The outbreak of Covid-19 and its aftermath brought many businesses to shut down, eventually rendering workers jobless. They had no option but to shut down or downsize rendering employees jobless.
Njenga Omondi was one of those caught up in this situation. This forced him to think outside the box and find an alternative means of survival by venturing into rabbit farming.
According to Omondi, a resident of Umoja estate in Nairobi, he had previously wanted to start rabit farming as a side hustle but because of his job, he did not have time to do it.
“I have always been aware of the potential of this business considering the high demand of rabbit meat but I didn’t have time to start it,” Omondi says, adding that Covid-19 came as a blessing in disguise.
With sufficient time at his disposal, Omondi, a father of two, embarked on his longtime dream of being a rabbit farmer in the city.
He says he didn’t find it hard to start the venture as the business requires little investment. With the services of a local carpenter who helped him make rabbit hutches, he was good to go.
With a small capital, he was able to set up a rabbit farm within his compound.
“I started with only two rabbits and I thank God I already had the space for this business,” Omondi tells City Biz.
What drew him to it
His main motivation to start rabbit farming as opposed to other forms of farming is beccause he wanted to be unique and exploit the potential in an area that many have ignored.
“Many people keep chickens or livestock but very few are interested in rabbits yet the returns come faster,” explains Njenga. From starting with only two rabbits, Omondi’s business has now expanded to more than 50 rabbits, and they continue giving birth. He attributes this to the impressive returns, occasioned by high demand for rabbit products including meat, hides, and urine.
Omondi says he has never looked back nor regretted the move to start rabbit farming. He adds he does not contemplate looking for employment as the business can sustain his family.
Among the benefits of rabbit rearing, according to Omondi, is that they don’t easily get sick, unlike other animals such as livestock or chicken.
Besides, as long as you maintain proper hygiene, you won’t have a problem with rabbits.
“The good thing about rabbits is that you just have to ensure they are well fed in the morning and evening, plus keeping them hydrated.” It is also important to ensure the mesh floor is clean and free of droppings and urine.
Omondi’s rabbit market comprises fellow farmers who are looking for breeders, and also customers who want rabbit meat. Some of his customers buy rabbits to keep as pets.
Omondi’s rabbits are fed with pellets of food supplements bought from local distributors.
The rest includes vegetables which he takes from mama mboga’s in his locality, which have to be well dried before feeding the rabbits.
Prices for rabbits vary depending on size and variety. The prices can range from Sh1,000 to Sh25,000.