International Journal of
Livestock Production

  • Abbreviation: Int. J. Livest. Prod.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2448
  • DOI: 10.5897/IJLP
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 264

Full Length Research Paper

Rabbit production practices in Kiambu County, Kenya

Abraham Kipchumba Cherwon
  • Abraham Kipchumba Cherwon
  • Animal Production Department, College of Agriculture and Veterinary Sciences, University of Nairobi, P.O Box 29053 -00625 Nairobi, Kenya.
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Margaret Mwihaki Wanyoike
  • Margaret Mwihaki Wanyoike
  • Animal Production Department, College of Agriculture and Veterinary Sciences, University of Nairobi, P.O Box 29053 -00625 Nairobi, Kenya.
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Charles Karuku Gachuiri
  • Charles Karuku Gachuiri
  • Animal Production Department, College of Agriculture and Veterinary Sciences, University of Nairobi, P.O Box 29053 -00625 Nairobi, Kenya.
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  •  Received: 20 July 2020
  •  Accepted: 23 September 2020
  •  Published: 31 October 2020

Abstract

To document current rabbit management practices in Kiambu County, a survey using structured questionnaire was undertaken in 45 farms identified using snow ball sampling technique. Data collected were subjected to descriptive statistics. Findings revealed that the majority of the respondents (57.8%) kept more than 10 does while the most prevalent breed was New Zealand White (82.2%). The main purpose of keeping rabbits for the majority (54%) of the farmers was income generation. Rabbit keepers depended on locally available feed resources with the majority (82.2%) feeding a mixture of forages and concentrate. The majority of respondents (71.1%) weaned the kits at 8 weeks of age while does were rebred at 9 weeks after kindling on 68.9% of the farms. Treatment of sick rabbits was done majorly by the farmers themselves (60.5%). Constraints identified included high cost of feeds (88.9%), diseases (84.4%) and lack of markets for rabbits and rabbit products (71.1%). This study concluded that rabbit farming in Kiambu County is practiced on small scale characterized by limited resource allocation and small flock sizes which may not support a sustainable off-take rate to meet the intended purpose of income generation. 

Key words: Rabbits, feed resources, health, Kenya.