Swine and Rabbit Research Programme



The Swine Research Programme and Rabbit Research Unit of the Institute were merged together and named Swine and Rabbit Research Programme in 2015. The Programme has a Swine Research Outstation in Otukpo, Benue State. The activities of each Unit of the Programme are spelt out below.



The Swine Research Programme began in 1980 as Unit under the then Poultry and Swine Research Programme. It became a full-fledged Programme in 1981 and moved to the Swine Research Station, Otukpo, Benue State as an Outstation of the Institute. The Station was established on a-231 hectare of land which was acquired from the Benue State Government, Makurdi.


To conduct research into:

  • Improvement of genetic and reproductive capacity of both local and exotic breeds pigs
  • Specific and general nutritional requirements of pigs for optimum performance.
  • Evaluation of existing management systems of swine production
  • Economics of swine production, processing and marketing of products.
  • The utilization of agro-industrial by- products such as brewers’ dried grains, rice offal, wheat offal, palm kernel meal, cotton seed cake and BKT (brukutu waste) in practical pig diets. These have been used in formulating least cost rations and have replaced part of the major energy and protein sources.
  • The use of cassava flour, cassava peel meal and oil sludge as energy sources in swine diets results in substantial reduction in feed cost.
  • Improvement in the reproductive performance of pigs under traditional systems of management in sub-humid zone of Northern Nigeria.
  • The prediction of live weight of pigs from the three body weight measurement (chest girth, body length and loin girth) can be used as a quick tool for estimating the live weights of pigs under field conditions.
  • Feeding frequency: feeding of pigs twice daily improves performance as opposed to feeding once a day.
  • Distribution of improved breeds of pigs for upgrading the existing stock to State ADPs, Institutional and private farms.
  • Provision of market hogs to increase protein intake from animal source.
  • The study on establishment of pure breed foundation stock of pigs for nationwide distribution to farmers.
  • The study on oestrus behavior and fertility of exotic breed of pigs in Zaria following prostaglandin treatment.


  • The Programme collaborates with Universities, Colleges of Agriculture, State ADPs, small, medium and large scale pig farmers in all the pig producing States of Nigeria in research activities, manpower training and distribution of improved breeds of pigs.
  • The Programme encourages pig farmers to visit our farms at the University Farm, Ahmadu Bello University, Shika, Zaria and our Otukpo Outstation in Benue State for purchase of improved breeds of pigs and more information on swine management.



The Rabbit Research Unit has been in existence for over Twenty years, until 2015 when the Institute merged the Unit with the then Swine Research Programme now called Swine and Rabbit Research Programme.


To conduct research into:

  • Improvement of genetic and reproductive capacity of both local and exotic breeds rabbits.
  • Specific and general nutritional requirements of rabbits for optimum performance.
  • Evaluation of existing management systems of rabbit production.
  • Economics of rabbit production, processing and marketing of products.


  1. Heat stress and effect of vitamin C supplementation on productive, reproductive and physiological performance of Hyla Rabbits under sub-humid environment.
  2. Reproductive response of Hyla Rabbit Does to dietary supplementation of ascorbic acid under tropical condition.
  3. Effect of season and graded levels of vitamin C on reproductive performance of rabbit bucks.
  4. Effect of dietary protein and selenium supplementation on reproductive and physiological response of male rabbits kept in a tropical environment.
  5. Exploitation of bio-physical heat stress amelioration techniques on the growth and reproductive performance of Hyla Rabbits under tropical condition.
  6. Feeding packages using concentrates and forages such as lablab, groundnut haulms, mocuna and stylosanthes have been determined.
  7. Use of agro-industrial byproducts such as brewers dried grain and soybean cheese waste for feeding rabbits have been determined.
  8. Growth rate of Rabbits indicates that New Zealand white rabbits grow faster and attain puberty earlier than Chinchilla rabbits.
  9. Breeding performance of three breeds of rabbits has been determined.
  10. Optimum stocking density of rabbits in colony cages has been determined.
  11. Reproductive performance of rabbits on breeding packages has been determined.
  12. Short – term increase in protein level of the diet of does before and after mating increases number and weight of kits, reduces kits mortality and increases cost of producing kits.
  13. Design of good feeding, watering and nesting equipment and cages for use in production have been produced.
  • To be updated as soon as they commence.
  • The Unit collaborates and distributes rabbits to ADPs and local farmers.
  • The Unit collaborates with Universities and colleges for research purposes and training of students.