The purpose of venturing into livestock production is to make money out of it. How do you do that? By making sure that your income exceeds your costs. You ensure that your income exceeds your costs by being an efficient producer who has minimum deaths rate in his/her enterprise and maximises growth rates/kg feed.
Marketing becomes an important activity when we take livestock from an entrepreneurial perspective. So how does the maths go?
Major determinant of enterprise size is market availability and amount of money invested.
For small scale production the size is determined by labour and management time can be spared for rabbit production.
It is advisable to start with a small unit and increase the size as experience in management is acquired.
400 does or more is considered an economic unit for a major rabbit enterprise.
- There is no organised market, each producer has to find his own market i.e. sell direct to consumer, supply dressed carcasses to retailers or butcher.
- It is recommended to slaughter at 10 to 12 weeks to maximise returns.
- Dressing percentage: well-fed rabbits 57-63% (with head), poorly fed rabbits less than 50%.
- Producers may also be required to register with the relevant government board.
Cost of Production
- For large scale rabbit production feed cost is the major component of production costs i.e. 70-80%.
- Cost of breeding stock is about 15-20% of production cost.
- Other expenses include labour, normal mortality, water and medication.
- Depending on the market, rabbits are sold at per kg of live-weight.
- Due to a lack of an identifiable market, prices vary considerably