News and knowhow for farmers

Association training farmers on commercial rabbit production

Rabbit machakos

The Rabbit Breeders Association of Kenya is training farmers on commercial production of rabbits in a bid to help them diversify their sources of income at time when maize grown by over 70 per cent of farmers in the country is recording a decline in prices.

The company conducts monthly trainings at the Christian Industrial Training College with the aim of educating farmers’ on the best breeds, slaughtering procedures and value addition.

Each training session costs Sh2,000 with farmers being awarded with certificates afterwards and recruited to rear rabbits.

“We are looking for farmers to rear rabbits and we will buy them at Sh400 per kilo for rabbit delivery to slaughter house, or Sh200 per kilo live weight,” said Peter Waiganjo, the Chairperson of RABAK.  

Rabbits offer healthy white meat which has a lower fat content of about six grams for every 100g compared to beef which has 18.3g and pork which has 8.2g.

The association has so far conducted more than five trainings since the beginning of the year on value addition on sausage & meat loaf processing at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture & Technology (JKUAT). RABAK is also working with other stakeholders on skins value addition which will translate into more money in the pocket for the Rabbit farmer.

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Chinchilla rabbit breed. Courtesy

Rabbits reach slaughter weight at three months and full maturity at five months.

The animals derive their feed requirements entirely from greens and each female can reproduce four times a year with an average of eight kits per kindling.

Rabbit meat is recommended for a variety of health specific specialty diets such as diabetes, gouts and hypertension amongst others.

Farmers using rabbit urine in production save on pesticide and fertiliser costs as the liquid offer major nutrients required by crops.

According to the Kenya Agriculture and Livestock Research Organization, 84.8 per cent of rabbit production in the country is done by small scale farmers. The sector has been growing steadily over the last five years.

The main breeds kept are New Zealand white (29 per cent), crossbreeds (24 per cent), Californian white (12 per cent), Chinchilla (11.5 per cent), Dutch (eight per cent), Flemish giant (5.5 per cent) and French Lop (4 per cent).

Contact officials –
a) Peter Waiganjo – Chairman – +254 (0) 721 21 90 92
b) John Gitachu – vice Chairman – +254(0)700 63 84 54
c) Peter Macharia – Organizing Secretary – +254722 27 75 23
d) Mrs. Grace Njihia – Secretary – +254 (0) 721 64 32 00
e) Joseph Mwaniki – Treasurer – +254 (0)715 06 94 51

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