Not sure what I am doing, need help with a plan.

Discussion in 'Rabbits' started by UpstateNY, Jan 3, 2006.

  1. UpstateNY

    UpstateNY Active Member

    Messages:
    40
    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2004
    Location:
    Upstate NY binghamton area
    Hello and thank you for looking in. Where I am now: My wife has "collected" a few rabbits over the last couple years. She bought some at auction, some from moving neighbors, others free in the paper etc. So now I have 10 rabbits in my barn. I am buying feed and bought used cages/feeders etc. at auction to keep these rabbits. I feed them along with my other chores. Yesterday I sold two rabbits at auction for $3 and $4 and spent the same buying feeding dishes.
    My problem is what to do with/about these rabbits. Can I just go ahead and breed what I have and get mixed breeds and sell them for a couple bucks at action or where ever or should I use these rabbits raise $ and find and invest in a breed and papers. What/Where can I sell rabbits? I am not getting many rabbits now, but that is because many are still small and they are in their own cages (ok I have no real idea what I am doing there either, but figured I could learn that part of it).
    In short I am a guy with 9 individual rabbit cages, 2 big cages, 9 rabbits; 3 bucks (a flop, a blue and a dutch blue. the dutch with some sort of paper that came with him) 6 does (a flop, a brownish/greenish, a white, a spotted one, and two blues with white bellies.) all in my pole barn with my other animals and a growing assortment of feeding dishes, a metal nesting box (on the shelf not in any cage) and a rabbit feed pellets that I am feeding out daily and buying every couple weeks. I am am feeding rabbits, like the rabbits just fine but have no idea why I have them or what my plan is for them. Any help or suggestions? Thanks. One of my new year resolutions is to figure out what I am doing with rabbits and then start doing it.
     
  2. Jennifer L.

    Jennifer L. Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    4,908
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    Location:
    New York bordering Ontario
    Sounds to me like you like rabbits, don't want to eat them, and would just as soon "mess around with them" as a hobby but not make a big deal out of it.

    As you noted about your wife, you can find free rabbits and collect a batch of them quite readily. My neighbor's daughter started last summer and amassed over 20 rabbits that were all free giveaways. So while you can sell mixed bag rabbits for a few bucks, you are competing against giveways most of the time and you'll never make much money with them. You may, however, keep your feed bill down by just getting rid of them for a small amount, and that helps keep a hobby less expensive.

    So you can see I'm getting around to suggesting you might want to get into purebreds. When you sell them you can say something besides "cute bunnies" in your advertisement and if you keep up with the pedigrees, there's another draw. You may not be selling to breeders, but some people like to have "papered" pets, even in rabbits.

    Really, it all depends on you, what you like doing and what sounds like fun to you. Good luck with them!

    Jennifer
     

  3. rabbitgal

    rabbitgal Ex-homesteader

    Messages:
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    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2005
    Location:
    Virginia
    Ditto on what Jennifer said. I'd also suggest checking out a rabbit book (Like "Your Rabbit: A Kid's Guide to Raising and Showing" or "Storey's Guide to Raising Rabbits") from the local library to get a hang of things before you even think about breeding. This one guy I talked to wondered why his doe rabbit had babies and half of them died--he hadn't given her any nesting material! It DOES pay to do some homework--saves you a lot of trouble/trial and error.

    I'd decide if I wanted a bunch of pets or if I intended to *try* to make some money from them. If you intend to raise rabbits with the idea of making a profit, you'd be better off with purebreds. Like Jennifer pointed out, when you sell crossbreds, you're competing against the "free adorable baby bunnies, my male rabbit was actually a female" ads. If you get purebreds, that opens up a whole new realm and you could produce meat, Angora wool, pelts, lab animals, purebred pets, show animals, or breeding stock--depending on the breed you decide to raise.

    My feelings are don't breed unless you have a specific goal, and you want to improve the species. :)
     
  4. Xandras_Zoo

    Xandras_Zoo Well-Known Member

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    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2004
    Location:
    Richmond, BC, Canada
    I second (third) what they said.

    Really, the only purpose for mixed breeds is for eating or for pets. My personal opinion is we don't anymore mixed rabbits.

    With purebred rabbits, you get to show them, which is a lot of fun, breed them and sell show stock, breeding stock, meat stock and pet stock. Opens up your market. Though it depends on where you live, you can usually sell a purebred, well socialized, friendly pet bunny for $20. Here, you can get between $30 and $40 for a pet.

    It costs no more to feed and house purebred rabbits then to feed and house mixed breed rabbits.
     
  5. DazzleBunny

    DazzleBunny Member

    Messages:
    15
    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2005
    LOL, well rabbits are fun, but you would be better off taking everyone you have now to the auction, and use the sale money to buy a few purebred types. Go to www.arba.net check out the site. If you click on breed photos, you can decide maybe what you like the best, and most breeds have a national specialty club.
    Find a local rabbit show in your area, and go watch for the day. Talk to the other breeders.
    Definitely get the "Storeys guide to raising rabbits" book! Good information to help you out. If rabbit meat is popular in your area, amybe you could sell to local buyers. New Zelands or Claifornians make great meat! Flemish Giants are great pets, and BIG. Smaller Holland lops, Netherland Dwarfs, etc.. amke good indoor pet size bunnys. I know someone who raises hundreds and hundreds of Flemish for a local zoos feeding program, and he shows the nicer ones.
    Pedigrees help, and even if they are just meat rabbits, keeping track of your stock lets you know who is producing you the most and best litters, and whos not.
    You will be investing in alot more cages and nest boxes for EVERY doe thats bred, not to mention many other things rabits need.
    Read the book, it is a tremendous help to someone starting out!
    Have fun!!
    Stephanie
    www.freewebs.com/dazzlebunnyacres