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close this bookRegenerative Agriculture Technologies for the Hill Farmers of Nepal: An Information Kit (IIRR, 1992, 210 p.)
close this folderLivestock and fodder
View the documentFeed Shortages and Seasonality Issues of Livestock in the Hills
View the documentSilage and Crop Residues as Fodder Supplement
View the documentFodder Sources from Trees and Shrubs of Nepal
View the documentExotic Fodder Species as Potential Alternatives to Ipil-Ipil
View the documentPropagation of Fodder Grasses
View the documentPropagation of Fodder Trees
View the documentGrasses and Fodder Trees for Terrace Risers
View the documentNB-21 Grass on Terrace Risers and Bunds
View the documentSalt Licks for Livestock
View the documentThe Large Leafed Mulberry: A Promising Nutritive Fodder for Scarcity Period
View the documentManagement of Breeding Pigs
View the documentUse of Sihundi for the Treatment of roundworms in Pigs
View the documentSmall-Scale Goat Raising
View the documentAngora Rabbit for Wool Production

Angora Rabbit for Wool Production

INTRODUCTION

Rabbits can provide meat, wool, manure, and pelt. Different breeds are preferred for meat and wool production. The Angora breed is very popular for wool production.

Angora rabbit rearing is an income generating activity and is reliable and simple to implement. Given the different climatic conditions and microclimatic regions of Nepal, rearing Angora rabbits is particularly relevant. For Angora rabbits to be comfortable, temperatures between 15° to 20°C are required; but a range of 5° to 32° can be tolerated with 60 - 80% humidity. Therefore, Angora rabbit raising is a well suited program for income generation in the midhills of Nepal. The Angora rabbit is white or grey in color. An adult can weigh 34 kg and can live 6-8 years.


Rabbits

INCOME FROM ANGORA RABBITS: A pair of Angora rabbits can produce up to about 1 kg of wool and about 20-30 young rabbits/year. The market price of wool is about Rs. 1200/kg. Rabbits can be sold for Rs. 1,000 each. Thus, one doe can produce a gross annual income of up to Rs. 30,000. Annual feed costs for a pair of rabbits and their offspring is about Rs 600. Housing construction costs will be about Rs 1,000. One person can easily take care of the rabbits.

WOOL PRODUCTION/SHEARING/USE: Wool shearing can be done four times a year. Ordinary scissors can be used but care must be taken not to pull the hair while shearing or the skin may be damaged. Also, the wool can be removed by using an ordinary comb. The preferred wool length is 6-7 cm so that it it is easy to spin. Appropriate spinning and weaving technology already exists in Nepal; whorls used for carpet wool spinning and local handlooms can be used for spinning and weaving Angora wool.

If the wool to be spun is very fine, 250 gm is enough to make a shawl which can be sold for at least Rs. 2,000 in the local market. Sweaters, scarves, gloves and caps can also be made. Angora rabbit wool can also be mixed with sheep wool, acrylic and cotton.


Low-cost housing - Multi-storied housing

HOUSING: Locally available materials can be used for housing construction. Proper ventilation should be ensured. The height of the shed should be about 3 ft from the ground. Proper housing should protect the rabbits from common predators (e.g. rats, mongoose, martens, dog, etc.). The male and female should be maintained in separate pens. A pen for a female should be 2.5' length, 2' breadth and 1.5' height. Pen floors should be made from wire mesh. If wire mesh is not available, wooden or bamboo slats set 0.5" apart allow droppings to fall down, thus keeping the cage clean.

A separate box of 15" × 10" × 10" should be placed inside the pen of the female during birth time. A tray can be placed below the pen for collecting manure.

When weather conditions are extreme, rabbits should be raised inside. If kept outdoors, the temperatures may exceed 32°C during the day and may fall below 5°C at night, both are not tolerated by Angora rabbits.

FEED: One or two rabbits can be raised using kitchen wastes and supplemental grasses. But, if more rabbits are raised, feed concentrates must be fed. About 450 gm of supplemental grasses per day should be fed. Grasses such as poll lomia and ipil-ipil leaves are very good for rabbits. Clean water should be provided daily. Rabbit feed can be produced using locally available materials.

a. Formula 1: 4 Pathi rice bran, 1 Pathi corn flour, 1 Pathi oil cake and 1/2 mana salt. One hundred gm of this concentrate is sufficient for one rabbit per day.

b. Formula 2: 2 Pathi soyabean cake, 2 Pathi maize, 1 Pathi rice bran, 1/2 mana salt and bonemeal and vitamin supplement (if available). (Gram can be substituted for soyabean cake and wheat can be substituted for ricebran). This formula should be given on the basis of age: 4-6 weeks (40 gm/day); 1.5 - 3 months (60 gm/day); 3 - 6 months (80 gm/day); and over 6 months (120 gm/day).

HEALTH CONCERNS: Although relatively hardy, rabbits are prone to some health problems; especially coccidiosis, ear mites and worms.

Disease

Symptoms

Treatment

1. Coccidiosis

Green or grey diarrhoea sometimes mixed with blood

Maintain dry pens.
Four gm of Codrinal/liter of drinking water.
Treatment of 5 days.

2. Ear mite

Inside ear is damaged by fungal growth

Ten ml of Ectodex per litre of water. Wash ears daily.

3. Worms

Diarrhoea, loss of appetite, weight loss

Drenching every 6 months is advised

MATING TIME: The best time for mating is when the female is 2 kg in body weight and about six months old. At mating time, the female should be brought to the pen of the male. The gestation period is about one month. One adult female gives birth four times a year and produces 5-6 rabbits/birth. There should be a gap of at least 40 days from the first birth to the next mating.

RABBIT RESOURCE CENTRES IN NEPAL:

  1. Himalayan Angora Rabbit Industries, Nagarkot, Mr. Uttam Puri 472-994 Baneshwor.
  2. Pakhribas Agricultural Centre, Dhankuta. C/o BTCO, Post Box 106 Kathmandu.
  3. Thapa Bee Concern, Chovar, Kathmandu