Meet the Woman Who Retired a Banker and Became a Very Successful Rabbit Farmer.
Making lemonades out of lemon is one of the most common phrases used to advice people going through tough times. Mrs. Doyin Ojumu the C.E.O of Doyeen Farms didn’t just turn her lemons to lemonades she created a thriving business by selling them too!
After retiring from the banking sector she dabbled into a couple of businesses, some of which were very profitable, others not quite so, before she finally found one that she would later become very passionate about, a business she has been doing for about eleven years… rabbit farming!
Interesting right? I had the opportunity to chat with her recently!
She shared some helpful information that I believe would be of great benefit to you…read on!
Chat with Lo’Chicc Farmer:
I interviewed Mrs. Doyin because I was extremely impressed and fascinated by the retired banker who refused to get tired but instead built herself an empire that not only empowers others and brings in good profit but also keeps her happy and very active.
They say the key to happiness is following your passion and discovering ways it could benefit others
This amazing woman found her passion at the age where a lot of people give up on themselves and life.
And, this is why I want to tell her story, to encourage you. Whether you’re a youth, teen, working-class individual or retiree like her.
Are you ready to be inspired?
1. Could you please tell us a little about yourself?
My name is Adedoyin Ojumu, I’m a retired banker, I worked in the bank for quite a long time and when I retired I began to think of what next to do.
In the process of doing so, an opportunity presented itself through my son who was in the school of agriculture.
At that time, he had two rabbits which he catered for while in school, as a mother and someone who’s very aware of the importance of education, I didn’t want him to get distracted and so I offered to help him take care of the rabbits.
He agreed and gave me helpful tips on how to properly care for the rabbits and this was how my journey as a rabbit farmer began over ten years ago.
2. What inspired you to go into farming?
Well, I wasn’t intending to become a farmer, I just wanted to help my son focus on what he needed to focus on, which was his education at that time but as I began to manage the two rabbits I began to develop passion for rabbit farming.
3. Why rabbit farming?
I continued in it because I enjoy these animals.
Rabbits are very quiet and clean animals that don’t like dirty environments. Also, as an elderly person and I believe all elderly people need companionship especially if your children don’t stay with you anymore.
When I’m bored I go to the farm and play with them sometimes I spend up to 4 hours there just relaxing. Also, the 2 rabbits started reproducing and this made me very happy too.
Then my children started helping me advertise my business online and before you know it, people started calling to make inquiries either for training or to buy some rabbits and all these gave me pure joy and made me eager to do more.
4. How long have you been a rabbit farmer?
I’ve been in the business for over ten amazing years now.
5. What kept you going?
Honestly, it’s the joy of seeing the young ones like my children who’re interested in rabbit farming come to learn and leave empowered and ready to start their own business.
A couple of times, I’ve had to do trainings for free just so I can help them or sell my rabbits at a very discounted price and all these don’t matter…all I care about is that they leave my farm happy, ready to start and empowered.
The only thing is, I usually warn them to ensure that they take good care of the rabbits and that none of the rabbits should die, as a matter of fact I collect their contact details and call from time to time just to keep tab with them.
And, a lot of them own their own rabbit farms now and are doing very well, seeing all this makes me very happy because in my own little way I’ve been able to impact some people’s lives.
Also, I wasn’t particular about making profit at the beginning.
It was just passion and something to keep myself busy.
6. Do you think age or circumstance(s) played a role in your decision to become a farmer?
Honestly, it wasn’t my age. I’d say it was circumstance, I didn’t want anything distracting my son from school works and the rabbits needed someone else to care for them and I took over their management.
That was how my journey began.
7. At what point did you decide this is what I want to do?
You know I’m a retired banker what you may not know is that I’m a very restless person, after retirement I did a couple of businesses from my home.
I sold imported second-hand bedsheets in large quantities then I started selling custom made plastics which I got directly from the factory.
All this businesses brought in profits but there was always one issue or the other and I had to give a friend of mine one of the businesses to take over so she could keep busy since it wasn’t going so well for me.
While trying my hands in all those businesses, I was also doing the rabbit business this was the only one that gave me satisfaction and joy.
And, this is why I chose to stay in this part.
8. What specie of rabbits are common in Nigeria?
Okay, we’ve the Dutch (Black), New Zealand (White with pink eye balls), Florida (White with black eye balls), Chinchilla, Hyila breeds (which are the giant breeds).
I prefer the Dutch, Chinchilla and New Zealand specie because they’re very resistant to our weather here in Nigeria and they grow very well.
But the Hyilas are more commercially viable than the rest, as one adult could weigh about 5kg while that of the Dutch, New Zealand or any of the rest could weigh about 2-3kg.
But to me, they’re just white meat, the only difference is the size.
I’ve all breeds available for anyone who wants them, I’m just stating my preference.
I’m also very particular about rearing pure breeds, I also crossbreed but I love to ensure that I preserve each specie by ensuring that same breeds (male and female) mate, so they can give birth to more pure breeds.
9. How would you advice a newbie to go about when starting their own rabbit farm/ business?
I usually advice anyone especially young people who come to learn or buy rabbits from me to first go out and advertise their products, they ought to visit restaurants, hotels and anywhere people gather to eat and tell them about what they sell.
Exchange contacts and ensure they keep tabs with their prospective clients.
One thing I personally did was that I gave my products out for free, yes, you can’t get nothing for nothing.
Sometimes, I cooked, roasted them or gave live rabbit out for free.
In business, when you start, money shouldn’t be priority.
Also, rabbits are high maintenance animals and you need to clean their house regularly, if not, they might fall sick.
But, when you take care of them well, you’ll definitely enjoy them.
I clean my rabbit houses everyday, sometimes in the morning and evening, especially when I’m not satisfied with the way it looks. When they’re healthy, I’m happy and make my money.
Another thing is unintentional wastage of feed, I fell victim of this when I started. Rabbits feed is quite expensive to make and they don’t need to be overfed because they’ll waste it.
Well, it’s not every time I give them pellets (rabbit feed), I also give them fresh fruits and leaves gotten from my compound
10. Do rabbits recognize people?
Yes, they do. Especially, someone who has been taking care of them, when they see you they’ll begin to jump around in excitement.
On the contrary, if you don’t feed them well, by this I mean you starve them, they may resort to biting your hands when you try to touch them.
Rabbits are not violent animals but they’re animals regardless.
(I asked this question because of how my rabbits always act when they see me, I thought like dogs they were showing excitement but I just needed to be sure and boy, was I happy when she said what she said!!! 🙂 )
11. How many times a day do you feed them?
Twice. In the morning and later in the evening. I try to spice things up for them, by giving them pellets in the morning and fresh fruits, vegetables or home-food (leftovers) they like in the evening.
12. Do you think it’s sensible for someone to quit a 9-5 job to go into rabbit farming fully?
Uh, well, based on my history as a banker before retiring from my job, I’ll suggest that you persevere a bit, rear your rabbits to a certain level and make the right marketing strategy decisions. Basically, make plans before quitting your job.
Even though, it’s just the evening period you can spare some time then it’s fine, at least you get to spend a little time with them.
But if you don’t have a job yet, it isn’t a bad idea to start your rabbit business but you also have to do proper research and be adequately prepared before starting at all.
(She also went on to tell me about one of her student who couldn’t keep up with the business because of the nature of his job and how she advised his wife to start. They co-own a very successful large rabbit farming business now and a restaurant where they also make and sell rabbit barbecue!)
THANK YOU FOR READING!!!
TIDBITS BY THE AUTHOR…
I had an amazing time chatting with Mrs. Doyin! She made working as a agri-journalist for the first time very easy for me and for this I am super grateful.
The interview took place at her farm and mother nature set the mood well, everything was perfect! I know you’ll probably have more questions for her, ask away!
Let me know in the comment section or send me a message via more socials.
I will include her answers in part two!
If you want to buy her book (soft or hard copy), attend the training or buy rabbits send a personal message.
Did you enjoy reading this? Then do checkout my previous articles and turn on the notification button for more!
Also, I’m open to any form of collaboration or inquiries…
Jumoke is black young woman passionate about marketing, writing, research and storytelling.
She is committed to using her God-given talents to make her world a better place.
She is the founder of Gro2Star Farms a registered business that is involved in rabbit, snail farming and feed making in Nigeria.
She is also the CEO of SnailsPlug, a subsidiary of Gro2Star Farms that sources for, processes, packages, markets and distributes processed snails.
Jumoke enjoys working for individuals and brands to help them achieve their brand dreams and goals.
When she isn’t working on creating badass contents she enjoys relaxing with her family, farm animals, dancing, listening to cool songs or just living her best life!