18 July 2012

What's up with the rabbits?

Rabbits are multiplying, as they are known to do. Due to their novelty in Uganda, the rabbit barn attracts a lot of visitors to the school. A typical week includes several dozen farmers and others interested in rabbits, showing up for training, tours and to ask their questions. I continue to have no problems selling the rabbits, either as breeding stock for new rabbit projects or as rabbit meat to restaurants and supermarkets.
Several times a year, I offer half day training seminars for those interesting in rearing rabbits, either commercially or as a small project. I also teach classes on genetic selection for meat characteristics, how to butcher rabbits and will add several other specialized classes in the coming months. These are always well attended classes and provide a lot of recognition for ARCC.
I also field several dozen emails a week from farmers and researchers from all over the world asking for more information. It keeps my nerdy scientific brain happy to pass along 2 decades worth of rabbit rearing experience.
Next steps for the rabbits are to expand from the 75 rabbits cages currently in the rabbit barn to a 500-600 cage rabbit barn. This will require the construction of a much larger barn, utilizing naturally ventilation and lighting principles, importing rabbit cages and other supplies, and the possibility of importing another breed of meat rabbit to try out in Uganda.
Alongside the commercial barn, I want to experiment with several different ways of rearing rabbits for those who aren't interested in large scale production. I want to have an area where rabbits are free range, raised in holes dug in the ground (thanks to Egypt rabbit farmers for this idea) and several cages constructed from locally available materials.
The new rabbit barn will also allow more space and better facilitation of rabbit training for ARCC students and others.
And now some cute rabbit photos:

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