Rabbit Farming in South Africa

© Judy Stuart
Developed in the 1920's in America, the California meat rabbit breed is recognised by its white body with black points - legs, nose and ears.
Rabbit farming in South Africa involves the breeding of rabbits for the meat industry as well as for the use of fur and wool. This is done at large commercial concerns on as well as on subsistence farming level. Southafrica.co.za is offering content written by a rabbit farming specialist in all 11 South Africa languages to empower subsistence farmers to improve their farming methods in a humane and sustainable manner.

Cleaning Equipment for Rabbit Farmers

Therefore it is important to have the right equipment to clean the rabbit area, inside or outside, the cages and the equipment used in the cages....more

Cleaning of Rabbit Cages

Doors to the cages must be big enough to be able to take the rabbit out easily and to ensure that cleaning can easily be achieved....more

Diseases in Rabbits

South Africa is one of the few countries in the world free of two major rabbit diseases that can kill large numbers of rabbits very quickly....more

Equipment - Rabbit Boxes

Most farmers choose to use wooden boxes, either placed in the cage or clipped onto the outside of the cage with a hole in the cage for the doe to get in and out of....more

Equipment Needed for Starting Rabbit Farming

This include feed containers, a water system, hay ricks, storage bins for feed, cleaning equipment, nest and transport cages, and a first aid kit....more

Glossary of Rabbit Breeding Terms

Here is a list of terms used in rabbit farming and an explanation for each of them....more

Herbs for Rabbits and Their Uses

Herbs are fed to rabbits either fresh or dry, but dried herbs can cause problems unless it’s mixed into food....more

History of the South African Rabbit industry

Rabbits were one of the few types of meat available during the war in Europe and returning servicemen saw a huge potential....more

Housing for Rabbits

Before buying rabbits it is important to decide on their housing – the type of cage, size and position....more

How to Cook Rabbit Meat

It is all but fat-free, with the only fat on the carcass being around the kidneys and thin strips on the shoulders....more

How to Handle a Rabbit

When approaching your rabbitry, talk to the rabbits to let them know that you are coming and that you are not a predator....more

Introduction to Sustainable Rabbit Farming

Before a family or community can look at rabbits as a food resource, a number of things need to be in place. Vegetable garden is required. It is essential that a vegetable garden...more

Medium-sized Dual-purpose Breeds

The pelt from a mature rabbit gives the highest possible quality; therefore the highest price when either sold or used to produce a quality product for sale....more

Mentoring of New Rabbit Farmers

It is very important for new rabbit farmers to have guidance on how to handle any problems that might occur and to have an understanding of the needs of the rabbit before the start....more

Rabbit Baby Management

Rabbit baby management is vital if your business is going to succeed, every baby lost is a youngster that will never be seen as profit....more

Rabbit Baby Management: Weaning

In high-level commercial rabbitries, all babies are weaned at four weeks because their mothers will have been re-mated within a couple of days of their birth....more

Rabbit Breeding

The closer you stock is to the breed standards for that breed, the better chance you will have to produce a top quality product....more

Rabbit Breeding: Bucks and Does

The bucks in your herd are the most valuable animals you have and should be of the highest possible quality....more

Rabbit Cages

Most rabbit cages are made from galvanised chicken wire as wire cages are easy to clean but these cages it must be placed either in a building or under a roof structure....more

Rabbit Farming for Food Security

Rabbits could be the answer to the food security needs of Africa’s rural and suburban areas where a large sector of unemployed and underfed people live....more

Rabbit Feeding

Whatever style of feeding your rabbits you decide to follow, it is important that it is consistent. Feed at the same time every day, but it is better to feed twice per day than once....more

Rabbit Skinning and Eviscerating

After slaughtering, the rabbit carcass should be hung head down so that the stomach, just below the genitals, is at eye level....more

Record Keeping in Rabbit Farming

Even for a rabbit business that has only four or five does (female rabbit), a basic system of record keeping is essential....more

Slaughter of Rabbits And The Law

Before starting to breed rabbits commercially (and not just for home consumption) it is important to establish a market for your product....more

Types of Meat Rabbits

Breeds are created for a specific purpose and the closer the rabbit is to its breed standard the better the end product will be so it is important to choose the right breed for its final purpose....more

Welfare of Rabbits

Rabbits for rabbit farming must be kept in cages to be successful breeders, for protection and to preserve the environment....more