To fulfill the food demand for growing population, we have to find out different ways of food production. The rabbit known as “Micro-Livestock” can be a great source of food production. There is a great opportunity of rabbit farming in our country. Rabbit needs small place and less food for survival. Rabbit meat contains high ratio of protein, energy, calcium and vitamin than other species of animal. The cholesterol fat and sodium is less than other meat. The meat of rabbit is very testy, easily consumed and all religious people can eat it. They grows very fast and the female rabbit produce 2-8 baby every time. They eat very low quality food and make high quality of meat. Raising rabbit can be a great income source to the unemployed people and landless farmers. So, we have to raise rabbit to meet the demand of protein as well as to reduce poverty from our society.
We generally raise rabbit as pet. But if we raise them commercially then it will be a great source of income and a smart way of employment. The annual demand of meat in our country is about six million tons. But only one million tons of meat produced in our country, rest of the meat we import from foreign country. According to the demand only 15-20 percent of animal protein comes from the livestock which is very less compared to the requirement. Further, this demand is increasing with population growth. An adult person needs 120 grams of meat daily. But we get only 20 grams on an average. So, we can consider rabbit farming as a potential direction of animal protein. It is very easy to maintain rabbit farm than other animals. Every person of the family can take care of it.
Species of Rabbit:
There are many species of rabbit are available in our country. Among those Dark Gray (internal), Fox, Dutch, New Zealand White, New Zealand Black, New Zealand Red, Belgium White and Chinchilla are most favorite.
In many research it has found that, young rabbit meat is very high quality than the adult rabbit meat. And the meat quality of male rabbit is high than female rabbit meat. The quantity of cholesterol and lipids increases and reduces protein with the increase of the rabbit age. On the other hand, female rabbit meat contains more lipid, fat and cholesterol.
Benefit of Rabbit Farming:
There are many benefits of farming rabbit. The main benefits of raising rabbit according to our country economic and ecological condition are described bellow.
- The rabbit is a very fast growing animals.
- Their food converting rate is better than other animals.
- One female rabbit can give birth 2-8 baby rabbit at a time.
- Rabbit can be raised in a short place.
- More production can be made in little cost.
- Rabbit meat is very nutritious.
- People of all religion can consume it.
- In meat production it has a place after poultry.
- Wast material of the kitchen, grass, plant leaves etc. are favorite food of rabbit. So, we can raise them using this commodities.
- Family labor can be successfully applied to rabbit farming.
Method of Raising Rabbit:
With a small investment we can make house for rabbit in our house yard or in building roof and start rearing rabbit. We can make house for rearing rabbit in two methods.
Deep Litter Method:
This method is suitable for less amount of rabbit. The floor should well made concrete. 4-5 inches depth litter should make with husk, rice straw or wood lath. In this method at most 30 rabbit can be raised. The male rabbit should keep in a separate room from the female. In this method the possibilities of being affected by diseases is high. Moreover, it is very difficult to manage the rabbit in this system.
To keep rabbit commercially this method is the best. In this system the rabbit are kept in a cage made with iron plate. This cage is very useful for raising more rabbit. In every cage it have to have the facilities of necessary space. Male and female rabbit should keep separate from each other. They should keep in same rood when thy need mating to produce baby rabbit.
Food consuming rate and nutrient requirements varies according to the rabbit age and species. For proper nutrition of an adult rabbit its food should contain 17-18 percent crude protein, 14 percent fiber, 7 percent minerals and 2700 kilo calorie/kg of metabolic energy.
Green leafy vegetables, seasonal vegetable, spinach greens, carrots, Muller, cucumber, green grass and vegetable wast can easily used as the food of rabbit. For commercial purpose poultry food can be served to feed the rabbit. Accordance with proper food management they should supply sufficient water according to their demand. Thus a farmer can be success in rabbit farming.