared to other livestock business and results in good profits.
Rabbits can eat ordinary feed and convert them into a protein-rich high- quality meat which is very economic.
Rabbits can also be reared for hide and fur.
Rabbit Farming Business is Suitable for whom?
Rabbit farming business can be ideal for people who are looking for additional income and a part-time work or landless people and uneducated youth and women.
Rabbit Farming Business Advantages and Benefits
One can fulfill their family quality protein-rich meat requirements by rabbit rearing business.
Rabbits do not require high-cost feed and can be fed with easily available leaves, waste vegetables, fruits, grains available in the home or backyards.
In case of broiler rabbits, the growth rate is very high and you can expect 2 kg weight gain at the age of 90 days (3 months).
Litter size in Rabbit farming is very high than any other livestock. Usually, you can expect 8 to 12 kidding in a single birth.
When compared to the other meats rabbit meat contains 21% of protein & 8% of fat. So rabbit meat is suitable for all age groups.
What are available breeds in rabbit farming business and where can we buy these?
Heavyweight Rabbit breeds of 4 to 6 kg.
White Giant Breed Medium weight breeds of 3 to 4 kg.
Lightweight breeds of 2 to 3 kg.
Availability of White Giant and Soviet Chinchilla breeds.
Address: Department of Livestock Production and Management, Veterinary College and Research Institute, Namakkal-637002, Tamil Nadu, Ph: 04286 -266491, 266492.
What are the methods of rabbit farming business
Well, Rabbit farming business can be started in the backyard within a small shed which can be constructed by locally available materials with a low investment. Make sure the location and shed are being constructed is secured from wild climates and other predators such as dogs, cats..etc. Generally, Rabbits can be reared in two systems of housing methods.
Deep litter system of a rabbit farming businessThis method is suitable for rearing a small number of rabbits. To stop these little animals to dig burrows the floor the ground ought to be composed of concrete. The Litter materials such as paddy husk, timber veneer or wood shavings can be filled with 5 to 6 inches from the floor. Deep litter system isn’t acceptable for rearing over 30 to 35 rabbits. Male rabbits should be placed separately. This sort of housing isn’t acceptable for the intensive method of rabbit rearing. Rabbits reared in deep litter system are more vulnerable to diseases. Management of rabbits in this system of rearing very difficult.
Cage system of rearing in rabbit farming business
How much is floor space required in this method?
For adult male rabbits = 4 square feet.
For dams = 5 square feet.
For bunnies = 1.5 square feet.
Adult rabbit cage sizes in rabbit farming business
Adult rabbit cage should have 1.5 ft length, 1.5 ft breadth, and 1.5 ft height. This cage is suitable for 1 adult rabbit or 2 growing rabbits
Growing rabbit cage sizes in rabbit farming business
Length = 3 feet.
Breadth = 1.5 feet.
Height = 1.5 feet.
Note: The above-mentioned cage sizes are suitable for 4 to 5 rabbits up to 3 months of age.
Cages for kindling in rabbit farming business
The crate size for growing rabbits is adequate for these animals going to be kindled. However, the underside and sides of the cage ought to be composed of weld net of 1.5 inches x 1.5 inches. This used to protect against the young bunnies to emerge from this cage.
Nest box for safety in rabbit farming business
To supply safer and serene surroundings during kindling the nest box is very much required. This nest boxes could be composed of wrought iron or timber. Nest box dimensions should be in this way to maintain inside the kindling cage.
Essential nest box sizes in rabbit farming business
Length of nest box = 22 inches.
Breadth of nest box = 12 inches.
Height of nest box = 12 inches.
About nest box for your rabbits
Nest boxes are intended to start in the top part. The base of the nest box ought to be composed of weld net of 1.5 inches x 15 inches dimension. A ring size gap of 15-centimeter diameter needs to be reached in the longitudinal part of the nest box, 10 cm in the base. This gap helps for the movement of the Dam in the nest box into the cage. Designing of this hole 10 cm in the base of the nest box prevents the young rabbits getting out of this nest box.
Cages for rearing rabbits in backyards of rabbit farming business
Cages for rearing rabbits in the backyard should be constructed 3 feet to 4 feet from the floor surface. Make sure that the cage bottom is waterproof.
Feed and water troughs for rabbit farming business
Feed and water troughs for rabbits usually composed of iron. The feed trough should be designed in the form of “J” and they are usually fit outside the cages. To decrease the investment cost the feed and water may also be offered in cups.
Feeding management in rabbit farming business
Rabbits can feed on all types of grains such as sorghum, millets, other grains, and legumes. Rabbit also love to eat green fodder crops like Desmanthus, Lucerne, agathi, carrots and cabbage leaves and other vegetable wastes and kitchen wastes. Ensure these nutrients in the feed as part of feed management.
For growth factor
For maintenance factor
For pregnancy factor
For lactation factor
Digestible energy (kilo.cal)
Feeding management in rabbit farming business
As we know the teeth of rabbits continuously grow, rearing of rabbits with concentrate feed only is not possible.
If it is late in the feeding of rabbits, they get restless and which in turn lessens the body weight hence you should stick to a standard feeding schedule.
As temperatures are high during the daytime, these little animals won’t take a feed in this time period. You can feed the green fodder crops in cool night times. This will enable the rabbits to consume the green fodder without wastage. You can give concentrated feed in morning/day times.
Feed your rabbits with concentrated feed in the form of pellets. If a concentrated feed is not available, the concentrated feed mixed with water and made into small chunks and should be fed to rabbits.
For 1 kg rabbit weight, 40 gms of concentrate feed and 40 gms of green fodder ought to be provided for one day.
Make sure to feed your rabbits with fresh green fodder. Avoid placing the green fodder on the ground of the cages but they can be placed (inserted) in the sides of the cages.
It is essential to provide clean and fresh water to your rabbits. change and clean the watering and feeding trays daily.
Type of Rabbits
Body weight in kg
Feed quantity/day (grams)
Adult male rabbits
4 to 5
100 to 125
225 to 250
Adult female rabbits
4 to 5
100 to 125
275 to 300
Lactating and pregnant rabbits
4 to 5
150 to 160
150 to 160
0.6 to 0.7
60 to 75
150 to 160
Concentrate feed mixture (sample) in in rabbit farming business
Ingredients in feed
Broken and ground pearl millet
Groundnut oil cake
Breeding Management in rabbit farming business
Breeding age of rabbits
Female rabbits: 5 to 6 months.
Male rabbits: 5 to 6 months.
Selection criteria for rabbits breeding in rabbit farming business
Usually, rabbits are selected at the age of 6 to 8 months once they attain adult body weight.
You must select male and female rabbits from high litter size breeding.
Avoid sick and too young and only healthy rabbits should be selected for breeding. If rabbits are active and the feed and water intake are usually normal, you can consider them as healthy. Another identification of healthy rabbits is a clean body, soft and shiny hair.
In case of male rabbits selection for breeding, ensure the above-mentioned characters along with two well-descended testes in their scrotum.
While selecting male rabbits, allow them to mate with a female rabbit to know the breeding capabilities.
Heat signs or Oestrous signs in female rabbits in rabbit farming business
There is no specific oestrous cycle interval in rabbits. Whenever the female rabbits allow the male rabbit for mating afterward the female rabbit is in oestrous or heat. Sometimes if a female rabbit is in heat, its vulva is congested. When a male bunny is kept close to a female bunny in heat, the female rabbit shows depression of its rear and raising of it is behind the portion of the body. At the exact same time when the female bunny is not in the heat, it’ll go the corner of the cage and strike the male.
Breeding details of rabbits in rabbit farming business
Male and female ratio
1:10 ( for 10 female rabbits, have 1 male rabbit).
First mating age
5 to 6 months. For male rabbits, the age of first mating usually at 1 year of age to get a good litter size.
Body weight of the female rabbit during mating
2.25 kg to 2.5 kg.
The gestation period of rabbits
Weaning age of rabbits
40 to 45 days.
Time of mating after kindling
40 to 45 days after kindling or after weaning of the young rabbits.
Age of rabbits at sale
Body weight of rabbits at the time of sale
2 kg or above.
he female rabbits showing the signals of heat taken to the male rabbit’s cage. If the female rabbit is at the correct time of heat period that used to lift her tail and allow the male rabbit to mate with her. After successful mating, the male rabbit falls on one side and produce a specific sound. One male rabbit should not be utilized for more than 3 or 4 days in a week. In the same way, a male rabbit should not be used for breeding not over 2 to 3 times every day. The breeding male animals should be given adequate rest and good feed nutrition. 1 or 2 male rabbits may also be also reared on the farm and they are sometimes utilized in case the rabbits used for breeding eventually become sick.
Pregnancy identification can be done by palpating the abdomen of the female bunny 13 to 14 days following breeding process. Palpation should be completed in the abdominal area in between the hind legs. When there is the mass is palpated in between the fingers then the bunny is pregnant. Those rabbits that are not pregnant after 13 to 14 days of mating, they again allowed for mating with the male rabbit with the same procedure. If a female rabbit is not becoming pregnant after 3 to 4 subsequent mating, that rabbit should be removed and sold. 25 days after mating there is generally increase in the body weight of pregnant rabbits from 600 to 700 grams. This increased weight can be recognized by lifting the rabbits. When the pregnant rabbits allowed to near the male rabbits for mating, they will not mate.
Care of Pregnant female rabbits in rabbit farming business
Following the pregnancy diagnosis was completed, the pregnant female rabbit should be fed together with the increased quantity of concentrate feed from 100 grams to 150 grams surplus than the normal feeding. The pregnant rabbits ought to be moved to the kindling cage on 25 days after mating. 5 days prior to the expected date of mating nest box should be held in the kindling cage. Dried coconut fiber or paddy straw should be used as a bedding material in the nest box. The pregnant rabbits pluck the hair in their stomach and create a nest for your young ones or two days prior to kindling. During this age, the rabbit should not be disturbed and individuals from outside should not be permitted near the kindling cage.
Usually, kindling takes place on the first morning. Kindling (giving birth to young bunnies)usually completed for a span of 20 to 30 minutes. The dam herself wash her young ones in the first morning. Nest boxes should be examined in the early morning. The dead young ones must be taken out of the nest box. During the examination of the nest box, the dam gets restless. So the dam ought to be removed before examination of the nest box.
Care and management of newborn rabbits in rabbit farming business
During birth newborn rabbits eyes are shut and they don’t have hair on their body. All newborn rabbits are usually lying in the bedding material made by the dam in the nest box. Usually, the dam provides milk to the young ones once every day in the early morning. If we compulsorily make the rabbit nourish her young ones there will not be some milk secretion in any respect. The skin of these newborn rabbits received the sufficient quantity of milk from their mother is generally shiny. But the skin of these newborn rabbits who have not got the sufficient quantity of milk out of their mother is tender and wrinkled in their body temperature is low and they seem very lazy and weak.
Stepmother rabbit feeding in rabbit farming business
Generally, a female rabbit has 8 to 12 teats in her udder. In case, the litter size is greater than the number of teats the newborn rabbits won’t receive adequate quantity of milk and results in the death of the young ones. In an addition, the other conditions such as the passing of dam, lack of maternal care, falling of youthful ones from the cage results in difficulty in the identification of the dams, the stepmother are used for nursing the young ones.
Consider these while changing the litter to the stepmother
The age difference between the litters to be changed and the jumble of stepmother should not be more than 2 days.
We should not change more than 3 young ones per stepmother.
Weaning of young rabbits in rabbit farming business
Young rabbits are allowed to stay few weeks in the nest box. Later nest box was taken out of the kindling cage. Weaning of young rabbits or bunnies could be performed at age 5 to 6 weeks. While weaning, the first dam should be taken out of the kindling cage and the bunnies are allowed to stay for 1 to 2 weeks in precisely the exact same cage. Later the genders of the rabbit should be identified and the different genders should be kept in various cages. We should not suddenly alter the diet or feed of those weaned rabbits.
How to reduce mortality rate in young rabbits in rabbit farming business
During first 2 weeks of age, the young rabbits usually stay under the dam. During this age, the breast milk of this female rabbit is the sole food for young bunnies. Mortality (death) of these rabbits in this timeframe is mainly because of a dam. After two weeks of age, the young rabbits are capable of taking feed and water. In this time these young rabbits are more vulnerable to diseases. Therefore it’s advised to provide cooled boiled drinking water to the dam as well as the young ones. Hydrogen peroxide at the rate of 1ml per liter of water should be added 20 minutes before giving to the rabbits.
How to identify healthy rabbits and what are the signs?
Rabbits should have healthy and shiny hair coat.
They should be active with alertness.
They should have quick feed intake after feeding.
The eyes of rabbits should be bright and without any discharge.
You should see the gradual body weight gain.
Signs in sick rabbits
They are always dull and depressed.
You can observe a reduction in the body weight and emaciation.
You can also observe heavy hair loss.
The sick rabbits usually stay in one particular place in the cage.
The feed intake is very less or even they stop taking feed.
You can observe watery or mucous discharge from the eye, nose, and mouth.
In sick rabbits usually, the increased body temperature and respiratory rate are observed.
Rabbit diseases and their treatments in rabbit farming business
Reason: This disease is caused by poor ventilation, poor hygiene, nutritional deficiencies. This disease is contagious and easily spreads from the dam to young rabbits.
Signs: Continuous sneezing and coughing and rabbits rub their nose with the forelimbs. Breathing sound resembles the rattle sound. You can observe fever, diarrhea in this case.
Treatment: Treatment isn’t effective against pasteurellosis. Though the rabbits effected with pasteurellosis recuperate after the medical treatment, however, the rabbits that are affected by this disease transmit the infectious germs to other healthy rabbits on the farm. Therefore culling the affected rabbits in the farm is the only control step of pasteurellosis in the rabbit farming business.
There is an assortment of microorganisms responsible for producing enteritis in rabbits. A sudden change in the feed, the surplus quantity of carbohydrate in the feed, immuno-depression, unhygienic water and feed will be the factors predispose the rabbits to enteritis caused by several microorganisms. The clinical signs of enteritis in rabbits are nausea, enlargement of stomach, dull hair coat and dehydration. On account of the reduction of water due to diarrhea which leads to dehydration, rabbits become dull.
Rabbits affected with all the pasteurellosis are influenced with wry neck disease. This disease affects the middle ear and the brain of rabbits. Due to the affection membrane of the ear and pus is discharged in the ear, the bunny turns its head to one side. Successful treatment of pasteurellosis controls the throat disease in rabbits.
Mostly nursing dams are affected by mastitis disease. You can observe affected udder is hot, reddish and painful to touch. To control this disease, affected rabbits should be provided with appropriate antibiotics.
Diseases due to fungal infection
Skin infection is generated in rabbits from Dermatopysisfungus. There is a reduction of hair around the nose and ear of rabbits. Due to aggravation rabbits continuously rub the affected region’s results in the creation of wounds in these regions. Later on, secondary bacterial infection in these areas causes pus formation.
Treatment of this disease: Griseofulvin or benzyl benzoate cream should be applied on the affected areas. Griseofulvin mixed @ 0.75g/kg of feed and given for a period of 15 days to control this.
What kind hygienic measures to be followed on your farm in rabbit farming business?
Make sure your farm is located in an elevated place with good ventilation.
The rabbit cages should be kept clean and dry.
It is better to have some trees around the rabbit shed to prevent from heat.
The whitewashing of the shed is preferred twice a year.
It is recommended to apply lime solution below the cages 2 times a week.
In hot summers, avoid any mortality of rabbits from heat stroke by sprinkling water on rabbits.
Drinking water should be boiled and then cooled especially when serving to the dam and young ones.
To prevent any diseases caused by bacterial microorganisms, Tetracycline mixed with drinking water @ 0.5 grams/ liter of water should be given for a period of 3 days per month.