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Rabbit Farming at the CYEC. Paul Maina - Founder and Director of the CYEC Janelle Larson - Head of Penn State/CYEC collaborative.

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Presentation on theme: "Rabbit Farming at the CYEC. Paul Maina - Founder and Director of the CYEC Janelle Larson - Head of Penn State/CYEC collaborative."— Presentation transcript:

1 Rabbit Farming at the CYEC

2 Paul Maina - Founder and Director of the CYEC Janelle Larson - Head of Penn State/CYEC collaborative program Jannath Bhagar - Part-time “volunteer” helping in Farm Management at the CYEC Alayna Blalock - PSU junior in Community, Environment, & Development; developer/researcher of rabbit farming initiative Joseph – Within Co-op, Head of CYEC rabbit initiative; being trained in rabbit keeping Alex Smith - President of CYEC Cooperative; being trained in rabbit keeping Who are the players?

3 Nutrition  Rabbit meat is all white meat.  Rabbit has 795 calories per pound. Compare: chicken at 810, veal at 840, turkey at 1190, lamb at 1420, beef at 1440 and pork at 2050.  Rabbit has the highest percentage of protein.  Rabbit has a lower percentage of fat than chicken, turkey, beef, or pork with unsaturated fatty acids at 63% of the total fatty acids.  The cholesterol level in rabbit meat is much lower than chicken, turkey, beef, pork.  The U.S. Department of Agriculture has stated that domestic rabbit meat is the most nutritious meat known to man.  Rabbit meat compares very favorably to veal. Why Rabbits?

4 Quick to Breed  Takes only 90 days from the mating of the doe until litter of fryers is ready for consumption  The gestation period is only 32 days and one doe can produce about 15 litters in her lifetime  Does are also able to rebreed immediately after kindling (giving birth). This means that a doe can birth a litter, breed again immediately, wean the first litter around 30 days, and give birth to the second litter a few days later. This results in very high production.  The typical litter size for a New Zealand White breed is 7-8 bunnies Why Rabbits?

5 Price  A bunny can be purchased for about $1USD in Kenya (if a bunny is purchased it takes six months for the rabbits to mature enough to begin breeding)  A 5kg fryer can be sold for about $24 USD (2000 Ksh)  One litter (8 fryers) will then sell for $192 USD (16000 Ksh) Why Rabbits?

6  8 Hutches  4 rabbits, but will most likely be replaced with better breeds  Not being used for anything currently  Alex and Joseph being trained in caring for rabbits, with Joseph leading the project Current State

7  7 does, each in her own cage with her own litter  1 buck in his own cage At high-intensity breeding: Day 1- Mate all 7 does Day 32- 7 does give birth to an average of 7 bunnies (49 total) Day 33- Mate all does again Day 64- First litter weaned, give birth to second litter (98 total) Day 65- Mate all does again Day 96- Sell first litter, wean second, give birth to third In 96 days you can birth 147 rabbits: 49 milking, 49 weaned and growing, and 49 sold. Every 32 days you can earn $1,212 (98,000 Ksh) if the rabbits are sold for 2000 Ksh/each*. *This price assumes that fryers at age 64 days will weigh approx. 5 kg Potential Production

8  Food (can be reduced by feeding forage every other day and growing own sorghum for grain)  Price of stock (8 rabbits used for breeding)  Transportation (Where are we selling them?)  Future hutches  Re-payment of loans for original up-front costs  Possibility of renting hutch space Costs

9  How much will new, but experienced, rabbits cost?  How many rabbits can be kept per hutch? (Is doe plus 2 litters too many?)  Where will we sell the rabbits?  How will we get them there?  How much will that transportation cost?  How much did our hutch cost?  Where would we put additional hutches? (Max possible)  How many youth interested?  Does anyone at the center know how to cook rabbit?  Cost of teaching/where? Unanswered Questions:

10  Training  Getting new rabbits  Determining buyer Top Constraints

11  Let’s at least get the business running!  Strictly for sale: Even CYEC buys them  Ag program has two tracts: livestock and crops  Rabbits would be project of livestock tract  Would have to go through “financial training” as well Key: Produce something and establish a buyer For Spring…Where do we want this to go?

12  Solid incorporation into Ag Program  Must go through “financial training” to receive loan  Youth living in center develop rabbit farming as a livelihood  Expand project to Eco-Village (with beginnings and training at CYEC) Thoughts on next 3-5 years?

13  Rabbit images:  Nutrition facts: Works Cited

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