By Hadiza Musa Yusuf
Cuniculture or Rabbit Farming in Nigeria is a very profitable venture in Nigeria since Rabbit meat needs no overemphasized introduction and over-imposed marketing. Rabbit meat is the meat choice in a lot of homes, and even at joints, Restaurants and so on. The meat tastes sort of similar (from afar off) but in a way, sweeter than a mixture of chicken meat and bush meat.
The number one advantage of Rabbit farming over other animal rearing forms is the low start-up capital involved. To start a Rabbit farming business in Nigeria doesn’t take as much money as some other animal farming businesses like Fish farming, Cattle rearing, and so on. It is a low start-up venture which has very attractive yields in return, if it’s maintained and managed properly.
A Kano young female graduate, Hafsat Hamisu, 25, has taken up rabbit farming as a lucrative commercial venture.
Hafsat, a recent graduate of Islamic Studies from Bayero University, Kano (BUK), who lives in Yamadawa quarters in Gwale local government area, has transformed her life by diving into the world of rabbit rearing.
In an interview with Farmers Voice NG, Hafsat narrated how she started rabbit rearing.
She disclosed that her journey into agriculture began during her third year of university when she fell ill.
“At my level, 300, I fell sick. During my recovery, my uncle and his wife paid me a visit.
“I jokingly asked what they brought for me, and they offered me the opportunity to choose any type of livestock I desired, ranging from sheep, hens, to goats from their livestock.
“Intrigued by the idea, I decided to choose rabbits,” she said.
With no prior experience in livestock rearing, Hafsat began to seek guidance on proper feeding and care for her newfound companions.
“I gave them greens and vegetables like salad, carrots, wheat chaff, and soybean chaff,” Hafsat shared.
Initially, Hafsat contemplated selling her rabbits after a few months, feeling that her efforts were in vain as they showed no signs of conceiving.
However, fate intervened when a potential buyer informed her that one of her rabbits was pregnant.
“Overjoyed by the news, my mom told the buyer that we are no longer selling them.
“Soon enough, my sister informed me that my rabbits have given birth.
“Marking the beginning of a growing rabbit family,” the young graduate said.
To accommodate the expanding brood, Hafsat explained that she built spacious cages for her rabbits.
“Ensuring their comfort and safety became my priority. I got so engaged that when I touch a rabbit, I know if it is well or not, or if I should take them to the hospital or not,” she narrated.
“The cycle continued, and within a month, a new set of adorable bunnies would join. Sometimes it’s just a few weeks, and my rabbit community continues to grow.
“Before, I used to give them away to family, relatives, and friends. Then, a relative came and wanted to buy them, but I declined. He went to the market and bought the same species of my rabbits.
“Word spread that my rabbits commanded high prices in the market, which prompted me to consider selling them.
“It was during this time that I discovered the market potential for rabbits.
“Now, I sell my rabbits for 6,000 naira for two (a male and female) and half the price for one,” she continued.
As the rabbit population multiplied, so did Hafsat’s profits. With over 100 rabbits since the beginning of her business, she has found financial stability through her entrepreneurial endeavors.
Hafsat encouraged youth to explore business opportunities regardless of their income level, adding that rabbit farming can also be a side hustle.
She encouraged the embracing of rabbit rearing.
She said, “Not everyone knows about rabbits. In fact, many people don’t know rabbits are edible.
“I want people to know that rabbits are friendly and patient, and they are easily reared.”
She told Farmers Voice NG that her future ambition is to be a renowned rabbit seller, with many workers.