2Who are the players?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
3Why Rabbits? 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.
4Why Rabbits? Quick to Breed Takes only 90 days from the mating of the doe until litter of fryers is ready for consumptionThe gestation period is only 32 days and one doe can produce about 15 litters in her lifetimeDoes 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
5Why Rabbits?PriceA 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)
6Current State8 Hutches4 rabbits, but will most likely be replaced with better breedsNot being used for anything currentlyAlex and Joseph being trained in caring for rabbits, with Joseph leading the project
7At high-intensity breeding: Potential Production7 does, each in her own cage with her own litter1 buck in his own cageAt high-intensity breeding:Day 1- Mate all 7 doesDay does give birth to an average of 7 bunnies (49 total)Day 33- Mate all does againDay 64- First litter weaned, give birth to second litter (98 total)Day 65- Mate all does againDay 96- Sell first litter, wean second, give birth to thirdIn 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
8CostsFood (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 hutchesRe-payment of loans for original up-front costsPossibility of renting hutch space
9Unanswered Questions: 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?
10Top ConstraintsTrainingGetting new rabbitsDetermining buyer
11For Spring…Where do we want this to go? Let’s at least get the business running!Strictly for sale: Even CYEC buys themAg program has two tracts: livestock and cropsRabbits would be project of livestock tractWould have to go through “financial training” as wellKey: Produce something and establish a buyer
12Thoughts on next 3-5 years? Solid incorporation into Ag ProgramMust go through “financial training” to receive loanYouth living in center develop rabbit farming as a livelihoodExpand project to Eco-Village (with beginnings and training at CYEC)