Swine and Rabbit Research Programme
In recent years there has been increased awareness of the advantages of rabbit meat production and other rabbit products in developing countries as a means to alleviate food shortages. This is largely attributable to the rabbit's high rate of reproduction; early maturity; rapid growth rate; high genetic selection potential; efficient feed and land space utilization; limited competition with humans for similar foods; and high-quality nutritious meat.
Rabbit farming has grown from raising a few rabbits for family consumption to commercial rabbits farming. Expansion is much simpler than other livestock alternatives because a large range of existing facilities can be modified for rabbits and land requirements are negligible. If you choose to market breeding stock, establishing a reputation for raising high-quality animals is critical. You can develop your reputation by maintaining accurate and detailed health records, pure breeds for breeder farms, exhibiting rabbits at shows, and advertising in rabbit journals and different social media plat forms.
In addition, there are no social taboos regarding the consumption of rabbit meat. On small family farms, rabbits should be strongly integrated into traditional farming practices. This entails the recycling of garden and/or kitchen refuse as rabbit feed and the conversion of rabbit manure into compost for enhancing farm soil. This integrative approach is an effective means by which animal feed and fertilizer costs can be minimized.
Indeed, many rabbit projects in developing countries have experienced technical problems or total failure attributable to inadequate education or lack of extension follow-up in methods of small-scale rabbit raising. This often stems from the absence of a rabbit project expert. The most important factors for maintaining a healthy rabbit herd are cleanliness, good ventilation, close observation, and protection from sun and rain. Rabbits are susceptible to several diseases that can reduce production to unprofitable levels.
Available breeds of Rabbits in NAPRI
- New Zealand white breed (Hyla)
- California white breed (Hyla)
- Chinchilla breed
- Grey breed
- Dutch-belted breed
Available breeds of Pigs in NAPRI
- Large white breed
- Landrace breed
- Duroc breed
- Hampshire breed
- Pietrain breed
Conducting applied researches institutionally on local and foreign breeds for the country on all aspects of rabbit and swine production breeding and genetics, disease control, economics, housing systems, management, nutrition and reproduction before sound, general or specific recommendations are made. In terms of age and weight at marketing, NAPRI is targeting possible few months required to produce good body weight, essentially twice the weight of the extensive production system with lesser time required and under modern intensive production system to double the performance with lesser time to grow. In the case of economic production cost factor would be justified by the average to high productivity resulting from substantially low capital inputs that can be demonstrated in household subsistence rabbit/swine operations. With the production of heavy weaners with higher live weight relatively to low feed costs.
To use divergent rabbit and swine genetic resources (breeds/strains) in developing breeds/strains that are highly adapted to our environment with high performance in body weight, high litter size, for the country, Nigeria and the provision of varying levels of disease control, development of other rabbit/swine products, feeding and management strategies. However, for the purposes of general illustration, reference and farm stocking, the institute keeps pure and cross breeds.