What To Charge?

Discussion in 'Rabbits' started by RedneckWoman, Jun 12, 2004.

  1. RedneckWoman

    RedneckWoman Well-Known Member

    Jun 10, 2004
    Hi everyone. I was just wondering if someone could give me some idea of what to charge for kits when they are weaned. I have eight purebread NZW and ten NZW/ Chinchilla mixes. The rabbits I see in the classifieds here range from $5-$25 all different breeds and ages, some mixed, some purebread. With such a difference in prices I really don't know what to charge for them. TYIA.
  2. Michael Leferink

    Michael Leferink Well-Known Member

    Jul 12, 2003
    Around here, 8 - 10 week old meat rabbits (Cal/NZW) go for $1.50 per live lb. I've seen pet rabbits go from $12.00 - $20.00. I have no idea what show rabbits bring. It would depend on their pedigree, the performance of their ancestors and their conformation.

    It would be best to find out what others in your area are getting. Rabbit prices vary greatly depending on what area of the nation your looking at. If your planning on selling to a processor, they will have a set price. You may be able to negotiate with them or maybe not.


  3. Tracy

    Tracy Well-Known Member

    May 2, 2002
    What is your market? Live rabbits, breeding stock, selling to a processor, pet food, etc?

    Your markets can and will have different pricing. As Michaeil pointed out processors will pay a set amount. Most pay more for fryers and less for roasters.

    Before you can figure out your pricing, if not selling to a processor you need to run some numbers. Normally it takes 4 lbs of feed for a 1 lb weight gain in a rabbit. I am talking meat rabbits here. You need to figure out how much your feed is per lb so you know what $$ it takes to grow them out. Also my time is money and I do figure in my labor also as well as electric, etc.

    So for me as an example a 50 lb bag of food is $8.72 divide that by 50 so my cost of food is .1744 per lb. I will rouund this to .18 lb so in order to get a 5 lb rabbit it will take 20 lbs of feed or $3.60 per rabbit. Now this is not counting the breeing stock that also needs food so you need to figure in the costs here as well. This will vary depending on how many rabbits you have. I figure in about 1/2 lb day [again this will vary depending on does nursing litters,etc.] For 100 rabbits [breeding stock] I use 50 lbs per day. If I take the $8.72 per day. $8.72x7days=$61.04 per week [feed cost] and multiply this by 8 weeks [I am using 8 weeks as a figure for growing out a fryer, my fryers are 5 lbs at 8 weeks but if you have slower rabbits this might be 10 or even 12 weeks] $61.04x 8=$488.32. Divide this by the rabbits you have so in my case 100=$4.88 per rabbit in feed for an 8 week period.

    I add the $3.60 fryer feed cost and then calculate a percentage of the breeding stock feed. I figure my does normally produce [low end] 8 kits per litter so I will take the $4.88 and divide it by 8 so this comes to .61 and this is what I figure in additional feed costs for the fryers so bottom line feed alone will cost about $4.21.

    As you can see not a lot of profit in rabbits so you need to watch costs. That being said though, you can make aprofit but have to have good management. You need to cull HARD. It costs more to feed a bad rabbit then a good one so if you have marginal breeding stock that is only raising a few kits you are loosing money. I do not keep stock that can not raise at least 8 kits minimum.

    Also if you are dressing the rabbits you have weight loss from the hide, guts etc. My markets are pet food so I have less of a loss then a processor that sellds for human consumption as we use the organs and head as well. I expect about 30% loss from hide, intestine and stomach. The ears and feet are saved to make dehydrated dog and cat treats. So this live 5 lb rabbit dressed for dog food is now 3.5 lbs. I sell dressed rabbit for $2.39 lb so for 3.5 lb that would be $8.36 minus $4.21 [feed]=$4.15 profit BUT WAIT. Before everyone starts seeing dollar signs this is unrealistic because now the other costs start coming into play. MY electric bill runs $500 per month 90% of this is business related as I have commercial freezers running. I also am to the point where I could not keep up by myself so now I am paying an employee so now I have workers comp insurance, business taxes, etc. Dont forget to figure in your pacakaging materials. My bags run .04 each. They add up. Also the equipment that is needed. I have 2 grinders 1 is a 10 h.p the other 5 h.p which cost thousands. The freezers [walk in] also thousands. These also run on 3 phase electric and I had to purchase a converter to run the equipment so again THOUSANDS. Also I euthanize the rabbits with co2 which is $106.00 per tank. [I also use co2 to make dry ice for shipping] My co2 cost runs me about $700 per month.

    There are many people that will try to undercut my pricing. I try to be fair but bottom line is that this is a business so I have to make a profit or it wont be a business for long. Most people that start advertising really low prices on rabbits [dressed] have never ran the numbers and I know darn well that this is not competion as they will loose big time and will be out of business very soon.

    Any one who is interested in raising rabbits for a living needs to keep good records.
    This can be done as I am living proof. But it is not a get rich quick thing and will require lots of hard work. I mean HARD WORK.

    I have developed this business because I do what I say, believe costumer service should always be 100% and supply what I say when I say I am going to do it. Because of this I have many loyal customers. The worst thing in any business is not being able to consistently supply a product.

    Hope this gives everyone some food for thought. :) :)
  4. MadWoodsman

    MadWoodsman New Member

    Apr 10, 2005
    Looking at these production costs and what Pel-Freez is paying per pound ($1) for fryers it looks like someone interested in this line of work will have a very hard time making a go of this. I don't mind working hard, but it is nice to be compensated for the hard work.

    You are doing much better on the price/pound with the pet food market, but you have a lot of preparation/storage/facilities costs that someone shipping rabbits to a processor won't have.

    At this point I am wondering if I shouldn't be looking at being a grower and processor who operates a chain of "smoked rabbit on a stick" joints. Driving a bunch on rabbits from Llano to Dallas (Pel-Freez Route Stop) is an expensive proposition when you consider these margins.

    Perhaps selling all I can into alternative markets and sending the remainder to Dallas (before they get too old/big) would work?

    - MadWoodsman
  5. MikeD

    MikeD Well-Known Member

    Aug 30, 2003
    Tracy, having come to know you a bit from the board I know you're on top of your game. I'm just curious about your co2 cost because a 50# tank rental costs me $40 for the year and all of $13 to fill. What size tanks are you dealing with and what are you using for a euthanasia set up to put your rabbits down in? Do you find that it's more difficult to skin a rabbit if it's been hanging for more than 5 minutes or so?

    BTW I still, as yet, have not come across any hard research on using co2 on animals for human consumption. Just for giggles, I'm going to experiment in the next few weeks as I have a few that need to be culled and I haven't had a good rabbit meal for a few months now.
  6. dlwelch

    dlwelch Well-Known Member

    Aug 25, 2002
    Central Texas
    If you haven't investigated processing and marketing your rabbits in Texas,
    it might be worthwhile to do so. A lady in South Texas set up her
    state approved processing facility for poultry for under $10,000. There
    are several people with home processing plants raising, processing
    and marketing (intrastate) poultry. To my knowledge, there may only be one
    processing and marketing rabbits (if they still have their facility in

    It would seem the only way to make a decent profit hauling to
    G Bar G from Llano would be to have large numbers of fryers or to
    share delivery expense with other producers. With the price of fuel and the
    rising costs of feed and wire, my profit margin has narrowed a bit! :bash:

    Linda Welch
  7. birdie_poo

    birdie_poo Well-Known Member

    May 10, 2002
    We got $10 for NZ. The bigger the breed, the higher the price. I get $30-$40 for my flemish...these are all dressed prices, though, so live we charge double, reasoning, they will breed them and we lose a customer.
  8. rabbitgal

    rabbitgal Ex-homesteader

    Feb 11, 2005
    Does anyone actually make enough money to quit the town job and work full time in the rabbitry--and make more than minimum wage? Rabbits are looking more and more like a low-profit, high maintenance business! No, I would never give up my rabbits for purely monetary reasons, but it is nice to know whether or not it could ever be more than just a hobby.
  9. littlebitfarm

    littlebitfarm Scotties rule! Supporter

    Mar 21, 2005
    I sell mine to a couple friends as pet food. I charge $2.50/pound dressed carcass weight. They get the head and organs for free (if they want them). I sell about half of my rabbits, the other half go to my dogs. The incoming money pays the feed bill so my dogs eat for free!