Rabbits provide so many advantages that the farmer must decide exactly how he or she would like to benefit. Depending on the breed, rabbits can provide fur, wool, manure, leather and protein. And farmers are almost guaranteed extra income from their endeavors.

Oleksandr Kohurta Passes on the Gift of a trio of rabbits to
Maria Herasymchuk's twin girls, Vika and Lina.

Oleksandr Kohurta was one of the first project participants in the Khudiaky village, Ukraine, to recieve rabbits. He was not quite sure about the whole idea of rabbit breeding in the beginning. He thought he did not have enough experience in farming and that he would not be able to provide the proper conditions for the rabbits. However, after a month had passed, the rabbits had their first offspring. Oleksandr's three rabbits had already multiplied to 33. He likes rabbit breeding so much, he now considers developing a full-scale rabbit farm. In 2010, Oleksandr Passed on the Gift to Maria Herasymchuk, single mother to twin girls, Vika and Lina. "From now on we will have high-quality, nutritious meat and a regular income for the family. The children already like playing with the animals and helping take care of them. They are looking forward to new little rabbits. There couldn't be anything better than to see your child healthy and smiling," Maria said.


Fertilizer
Rabbit manure is an important source of organic matter and is rich in nitrogen. It is a valuable compost when coupled with worm production and can also be used in conjunction with fish farming, as rabbit manure increases algae production in ponds, improving fish yields.

Protein
The meat from a rabbit is highly nutritious and a rich source of protein, which is necessary in the growth and repair of muscles. And because rabbits reproduce so quickly, families can have a constant supply. Rabbit meat is also low in fat, sodium and cholesterol.

Quick Pass On
Because rabbits can have up to six litters a year–or 40 rabbits–it becomes easy for families to give up some rabbits for sale or to fulfill their requirement of Passing on the Gift.

This holiday season, give the gift of rabbits to your son's math tutor, Amanda, without whom Jason might never have learned his multiplication tables. Read more about Heifer's work with rabbits here.

Author

Brooke Edwards

Brooke Edwards is from Little Rock, Arkansas, and started working at Heifer International in 2009 as a writer. She has a master's in social work and a bachelor's degree in psychology. She is married, a mother of two, and a wannabe urban farmer, raising her own chickens and killing most of her vegetable crops.