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Forty-four (44) commercial rabbit farmers from two urban centers (Abeokuta and Ijebu-Ode) in Ogun State were studied in this research. Majority (63.64%) are small-scale farmers with a stock size of between 20 and 50 animals. About 27% of the farmers have a stock size of 52-100 rabbits while only 9.09% have a stock size of over 100 animals. A significant correlation (r = 0.64, P < 0.05) between years of experience in rabbit farming and stock size was observed.
New Zealand white was the most widely kept breed reared by 36 farmers and representing 35.36% (827 rabbits) of the 2,339 rabbits kept by all the farmers surveyed. The breed was also rated first in terms of productivity and mothering ability having an average litter size of 8 at birth with a weaners per doe per year of 21.
The farmers enumerated demonstrated some good level of skill in rabbit reproduction management. However, early remating after parturition was not practiced by any of the farmers. 45.5% of the farmers keep records. Significant relationships (X2 = 14.67, P < 0.05) between stock size and record keeping, educational status of the farmer and record keeping (X2 = 9.07, P < 0.05) were observed.
Reproductive problems encountered by the farmers include failure of conception, abortion, stillbirth and pseudo-pregnancy.
Farmers complained of inadequate veterinary services, inadequate information on rabbit management and poor market for products.
African Journal of Livestock Extension Vol. 4 2005: pp. 78-83