The rise in commercial rabbit farming has driven prices for rabbit feed,up from Sh1,800 per 50kg five years ago to now Sh2,500, setting farmers on a search for alternative, lower-cost feeds for their rabbits.
Without such savings, the food price rises have resulted in a higher overall cost in rabbit rearing that is reducing farmers’ profit margins.
However, farmers can now make an alternative homemade feed that will reduce their spending.
The feed is formulated from the following parts:
Wheat bran 30 per cent
Maize germ 30 per cent
Rice bran 20 per cent
Horse gram/cow pea 20 per cent
These ingredients will together supply the rabbits with adequate fibre and all other nutritional needs.
A 50kg bag of wheat bran costs Sh1,000, whilst that of maize/maize germ is Sh1,600, rice bran Sh1,200, and that of cow pea Sh4,845. Thus the mixture costs for each 50kg:
Wheat bran – Sh300
Maize germ – Sh480
Rice bran – Sh240
Cow pea – Sh969
Minerals – less than Sh50
This represents a saving of 17 per cent on food costs when compared with buying commercial feeds.
Depending on how one mixes the concentrate, this mixture is meant to last for a month or more.
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All of the ingredients should be ground.
They’re then soaked in clean water and fed to rabbits whilst coarse in a semi solid state.
To this mixture, add a little salt and 20 grams of mineral mixture for every kilogram of feed. A mineral mixture is essential for proper growth.
Feeding should be rationed at 50 grams daily for small rabbits, and 100 grams for the bigger ones.
It’s paramount to feed rabbits at predetermined intervals daily, preferably in the morning or evening as this fits in with rabbits’ natural feeding pattern.
Additionally, farmers can also feed their rabbits with fresh fruit – at not more than two tablespoons for a five-pound rabbit. And farmers should provide constant hydration of the rabbits. Rabbits weighing less than a kilogram should have at least 100ml of water per day and for rabbits of more than 1 Kg, water should not exceed 600ml per day.