Photo taken on February 27, 2023 shows Niu Jixue checks a rabbit at Dingsheng Rabbit Farm in Yongsheng Village, Yongfeng Town, Urumqi County, Urumqi City, Xinjiang, China. (Photo by Shiliuyun-Xinjiang Daily/ Gan Xinghua)
Shiliuyun-Xinjiang Daily (Reporter Gan Xinghua) news: Niu Jixue, who is in charge of a rabbit farm is praised by people on the internet that he is awesome. 12 years ago, his relatives and friends held little confidence in his career. “The boy gave up his stable job to start up a business and made a terrible loss, I bet it couldn’t go well...” However, Niu Jixue runs his business firmly and confidently right now.
On February 27, 2023, lively rabbits with clean hair bred in rows of cages were seen in the breeding area of Dingsheng Rabbit Farm in Yongsheng Village, Yongfeng Town, Urumqi County. Seeing people approaching, greedy bunnies erected their ears, sniffed and seemed to be waiting for foods. Pet rabbits such as lops, pygmy rabbits and hotots enjoy VIP treatment with not only spacious cages but also fine foods.
Since January, rabbits, especially pet rabbits bred in the farm, are often out of stock. Although breeding pet rabbits requires more costs on foods of precise proportion of trace elements, it generates more benefits, so that Niu decides to breed more pet rabbits this year.
Twelve years ago, Niu wouldn’t believe in the words that breeding rabbit needs reasonable nutrition and trace elements ratio. He opened a rabbit farm in Urumqi County with all the savings he earned from migrant labor. Because he bred rabbits when he was small, he thought it was just a matter of breeding more rabbits.
However, he found that raising rabbits was quite difficult after he started running his rabbit farm. In several years, he invested more and more money while rabbits died one after another. Keeping them healthy, feeding them different fodders... no matter how much efforts he paid, dozens to hundreds of rabbits died everyday at the farm. In the end of 2018, Niu Jixue closed off the rabbit farm.
His relatives and friends tried to persuade Niu to give up breeding rabbits and find a stable job. But Niu couldn’t persuade himself that he was incapable of breeding rabbits while others were capable. Niu Jixue, who didn’t admit defeat, got support from his wife Sun Cuilan, and started visiting many places to learn breeding methods. Not until he went to rabbit farms in Shandong Province and thoroughly studied breeding, did he realize that scientific breeding is the most important thing.
In the spring of 2020, Niu Jixue went back to Urumqi, sold his car, and took out all of the family savings along with some money borrowed from others, and opened his second rabbit farm at Yongsheng Village in Yongfeng Town, Urumqi County.
“There is no retreat,” said Niu Jixue. After he rented the field of farm, he purchased breeding equipment online. During the days waiting for the equipment, he found a daily paid job and did the job in the daytime and slept at the farm at night. In order to save costs, Niu learned building insulation shed and installing and renovating cages, etc.
After the second opening, rabbits still died at the farm. He dissected dead rabbits to find the reasons and adjusted the proportion of trace elements in feed. He also read many breeding books, watched breeding videos, and consulted experts in his spare time of running the farm.
Photo taken on February 27, 2023 shows Niu Jixue picks a rabbit for customers at Dingsheng Rabbit Breeding Farm in Yongsheng Village, Yongfeng Town, Urumqi County, Urumqi City, Xinjiang, China. (Photo by Gan Xinghua)
Everything comes to one who pays efforts. Rabbits have grown well at the farm in 3 months, then here came another problem -- how to sell them out?
Dishes cooked with rabbit meat are mainly popular in Sichuan style restaurants. In the summer of 2020, Niu Jixue searched for Sichuan restaurants in Urumqi on the Baidu map, visited the chef of the restaurant one by one. Soon, the restaurants have become his customers. Then Niu Jixue started selling rabbits in the wholesale market, and now he has fixed customers across Xinjiang.
“I plan to expand the breeding scale this year, and at the same time, I want to breed some native chickens...” Niu Jixue sells rabbits on online platforms such as Douyin (Tiktok Chinese version) and Kuaishou with the screen name of “Brother Niu who breeds rabbits in Xinjiang”, and he provides free technique guidance for breeders. Driven by him, many villagers from Shuixigou Town, Banfanggou Town, etc. in Urumqi County have engaged in rabbit breeding industry. People on the Internet said Niu Jixue is outstanding and selfless, while ‘Brother Niu’ himself said, “Experiencing entrepreneurial failure made me understand that success doesn’t come easy, so I want to share my breeding experience so that other breeders can breed rabbits well and get a well-off life.”