Rabbits are extremely re-productive and are prey animals with two uterus’s that reproduce prolifically in an all-natural manner. Rabbits breed all year round and can produce a litter in just 30 days.
A female rabbit can reproduce its own mass a 1 000 times through its offspring in a year. They will produce 8 – 10 litters naturally in ideal conditions while having 7 to 12 kits at a time. When compared to a cow, one and a half production does (female rabbits) yield the same production as a cow in 12 months and have monthly salable carcasses where a cow has not had any return over the 12 months.
EXCELLENT MEAT TO BONE RATIO
After slaughtering 93% of the carcass is usable while the carcass only consists of about 7 % percent bone.
DON’T COMPETE FOR HUMAN FOOD RESOURCES
Rabbits naturally prefer a grass-based diet and do not compete for other proteins grown for human consumption. They also have an early and quick growth-curve that makes it easy to get them to a suitable slaughter weight with little effort. They have the ability to turn low protein feeds into a high protein carcass.
Rabbit can be fed on primarily produced feed-stuff and commercial pellets. Rabbits consume six times less water and feed to produce the same kilogramme meat carcass than other livestock, cattle, sheep and pigs. They also do not require maize or wheat as a source of high protein to rapidly transform into salable products.
REQUIRE LITTLE LAND RESOURCES
Rabbits can be farmed on the most unsuitable agricultural land with much less water than any other farmed animal. When compared with a cow that requires 7 to 11 hectares vs the 1 square meter required by a production doe and the growers. Production does not stress the land nor require big farms.
CAN BE FARMED IN MOST CLIMATES
Climate is also of little importance as it can be controlled. There are currently rabbit farmers in every province of South Africa. The ideal temperature for rabbits is 15 to 25 degrees making the peaks and valleys easy to control.
AFFECTED BY A VERY LOW DISEASE SPECTRUM
A very low spectrum of disease affects rabbits, and there is no transferable disease between humans and rabbits. Disease in rabbits are digestive related and giving quality food controls disease. Spreading of disease is floor space-related and the Coniglio herds are segmented having limited contact to spread disease.
QUICK TO MASTER
One year or cycle of farming with cattle equals 12 years of rabbit farming experience. Training is achieved in a day including practical and a hands-on approach is followed through over a three month period in which the farmer would start a repetitive process perfecting the same actions.
HUMANE AND NATURAL REARING TECHNIQUES
Can be sustainably farmed while practising humane farming methods and has a monthly return all year round. Collective farming methods are practised resulting in less livestock keeping related risks with the ability to expand production in an almost production line fashion.