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i can buy rabbit from the store about $7 lb. or about $15 a piece. i want to start shopping for rabbit from my local small raisers.
what is the store price in your area? what is a fair price for live rabbit in your area? what does it cost to raise a rabbit to fryer size in your area?
 

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The retail prices you see in stores is totally dependent upon the meat manager's pricing preferences. If the meat had to go through several different hands (such as from the processor to a distributor or more before reaching the store), then the price will naturally be higher since each set of "hands" jacks up the price in order to make a profit. Not unusual for a store meat manager to literally price himself out of a market with rabbit meat by being too greedy.

Rabbit meat in my area is selling for around $3.99 per lb. in the retail stores. Buying direct from a farm should be cheaper. Live fryer rabbits generally average around $1.25-$1.50 per lb. (live weight), which is very close to what the processors are currently paying for live fryers. The profit margin tends to be a bit slim and requiring large numbers when raising solely for a processor, but you can do quite well if you sell direct to customers and develop your own clientele. Much depends on the price of rabbit feed (which will be your largest on-going expense) and utilities in your area, all of which differs across the nation. As such, some are able to realize better profits than others.

Pat Lamar
President
Professional Rabbit Meat Association
http://www.prma.org/
 

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Pat, you say the price off the farm for live weight is $1.25 to $1.50. Is that regional? I am just starting and have only butchered for home use. I had someone offer to pay $.85 for white fur rabbits and $.75 for other colors. This was on a route and I am sure he took them to a processor and resold. Is this too low? I live in South Dakota, close to Minnesota. The processor is in MN. I will try to get the processors name and maybe do my own thing???

PS: was wondering why white rabbits were priced higher (we joked that it was fewer pin feathers :haha: )

Thanks.
 

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That processor should be Tim Duehn of R.V. Processing. Prices paid by processors will often fluctuate in accordance with the season, demand, or local cost of living. I guess I should have specified "most" or "many" processors are paying around that amount. So much depends on their own unique circumstances. For a complete listing of processors showing what they are paying, visit the PRMA web site at http://www.prma.org/ and pull up the sample issue of the PRMA Journal. You'll find the "Market Report" listing of participating processors and buyers listed on pages 20 through 23. You'll need to have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your computer... there is a link for a free download on the PRMA web site.

You should check with other rabbit breeders in your area to find out what they are charging for direct-to-consumer prices. Ideally, you should do some figuring as to what your expenses are in raising them to market age. If I tell you to sell them at a certain price when I have no idea what it is costing you, then, you could wind up losing your butt!

Many reasons for processors specifying and/or paying more for "white" rabbits (usually includes Californians):

1. Some biological markets require no pigmentation in the byproducts they purchase. For example, brains from colored rabbits are very dark in color and as such, are undesirable. Some blood accounts also require no pigmentation.

2. White hairs are easier to wash off. Black hairs tend to be "sticky." White hairs are also not as noticeable.

3. Some claim that colored pelts are harder to pull. Can make a difference when skinning hundreds of rabbits, eh?

4. The flesh of a colored rabbit is a darker hue. Most noticeable when placed beside the carcass of a white rabbit. Rabbit meat is an "all-white" meat, and this is an advertising ploy. I recently saw the darkest carcass ever in a retail store case... it was grey! Must have come from a black rabbit. Meat manager complained that he couldn't sell it. Even though I knew the reason, I wouldn't buy it, either... and for that same reason.

I hope this answers your questions.

Pat Lamar
President
Professional Rabbit Meat Association
http://www.prma.org/
 
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