Rebuild the Himalayan Rabbit Farm
Thank you so much for the information in your comment. We definitely had our hands full working through all the deficiencies that are in Nepal, which is consistently rated as one of the poorest countries in the world. The ability of this entrepreneur to build even this simple farm, make it work in the harsh environments, employ the rural villagers, and feed those of his country is simply amazing. Is it perfect? Of course not. When we went there in March we reached out to a few rabbit breeders associations to learn best practices and you have highlighted several of them in your post. The owner was just about to receive a grant from the Nepalese government to upgrade the whole farm, similar to what you outline. Those types of grants are now in question due to the earthquake. If the people of Nepal need this type of help, it's up to us in the developed world to do it, and the time is now. Again, thank you for your suggestions, they are in line with our objectives. If you have more specific questions, I'll be happy to provide what answers I can.
Dear Randy and every supportive friends, Thanks a lot for realizing our situation and supporting us in our plan to rebuild The Himalayan Rabbit Farm, hit by the devastating earthquake of 25th May, 2015. Due to the earthquake the rabbit farm is not in a condition to be operated. The Himalayan Rabbit Farm is a social enterprise with its specialization in producing rabbit breeds, providing technical training and guidance to the small-holder farmers especially in the Himalayan range of Nepal. We have provided trainings and promoted rabbit farming in more than 100 small families and provided the market assurance of their products. Since we are not only an independent business that is victimized by the earthquake, various farmers are likely to be affected due to the destruction of The Himalayan Rabbit Farm, serving the local farmers. Therefore, making ourselves stronger from the lessons learnt from the earthquake, we are now more committed to work with a greater motivation to contribute to the development of this sector. The fund raised will be utilized in establishing an integrated farm with rabbit breeding facility cum training center. The farm will comprise of a breeding facility, fodder production area, slaughterhouse and a residential facility for trainees. The farmers will be provided with rabbit breed, fodder seeds/trees and in hand practical training from the center which will help them to initiate Small Family Farms at different potential areas of Nepal. The farmers will be encouraged to start 3 doe+1buck farm at their household which will assure the production of at least 30*3=90 fryers in a year, which will provide them the protein supplement for their family, consuming 48 rabbits/year and selling the surplus 42 rabbits to generate income. This model will be promoted to hundreds of farmers. We will also provide the market assurance to sell rabbits. The income generated from the enterprise will be utilized for the development of the market and expansion of rabbit farming in more areas. Thus it will create opportunity to generate income to educate and provide better foods for their children in rural Nepal. Further, we are also thinking of a modality to acknowledge your ownership (suggestions are invited at firstname.lastname@example.org and please visit www.facebook.com/thrfrc, website is under maintenance) in the farm for your financial contribution and multiplication of its impact to contribute to the broader communities and expanding its market nationally and internationally. By contributing to the project, you have become a potential member for its development. We are very happy to see your interests and collaborations to support this cause to build a prosperous society. Thanking You Best Regards, Ujjwal Chapagain Managing Director The Himalayan Rabbit Farm Balambu-5, Kathmandu 977-9851096182
Dear Friends, I would like to acknowledge your efforts to support us in rebuilding our farm. With the support you provided and the funds collected, we have built a prototype of rabbit cage that constitutes 12 individual cages, 12 feeders for feeding grass attached into it and the fiber glass which has been designed and kept beneath the cage to collect faeces and urine in the two storeyed cage.. The quality of the cages met our expectation but the cost is higher. Therefore, we are thinking to observe its performance for at least a week and through the experience and consultation with an engineer and the cage fabricator, we will order for other cages. The approximate cost of construction is $ 1200 for 12 individual cages. We were also supported from World Rabbit Science Association. To replace our existing cages which is not performing well, we will need around $ 10,000 with the current rate of the cage as we need extra 100 cage. I would also request you to see if there are any possible sources to raise fund for the reconstruction. Your support will help us to rebuild our farm to smoothen our operations to promote rabbit farming in many areas of Nepal, involving various small farmers. We will try our best to reduce the cost without compromising the quality. I have attached the pictures of the cages here with this message. Best Regards, Ujjwal
Dear all, Thanks a lot for understanding the current situation and putting on your contributions to rebuild The Himalayan Rabbit Farm in this hard time. Because of the supports of you al, we have been able to be safe from the second great earthquake of 7.1 magnitude. We have been encouraged by your contributions and supportive words. With the amount you are supporting, we will construct a rabbit farm which is earthquake resistant and considering different aspects on production- natural process as far as possible and in a cost effective way. @ Johanna: Thanks for your message, I would be happy if you send the information materials at email@example.com. Your contributions will help to rebuild the farm which is providing assistance to many farmers to help meet nutrition deficiency and raise the income of the poor families in Nepal. You are helping hundreds of rabbit farmers with your small contributions. Thanking you a lot. Sincerely, Ujjwal Chapagain
Hello Ujjwal. Thanks for your reply. Is there an E-Mail address, to which I can send my photos and explanations? I'd be glad to contribute to your great project.
Hi Johanna, Thanks a lot for your comments. The Farm which you saw in the post was the one we constructed 3 years back and we already had plans to construct a farm with our own experiences. The plan is to build a farm at a different place in an open space. For that if you could share the type of the system (pictures and also some ideas), it would be an idea for us to go ahead as well. Since, we are the pioneer to start rabbit farming, we are also exploring for the ideas to build a more systematic rabbit farm which could be a resource centre for everyone interested to learn about it. Regarding the current system we have, we produce fodder in our own farm and the rabbits are kept under the cage of the size as recommended by animal welfare. We are interested to adopt that if it could be setup in open cages. We welcome your suggestions. Thanking you, Ujjwal
Hi. I basically like the idea to help the people help themselves. But I really DON'T like how the rabbits are kept in these tiny wire cages. It is both cruel to the rabbits and makes rabbit keeping much more work. I breed rabbits myself for some years and I keep them in stables of different sizes, but always in groups (males and females apart to have control over their reproduction), which is important for a highly social animal like the rabbit. More important to the himalayan people might be that I have MUCH less effort in daily routine. If I have for example 25 rabbits, like I do to this moment, if I had single animal cages, I would have to open 25 doors and put in 25 portions of food EVERY DAY. This takes a lot of time, which people could use for much better things. As my rabbits live the way they do, I only open 2 doors every day and all rabbits are fed in only a few minutes. Plus, if they have room to exercise and run around, they build up muscle, which in the end is the meat I eat. I also see a problem in providing the material needed to build these batteries of wire cages. I think, stone ist much better available up there, isn't it? If you rebuild the farm or build new houses for the people, just include simple stone pens for rabbits, covered with wire mesh to protect the rabbits from wild predators. These are easily built and maintained by locals with little tools and imported materials needed. If you have a 3x3m pen for - say - 10 rabbits, then the farmer just has to lift the mesh cover, put in food and water, and 10 rabbits are properly cared for. And instead of scraping the dirt from the cage and the ground underneath it every day, our farmer would simply open the pen cover once a month, rake the ground shortly (and carry the manure to his garden or field) and add some fresh bedding - done. Rabbits tend to use "toilet corners", which means the rest of the pen stays clean. Less cleaning effort for healthier rabbits that don't die from illnesses caused by bad keeping conditions. German rabbit breeders frequently report losses of young rabbits during raising, mostly due to digestive problems. I NEVER lost a young rabbit to such problems! What I want to say ist, that there is a much better way to breed and raise rabbits for meat (which I totally agree with!) than stuffing them into wire cages. Please just think about it. For the project the way it is presented in the video I can't donate. Thank you.