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Don't fool with...
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all from a newbie! I was hoping to get some of your expert opinions on this - We live in a crowded city in Florida but are planning on moving to a few acres in South Carolina within a year. :bouncy:

I figured a good way to get the family ready for the farm life is to start raising rabbits, especially since we aren't allowed to even have chickens here. Of course I'm doing all the research I can to prepare for them.

The question is - How can I find out if there would be a market for meat rabbits here? The only breeders I can find are in Central & North Florida - not South. And the only market for them I've been able to find besides pet stores are snake owners & breeders. Rabbits seem to be in demand for snake food but I don't think we could deal with that. Experience anyone?

I have the feeling that most people around here would be repulsed by the idea of rabbits for meat, they're SO far away from nature & the country life. :1pig:

Thanks,
Jen
 

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Enjoying Polish Rabbits
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My suggestion would be to look/ask at the local grocery store meat department, or butcher shops. Ask if they carry rabbit, or if they've been asked for rabbit. If they have, that means people are looking, and then all you have to do is connect with those buyers.
 

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Welcome to the forum, Jen!

If you are moving to a larger property in South Carolina within a year, I wouldn't think that it would be worthwhile to develop a market for your rabbits in Florida. It takes time. Instead, why not start with two does and a buck and just raise meat for your own family? You can get a lot of valuable experience during this time and then when you move you will be able to expand the rabbitry and add other ventures such as chickens, ducks, goats or whatever.
 

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Don't fool with...
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks, Bernadette - I'll take that advice, a

MaggieJ - You're right - I wouldn't want to move with a lot of rabbits and anyway I'm just getting overly obsessed about my research. I'm just waiting for the weather to get cool enough and then I'll get a buck & a couple of does. In the meantime, my DH is working on building the cages.

The local pet store owner couldn't tell me much about the ones he has & I don't think I could tell one breed from another myself. I definitely look forward to the excellent fertilizer for my garden!
 

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Welcome, Mother Nature!!
I'm pretty new at this myself; we've only had rabbits slightly over a year. You'll love it.

I know you're excited about your move. I remember when we were getting ready to leave the city. Gosh, there was so much to do it seemed like time was rushing past but on the other hand we wanted to be gone so badly that it seemed like time was standing still. Heady days.

ANYway... I think it's smart to raise rabbits for your own consumption now. You'll learn tons and get over the whole butchering phobia. And you'll get addicted to rabbits. They are delish!!

If you end up with too many rabbits, an ad in the paper could probably get rid of the extras.

After you move, in addition to talking to the grocery stores, you might check with any upscale restaurants in the area and see if they might like to offer rabbit from time to time as their featured entree'.

Also you'll want to check with the SC laws to see what you have to do to legally sell meat. Some places you have to be inspected or licensed or whatever, and other places you have to take the rabbit to an approved abbatoir, and other places don't care what the heck you do.
 

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Thought I'd chime in as we raise Meat Rabbits on our urban homestead in Western NY for personal use since like your area chickens are a no no. Personally I feel buns are less work.
My expirence is that % 99.9 of people who learn we eat rabbit give me "that expression". That expressing resembles the face of a person who has just eatten a sour pickle. Sometimes it is accompanied by a noise.
Of the % 00.1 that don't are people who are immigrants/naturalized citizens such as fellow coworkers who hail from Africa or Eastern Europe.
I have offered to sell them a live fryer but they have all declined perferring the bun butchered. Won't go there. Not worth the small profit to gamble having a complaint lodged or worse. Pity wouldn't mind having feed paid for.
If I ever had a surplus of fryers I would send out flyers to local gun clubs, deer processors, upscale resturants, ethnic social clubs/organizations such as German and Polish, and as Bernadette suggested butcher shops. You might see about using a local turkey farms processing plant on their off season to fill prepaid orders.
I have fixed plate lunches for a few neighborhood Grandparents who foundly remember a good rabbit dinner as gifts.
The lady I got my buck from said she sold 5 buns to a man who's over all concern was there weight. Didn't care the sex or breed just weight.
Before I started raising meat rabbits I bought a frozen bun (china) from a butcher shop as a test run on our families acceptance. They didn't stock fresh. Said there wasn't a need in our area.
If we could get say Linsey Lohan pictured eatting a nice Santa Fe grilled rabbit then we all would be set.
~~ pelenaka ~~
pic of my urban homestead livestock on my blog http://thirtyfivebyninety.blogspot.com/
 

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Duchess of Cynicism
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Pelenaka said:
If we could get say Linsey Lohan pictured eatting a nice Santa Fe grilled rabbit then we all would be set.
~~ pelenaka ~~
let's see- we could also get Martha Stewart, Rachel Ray and Emeril to feature a rabbit dish on their shows..........
 

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Don't fool with...
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Wow! Thanks so much for the tips & info, y'all! Nice sites & adorable bunnies, Turtlehead & Pelenaka.
I know you're excited about your move. I remember when we were getting ready to leave the city. Gosh, there was so much to do it seemed like time was rushing past but on the other hand we wanted to be gone so badly that it seemed like time was standing still. Heady days.
-Definitely! My whole family is getting tired of hearing me go on about goats, chickens, rabbits, etc. There's so much useful info online it would be a shame not to prepare ourselves with as much as possible. I don't plan on having a whole lot of time for reading when we're setting up the farm and working the soil.

We have many Mexicans & South Americans around us. I wonder if they would be into meat rabbits. I know many people from the Caribbean enjoy Goat meat.

Thanks,
Jen
 

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Being of Puerto Rican heritage I can tell you that to this day people still speak fondly of my uncle's wedding that required 5 roasted goats for the reception, lol.
Kinda funny when you think about it. Perhaps say 100 years ago a shop keeper was thinking along these same lines. How to best market to the immerging imagrant population?
 

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Welcome to the club, Mother Nature! :)

We're fortunate to have a processor in the area that we sell to, but I think if that wasn't an option for us, we'd sell our culls for pet food (tap into the raw food market). We did supply a snake owner for a while, but he euthanized them before feeding...otherwise that would not have been an option for us.
 
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