A Complete Handbook on Back-Yard and Commercial Rabbit Production (Peace Corps, 1982, 92 p.)[edit | edit source]
Author's introduction[edit | edit source]
In the Bible, Genesis I: 26-30, we are told how God created man (Adam) in His own image, and told him to multiply his own kind. God also instructed man to have dominion over His other creations. Since then, man multiplied by the millions, causing a population explosion, while his ability to produce food for himself and those millions Lagged far behind.
Thus, today statisticians tell us that nearly half of the world's population goes hungry daily, and more than half of the world's total are undernourished. On top of this, there are millions being born each year to be added to the world's total. The future looks grim, but not hopeless.
There are solutions to population explosions:
1. Control population growth through Family Planning.
2. Increase food production and land areas under cultivation.
Food production (the concern of this handbook), involves not only the cultivating of rice and corn which are the basic staples, but also the production of food stuffs rich in protein to keep us healthy and resistant to disease. We all need a balanced died. Meat is one good source of protein, but the meat supply (i.e., cost) today is often beyond the reach of the common man.
As a remedial measure, we should find and raise an animal which is not only rich in protein, but also has the capacity to multiple fast, if not even faster than man. That animal is the RABBIT! Rabbits are easy to raise and can be produced by all strata of our society.
Under good management and using modern farming techniques, one mother rabbit can give birth to 20-35 bunnies or 45 kilos of dressed meat a year. In addition, we can salvage the fur, paws, and tails from witch novelty items can be made. The manure is another peso earner. Rabbit manure is far superior to other manure as proven by those who experimented with the performance of various kinds of manure on plants and trees. Rabbit manure could be utilized to even make methane gas. Labor-wise, it takes only 10 minutes daily or 15 hours a years to care for two does and their young. There definitely is an excellent prospect in rabbit raising.
Importation of new breeds of rabbits from the U.S.A. was undertaken by some rabbit raisers such as Dr. Lasaro P. Ricafort of Baguio City and Mr. Dick Fagan of Rural Life Center, Dasmariï¿½as, Cavite, to improve the "native" rabbit. Since this importation, upgrading of rabbits had taken place in many areas, so today there are quality breeding stocks available.
For some time now, urban and rural people have been interested in rabbit raising. However, their main problem was and still is how to obtain the technical know-how of rabbit raising and marketing, since rabbit raising in the Philippines is quite new to many people.
Previous books and pamphlets written on rabbit production were either written stateside or by people who were not rabbit raisers themselves, so their ideas were quite academic and beyond ordinary farmers. This handbook on rabbit raising, on the other hand, tries to adopt stateside information to local situations and attempts to share the many experiences and knowledge gained by rabbit raisers in the Philippines. We have kept no secret success factor to ourselves! Care has also been taken to include the many suggestions and experiences gathered from participants in several seminars on rabbit raising. Furthermore, conflicting opinions have been reconciled to clear away many doubts and/or questions to those "doubting Thomases."
Rev. Juan B. Sicwaten
Farmer - Priest
Km. 3, Asin Rd.