Ashiyana Rabbit Farm started by Dr. M. Migdad at Tirur in Malappuram is one of the noted rabbit farms in India. There are thousands of rabbit farmers across the country that purchase rabbits from Ashiyana farms.
Apart from Kerala, Ashiyana has 12 other branches in Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Uttaranchal, Bihar, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.
Dr. Migdad and his wife Jancy provide the technical knowledge required in rabbit farming, purchase rabbits from farmers for fair price and also arrange for the service of veterinary doctor.
Dr. Migdad has received the Jeevanam Award of the state animal husbandry department, Award of the Indian Veterinary Council, Rabbit Ratna Award, 2011 Best Entrepreneur Award of the National Venture Capital Summit, Award for the Best Rabbit Farmer in 2008, Athma Award in 2009, Nehru Award, Sree Chithra Award and many other honours.
Migdad and his wife started Ashiyana rabbit farm at Tirur in Malappuram after ending their 15 years of NRI life. The farm has received the IFMA (International Facility Management Association) certification of United Kingdom.
The American Immigration Department had offered US citizenship for the company owner and family in L-1 A visa category in order to begin a branch of Ashiyana rabbit farm there. But Migdad declined the offer.
Ashiyana distributes hybrid rabbit varieties like New Zealand White, Soviet Chinchilla and Grey Giant. The rabbits are brought from the rabbit breeding centre in Haryana. Broiler rabbits also are available in the firm.
If one unit of farm is started, we can start sales within 5 months. Female rabbits will be ready for breeding since it is 6 months old and will continue breeding up to nine times a year. Up to 10 bunnies will be born in one birth.
The next breeding will start within 32 days of delivery. When the bunnies are 25 days old, they have to be separated from the mother and shifted to colony cages.
Bunnies should be fed with green grass and non-poisonous leaves twice a day and rabbit feed once a day. Cabbage, cauliflower and similar vegetables in which chemical pesticides are applied should not be given to feed the rabbits. They are very fond of eating the leaves of Indian coral tree (Murikku in Malayalam).
Around Rs 5000 per month can be earned from one unit of rabbit farm which involves 8 female rabbits and 2 male rabbits. Ashiyana farm provides the rabbits a welded cage with 10 cabins for Rs 13,500.
The feeding bowls, cage and premises have to be cleaned up frequently and the leftovers of food should be removed regularly. It has to be ensured that the cleaning agents do not stick on the body of rabbits. The rabbit urine will not have the foul odour, if they are provided with plenty of water.
Cages that has proper ventilation, low temperature and zero moisture can be built for rearing rabbits. The cage can be built using bamboo and areca nut with a length of 35 feet, width of 12 feet and a height of 2 feet from the ground level. The frame should be covered with a net and the roof can be made using coconut leaves.
The new entrepreneurs who arrive at Ashiyana rabbit farm will be provided with a book and CD. Once they learn it and come back, Dr. Migdad conducts a test containing 15 questions. They will be provided with the bunnies, only if they clear the test.
Dr. Migdad follows this method to ensure that people do not waste their money by starting this business without understanding the possible challenges. In his opinion, rabbit farming can be profitable for only those who are thorough with rabbit psychology.
If a rabbit lies down straight in a cage, it is sign that the rabbit is pregnant. When a rabbit lies bending itself into a roll, it is likely to be sick. These signs can be recognised only if fully understand the lifestyle of rabbits, said Dr. Migdad.