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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone,

I'm new to the forum and usually hang out on the equine board, having 5 horses. I presently live in VA but wish to move to MO. I have a few acres there, but found a new place that is perfect for me. In order to swing everything (rent in VA, small mortgage in MO now, and moving up to bigger place in MO) the increase in cost would be about $1000 more a month. I figure I can add another job to cover the jump to get started, but obviously that couldn't go on forever.

So, here's my question: could a rabbit business eventually cover the increase? I know someone who is willing to go there, build what I need, tend to things, and generally help me get set up and run everything, in exchange for living there. The location is close to a PelFreez pickup and I would like to get started with them. The rabbits would not need to cover all my expenses; I have a trade that I would be developing a clientele once I get moved.

If I could get everything up and running in MO, could it be paying the cost of the second mortgage and allowing me to get moved to where I want to be? In a nutshell, in a year's time, could I be making at least $1000 a month clear from the rabbits, and what numbers would I need to accomplish this?

FYI, I grew up on a farm that included a small rabbitry (about 200 total at any given time), so I'm not totally in the dark about raising rabbits, it's just been a long time.

Thank you in advance for any input!

Twila
 

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I sell to Pelfreez now, and used the formula found on the Miss State Univ. site to figure how I would do. Just plug in current price per pound Think it will drop next month 1.45? and current feed cost. Be prepared to follow their rules.
Good Luck
 

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FourCountryGals.com
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One thing I read on the Pel-Freez site is that you have to be prepared to wait for up to a year for acceptance, too. They are the most reliable processor in the nation, and have a very clear understanding of their market.

Their rules require you to "declare" what you'll be shipping to them within about a two-week period to receive their premium price. That helps them to "pre-sell" as much of their inventory as possible.

I guess what I'm trying to say, is that it may take you a couple of years to get to the point of paying for the second mortgage, and that depends a lot on the current economic conditions.
 

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Do you have a link to this? I would be interested to see it.

I sell to Pelfreez now, and used the formula found on the Miss State Univ. site to figure how I would do. Just plug in current price per pound Think it will drop next month 1.45? and current feed cost. Be prepared to follow their rules.
Good Luck
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the info! I figure a year or two is doable in getting up and running- I've been over PelFreez's info numerous times and willing to put in what it takes if it will pay off. Worst case scenario, dog food and selling to neighbors!

Thanks,
Twila
 

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Hi,
How much time do you have to work on the rabbits. To make enough profit to pay a mortgage, you will have to work it like a second job. Not to mention the start up cost for a rabbitry that large. We sold to pel-freez for a little while. We were thinking of doing it as a business. lucky for us, we came up with a test model(50 does at a 28 day breed back). The does did what they were supposed to and the kits grew like they were supposed to, but the figures just didn't add up. With all the hours of work, equipment, feed and other incidental costs, we were not making profit at all. Even with some other off farm rabbit sales, the figures did not support going into the "rabbit business". Feed a fuel costs are way up. A lot of rabbit producers have called it quits. I don't mean to be so negative, but you would be better off finding a second job to pay the mortgage. At this time, I would not encourage anyone to start producing rabbits on a large scale.
 

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Rabbits are great, but very fragile in the OK. heat. Mo. is close in temps. (summer)

Rabbits can do very well or they can die off very easily. I had some great birthing rates and also had some where for wharever reason I lost almost all of them. I had a small rabbitry of aroud 30-60 does ata any one time. The best way I found to sell them was to the raw dog food groups. At the time it was getting only around a $1/lb but they took everything I had. There were times though I would get stuck w/ several dozen kits that I couldn't sell due to the group getting a great deal on other meat forms. You need to have a way to freeze what you have extra.

Pel-freeze was too far to drive to the pick up site. and the gas killed the profit. Their routs sometimes change as producers get out of the business.

Pelfreezes requirements on housing was another thing that was very hard and expensive to provide. The barn that they want is high in up front capital. The only thing that was really hard to do was water in the winter. I didn't have the building insulated like they wanted it and it didn't matter as I was not selling to them. I couldn't afford an insulated heated/cooled building.

Be carefull of being a owner and being away from your rabbits for long peroids of tiem or having someone else raise them. It could go sour very quickly. Good luck with what you decide and let us know how it works out.

I do hope to have rabbits again. They were great to have and could quickly give a return if the costs were kept down and management is tight. I haven't priced feed lately so it could also be a big factor. Just follow the numbers and see if it is worth it. Have fun. P.S. Get everything in a contract!!!!
 

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hello im new here and have started to raise new zealand whites. Im hoping pel freeze will be a profit way for use but like other said have a market for them before you get them. Ive already found several people wanting to buy my rabbit once the start reproducing. Im starting small 3 does 1 buck do not get in to deep. while waiting for pel freeze to contact me i will be raising rabbits to sell to locals.
 

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Amanda
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I don't sell to Pel-Freez, I sell to locals. My rabbits pay for themselves, the goats and some of the bills most of the time. It is possible, you just have to work it.
 

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I suppose anything is possible,but I think it would be quite an endeavor too get a rabbitry too make that kind of money, but hey, there must be some doing it,right? However I am sure thare are alot more that are not. I know I could never do it, not much of a numbers cruncher,I try too do everything as economicly as possible, and manage the animals as best I can, but I think I would be afraid too know what keeping all our animals is truely "costing" us.We only raise them too feed the family,sell a few here and there and of course, the enjoyment of it all! I would love too be able too make a living raising our animals, but for now , more a dream than a reality. Keep us posted on your progress, and Best of Luck!
 

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what numbers would I need to accomplish this
As noted previously, there are a lot of variables such as the expense
of feed, utilities and transportation. Not being given more details,
I would suggest that you plan on breeding 125 to 150 does per month
at the current pricing.

Along the way, you might be able to develop other markets that pay
more to reduce the number of does required.

The reason one might have to wait for a while to obtain a Pel-Freez
grower number is due to the production along the route. If the truck
is making the route and getting a full load, you won't be able to
get the fryers to market *unless* you can deliver directly to the
plant. In my area, the truck is not full and you could get accepted
in a heartbeat!

One week before we sell, we are required to advise the # of our
fryers we are bringing to the truck. This is to insure that the
route is worth running and that room is available for all rabbits
being brought to the pickup point.

The barn that they want is high in up front capital. The only thing that was really hard to do was water in the winter. I didn't have the building insulated like they wanted it and it didn't matter as I was not selling to them. I couldn't afford an insulated heated/cooled building.
I've not seen anything requiring a heated/cooled building. Mine
isn't. The insulation only needs to be in the ceiling. The sides of
my barn are open so they can't be insulated. I can't
imagine anyone wanting to raise rabbits without having insulated
ceilings. The transfer of heat through a metal roof is unbearable
on days with temps of 90 and above.

My barn has been inspected previously and met their requirements.

Linda Welch
P-F grower for ten years.
 
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