Rabbits are adorable creatures that could also well, provide you with the income so you can put food on the table. Is the rabbit raising the right livelihood for you? Questions on, “is raising rabbits worth it?”. Apparently, it is due to the following:
- Provides you and your family quality meat;
- Minimizes your dependence on the markets;
- Controls your supply
- Mitigates the impact of COVID -19.
- Delicious and healthy meat;
- Might be a reliable Source of profit.
As well as rabbitry management can give a lot of answers. Raising these furries or agriculture can be very profitable.
These animals can breed offspring who can develop fast, and reach the ideal breeding weight quicker than other species around. First and foremost, rabbits make meats that are less on the cost. If you are looking for a source of livelihood that starts with a capital not too expensive, then rabbit management is for you.
However, among the problems that rabbit breeders face are lack of supplies and the current COVID-19 pandemic limiting movement in the industry. The opportunities to grow healthy meat in the household are many, but with these issues, there is a need to tackle them.
Brian Martucci from Money Crashers once wrote about breeding rabbits. He stated, “A while back, my wife and I spent a couple years in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, a beautiful but isolated swathe of dense forest, rocky hills, and inland lakes stretching along Lake Superior’s south shore. We were based in a sizable town, but my wife occasionally travelled to a tiny, half-abandoned mining hamlet on the Keweenaw Peninsula, which juts north into the big lake from the town of Houghton.”
Martucci added that these hamlets only had a couple of permanent residents, and are outnumbered by non-humans. One of these groups is the flock of free-range bunnies and rabbits, moving around the area.
One of the first things you’ll accomplish in rabbit management is looking for the breed. Raising rabbits for meat offers you many different possibilities and further options. Let’s take a look at this guide to answer the open-ended question, “Is raising rabbits for meat worth it?” and details about rabbitry management.
How Much Does It Cost To Raise A Rabbit For Meat?
Right here, we tell you that raising a rabbit does not involve the vast costs, making this perfect for anyone who wants to try.
Raising rabbits or purchasing your very first one is not at all expensive. From shelters, pet rabbits can cost anywhere between $50 to $100 in adoption fees. Meanwhile, New Zealand rabbits may cost as little as $10 for each piece. On the other hand, those of the non-pedigreed Flemish giants cost as much as $50 per piece.
What about when you look at breeding younger rabbits? Having these may cost less than the mature rabbits since they tend to be smaller and contain less of the meat. With this being said, they can also be prone to higher mortality risks. A tip: you can purchase rabbits as young as in their fourth week, or a few days after the rabbits have weaned.
Smaller operations only require a buck (male rabbit), and two does (female rabbits) for you to start the business. This will already turn you with significant profits, and to tell you, the limit in many municipal codes is at three adult rabbits. You are just on the right track. And, to escape time of rearing, you can begin the herd with adults. Expenditures are $75 in total.
The other side of the spectrum is spending on the costs of feeding these rabbits. Varying their diet is the first tip you must follow. Second, these rabbits must get access to a high-quality diet. This is to avoid digestive issues. Here are the top food sources for these creatures:
- Pellets. The staple food for rabbits, pellets must be part of the diet of full-grown rabbits who must receive half-cup of pellets per five to six pounds fo body weight each day. These must be bought in small servings and must be consumed in at least six weeks and more. Look at the label and check whether they are high in fiber.
- Hay. Then, you have the hay and must be available 24 hours per day. It should be able to comprise most of the diet of these rabbits. For example, the highest quality hay for these rabbits should be able to make a difference.
- Fresh Foods. How about their source of vitamins? Immunity is just as crucial as with these rabbits. Giving them the right amount of fruits and vegetables is essential, and these may include Romaine lettuce, herbs, kale, and vegetables provided in rotation daily. Fruits are offered in smaller servings, and these food supplies must be replenished each day.
How Long Does It Take To Raise A Rabbit For Meat?
Now that you’ve learned the gist on raising rabbits, and the cost of doing so, we will move forward with the time required to raise these. Full-time rabbit breeders, read these notes.
Part of answering the query “Is raising rabbits for meat worth it?” and rabbitry management facts, involves you knowing the time required to raise these breeds.
To reach the goal of having these plump rabbits, preparing them for meat processing involves slaughtering them at the right timing. With it at two weeks old, they would already be very tender, but they could be smaller at this period.
Thus, it is essential to find the balance between spotting the young rabbits and getting the plump ones. The right age is between 10 to 12 weeks. Remember, the ideal type of meat can be able to grow rapidly toward the 10th week. They should also grow faster in line with the food they consume.
After the 10th week, these rabbits can eat more of the diet and grow slowly. Thus, the 10th week is crucial since this is the ideal time to get these slaughtered.
People are known to raise Californian rabbits and New Zealand rabbits first because these are great to grow at five pounds at a maximum fo 11 weeks. Thus, if you are cultivating these rabbits and they grow to four pounds in 12 weeks, for instance, then you may cull the breeding stock and replace these with better ones.
For instance, having ten great does instead of ten dud does, with each thirty babies yearly, with each growing to five pounds within ten weeks, you can already make a lot of these at 1,500 pounds prepared for pre-slaughter annually. Now, this is 50 percent more meat while doing the same level of work.
The common notion about rabbits is that these are creatures that consume carrots. Feeding them with carrots is part of the procedure, but there are more things that a rabbit owner must do to keep them healthy. Vitamins are necessary for these rabbits toward meat processing.
When speaking about the gestation period, it is about 32 days, and some litters can be kindled as early as Day 29 and as late as Day 35. Many of these litters are born between Day 30 and Day 33. Unlike many other creatures, rabbits tend to have their regular heat physiological activities or cycles.
What Is The Best Breed Of Rabbit To Raise For Meat?
Breeding the rabbit for meat is different from breeding it for pet care. So you have to distinguish between these two. Preparing a healthy rabbit for meat processing involves choosing the right breed. How does one do it?
This follows the queries on, “is raising rabbits for meat worth it?” and tips on rabbitry management. Based on data from the American Rabbit Breeders Association, here are the best rabbit breeds.
List of the best rabbit breeds
The Champagne D’Argent is a rabbit heritage breed that has been in the industry since the 1600s. Nowadays, they are less common, but a great domestic rabbit family to breed, known for their unique black fur, aside from the richness of the meat.
Second, you may also choose the Palomino, attractive bunnies colored pale-orange and weigh anywhere in the range of eight to 12 pounds. These rabbits are considered cooperative and quiet, great for urban communities with denser populations.
The Chinchilla is fancy rabbits that can grow up to 12 pounds. Though better as pets, they are prized for being turned to meat and giving you a good source of livestock.
Fourth, the Flemish Giant pertains to monster bunnies that can grow and expand up to 20 pounds. Their meat is one of the best in the world, but rabbit breeders also have them for their fur. The name derives from their origins in the Flanders region of Belgium. It is highly a docile breed.
On the other hand, New Zeland rabbits came from the United States, but have their lineage in New Zealand somewhere in their life’s history. As regarded as one of the best meat breeds you can find around, the adult, New Zeland rabbits, may grow up to 12 pounds in weight and come in the colors of red, blue, black, and red. They may also be multicolored.
The meat of these rabbits is distinctive in the color of pinkish-blue, similar to undercooked poultry. Worry not because these New Zealand rabbits are very safe to eat, and delicious as well.
Is It Profitable To Raise Rabbits?
Looking at the costs from the earlier discussion, raising rabbits is not for free, and at first, it will require you to shell out the capital. The prices are not very high, and believe it or not, you can have these rabbits right now, but costs are far different from profits. They happen once the meats are commercialized, and turn out revenue.
Now the question remains, is it profitable to raise rabbits? Will you earn big from it? Definitely. Later on, you will be learning a story of a rabbit breeder in Asia who is thriving out of this livelihood.
One of the most profitable species to raise in this day and age is the rabbit. They give birth to sizable litters, and these little rabbits can grow just as fast, and this also becomes one of the factors why it is profitable to have them. When it comes to the space required for breeding, they will not require a lot.
You can consider several things before making the change, and deciding to raise rabbits for profit rather than just a hobby. A rabbit breeder from the Philippines, Menor shared that the demand for rabbit meat is high that he can give up his corporate job to raise these species. He said he also holds seminars to teach individuals how to breed.
Male rabbits, hutches, breeders, and the like can start at a maximum of just five breeders, the mediocre ones at a maximum of 50 breeders, and the larger-scale ones at 50 breeders and above. The packages begin at $250 with six of these rabbits, plus the cages, clay pots, water feeders, and water tanks.
Menor has calculated that each litter of six breeder kits can sell at $5 for two months minus the expenses, with the rabbit farmer earning $20, depending on whether these rabbits receive 100 percent of the pellets or a combination. These are computed based on the cost of living in his area.
Then, you have to select the breeds.
How do you do it? Is raising rabbits for meat worth it? And rabbitry management, does it provide for what you need financially? There are steps to follow.
1. Selling the rabbit meat
The demand for rabbit meat is specific, more specific than you can ever imagine, which is why they are always so profitable. One of their markets is the range of high-end restaurants.
Once you have the time and ample space, you can raise the rabbits and gain lucrative demand, especially if you are growing them on the grass and marketing the products as grass-fed rather than in hutches.
2. Processing the rabbit meat
You can partner with specialists who do these steps, but having these skills on your own can save you a lot of the resources.
Sometimes, rabbits are considered to be some “poultry” in most meat processing stations. It means that are the rules applied to chicken apply to rabbit processing.
Two ways to process your rabbits are raising them on your farm, or having them within a USDA-approved facility.
3. Rabbit felts
Then, you can also gain access to rabbit felts that could be sold. After processing the rabbit meat, you get its hide as the byproduct. Instead of throwing this away, you can re-use this to what crafters can cherish in their studios.
Felts from rabbits may be transformed into clothes, dolls, and more, and if you are keen on more artistic creativity, you can even create masterpieces from scratch and sell them online. You can then sell these rabbit pelts either among crafts, commercial industry owners, and homesteaders.
The profit you can gain from this step can be somewhere from $1.50 to $30.00 for each pelt.
4. Rabbit fur
Now comes the rabbit fur. Since this is considered a luxury good for crafts and commercial operators, the process of making this silky produce is by shearing or hand-plucking. The best ones come from the breeds like the Angora rabbits.
If you are looking to make profits from these creatures, but want to veer away from transforming these into the meat, you can begin with the shearing process with these rabbits and earn money. Generally, raising these creatures is quite reasonable for those who are inclined to animal husbandry.
Nevertheless, raising rabbits should be an easy project for you as these breeds require more care than the New Zealand breeds, which are more into meat processing.
Making fiber out of rabbits does not mean you just have to relax. It has been said that this process and creation of the end-product mean that you have to attend to these days or almost every day. For instance, rabbits with longer hair may tend to be matted if not taken care of properly. This means it can be painful for these rabbits, and may also increase risks to parasites and certain diseases.
You can then offer these for sale on Etsy, an online shopping platform, flea markets, knitters and fiber artists, crafters, yarn stores, woolen mills, and more. The profit is from $7 to $16 for each ounce.
5. Fertilizer and worm farm from rabbit manure
Next up is rabbit manure that turns either to fertilizer or worm farm. If you own a farm or garden at home, manure from rabbits is a potent fertilizer as it is abundant with nitrogen and may be implemented directly to your plants without burning its vegetation.
Therefore, instead of waiting for several months for the final product of these fertilizers from animals, you can always utilize these nutrient-rich rabbit manure anytime. Gardeners, landscape companies, hobby farmers, and the like are its potential markets. The profit is quite promising, giving you until $45 for each bag of 40 pounds. Not bad.
Rabbit manure may also be processed into worm farms. Otherwise known as vermicomposts, these farms can turn out fantastic profits.
Do not waste any material you can source from the rabbit, after processing it for meat. The rabbit manure can be turned into your very worn worm farm. The uses? Plenty. Worms will help the fertilizer to compost and keep the odors away. At the same time, it is also a great income opportunity.
You can have these worms sold to fishers, bait shops, and those who make use of bins for composting. The profit? Astounding. It can provide anyone with $31 per pound.
6. Selling rabbits as pets
And then perhaps you have the most exciting option, having to sell the rabbit as pets. If you do not want the rabbits to be processed as meat, breeders are part of an industry of rabbit pets they can also profit from.
You can check with your local pet store if they are in search of suppliers of these bunnies. Both you and the pet store must make a profit, and so, the range of earnings you can get is approximately $15 for each of the rabbits.
Moreover, pet stores are also not minding the rabbit breed, whether it is purebred or mixed, so it does not count if you have the Flemish Giant or not. You can earn as much as $100 from these and maybe more or less depending on the stock’s quality. When a customer selects the rabbit they will own, it is just a wonderful sight to behold.
Rabbit pinkies your other options. Taking care of these rabbits is crucial, and since you have learned about the profit you can make from these rabbits, their components, and uses, it is high time to understand why there are rabbit meats pricey.
Why Is Rabbit Meat So Expensive?
Hunting for rabbits is just as thrilling as placing them on the dinner table. Among the recipes you can make with rabbits are Rabbit Cacciatore, Rabbit in Wine and Garlic Sauce, and Slow Roasted Rabbit.
Should, by any chance, you find it more expensive to have than other types of meat available, if you are a consumer, then you must know these details. Buying rabbit meat from the commercial market is expensive because it is not readily available compared with other types of meat in the U.S., for instance.
Considering the changing preferences of customers, meat from the rabbit can be more expensive than your traditional burgers. Once you have obtained these, you can have several options on rabbit dishes. You can mix the meat with chicken and modify it further.
Since it has lower fat levels, meat from the rabbit can be dryer than your chicken, so there is less cooking time, and cooking temperature must be lower at the same time. These are just among the considerations and paths to take.
Furthermore, rabbit meat can be expensive generally since fryers are not readily effective to get fed on larger groups, and may require more costly ration in the feed than other livestock. This is one of the reasons why it is expensive.
Family Farm Livestock shares insightful details about the reasons why. The costs of these rabbit meats tend to be higher compared with other readily available meats in the market. When speaking about the price, the market is on the more top end.
For instance, Grande Premium Meats may be bought at around $19 per pound for the tenderloin, and around $8 for the front legs, with an average range of $11 to $12. The prices can be higher for websites that offer premium meat.
These ranges of prices are due to the fact that taking care of the fryers requires much time from the producers. This could be sufficient to raise these fryers or young meat rabbits reflected in the meat prices.
As for a reason, there are no economical and productive ways today that automate the raising of rabbits as of today. Should there be any automation, it could boil down to the barn’s spaces and the human resources needed for raising these animals.
This is also to say that rabbits may stay with their parent until they reach the ideal market size. One of the most significant disadvantages of rabbits for meat compared with other livestock is that, with these rabbits, the parent must stay with the little rabbits known as kits to start raising them in the right market size.
Rabbits also require to have more cage spaces than most animals. This is since rabbits engaged need more space due to their habits and activities. The feeds for these creatures and pets also cost higher compared with other feeds in the market.
For instance, a feed may cost around $14 per bag of 50 pounds. Buying in bulk may save on the costs, but could thereby be higher.
This then leads us to the discussion that raising rabbits for meat and processing these can be costly. One of the challenges when it comes to raising rabbits is the high costs and the insufficiency of processors around. It should be processed at a properly inspected facilities to sell the meat on the market successfully.
More so, rabbits are not perfect for the factory farm environment. While you can have access to sizable farms, the rabbits’ requirements are similar to the needs of the rabbits in smaller farms.
Speaking about their carcass, it tends to be small, and rabbits raised for meat processing are usually processed at the five-pound live weight range. This means that the size of the rabbit known as the fryer may have three to three-point-five pounds of meat for each carcass.
Other than these, there could be more reasons why raising rabbits can be expensive.
Rabbitry Management 101
We’ve reached the mark when you have to know about rabbitry management, and the basics. This can be fun but can also be tiring at the same time. Is raising rabbits for meat worth it? You have had detailed answers and solutions, but here, you will learn more about rabbitry management.
- Keep them indoors. Some breeders may prefer to have them in outdoor quarters since this lets rabbits experience fresher air and sunlight. Getting these outdoors may overwhelm the rabbits’ sense, and so, indoor settings are the right choices.
- Select the cage appropriately. This includes choosing the size of the cage, ensuring that these pets have enough room to stay. These rabbits may also receive sore hocks on these surfaces if they are not taken good care of properly. Make sure surfaces are clean.
- Create a run. Diet and physical exercise are also crucial for rabbits. These pets need running and daily use to let them move around. They may choose to cover hundreds of feet at one point, so providing or building this run gives them ample space to workout.
- Keep them in superior comfort levels. Be sure that you keep the rabbits in cool environments, ideally between 60 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit. You can also set these rabbits up in cages or in quiet areas in the yard, making sure that they are not harassed by other animals around.
- Prepare a healthy diet. Commonly, the healthy diet comprises fresh and healthy vegetables, oat hay, grass, and timothy hay. But ideally, the rabbit must have their unlimited supplies of hay.
- Hydrate always. Keeping the rabbits hydrated at all times prevents bacteria from accumulated in their area of habitat. You can utilize a water bowl formed with ceramic, metal, and rabbit safe plastic since these are easier to clean.
- Empty their litter boxes every two to four days. Make it a habit to empty their litter boxes from two to four days to avoid the reduction of odors, keeping them healthy and happy at the same time.
- They are coprophagic. Rabbits are coprophagic, which means that they are among the creatures who consume poop and other droppings. These pellets from feces and cecotropes must be ensured in these creatures’ houses.
Krostrade.com: Giving You The Best Of Raising Rabbits
Raising rabbits is fulfilling and can turn your hard work to success. Krostrade.com is a reliable provider of equipment for these particular requirements.
Rabbit meat adds variety to the diet. This means that you can get more nutrients, aside from just having them from chicken, beef, or pork. Proteins are plenty in bison, pheasants, rabbits, bison, and venisons.
Is raising rabbits for meat worth it? And rabbitry management should guide you into making things more successfully. There are several opportunities involved, and even with the pandemic, you can do it at home.