Choosing the best rabbit breeds for your farm

There are several rabbit breeds you might consider. The breed you choose will depend on its use. Rabbits are used for their wool, fur, and meat. They are also used as testing specimens by laboratories and very popular as pet.

Rabbits are generally classified according to size, weight and type of pelt. Small rabbits weigh about 1-2 Kg at maturity, medium breeds 4 -5 kg, and large breeds 6 - 7 pounds. Giant breeds, while sometimes used for meat, have a feed/meat conversion ratio which is less profitable than medium breeds. Small breeds are used primarily for pets, shows and hobbyists. The medium breeds are considered dual purpose and are commonly used for meat and research laboratories. The commercial rabbit processing plants today desire a white animal.

The two most popular rabbit breeds in Kenya are the New Zealand and Californian. These rabbit breeds are popular because they combine white fur usually preferred by processors and good growth characteristics. New Zealand rabbits are slightly larger than the Californian, 4 -6 Kg versus 3 -4.5 Kg. The New Zealand rabbit has a completely white, red or black body, whereas the Californian is white with colored nose, ears and feet. The Chinchilla is a grey/brown breed that is also preferred for meat because of its larger mature wait.

Before starting a rabbit farm, it is important to determine the market for the rabbits. It can be restaurants, meat shops, individual purchasers, schools, laboratories, hospitals or breeders. The markets for rabbit fur tend to be unstable, therefore make sure there is sufficient demand before you embark on raising rabbits for fur.

The cost of production depends on the system employed for production. The major cost is usually that of feed. The rabbits will consume about 25 g of pellets per day which translates to 2.25 Kg in 90 days. At 90 days the dressed weight is between 1-1.2kg. Feed/pellets will cost Kshs. 51 and you will be able to sell the meat at between Ksh 200 and 300 per kilogram dressed wait. Obviously you should add other costs like labour, depreciation of the houses and other infrastructure; transport to market etc.

Breeding stock for a rabbit farm may be bought from local breeders. Medium-sized rabbits breed at 6 to 7 months of age and give birth after a month of gestation. Female rabbits can produce up to 50 live rabbits annually. They produce an average of 9 kits per birth.

Rabbits can be kept in any part of the country so long as they are housed properly and protected from predators. Visit the nearest Livestock Office to provide you with specific details on rabbit production like sources of breeding animals and other details.

New Zealand White

New Zealand White Rabbit



This breed of rabbit was initially bred for meat and fur. They grow fast and the large one could grow up to 4 to 5 Kg in weight. Other than their meat and fur they are often used for laboratory purposes and are also very popular as pet.

The fur is thick around the body, shorter near the ears and long, straight up ears. The eyes are normally bright and range from pink to red in color. One good thing about them is that they are resistant to most diseases.


Californian white

Californian white rabbit




The Californian rabbit breed is a meat rabbit bred from a cross between the New Zealand White and the Himalayan. Its round shaped body tends to be plump and fleshy meaning there’s a good ratio of meat to bone.  They weigh about 4 - 4.5 Kg and have a coat of dense white fur with black nose, ears, feet and tail. They have bright pink eyes.

The Chinchilla


The Chinchilla is a large sized rabbit breed developed as a multi-purpose animal for fur as well as meat. The coat is soft and beautiful. The rabbit breed attracts a lot of attention because of its large size and beautiful coat. People want to see it and most of all they want to touch it!

Adult Chinchilla rabbits weigh between 4 – 6 Kg. These stout rabbits have a slight curve to their medium length bodies, beginning at the nape of their necks and following through to the rump. They carry their ears straight and erect.



Carole Mugo
+4 # Carole Mugo 2012-05-04 11:19
Very good information. Is there a factory for rabbits in kenya?
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felix jomo
0 # felix jomo 2017-06-27 12:30
Yes.In Thika.already working
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eric orero akanga
0 # eric orero akanga 2012-05-23 17:11
i sell rabbits..contacts are0788842789 or 0750715608..
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0 # Wilkevo 2012-06-16 13:35
I sell rabbits in kitengela for between 1500 to me on 0707180572 or
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kibet birir
0 # kibet birir 2013-04-17 18:05
ai bwana you are too expensive can you negotiate the price
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0 # Alex 2012-08-14 15:56
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0 # Laeticia 2012-11-19 17:43
Does any body know where i can get minature/dwarf rabbits
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-1 # erick 2012-11-19 19:38
Laeticia i don have the dwarfs rabbits but i got newzealand breeds very good also just feel free to contact me on 078842789 or 0750715608
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+1 # SIGONA RABBITS FARM 2012-11-22 09:32
I encourage you to keep rabbits its easy yet lucrative.SIGONA RABBITS FARM have been in this business for a close to 10 years and have continued enjoying the benefits.
get in touch
PHONE;0722 12 49 13
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0 # Nichodips 2014-02-07 08:03
Where do you sell your products?
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0 # betty 2012-12-14 16:32
please give me your quote
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0 # ericko 2012-12-18 14:50
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Kampi ya moto, Nakuru
+1 # Kampi ya moto, Nakuru 2013-01-10 09:31
Hallo everyone! I'm looking for chinchillas to breed.
Anybody selling any fur rabbits or any giant breeds contact me on 0724 565 299
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0 # chimurenga 2013-03-02 15:39

I am looking for a partner to run a rabbitry venture in Zimbabwe's midlands province. My farming interests are in beef, poultry and dairy at a small scale .If interested get in touch on the following number, +263773399698 or email . I am a holder of Bsc hons Agriculture , Animal Science .
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George Shambare
0 # George Shambare 2015-03-04 15:21
Are you still doing rabbits and have you got a partner?
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-1 # Khim 2013-04-12 18:05
I am looking for Rabbit Feeders and drinkers. i would prefer the cage style. That is the wire/steel type that comes with a plastic water bottle with a metallic nozzle(to prevent the rabbits from chewing it off. where can i get one?
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Francis Odiwuor
+1 # Francis Odiwuor 2013-04-19 13:40
I would like to venture into Rabbit Rearing Business but have no clue of the demand situation. Can somebody advise on market (demand) in Kenya report or export opportunities?

Francis Odiwuor
+254 722236034
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Ombati Junior
+1 # Ombati Junior 2013-09-20 19:38
we have all breeds in our farm if your looking for an breeders just contact us through 0729524722. and if you know any market for rabbits meat please you can also contact us
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0 # job 2013-10-02 04:02
if you need to sell your rabbits,just contact the rabbit republic,you can google the rabbit republic kenya,they buys rabbit from any part of kenya,1 kilo at 400ksh but they buy live rabbits.
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0 # Wanai 2013-10-15 01:11
Quoting job:
if you need to sell your rabbits,just contact the rabbit republic,you can google the rabbit republic kenya,they buys rabbit from any part of kenya,1 kilo at 400ksh but they buy live rabbits.

Quest: Have you sold to the Rabbit Republic Kenya & if so what's your experience with them.... ama do you work for them??
=> Any other markets out there besides Rabbit Republic, anyone??

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erick orero
-1 # erick orero 2013-11-10 15:13
okay if you interested in joint rabbit farming in Nairobi Kenya just call 0729856760.. got some experience of rabbit farming.Will provide the rebbits mostly newzealands , if you got some space , lets talk and agree
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0 # Caleb 2014-04-15 11:25
Great info. Will use it for my ventures in the rural areas. I need someone to advice me on getting the market for more than 5,000 kgs of meat per month. Contact
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0 # Watutua 2014-07-10 10:22
I seriously want to connect with an entity offering rabbit contract farming. I have the space, passion and capital.
please share your terms and contacts.
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Watson Karungaru
0 # Watson Karungaru 2016-01-17 19:36
Rabbits for sale. Contact - 0775489988
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if i need a rabbit how much is it
0 # if i need a rabbit how much is it 2017-03-18 09:39
how much do see rabbit
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0 # 2017-05-03 16:46
You have noted very interesting points! ps nice website.
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felix jomo
0 # felix jomo 2017-06-27 12:32
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