SMALLHOLDER RABBIT PRODUCTION IN SOUTHWESTERN NIGERIA: CURRENT STATUS, EMERGING ISSUES AND WAYS FORWARD

Oseni, S.O and Ajayi, B.A SMALLHOLDER RABBIT PRODUCTION IN SOUTHWESTERN NIGERIA: CURRENT STATUS, EMERGING ISSUES AND WAYS FORWARD. In: 9th World Rabbit Congress, June 10-13, 2008, Verona, Italy.

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Abstract

The preponderant nature of smallholder rabbit production units and their contributions to food security are cardinal reasons to design a clientele-based approach to Research and Development (R&D) for such units. An assessment of critical factors affecting such units will help to design appropriate intervention measures to boost and enhance their contributions to food security. This study examined the current trends in small- and ultra-smallholder rabbit units in southwestern Nigeria with emphasis on current constraints, prospects, benefits and challenges. The methodology combined questionnaire surveys with on-farm monitoring and recording of data in relation to socio-economic characteristics of rabbit keepers, features and attributes of such units, reproductive management, annual doe productivity and economics and marketing outlets. Results showed that a combination of ultra-small- (units with at most two breeding does) and smallholder units (>two breeding does and less than 10) constitute 80% of all the rabbit farmers, while medium (>10 and less than or equal to 50 does) and large scale (>50 does) had frequencies of 15 and 5%, respectively. The rabbit farmers cut across all ages and professions, including retirees. The primary reason for keeping rabbits was for home consumption, with occasional sale of exceeding stocks, while the sale avenue involved direct sale of live animals to consumers or other farmers. Majority of the rabbit keepers (57%) indicated that all members of the family were involved in animal care and management. Breeds used were invariably crosses among imported commercial meat type rabbits (mainly New Zealand White, Californian and Chinchilla). There was no reliable and steady supply of breeding stocks anywhere. Instead, foundation and replacement stocks were mostly acquired from friends and other smallholder farms. With respect to animal housing, there were no prototypes for the backyard units since 50% of the rabbit farmers used assorted materials (wood, wire mesh, tires, etc) for the construction of rabbit cages and the designs varied widely. Cages were mostly (67%) single-tiered and placed outside the house. Mating of does follows a seasonal pattern, due to seasonal heat stress. About 70% of the farmers noted that doe receptivity and conception rates were markedly low during the dry season. Principal constraints facing the units include getting reliable and stable sources for foundation/replacement stocks, feeds, theft, access to information on rabbit management under smallholder units, etc. Detailed

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: S Agriculture > SF Animal culture
Divisions: Faculty of Medicine, Health and Life Sciences > School of Medicine
Depositing User: DR. BABABUNMI AJAYI
Date Deposited: 26 Feb 2016 12:10
Last Modified: 26 Feb 2016 12:10
URI: http://eprints.lmu.edu.ng/id/eprint/300

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