Homesteading Forum banner
1 - 2 of 2 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Visit all of the sites suggested especially Pat's site and read everything you can. Feel free to visit my online library at:
http://www.hospitalaccess.com/hotel/readingroom.htm.

However of you are really interested in finding out more about the commercial aspect of raising rabbits joining PRMA is the best investment you'll ever make. Even if you stay small and keep a small warren supplying yourself and a small group of customers, the subscription will pay for itself in knowledge gained resulting in money saved.

Much more than a list of processors, they publish a journal every two months which is approximately 36 pages filled with information on the meat rabbit industry, growers, processors, current trends, legal issues, scientific reports on rabbit growing, and much more. Additionally, as a new member you'll receive a Breeder's Directory which comes in handy when referring people looking for stock or when you'd like to network with like-minded. Also, you'll receive a Guide Book filled with
commercial grower articles and information. Back copies of the journals are available for minimal cost which I'd recommend because I have received some journals that have better information than I've gotten out of some entire books. Or use the members area of the website to download all of the previous journals to your computer at no additional cost.

Sales I've made from being listed on their online breeder's directory alone pays for my membership.

All this for a measly $15 makes joining a no-brainer. For me, and for my financial bottom line, not joining would cost me more IMHO.



 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
mljjranch,

On another note, I often read about people that have a homestead rabbit operation, are successful, and want to go commercial. At the same time many people will tell you to grow into rabbit raising, learning as you grow. All of which begs the question, What do you do between 3 rabbits and 300 rabbits?

Although throughout much of the world rabbits are raised in small numbers, not much is provided for the individual wanting to keep 20-200 cages. Interestingly enough, due to an ever increasing urbanization, and the need for many country dwellers to maintain day jobs, this is all that many rabbits raisers can handle. Unfortuanately though, much of the information out there speaks to either the pet owner or the large herd grower. Where is the small herd grower to get his information?

Of course you're going to have to read between the lines of each book/magazine/journal understanding from what point of view it was written. Books written from the pet rabbit standpoint are totally useless IMHO. Although most books written for the commercial meat raiser are great information-wise, they fail to account for the realities of raising small numbers of rabbits, paying higher feed costs than the large herd grower, and the economies of transporting 30-40 rabbits 100 miles and maintaining a profit margin at the same time. It is almost impossible for a small herd grower to pay $2.00 more per sack of feed and $40.00 in gas to market 30-40 rabbits and come out profitable.

The small herd grower is in a unique situation. Too small to fully capitalize on economy of scale, too large for the effort to not to pay for itself (i.e. too large to consider it a hobby). Alternatives to the methods of large herd growers and fancy growers must be found if the small herd grower is to be successful. Either the cost of production and feed must be reduced and/or the price received must be increased. You'll find that careful shopping may bring your feed costs down while securing you a quality feed (look to local mills), however that probably still might not make you profitable if you have to take a day off and drive your rabbits any distance to a processing plant.

Instead look to expand your rabbitry in stages and find alternative markets along the way which pay more for your rabbits than the typical $.85 lb average received from processors. From the outset look to raising a product that is marketable to as many potential buyers as possible. Only you know if you live outside a major pet market vs. a rural community. Either way rabbits can make a profit for you during that 20-200 cage stage. I recommend your securing high quality purebred stock which is marketable to both fancy as well as commercial buyers. A top quality New Zealand or Californian is appealing to processors, homesteaders, reptile breeders, BARFers, show folks, and the dinner table as either a meat rabbit, a feeder rabbit, show rabbit, or an main course entree. Place most of your efforts into selling your quality stock to your markets that pay the premium for your efforts while keeping your costs the least- breeding stock picked up directly from your farm is an example. Selling to processors is easy and great too if you live close enough and can squeak out a profit from the difference between what you pay for feed and what they'll pay for live weight meat rabbits. But, you'll likely find that until you can go big with a huge herd you're going to be lucky to pay the feed bill selling to a processor. Still it's a profitable option for some situations.

Although Bob Bennett gets some things incorrect in his books, and while we has never been a commercial grower being a fancy breeder himself, he does speak well and at length to the marketing issues of small herd growers. (And there are many times more small herd growers than large.) I'll give him good grades on containing costs and marketing advice to small growers. Used copies of his books can be had on E-Bay cheaply enough and while I'll hold on tightly to my copy of Rabbit Production, his efforts on small herd marketing are well worth the small price you'll pay to get a couple of his older books.

Good luck!

Larry Coble
Hotel Californian Rabbitry
http://www.logicsouth.com/~carabbits
 
1 - 2 of 2 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top