Rabbit farming is a very profitable business. The demand for rabbit meat is increasing in Zimbabwe. People want to try a different type of meat which is not chicken, beef or pork. A lot of people are switching to more healthy meat with less fat. Rabbit meat has become a perfect replacement for chicken since it is also white meat. Rabbits are easy to keep and are very profitable as the feed costs are low due to the fact that they eat a variety of foods. An increasing number of farmers in Zimbabwe are keeping rabbits due to the high profits from rabbit farming business. Demand for rabbits is high and there is a lot of potential for the growth of the market.
Before you start rabbit farming in Zimbabwe, you have to decide how many rabbits you want to keep, where you are going keep them, and your target market. The number of rabbits you keep will depend on the amount of land and capital you have, and also the size of your target market. You should always carry out a feasibility study, market research and write a business plan before you venture into any business. Do not make the mistake of starting a rabbit farming business or any other business just because someone is doing it and he/she says it’s profitable. This article will explain how to start a rabbit farming business in Zimbabwe, and the rabbit farming business plan.
What you need for Commercial Rabbit Farming In Zimbabwe
A large enough area must be available for erecting the necessary rabbit hutches. It is advisable to locate the rabbit farming project nearer to good roads as that will help minimize costs and enable the farmer have access to and from the project. There should be a reliable source of clean water that can be used for both human and animal consumption, such as boreholes and rivers. In case of inadequate water source, a reservoir could be constructed.
Housing and Equipment
Rabbits are very flexible when it comes to housing, as compared to other livestock. It is not necessary to have elaborate and expensive housing. Rabbits can be housed in anything from simple wire cages to outside hutches or large scale rabbits buildings. It is essential that the rabbits housing provide the correct amount of space for the rabbits. Rabbits need a proper space to eat, sleep, hide, jump, dig, and play. The housing should be easy to clean and maintain, should have adequate ventilation, and should be safe for rabbits to breed, live and raise their kits.
You need equipment for your rabbit farming business. The equipment required will depend on the housing system which you use. There are 2 common housing systems used in rabbit farming, which are the deep litter system and the cage system. The deep litter system is whereby the rabbits will be kept on the floors e.g. concrete floors with bedding spread on the floor. The cage system is whereby the rabbits are kept in cages. The cages can either be indoor or outdoor cages.
The equipment needed include feeders, drinkers and nest boxes. If you are using the caging system, some type of rabbit cages come inbuilt with the drinking, feeding system and the nest boxes. Nest boxes will be required when the does(female rabbits) give birth. There are two types of cages you will require. The breeders cage are for the does. They will give birth to the kits (young ones of a rabbit) in the cage, and will lactate the kits there. Thus the breeders cage should be big enough to accommodate the doe and its kits. You also require the weaners cage where the rabbits will stay from weaning till they are slaughtered.
Rabbits Breeding Stock
You will need rabbits breeding stock to start rabbit farming in Zimbabwe. These are bucks (male rabbits), and does (female rabbits). When choosing breeding stock for rabbit production you should be very cautious of the rabbit’s history. Purchase your breeding stock from rabbit farmers who have a good reputation in the rabbit business. You should always select rabbits that are strong and have an overall appearance of good health. Always request to see the records of the parents of the breeding stock you are purchasing. Does with good mothering ability, large litter size and high milk production pass these traits on to their offspring. The offspring from does producing less than six litters per year should not be considered for breeding stock. Bucks pass on good meat qualities.
There are many different breeds of rabbits used in commercial rabbit farming in Zimbabwe. The popular ones are the Californian White, New Zealand White, New Zealand Red, Chinchilla Grey, Flemish Giant and Zika( the indigenous breed). You have to make a decision on which breed of rabbits you want to keep, or you can also keep multiple breeds. The New Zealand breed is the most popular breed for meat production, and it matures early plus has a large litter size (number of young ones born per pregnancy).
Feed for the Rabbits
The highest cost for a rabbit farming business is for feed. You can give your rabbits commercial rabbit pellets feed and supplement with other food. Rabbits eat a wide variety of food. The food you can give your rabbits include grains(maize, rapoko, wheat, sunflowers), grasses, weeds (black jack), hay, fruits (melons, mazhanje aka uapaca kirkiana), tree leaves (mangos tree leaves, bananas tree leaves e.t.c), vegetables (cabbage leaves, lettuce, spinach, carrots, beans, rape etc.), ground nuts leaves, bambara nuts, rapoko stalks etc. Ensure that the rabbits get all the essential nutrients needed for growth (carbohydrates, proteins,vitamins, minerals, fibre and fat). Provide plenty of water to the rabbits. Water also makes it easier for rabbits to digest their food.
Capital for Rabbit Farming Business
You will need money for constructing the rabbit hutches, buying the breeding stock, buying the feeds e.t.c. So the scale of your rabbit farming project will also depend on the amount of capital you have. That is why it is essential for you to have a rabbit farming business plan before you venture into the rabbit farming business, so that you know all the costs involved and you make an informed decision. The capital you need will depend on the scale of your rabbit farming business. You can start a rabbit farming business with as little as $500!
Market for Rabbits
Rabbit meat is considered a delicacy and is in high demand. The meat is well known for its high protein content, and is low in fat, which implies that its healthy. Rabbit meat is a delicious, fine grained, and nutritious white meat and many people love it. You can supply your rabbits to individuals, restaurants, hotels, supermarkets and butcheries. Rabbits are usually slaughtered at about 10-12 weeks of age. Another market which can be tapped is to supply rabbits to universities and hospitals for research use in the laboratories.
The market price for rabbits is $8-$12 depending on the breed and size of the rabbit. Rabbits multiply fast. The pregnancy lasts for only 1 month, and each doe give birth to an average of 8 kits at a time, and can give birth 9 times a year. This means that every year 1 doe can give birth to 72 rabbits! Thus you can easily grow your rabbit farming business over time. Rabbit farming business is very profitable and you can easily recoup your initial cost of investment.
Pre-Written Rabbit Farming Business Plan (PDF, Word And Excel) : Comprehensive Version, Short Bank Loan Version, Automated Excel Financial Statements
For an in-depth analysis of the rabbit farming business in Zimbabwe, purchase our rabbit farming business plan. We decided to introduce the business plans after noting that many Zimbabweans were venturing into the rabbit production business without a full understanding of the industry, market, how to run the business, the risks involved, profitability of the business and the costs involved, leading to a high failure rate of their businesses.
Our business plan will make it easier for you to launch and run a rabbit farming business successfully, fully knowing what you are going into, and what’s needed to succeed in the business. It will be easier to plan and budget as the rabbit farming business plan will lay out all the costs involved in setting up and running the rabbit business. The business plan is designed uniquely for the Zimbabwean market.
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Uses of the Rabbit Farming Business Plan (PDF, Word And Excel)
The rabbit farming business plan can be used for many purposes including:
- Raising capital from investors/friends/relatives
- Applying for a bank loan
- Start-up guide to launch your rabbit farming business
- As a rabbit farming project proposal
- Assessing profitability of the rabbits business
- Finding a business partner
- Assessing the initial start-up costs so that you know how much to save
- Manual for current business owners to help in business and strategy formulation
Contents of the Rabbit Farming Business Plan (PDF, Word And Excel)
The business plan includes, but not limited to:
- Market Analysis
- Industry Analysis
- Automated Financial Statements (income statements, cash flow statements, balance sheets, break even analysis, loan repayment calculations, start-up costs)
- Marketing Strategy
- Risk Analysis
- SWOT & PEST Analysis
- Operational Requirements (e.g. type of housing, cages required, feed required e.t.c.)
- Management of Rabbits (during pregnancy, lactation, weaning e.t.c.)
- Operational Strategy
- Why some Zimbabweans in rabbit farming business fail, so that you can avoid their mistakes
- Ways to raise capital to start your rabbit farming business in Zimbabwe
The rabbit production business plan includes technical aspects of how to keep and to take care of the rabbits. It also includes a mini-directory with contacts which will prove to be helpful in launching and running the rabbit farming business. E.g. We will provide the contact details of the companies that produce feeds, breeding stock, cages e.t.c.
The Pre-written Rabbit farming business plan package consist of 4 files
- Rabbit Farming Business Plan – PDF file (Comprehensive – 82 pages)
- Rabbit Farming Business Plan – Editable Word File (Comprehensive – 82 pages)
- Rabbit Farming Business Plan Bank Version – Editable Word File (Short version for applying for a loan – 32 pages)
- Rabbit Farming Business Plan Automated Financial Statements – (Editable Excel file)
Business plan last updated in July 2018.
The financial statements are automated. This implies that you can change eg the number of rabbits, price of rabbits etc, and all the other financial statements will automatically adjust to reflect the change.
Get the Rabbit Farming Business Plan (PDF, Word And Excel)
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