Kapampangan farmer develops rabbit tocino and sisig as value-added products (2023)

Kapampangan farmer develops rabbit tocino and sisig as value-added products (1)

Rabbit meat is not as mainstream as many rabbit farmers would want it to be. For rabbit raisers like JM Maminta, one challenge is how to get more people interested in consuming rabbit meat. To acquaint his neighbors in Minalin and Apalit of Pampanga with this meat, he has been raising rabbits on a small farm called the Bunny Box Farm.

JM produces rabbit meat by crossbreeding three breeds: the Palomino, New Zealand White, and California White. He keeps 170 does and 9 pure-breed bucks for breeding but cares for up to 500 rabbits, which he raises for their meat. JM does not sell rabbits to pet shops as he wants to normalize the consumption of rabbit meat. He would rather generate additional income by developing frozen meat products such as tocino, ready-to-eat sisig, siomai, and patties.

He does all his farming using just a 250-square-meter farm at the back of his house. The lot was supposed to be used as an extension of their house, but JM felt that they would not get any economical benefit from doing so. The farm is not only used for rabbits as JM also raises tilapia, chickens, ducks, and turkeys.

Kapampangan farmer develops rabbit tocino and sisig as value-added products (2)

Working as an auditor for ten years

JM graduated with a degree in information technology and worked as an internal auditor for a convenience store for ten years. But even before then, JM was already into farming because of the influence of his grandfather.

While he was working as an auditor, he started taking farming seriously albeit on a small scale. He raised pigs and chickens at the start. For JM, he wanted to start farming while he was still young.

“Karamihan ng mga pinoy ngayon after nila magtrabaho, sa retirement nila, doon sila mag-start mag-farm. So kami baliktad. Ngayon pa lang nag-fafarm na kami para pagdating ng , masmaeenjoy namin yung farming. Kasi pag 60 ka na, parang di mo na gaanong meenjoy yung farm, kasi sa farm batak dapat dito. Mainit, maputek, dapat nagbubuhat (Most Filipinos only get into farming after retirement. For me, I wanted to start farming while I am still young. I think I wouldn’t enjoy farming when I become 60 years old because farming is a labor-intensive job),” JM said.

In 2022, he resigned from his job to pursue a full-time career in farming and agribusiness. It was difficult for him to find a balance between work and business so he decided to prioritize the latter. “Di mo talaga mapapagrow yung business mo sa farming kapag hati yung oras mo, lalo na kapag kulang ka sa manpower (It’s difficult to grow a farming business if your time is divided, especially when there are not enough people working on a farm),” JM said.

Getting into rabbit farming

JM got into rabbit farming because he had to stop raising pigs when his neighbors complained about the smell coming from his farm. More than that, it was difficult to expand a piggery business because it required a large capital.

He studied what else he could care for so he started raising ducks, and turkeys. The reason he chose to prioritize rabbits is that he wanted to produce high-quality, healthy meat. Rabbit meat has lower fat content compared to pork and beef so it is often recommended as a meat alternative for those that are health-conscious.

He started rabbit farming in 2018. He studied how to care for and breed rabbits by learning about them online. The early challenges of running a rabbitry were the pests and diseases that rabbits could get, and knowing how to avoid or treat them. But a bigger challenge since then and until now is finding a market for rabbit meat.

Kapampangan farmer develops rabbit tocino and sisig as value-added products (3)

To get his neighbors interested, JM has opened a small food stall that offers dishes using rabbit meat. He sells sisig, Bicol express, and shanghai rolls, which are all made from rabbit meat. For JM, any dish that uses pork can also be prepared using rabbit meat.

In his five years of rabbit farming, he is glad that some people have changed their opinion about rabbit meat, especially with more farmers getting into rabbit production. He said that there was a major increase in rabbit farmers when hog farmers had to stop raising pigs during the height of the African Swine Fever (ASF) epidemic in 2019.

"Feeling ko nag-grow naman yung knowledge ng tao regarding sa karne ng konohe. Kahit dito sa amin, noon wala naman kumakain kahit yung mga kapitbahay namin. Ngayon sila na yung customer namin mismo pag kailangan ng patty, tocino, pang-ulam (I think the knowledge of people about rabbit meat has grown. People from our barangay didn't use to eat rabbit meat. But they are now our customers and they buy from us when they need patties, tocinos, and other dishes)," JM said.

"Wala naman kasi siya ibang lasa. Halos kapareho lang ng manok kaya wala kami bad feedback naririnig. Ang challenge lang dito is patikimin ang tao ng rabbit. Pag natikman na nila, hahanap-hanapin nila talaga (Rabbit meat doesn't have any unusual taste. It tastes like chicken, so we don't hear any negative feedback. The real challenge is to get people to try rabbit meat. Once they try it, they will surely crave for it)," JM added.

Developing frozen meat products

JM also offers frozen rabbit meat products. Tocino was the first product they experimented with as it was his wife’s favorite dish. They didn't know any chef who could help them develop their product so they studied how to make rabbit tocino on their own by just learning from online resources.

Kapampangan farmer develops rabbit tocino and sisig as value-added products (4)

After they perfected the rabbit tocino, they developed more products like siomai, patties, and sisig. Their ready-to-eat rabbit sisig is their best-selling product as it is a popular side dish while drinking alcohol.

As for their tocino, JM said it is hard to compete in the market as there are big meat-producing companies in Pampanga. Most of their customers are just locals from their barangay or town, which JM prefers anyway. He said that he wants his neighbors and fellow residents from Minalin and Apalit to recognize rabbit meat as a meat option before he expands his business to other towns.

"Hanggat hindi 60% ng barangay ko ay di kumakain ng rabbit meat ay di muna ako pwede mag-scale up sa masmalaki. Kumbaga barangay muna. Pag nakuha ko yung barangay, doon na ako sa city. Pag nakuha ko yung city, then sa province (As long as 60% of people in my barangay does not eat rabbit meat, I will not scale up my business. I want to focus on my barangay first, and then the city before expanding province-wide), "JM said.

Kapampangan farmer develops rabbit tocino and sisig as value-added products (5)

JM does not derive big profits from rabbit farming compared to other income-generating streams on his farm. The reason is that he reinvests the profits into the rabbitry itself. He has big plans for his rabbit business like opening a restaurant or food truck so he could earn more in the future.

For now, JM is satisfied that caring for rabbits and other animals on his farm allows him to save money as his family no longer has to buy meat from the market. Not only that, farming their own food reassures him that the food he provides his family is safe and healthy.

Photo courtesy bg JM Maminta.

For inquiries, contact JM Maminta at the Facebook page of Bunny Box Farm.

Read more about farming and gardening at agriculture.com.ph


What are the products of rabbit farming? ›

Rabbits are used for meat, wool (fur), and skins, as pets, and even as laboratory animals for research.

Is rabbit farming for meat purposes in the Philippines? ›

Rabbit farming is a popular and profitable industry in the Philippines. The country has a long history of raising rabbits for their meat, and fur. Today, rabbit farming is still one of the most common agricultural activities in the Philippines.

What is the importance of rabbit for meat and fur production? ›

Rabbits are basically reared for meat, fur and wool. They have great potential to convert the absolute feed into quality products for human beings. Advantages of rabbit for farming are: Rabbits can be fed with high forage, low grain diet that is largely non-competitive with human food.

Is it legal to eat rabbit meat? ›

When not produced under Food Safety and Inspection Service's voluntary inspection, rabbit is subject to Food and Drug Administration (FDA) inspection. The FDA has jurisdiction over the shipment of rabbit meat in interstate commerce. Some states permit the sale of rabbit only if it is inspected under their state laws.

What are rabbits developed for meat production called? ›

Referred to as “fryers,” these baby rabbits weigh only 1.5 – 3.5 pounds. A small percentage are slaughtered at 8 months old or 4 pounds; they are known in the industry as “roasters.” The does commonly birth 5 to 8 litters per year.

Is rabbit meat illegal in Philippines? ›

While the Animal Welfare Act (Republic Act 8485, as amended by RA 10631) allows for the humane slaughter of certain animals used for food, rabbits are not considered a regular source of meat for consumption in the Philippines and are classified- at best – “exotic meat”.

Is cooking a rabbit illegal in the Philippines? ›

And as per Philippine law, rabbits are categorized as livestock and poultry just like pork, chicken, and beef. There are also certain breeds of rabbits that can be used as meat like Californian, New Zealand, Palomino, Chinchilla unlike the ones as pets which are the fancy rabbits.

What are the benefits of rabbit meat in the Philippines? ›

It is very low in cholesterol and the meat fibers are highly digestible,” says DA agriculturist Aranas. Rabbit meat is also eyed as an alternative protein for Filipinos due to the prevalence of diseases endangering traditional protein sources such as African Swine Fever and Avian Influenza.

What are the benefits of the rabbit to the farmers? ›

Simply put: Rabbits produce a lot of manure. One doe and her offspring can produce an entire ton of manure in a single year—and beyond adding nutrients for your own farm, this could be marketed and sold as a value-added product. Rabbits are also a great source of nutrition.

What is the conclusion of rabbit farming? ›

It also discusses the rabbit rearing, integration, its population and production and its role in poverty alleviation. Hence, it is concluded that the developing rabbit farming is the more practical solution to overcome the food crisis in future and to make a country nutritious.

What are three advantages of rabbit production? ›

They produce great compost. Have rapid growth rate. They are cheap to farm. They eat a wide variety of plants.

Is rabbit meat healthy for humans? ›

Rabbit and hare meat are excellent sources of protein. Protein also keeps us healthy by building and repairing our muscles, skin and blood. Rabbit and hare meat are excellent sources of iron. Iron helps make healthy blood that flows through our bodies, giving us energy to be active and to grow strong.

Why do people not eat rabbit meat? ›

Rabbit meat is difficult to produce rapidly as rabbits are prone to disease. Their immune systems are not as strong as other captive-bred animals used for meat. The rabbits therefore need lots of antibiotics to protect them from disease. This can cause a rise in antibiotic resistance.

Why is rabbit meat not popular in the US? ›

Rabbits have never had a purpose as farm animals, meaning they did not have the same opportunity to become a popular meat in American households. Since rabbits never became a popular meat from the agricultural industry, a stigma was attached to the meat itself.

Who eats rabbit meat? ›

The Italians and French eat rabbit the way Americans eat chicken, which is to say, quite often. Rabbit meat is tender, lean, delicious and as versatile as chicken, to which it can also be compared in taste.

What country consumes the most rabbit meat? ›

The country with the largest volume of rabbit meat consumption was China (925K tonnes), comprising approximately 62% of the total consumption. Moreover, rabbit meat consumption in China exceeded the figures recorded by the world's second-largest consumer, Democratic People's Republic of Korea (154K tonnes), sixfold.

How much do rabbit farmers make? ›

Rabbit Breeders make the most in San Francisco, CA at $45,726, averaging total compensation 20% greater than the US average.

What rabbit is best for meat? ›

Let's begin the New Zealand rabbits. This breed is available in many colors and are the most popular meat rabbit breed to raise. The NZ rabbit weighs between 9 to 12 pounds and matures quickly. Butchering time for New Zealand rabbits is as early as 8 weeks of age.

What rabbit produces the most meat? ›

New Zealand and Californian

The most popular meat rabbit breed is the New Zealand White. These rabbits easily produce multiple litters per year. They reach 9-12 pounds in weight.

What kind of meat is rabbit? ›

Like other lean meat, poultry, and fish, rabbit meat is a good source of high quality protein. The meat is fine grained and mild flavored. Rabbits sold in the United States for food are commonly crosses between New Zealand and Belgian varieties, imported Chinese rabbits, or Scottish hares.

How much is rabbit meat cost in Philippines? ›

There's huge potential for rabbit meat, but farmers noted that the Philippines has a long way to go for it to be widely available and acceptable. Chucks Dizon, a rabbit farmer in Pampanga, told Rappler that rabbit is still quite pricey, retailing at around P400 per kilo, since there are very few rabbit farmers.

Who brought rabbit in the Philippines? ›

Rabbits were brought by the US Peace Corps and missionary groups to the Philippines after the Second World War, which aims to alleviate the food scarcity due to the devastations of the war [5]. However, the majority of Filipino households normally considered rabbits as pets [6].

Is eating dogs legal in Philippines? ›

In the 1990's IWCT worked tirelessly with police and government agencies to enforce some laws around this barbaric behaviour. Fortunately, the slaughter of dogs for human consumption is now illegal in the Philippines, under the 1998 Animal Welfare Act.

What countries use rabbit meat? ›

Although France, Italy and Spain have a long tradition in rabbit meat production and consumption, a decreasing trend can be detected in these Mediterranean countries.

Is it legal to cook dogs in the Philippines? ›

Dog meat trading is illegal in the country.

Can you eat rabbit meat everyday? ›

The term rabbit starvation originates from the fact that rabbit meat is very lean, with almost all of its caloric content from protein rather than fat, and therefore a food which, if consumed exclusively, would cause protein poisoning.

Why is rabbit meat so tasty? ›

The general consensus is that rabbit tastes similar to chicken. This is not entirely true, mostly because rabbit has a gamier and more intense flavour. The texture is different too, rabbit being more on the dry side. Some types of rabbit with great taste include Californian rabbit, silver fox, and Cinnamon rabbit.

Why is rabbit meat better than pork? ›

Despite the low amount of fat, rabbit is still rich in healthy fats like polyunsaturated fats and monounsaturated fats. Domesticated rabbit meat also has fewer calories than chicken and has less cholesterol than any other commonly consumed meats, like beef, pork, and chicken.

What are 5 uses for rabbits? ›

Rabbits can be produced for many different markets: for breeding stock, as medical and educational lab animals, for pet food, as pet and show animals, and for their wool and skin. While these may be pursued as a secondary market for rabbit farmers, the focus of this article is on meat production.

What is the main purpose of rabbits? ›

Today, rabbits are bred for food, research, fur, and skins, and as companion animals. Some products from rabbits, such as Angora wool, are becoming increasingly popular and have great commercial value.

Why were the rabbits so successful? ›

Besides their lack of natural predators on the continent, their success is aided by quick breeding: They can birth more than four litters a year with as many as five kits (baby rabbits) each.

What is the moral lesson from rabbit? ›

“Once upon a time a Tortoise and a Rabbit had an argument about who was faster. soon finished the race, emerging as the undisputed champ. The rabbit woke up and realized that he'd lost the race.” The moral of the story is that slow and steady wins the race.

What are some conclusions about rabbits? ›

Conclusion to Rabbits

Rabbits are mammals, which are warm blooded animals with backbones. They like to live in groups and dig tunnels under the ground to protect themselves. They are prey and have many predators that like to eat them. Rabbits are herbivores, which means they like to eat only plants.

What is economic importance of rabbit? ›

The rabbits are of great economic importance to the mankind because they are both useful and harmful. Their enemies are snakes (pythons), owl, hawks, buzzards (predatory birds) and mammals such as foxes, wolves, cats, etc. Man uses its for the manufacture of purses, gloves, caps, etc.

What are the important factors of rabbit production? ›

Humane handling of rabbits, availability of water and feed are components of animal welfare. Visitations and assistance from veterinarians from time to time is advisable and ensures the smooth running of rabbit production. Confinement in cages is discouraged, as rabbits need to freely move in rabbitries.

What are the three basic needs of a rabbit? ›

In general rabbits need appropriate housing, exercise, socialisation and a specific diet for good welfare. Some breeds of rabbits, particularly the longer haired rabbits, may require daily grooming. It is important that you understand all the requirements for caring for a rabbit before you buy one.

When should you not eat rabbit meat? ›

It's unsafe to eat wild rabbits or hares before the first hard frost of the year. If you eat a wild rabbit sooner, the meat will have parasites. The exact source is unknown, but this a commonly held belief that goes back several generations.

Is rabbit meat good for your heart? ›

Rabbit is a lean protein, which means that it's good for your heart and won't contribute to high cholesterol or heart disease.

Is rabbit meat halal in Islam? ›

The first opinion, it is haram to eat the flesh and drink the milk of their milk for they are considered najis. This is the opinion of Abu Ishaq al-Marwazi, al-Qaffal, Imam al-Ghazali and al-Baghawi. Second opinion, it is makruh tanzih.

What is the healthiest type of meat? ›

Healthiest options: turkey and chicken

When it comes to the healthiest meats that pack the biggest nutritional punch, turkey and chicken should be at the top of your (grocery) list, says Schiff. Both are about equal in terms of nutrition, with turkey tending to be leaner than chicken.

What is the disease from eating too much rabbit? ›

A. Tularemia, also known as “rabbit fever,” is a disease caused by the bacterium Francisella tularensis.

Can diabetics eat rabbit meat? ›

Rabbit meat is good for those with diabetes

This is because rabbit meat contains low cholesterol and low-fat content. In addition to that, the presence of conjugated linoleic fatty acid, a molecule found in rabbit meat, may help prevent obesity as well as lessen the effects of diabetes.

Why Americans don't eat lamb? ›

During the First World War, an “eat no meat” campaign in 1917 discouraged eating sheep that were needed for wool. The mature sheep slaughtered during wartime meat shortages didn't help sheep's reputation — they had a strong flavor and a tough texture. Americans' aversion to lamb and mutton persisted.

Why is rabbit kosher? ›

You may eat any animal that has a split hoof divided in two and that chews the cud. However, of those that chew the cud or that have a split hoof completely divided you may not eat the camel, the rabbit or the coney. Although they chew the cud, they do not have a split hoof; they are ceremonially unclean for you.

What are rabbit farms used for? ›

Cuniculture is the agricultural practice of breeding and raising domestic rabbits as livestock for their meat, fur, or wool. Cuniculture is also employed by rabbit fanciers and hobbyists in the development and betterment of rabbit breeds and the exhibition of those efforts.

What are five rabbit by products? ›

The fur and skin are used to make expensive coats, shoes, sandals, headgear, and bags.

What products can be made from rabbit fur? ›

Rabbit hides can be crafted into hats, gloves, blankets and bedspreads, toys, pillow covers, baby booties, and more. It's an exceptionally warm garment lining for people who spend long periods in intense cold, such as hunters, farmers, ranchers, and construction workers.

How do rabbits make money? ›

Instead of the entire tanned hide, rabbit fur is sheared, or hand-plucked, from long-haired rabbits, such as the Angora Rabbit. If you want to make a profit from rabbits, but don't have the heart to use them for meat, you could start shearing your pet Angora rabbits and make a few bucks on this luxury fiber.

Are there rabbit farms for food? ›

Although most farmed rabbits are raised for meat, these gentle creatures are used for other products too and are generally kept in the same environment. Contrary to popular belief that fur is just a by-product of meat, raising rabbits for their fur is an industry in and of itself because the two use different breeds.

Are rabbits worth farming? ›

One might ask, is it cool to do rabbit farming? The answer is yes. Rabbits are lovely farm animals to look after, they are very prolific and starting capital required is not very high and hence your investment can earn returns in just one year.

Are rabbits farmed for meat? ›

Rabbits bred for meat are generally housed in wire mesh cages that are suspended above the floor.

What is an example of rabbit food? ›

Hay: The staple of a rabbit's diet

You'll want to feed your rabbit grass hays. Good types of grass hay for bunnies are timothy, orchard grass, brome and oat hay. You can feed your bunnies either one type or a mixture of different grass hays.

What are four things for rabbit? ›

4 Essential Items For Your Rabbit
  • Chew Sticks. One item you may not yet own but your rabbit will be sure to love are rabbit chew sticks. ...
  • High-Quality Rabbit Litter. ...
  • Pet Mat. ...
  • Grooming Tools. ...
  • Conclusion.
Feb 12, 2022

How are rabbits used in product testing? ›

Rabbits are most often used in the production and research of antibodies. The animals are genetically altered in order to produce antibodies that that can be used in humans or to study human disease.

What material is made from rabbits? ›

Angora wool is a fluffy fibre that comes from the soft, thick coats of angora rabbits. It is considered a 'luxury' fibre, along with other wool such as cashmere, mohair and Alpaca.

What are 3 products that use rabbit wool? ›

Uses of Rabbit hair fibre –

Angora rabbit hair is used primarily for items such as sweaters , mittens , baby clothes , and millinery . It is also used in apparel such as sweaters and suitings and in knitting yarn .

What is rabbit fur material called? ›

Angora wool is a very fluffy and luxurious fabric that comes from Angora rabbits. Angora is considered a luxury fiber alongside mohair and cashmere, and it is a popular wool for spinners and knitters alike.

Why do farmers buy rabbits? ›

Simply put: Rabbits produce a lot of manure. One doe and her offspring can produce an entire ton of manure in a single year—and beyond adding nutrients for your own farm, this could be marketed and sold as a value-added product. Rabbits are also a great source of nutrition.

What are 5 benefits of owning a rabbit? ›

Top Ten Reasons to Bring a Bunny into Your Life
  1. Bunnies make wonderful companions.
  2. They may be small, but they have BIG personalities. ...
  3. Bunnies are entertaining. ...
  4. They want to play when you do. ...
  5. Compared to dogs or cats, they're fairly low-maintenance. ...
  6. They're great in apartments. ...
  7. Petting a bunny reduces stress. ...


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