Some say Rabbit meat is the best meat they have ever tasted; grilled, fried, roasted, you name it. Others, however, are appalled by the idea and would rather stick to using Rabbits for laboratory experiments.
Whether reared for their meat, as pets, or for research purposes, one thing is clear: Rabbit farming has gone mainstream, and LAUTECH is leading the fold.
Though Rabbit meat may not be as common as chicken, beef or even pork, it has proven to be a very lucrative business. Studies have shown that over one million tonnes of Rabbit meat is consumed yearly worldwide.
In LAUTECH, the sale of Rabbit meat has taken off, and a few farmers in the school are already enjoying the benefits of the business. Mr O.J Ojo, a Farmer and Lecturer from the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, explains why.
“Unlike Chicken, Pigs and some other livestock, Rabbits are very easy to rear,” he said. “Their noiseless nature, odour-free small body size that requires little space, and their ability to manage and convert forage and agricultural wastes is what endears most people towards Rabbit keeping.”
He added that the majority of customers are investors looking to venture into Rabbit farming, while others are buyers with intent to either consume or use for research purposes.
Explaining how different Rabbit meat is from every other meat, he said: “A lot of people don’t know this but Rabbit meat is a white meat. It contains an excellent amount of protein and has the lowest fat than all other type of meat.”
“In fact, doctors highly recommend the meat for those with high blood pressure and cancer, including stomach, lung, prostate and skin cancer,” he added.
Rabbitry as a business is said to be a lot better than others businesses in animal production due to the production rate of Rabbits.
“A single Doe (female Rabbit) can give birth to up to 100 kits (baby Rabbits) in a single year. This means you can start with two mature breeding Rabbits (one male, one female) and end up with over 100 Rabbits in less than 12 months, depending on their feeding and management,” Mr Ojo explained.
The relatively low capital needed to venture into Rabbit farming is another factor many find attractive. A potential farmer can start with as little as N3000.
These factors and more have led to rising demand for Rabbits in LAUTECH; so high, in fact, that Mr Ojo said the demand has outstripped the supply.
“However, I believe the more people willing to invest in Rabbit business, the less challenging it would be”, he concluded.
“Rabbits are quite easy to raise. All you need do is get a cage, ensure the space is suitable enough for dumpings, make sure they have good access to clean water and most importantly, be readily available for them.”