Characterization of Rabbit production systems in Kenya Printer-friendly version
Serem, Jared Kibiwott
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To characterize rabbit production systems, a study was conducted in five counties within four regions of Kenya with significant rabbit farming. These included: Rift valley (Nakuru county),Central (Kiambu and Nyeri counties), Eastern (Meru county) and Coast (Taita Taveta county).Data were obtained through a field survey, questionnaires and personal observations betweenAugust and September 2011. This study covered the key areas of rabbit production such as:General farm details, number of rabbits, breeds and breeding practices, housing, feeds andfeeding practices, diseases and disease control, constraints to production and recommendationsappertaining to the key production challenges. Results showed that rabbit production in Kenyawas mainly small scale (84.8%) principally for income generation and home consumption (89.6%). The rabbit breeds kept included: New Zealand White (29%), Crossbreds (24%), Californian white (12%), Chinchilla (11.5%), Dutch (8%) Flemish giant (5.5%) and French lop(4%), with the main breeding stocks being selected from own stocks or from the neighboringfarms (90%). The majorities (75%) of the rabbits on farms were owned by either the household heads or by the spouses as opposed to children as it had been recorded in the past. However, at the coastal region (Taita Taveta county), rabbits were mainly kept by young people (54%) (sons) in contrast to other counties such as central (Nyeri) where only 1.7% of rabbit owners.