Heifer International revises popular rabbit project book

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (May 17, 2010) – Heifer International, long a source for technical publications relating to its mission to end hunger and poverty and care for the Earth has released a revised version of its popular “Developing Sustainable Rabbit Projects” book.

Dr. S.D. Lukefahr, Regents Professor in the Department of Animal and Wildlife Sciences at Texas A&M University, Kingsville, and the author of the book, donated time and resources to revise the original book, which is intended to be a valuable resource for small-scale farmers and trainers around the world. The book was first published in 1992,

The book was written as a series of lesson plans for professionals (e.g., extension workers, missionaries, Peace Corps volunteers, and social workers) who train resource-poor people, especially in the lesser developed countries, on how to start small-scale, backyard rabbit operations that are supported by on-farm resources to produce inexpensive meat, improve small farms, and increase family income.

The revised edition includes information for trainers conducting rabbit courses, with the aim of developing sustainable meat projects to help families improve nutrition and income. Ten modules cover topics, including, production systems and economics, genetics and selection, housing and equipment, feeds and feeding, reproduction, disease control and marketing rabbits.

Each module includes a detailed learning guide which provides learning objectives, terms to know, recommended demonstrations, sample visual aids, and training group discussions. Modules address all aspects and stages of developing sustainable rabbit projects.

Stories from rabbit ventures around the world introduce each module and the revision includes an updated health section, which contains a “disease and diagnosis and treatment” guide which provides prevention and treatment options. A glossary of terms to know is provided, as well as a listing of General References and Internet resources of interest to rabbit producers.

In recent years, there has been rising global awareness on the virtues of rabbit meat production in developing countries as an alternative means of alleviating world food shortages. This basic understanding is largely attributable to the rabbit's high rate of reproduction and early maturity, rapid growth rate, high genetic selection potential, efficient feed and land space utilization, limited competition with humans for similar foods and high quality nutritious meat

This 168-page book is available in English through www.heifer.org. For more information contact, Teresa Mason at 501-907-2648.

About Dr. S.D. Lukefahr From 1983 to 1985, Dr. Lukefahr worked with Heifer International in Cameroon developing grassroots level meat rabbit programs for rural farmers in the northwest province. Lukefahr is the co-author of the popular book, Rabbit Production, and has published more than 150 articles and in national and international journals. Dr. Lukefahr received the coveted International Animal Agriculture Bouffalt Award from the American Society of Animal Science in 1997. From 2004-2008, he served as President of the World Rabbit Science Association, and presently holds the WRSA office of General Secretary for Developing Countries.

About Heifer International Heifer’s mission is to end hunger and poverty while caring for the Earth. Since 1944, Heifer International has provided livestock and environmentally sound agricultural training to improve the lives of those who struggle daily for reliable sources of food and income. Heifer is currently working in 50 countries, including the United States, to help families and communities become more self-reliant.

For more information, visit www.heifer.org or call 1-800-696-1918.