I have a LOT of questions about starting up a Meat Rabbit Farm. I am an animal Lover, however i know the difference between livestock and pets very well. I used to own an Australian Giant buck when i was younger. I presently have Netherland Dawrfs and a Holland Lop, which one of the Netherland does has had 2 large viable litters, both accidental, both nice pet store quality babies. I am side tracking. I am interested in becoming a rabbit farmer, i can read all the information on the internet i want, but i know it does not equal talking to people who are out there caring for their rabbits every day. I also plan on visiting a large rabbit farm before i get into buying a farm, i have seen a small scale rabbit farm at the college i went to ( really wish i would have went into farm management instead of math science now *lol* hind sight is 20/20) 4 rows of 10 i believe. I would like to see if Rabbit Farming would be practical and profitable. Getting buyers? I live in North Carolina aprox. 45 minutes directly east of Charlotte. I would need to find processors out if there are processors near us. I have been reading that the demand for rabbit meat has grown in the southern US. Is that true and in general are tehy looking for NewZelands or Californians ... or some other type. Shockingly from the information i have gathered it seems profitable IF you are close enough to a processor who has a demand and also with minimal labor if set up correctly. When i talked to my fiance he was actually excited about it .. and called our local Ag. Extension office to ask around. Of course he found that this area has no market for rabbits ( which i alrady knew). So that would mean moving which neither of us have a problem with. Although if you have a processor with a high demand will it keep a farm above water to just farm rabbits and their "sub crops" of worms and compost? Start up Costs? I have read and seen meat rabbit farms where they used single level wire cages, which are hung from a support beam in a barn.I think the cages were 36 long 24 wide 18 tall .. or maybe i am messed up on some of those totals. Aproximately 3-4ft off the ground in rows, so that it makes for easier clean up. ( Do grow out cages differ from breeders cages?) I have seen nice mass watering systems, which can be made. It was i believe PVC with sippers in them connected to 5-10 gallon buckets for each row. I think i would prefer cement floors that would need mucked, just because i believe getting the poo away fromt he rabbits will lower the attractability of flies to the building. Then the traditional feeders and nesting boxes. Disinfectants ( i would prefer to use GrapeFruit Seed Extract, however i do not know if that would be appropriate. It is an anti-fungal, bacteria, microbial, and viral) Not to mention the bunnies. How does feeding differ from pet rabbits? Obviously the feeding of vegitables and fruits to growing out bunnies would create losses. So it would be down to a basic rabbit pellets ... and hay? Right now i get 50lbs at a time of Rabbit pellets 19% protien at Approx $8.50-9 a bag from a local feed store. I also get Orchard Grass square Hay bale for $5 a bale from another Local Feed store. Would those prices still be apropriate for rabbit farming until i have more stock, or would i need to look for better before even starting. Do you feed your breeding does differently then the growing out and bucks? Other then just feeding them more pellets? Do you suppliment their diet with calcium or other items? Preference on breeding? How long do you wait from the time a doe has had one litter till the next time you breed her with a buck? How long til you retire a good doe and what are your reasonings ( number of litters, lessening number of kits per litter, high mortality)? Realistic Possible Profit? Realistically can one make a profit from a rabbit farm? What is the normal amount per rabbit that they will consume til they are at weight?or amout of feed to grow our per lb of end weight rabbit? What is the usual average for pay out per lb of rabbit? How large of a start up would you have to have to start with? How hard is it to skin a rabbit? I have helped skin deer before and i did disection of a cat in anatomy1 and 2 in college, however i have never really skinned a rabbit. Is it very difficult? How many of you have sub-"crops" to your rabbit farming to help profits? I was reading that Red Earthworms really like rabbit waste compost piles, as well as composting the rabbit waste dramaticly lowers odor. Does anyone sell fishing worms and compost on the side? Does Diversifying your rabbit population to fill more then one need help your rabbitry succeed? I would also like to do angora wool( eventually getting a spinner and producing yarn as well) .. i would have to start that small .. i do know of a market of people who would be interested off the internet. Some which are hand spinners and some who would love the quality of the spun wool to make their own garments. I have read that if selling direct you can expect to sell fibers for $4/ Oz. ($2 /oz for middle men) and a rabbit per year can produce anywhere from 8oz to 3 lb of wool or more depending on the breed. However they are more difficult to care for and take much more time per animal. Show/pet quality bunnies .. Easter would be the #1 time .. but if you sell to wholesalers or petstores you Must abide by Animal Welfare Act and be inspected( if you do over $500 in sales), the question there would be would they also be inspecting the meat rabbits as well, which would increase them finding something one day to fine for?