Pel Freeze Rabbit In Our Grocery Store

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by YuccaFlatsRanch, Apr 27, 2009.

  1. YuccaFlatsRanch

    YuccaFlatsRanch Well-Known Member Supporter

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    WOW - have I been selling rabbits to friend TOO CHEAP. Our biggest Grocery store has Pel-Freeze Rabbits with Giblets for sale for approx $19-20 EACH. I didn't realize processed frozen rabbit was selling for $6-7 a pound. My friends get them at 2 dressed rabbits for a bag of Rabbit feed ($13.50 currently).
     
  2. Truckinguy

    Truckinguy Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Yup, it was selling in Sobeys here at Christmas for $7/lb.
     

  3. insocal

    insocal Well-Known Member

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    Last rabbit I saw in a grocery here in Los Angeles was $9/lb for a 3 lb fryer. I said NO THANKS.
     
  4. MariaAZ

    MariaAZ Suburban Homesteader

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    I've seen them at the market for $6/lb, they don't seem to sell very quickly.
     
  5. Mallow

    Mallow Well-Known Member

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    I just wish there was a good processor near me that I could sell to. I used to help my grandfather raise rabbits and enjoyed it alot but all the processors near me closed up shop.
     
  6. calliemoonbeam

    calliemoonbeam Well-Known Member Supporter

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    My brother-in-law was paying $6.00 a pound back in the 1990's in Colorado, lol. You've definitely been getting the short end of the deal! There was only one store he could even get them through, they'd call him when they got a new batch, and he'd go buy every one they had. They only got 3-5 every few months or so.
     
  7. YuccaFlatsRanch

    YuccaFlatsRanch Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Most of my rabbits are consumed right here at home. If we have friends over and are serving fried rabbit we also buy some chicken wings and no one knows the difference. I just never realized that I was eating such pricey meat.
     
  8. ChristyACB

    ChristyACB Well-Known Member

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    It's about that price here too and I did ask about it. Butcher at the meat counter told me that they sell so few of them the cost doesn't come down from bulk as it does for beef, pork and chicken.

    Makes sense to me. But I'm sure not paying it!

    Duck here also goes for about 15-20 for a decent sized bird. Both types frozen.
     
  9. Paquebot

    Paquebot Well-Known Member

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    Rabbit meat has always been a pricey gourmet thing. We raised them from 1965 to 1976 and a local butcher paid $1 a dressed pound for as many as we could deliver. He was probably getting at least $1.50 at a time when ground beef was going for 50¢. There were two of us in town supplying him and he had a waiting list a mile long.

    Martin
     
  10. WildernesFamily

    WildernesFamily Milk Maid

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    Rabbit is available from a speciality butcher here, for over $8 a pound. Pretty crazy.
     
  11. cnvh

    cnvh Well-Known Member

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    We raise/process our own, a very small operation (one buck, two does, producing maybe 3 litters each per year)... a coworker said she'd be interested in buying some processed fryers from us when we butchered. When the time came, I figured up how much we spent in raising that one litter (10 kits) and quoted her a price of $7/lb, which is still cheaper than you can buy it in any store around here. I think she thought I was crazy... but for less than $7/lb, we'll gladly eat all of them ourselves.

    Rabbit food isn't cheap, and the price I quoted her doesn't begin to take into account the $$ we spent building hutches, buying the feeders/water bottles, cleaning, daily care, etc., nevermind the time and unpleasantness of processing them. I think people assume you can raise rabbits on table scraps or something; they're NOT a particularly cheap meat crop, at least not when you're first getting started.
     
  12. Ken Scharabok

    Ken Scharabok In Remembrance

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    OK, will relate my experience during a visit to family in Croatia in 2001. They raised rabbits (one buck, three does) for a meat alternative. They fed them on zero, repeat, zero processed feed. During the summer they were fed on local fresh forage harvested with a scythe. During winter they were fed on dried (piled) hay of that same forage. In the cage at all times were kept an ear of dried corn. When it was down to the cob, it was removed and a whole ear put in. No salt spool (they didn't even know what they were). No medications. No nest boxes. The does pulled out from the feed V between the cages and built her own nest area. The translation was so-so, but if I understood correctly, they averaged between 10 and 12 kits (or whatever they are called) to a litter. When the kits were ready to wean they were taken and put into a stall with a tall V feeder, water and the same forage/hay as the buck and does. I counted 14 in that particular litter in the stall at that time.

    I had a more detailed article on this in maybe the August/Sept 2001 issue of Countryside.
     
  13. geo in mi

    geo in mi Well-Known Member Supporter

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    If you Google PEL rabbits you will get the PEL website. Seems like, if I read it right, they pay only $1.45/lb to their contracted grower/suppliers for rabbits at an average weight of 5 lbs, and I think they require the grower to contract for volumes from 25 does to stay a supplier. Hmmmmm? Just how many middlemen are in the process, anyway?
     
  14. Paquebot

    Paquebot Well-Known Member

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    That's live weight, not butchered. Pel does all of the processing and packing. That's where most of the expenses are.

    Martin
     
  15. dlwelch

    dlwelch Well-Known Member

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    I've supplied to Pel-Freez for over 10 years. The average
    weight of my fryers is 5.5 pounds in the winter and 5.2 in
    the summer. (minimum: 4 3/4 - maximum: 5 3/4). We
    received $1.63/lb for many months before it dropped to $1.54/lb
    and now $1.45/lb.

    There are no "contracted" growers. They won't commit
    to a signed contract with the supplier.

    ETA: Pel-Freez rabbit is inspected by the USDA. Because of the law
    regarding rabbits, this inspection is not free.
     
  16. Mallow

    Mallow Well-Known Member

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    You cant find rabbit in the grocery stores around here it seems. I wish there was a processing plant nearby so it would be possible to grow and sell them (even if its not much money).
     
  17. fatrat

    fatrat Well-Known Member

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    I love those little wild cotton tails. They taste great. Is domestic rabbit similar?
     
  18. Mallow

    Mallow Well-Known Member

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    The meat is similar but I find it a little less "wild" tasting. I like both and still went rabbit hunting while raising rabbits myself.