YAP Proposal #48: “Rabbit Farming” (Beryl Yuness Okinyi, Kenya)

Rabbits

My name is Beryl Yuness Okinyi, Business Development Officer. Am turning 30 this year and a holder of BBA Finance, Diploma in Information Technology from Bugema University – Uganda and live in Nairobi, Kenya.

Agriculture being a major player in Kenya’s economy is therefore charged with the responsibility of ensuring that the entire farming fraternity is re-defined and geared towards total sustainability. Considering that factors of production such as land, capital, entrepreneurship and rainfall have been compromised i.e. due to climate change, there are no predictable rains as there were some decades ago and agricultural land has been reduced following the ever growing population. Kenyans have no otherwise other than embracing modern farming methods which ensure maximum production on a small piece of land.

This is almost an about turn from the traditional farming methods such as broadcast system of planting. Hence the generational farmers are talking of alternative farming methods, agribusiness and smart farming. However, these farming systems require reliable sources of quality services through credible and trusted local based organization

Rabbit Cages

WHY RABBITS
Rabbit meat has low fat content of 4, 5% with low cholesterol and is highly digested. The meat is recommended for people with lifestyle diseases, the elderly and the infants. If up-scaled, commercial rabbit keeping is an alternative employment creation industry, i.e. there is need for a farm hand to take care of the rabbits, a porter to design a make the feeding apparatus, an artisan for purposes of construction, transporters and feed manufacturing companies workers in the slaughter and processing companies. The rabbit is a highly productive livestock species with potential to produce high quality animal protein for expanding population of Kenya. A live rabbit when slaughtered yields almost 50% of its live weight. Rabbit meat has a protein content of 20.8% and compares closely with veal, chicken and turkey meat.

The office of home economics, state relations of the U.S Department of Agriculture made extensive tests and stated that domestic rabbit meat is the most nutritious meat known to man. Rabbit meat has been used and is suitable for special diets such as those convalescing. Given that it is tender and easily digestible it becomes ideal for children, the sick and elderly. A doe that weighs pounds can produce 320 pounds of meat in a year. This is more than a cow and it takes 2 acres of land to raise one cow. Rabbits are economical/friendly to space, they require limited land i.e. it takes an eighth of an acre to raise 1000 breeder rabbits and are raised up off the ground making it one of the cleanest meats known.

Rabbits are highly prolific and are fast maturing i.e. they give birth under proper management in quick succession and mature in a space of 4-5 months and it’s manure stands out as the best manure especially for farmers practicing organic farming. It has a natural combination of 2.20% nitrogen, 0.87% phosphorus, 2.30% potassium, 0.3% sulfur, 1.2% calcium and 0.40% magnesium. It can be observed that, when two portions of land are enriched using rabbit manure and other portion of land uses another option, the land where rabbit manure is used performs better. Rabbit urine is high in concentration of ammonia. When diluted with water in the ratio of 1:5 it works as both foliar feed and insecticide, making it ideal for greenhouse farming. Rabbit skin is ideal in the manufacture of indoor winter shoes, fishing rods, belts, and beautiful handbags for ladies.

I intend use the $5,000 to acquire 10 start-up rabbits (9 Does and 1 Buck), build a rabbit structure with enough space for expansion, pellet feeds, and feeding cans, transportation of building materials, medication as well as marketing and promotion. This is possible within a time frame of 2-3 weeks and ready to begin.

The expected production after 6- 12 months, for instance 10 doe rabbits give birth to 10 litters each and each weighing 4 kgs sold at Kes 400 per kg is Kes 160,000 in the first year. This will be able to cover the expenses incurred at start-up and be able to plough back into the business.

I believe every rabbit keeper is a business person regardless of whether he/she keeps a few or many. For success we must put time, talent and money into the project for some expected returns. It will take remarkable efforts to initiate and establish real entrepreneurship that will usher in the realization of the same. Rabbits are brilliant animals to keep.

This is the best employment for any youth out there where you don’t need a lot of space to realize your dream.

In conclusion rabbit keeping is a venture whose contribution in the near future to the national economy cannot be under estimated.

Blogpost and pictures submitted by Beryl Yuness Okinyi (Kenya) – beryl.okinyi(at)gmail.com

The content, structure and grammar is at the discretion of the author only.


This post is published as proposal #48 of “YAP” – our “Youth Agripreneur Project”.

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61 thoughts on “YAP Proposal #48: “Rabbit Farming” (Beryl Yuness Okinyi, Kenya)

  1. Great work keep it up. Many youth need to come up with such entrepreneurship mind to tackle unemployment rate that has become big obstacle to our economy.

    1. Thank you Samuel, high unemployment rate has led to increased crime rates, high rural-urban migration leading to proliferation of slums and shanty living conditions in major urban centers. Currently the leadership of the country is engaged in a campaign geared towards attainment of vision 2030. This is an elaborate youth dream which if realized shall usher the country into an active economic recovery, food security, infrastructural advancement, good education systems and good health care.

  2. I like Beryl’s focus in what she wants to do. Rabbit keeping is not so capital intensive, requires little space hence can be undertaken both as urban and large scale farming, returns are quick, can easily generate income and create employment opportunities both in production and processing areas. To cap it all, rabbit meat is very nutritious and can play a big role towards achievement of the Nation’s Food and Nutrition Security.

    1. I clearly remember during my primary school in the mid 90s, the then syllabus had an introduction to rabbit keeping through science and agriculture subjects. However with the removal of Agriculture from primary syllabus came the passing on of the 4-K club and hence rabbit keeping at youth levels. Equally it is sad to mention that even at institutions of higher learning, rabbits are classified as “small animals” and hence no sufficient information is made available. That being the case, the information available on rabbits is scarce and has been developed the hard way basically through our existing farms.

      1. Your concern about the removal of agriculture as an examinable subject from the school syllabus was a mistake. But good news is that there are advanced efforts by collaborators in the agriculture and nutrition sectors to reintroduce it back during the ongoing schools’ curriculum review.

  3. Rabbit meat is quickly becoming an alternative source of white meat to many households, I believe Beryl’s idea will be supported by this demand for the rabbit meat.

    1. Thank you Steve, No one can never go wrong with this. It is fat and cholesterol free, therefore it is not only highly nutritious but also very easily digested. It is therefore of much nutritional value than chicken.

  4. yes its time people turn their heads away from the red meat totally if not completely…. you go girl rabbit keeping is indeed a good project, a healthy nation in the making…….quite a well thought of idea,brilliant it is!!!!

  5. Wonderful proposal to keep the youth engaged and earn a living. The fact that small area can be used for rabbit keeping is encouraging even to those who have small compounds or land. The youth are attracted to jobs with low hanging fruits. Given the short gestatation period for rabbits, it’s indeed a dangling carrot to the youth. I support this venture and applause the well articulated proposal!

    1. Thank you Judy. We have no otherwise other than embracing modern farming methods which ensure maximum production on a small piece of land, hence smart farming. Rabbits are economical and friendly to space. They require limited land where It takes an eighth of an acre to raise 1000 breeder rabbits…

  6. Beryl, i totally agree with you that rabbit meat is healthy considering the low fat content, however you also need to do massive campaigns in some of the communities to change attitude towards rearing & consumption of Rabbit meat. There are many fora within the Ministry of agriculture at both National and County level for this kind of campaign. This is a well thought project, good luck

    1. Thank you Hellen. Equally it is sad to mention that even at institutions of higher learning, rabbits are classified as “small animals” and hence no sufficient information is made available. I believe through the Ministry of Agriculture this can be realized both at County and National level…

      1. While discussing your project with friends i was glad to learn that some of them have already include rabbit meat in their diet but they main challenge is inadequacy ofthe same in most bucheries and slaughter houses! Beryl i already see alot of opportunities for this pronect locally. Great enterprise.

    2. Hellen once again thank you for the great support and interest in this project…i believe this can be realized through great determination and efforts and make it happen…

  7. great job. i think this is a a potentially profitable venture, that can provide jobs for the community ans well as be a source of healthy meat. i love it.

  8. GOOD JOB. this will work! there is growing demand for rabbit meat as people become more conscious to health issues.

  9. Rabbit farming provides a huge opportunity for youth to engage in agribusiness more easily with limited resources.
    The fast growth rate is ideal for the youth who require quick source of income..

  10. Am happy you brought this up, rabbits meat is exceptionally nutritious compared to chicken , it is tender and easily digestible it becomes ideal for children, the sick and elderly. This is the way to go for our youth, good luck!

  11. This is quite awesome started Rabbit farming this year too…As my Agripreneur Project. and it is doing quite well so far. Your blog has given me more insight on it….Indeed this is an Ideal business venture in agriculture case in point Rabbit meat is white meat making it a health option. Bravo Berylyuness!!

    1. Can’t thank you enough Caroline, let’s enlighten our youth as well as women out there on this viable project that no one can go wrong about. It comes with greater value: good nutrition, skin for sale, meat for sale, urine as ammonia (best fertilizer for crops). All these summed up brings greater earnings at the end….

  12. This is a great idea rabbit meat sells much and the idea is awesome. Will help in anyway needed keep up the good work beryl

    1. Thank you for your response Alphaxard.

      There is ready market depending on what kind of market you are looking for. I have identified few organizations that buy rabbits from farmers.
      At start up, they sell you rabbits depending on the number of rabbits you want to begin with, do training, construct the rabbit hatches, they do physical follow ups to check on farmer’s progress, after the rabbits have given birth to litters and have matured for sale at about 6-12 months, they buy the rabbits from the farmers.

  13. Coming to think of it, why is Rabbit meat so scarce yet it’s the best white meat?? What seems to be the problem?? Beryl, it’s your time to sensitise Rabbit farming to the society… As I’ve seen in your prior discussions, get hold of the Ministry of Agriculture Officials concerned and make this happen…. Good job Beryl.

    1. Unfortunately we currently have few rabbit farmers that cannot meat the supply demand in our butcheries. I strongly believe through this project, most of the youth, women and in general the society will grab this great opportunity and focus on health benefits of rabbit meat…

  14. awesome idea beryl. We are living in a society that is always ready to pick up the idea of consumption of other kinds of meat besides the usual..I will spread the #rabbit rearing idea

  15. Brilliant! this is a great idea, i like the fact that the commencement capital is very much realistic and affordable to the youth and also the fact that it is a step by step process that tests ones entrepreneurial capabilities as it requires patience and attention to detail to achieve maximum results. I think for us as the youth to grow our financial portfolios we should look at projects like these which not only do they require financial capabilities but also our overall involvement in the day to day operations of the venture. Good work and best of luck.87126037

  16. Brilliant! this is a great idea, i like the fact that the commencement capital is very much realistic and affordable to the youth and also the fact that it is a step by step process that tests ones entrepreneurial capabilities as it requires patience and attention to detail to achieve maximum results. I think for us as the youth to grow our financial portfolios we should look at projects like these which not only do they require financial capabilities but also our overall involvement in the day to day operations of the venture. Good work and best of luck.Eric Katiku.

  17. good approach to a market that is still new to many but with demand Beryl.
    However ive been doing some research on the same (Rabbit rearing )and there is one site id like you to visit it will equip you more with info of these business venture.(http://www.bunnyhugga.com/a-to-z/).
    My questions for now that i think will be in the heart of everybody that intends to venture apart from the market is
    1.What other products do we get from rabbits apart from meat and if any,is the market ready?
    2. In case of diseases do we have plans in the country rather solution to the emerging diseases(View it like a first time entrepreneur)
    Don’t shy…pull the idea all the way .I’m interested in starting one if you are willing.
    Thanks.

    1. Am glad you’ve seen that Kingsley. Thank you for sharing the link….To answer your questions….

      1. Apart from meat, we get its skin which is ideal in the manufacture of indoor winter shoes, fishing rods, belts, and beautiful handbags for ladies.

      2. It can be observed that, when two portions of land are enriched using rabbit manure and other portion of land uses another option, the land where rabbit manure is used performs better. Rabbit urine is high in concentration of ammonia. When diluted with water in the ratio of 1:5 it works as both foliar feed and insecticide, making it ideal for greenhouse farming.

      Once again thank you for your support….

  18. This is a great initiative.Keep it up. i once tasted rabbit sausage and it was yummy. By this you will create job opportunities for many youth.

    1. I find it tasty as well Becky and nutritious too….We youth need to embrace this opportunity because doesn’t need a lot of space and the yield period is very short about 6-12months and the return is great…..

      Saw your rabbits and they are doing really well….we all need to start from somewhere….you are such an inspiration…..

      Becky let’s do this…

  19. Agriculture has been encouraged among the youths and the coming up generation to creat employment. Now that u are an ambasodor, this is a lovely idea Beryl.

  20. The society needs such industrious and ambitious individuals like you.. Make a bold step forward having success in mind to come your way… Thumbs up Beryl; KUDOS…..

    1. Thank Marcel, all we need is the support and extensive training from the Ministry of Agriculture to realize this dream…..without enough knowledge and the know how this ain’t enough….

  21. congratulation for the big idea, I HV 20 adult rabbits at kericho . where is my nearby market? am really interested with the business. thanks in advance

  22. I had a taste of rabbit meat at the Nairobi International show ground and well i must say it was quite a delicacy, soft and tender. I just wish it could be available in more butcheries country wide.

  23. Well said Beryl Yunes, Rabbit keeping (for meat production) is no longer a cultural taboo in our present day society but a viable economic activity for both the rural and urban population as a well of meeting the food security gap and providing alternatives as for white meat consumption.

    Am currently working on a commercial rabbit production appraisal document and i would wish to get as many ideas and suggestions as possible from interested parties and experts.

    Beryl, i do hope you will be of much help to me in the development of the appraisal document.

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