7+ Business Tips To Raise Rabbits For Profit

If you are wondering if you can raise rabbits for profit. The short answer is YES. You can raise rabbits for profit no matter how many animals you have.

BUT!!!! You have to go into it very intentionally. You can’t just go into raising rabbits for profit willy-nilly. You have to be disciplined and be willing to keep yourself in check when you catch yourself letting your emotions get in the way of making data-driven decisions.

It can be an expensive hobby if you let the cuteness of the baby rabbits and that one special color you just have to have take over your judgment.

But if you use these tips to be intentional about your rabbitry you can turn a money-sucking hobby into a profitable business.

Imagine if you could get your rabbitry to not only pay for itself but put a little extra money into your pocket. That would be awesome, right?

 It’s worth saying no to short-term gratification that won’t last. To make room for long-term success.

how to raise rabbits for profit intro image.

How Many Rabbits Do You Need To Start A Rabbitry

Large numbers do not necessarily mean high profits.

How many rabbits should you start with?

Idealy start with a trio OR 5 unrelated rabbits.

A trio is 1 buck (male rabbit) and 2 does (female rabbit). If you have the space and money to start with 5 then I would advise you to get 2 unrelated bucks and 3 does.

Your male rabbits are just as important as your does. One buck is fine to start but if he crokes you are out of business until you find another buck. Personally, I keep two to three bucks on hand and I have 10-12 does.

Add more breeding animals as your rabbits start to sell faster. If you are selling all of your litters before they are ready to leave and you have a steady stream of inquiries about the rabbits then you know it is safe to add more.

Be strategic about the breedings you do so you can build your herd by keeping a few babies. Then rotate out the bucks as your herd starts to get more related to eachother. 

Californian rabbits

Choose One Breed To Raise And Be Known For That Breed

When you are getting started there will be a lot of breeds that seem interesting that you might want to try.

Spending your money on two or three rabbits of five different breeds is THE WORST thing you can do if you are serious about making a profit. Stay focused on one breed to get started and become known for it. This will help you build momentum in marketing your farm business and profits.

You will be spread too thin and won’t be able to focus on promoting the breeds you have. It takes people on average 7-11 times to see something before they make decisions about buying.

There is a saying in the entrepreneur space. “If you try to speak to everyone you will speak to no one.” It works the same way for rabbit raisers in the sense that if you try to be known for too many breeds you won’t be known for any.

three french lop rabbits

How To Find Breeds You Like

Whether you are raising rabbits for meat, show, or as pets there are two things you need to keep in mind when choosing a breed.

  • You need to pay attention to what they were meant for. 
  • And you need to know who you are selling to and why they want that rabbit. What’s their reason for buying?

These two key things will help you choose the right breed of rabbit that will make the most sense and profit.

If you are not familiar with different breeds of domesticated rabbits you should check out the American Rabbit Breeders Association website.

If you go to their website you will find all of the recognized breeds with a basic breed overview. When looking to buy rabbits in the United States they set the standards for each recognized purebred rabbits.

a litter of flemish giant rabbits

How To Find A Profitable Rabbit Breed

Once you have your top 5 breeds that fit the goals of your rabbitry you need to do some research on how much they cost and how hard they are to find. 

While you don’t want to get into a breed that is super common you may not want to pick a breed that is super hard to get a hold of either.

Here are the steps to research the average price of the breed and give you an idea of how common they are.

  • Start with breed #1 and search [breed name + your area] in Google search.
  • Write down any prices you are able to find. Both low and high. ( Take note of the type of rabbit raiser they were. Meaning are they raising them for show? Was their website or social media account up to date and informative? Or did they seem like a backyard breeder who was just doing it for fun and had no real professionalism or consistency?
  • Do the same on social media. More and more people are using a Facebook page or Instagram account as the main way to promote their rabbitry.
  • You can also check out Facebook groups and see what people are charging there.

Take all of the prices you found for each breed. What seems to be the middle-range price for that breed? Write that down and set that off to the side. You are going to want to come back to this once you work through your expenses.

a blue steel french lop buck

Choose A Rabbit Breed That Gives You High-Profit Margins

Profit margin is the gap between your expenses and how much you can charge for the product. When choosing the breed you want to raise, choosing one that you can only sell for $20 a head isn’t going to cover the costs as well as an animal you can charge $100 for.

Always choose a breed you will enjoy and don’t just pick one for the dollar signs. But you should also be intentional about the animals you raise and the income streams you choose.

A blue angora rabbit that produces multiple income streams for a rabbitry

Multiple Income Streams

You want to choose the rabbits you decide to get wisely. If you have a main goal of raising meat rabbits for your homestead then that does force you to choose certain meat rabbit breeds if you want to get the best results. BUT there are always ways you monetize if you pause and think.

If you find just the right breed you could build out multiple income streams with them in time.

Income Ideas For Rabbits

  • Sell rabbit manure.
  • Raise show rabbits.
  • Rabbits for 4-H projects.
  • Provide people with breeding stock to start their own heard.
  • You could provide lean, organic, high-protein meat at your local market.
  • Start a worm farm.
  • Scale to major rabbit farming and sell your rabbits to local grocery stores.
  • Raise Angoras and sell their wool.
  • Spin the wool and make even more.

Most meat rabbit breeds tend to sell for less making it harder to make enough money to cover costs. 

  • What if you chose to raise higher-quality meat rabbits? You could sell them to people who wanted to have pet rabbits but you also could sell them to people who wanted to raise their own meat rabbits.
  • Find a unique meat rabbit breed that people would be interested in as pets but they still serve your goal of raising rabbits for meat. 
  • ** This I say with caution.** If you are not new to raising rabbits you could have your income-generating breed and your meat rabbit breed. But only do this if you are confident in your skills in raising rabbits.

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Tips To Start A Profitable Rabbitry

When it comes to making money and raising rabbits for profit you have to be very strategic with everything from which animals you buy to finding deals on cages and supplies.

If you have a soft heart and give people discounts and have a hard time not buying a rabbit that is “just so cute”. You will have to learn to become stronger in your goals because you don’t have a profitable rabbitry business if you can’t stay focused on your goals.

Start A Budget

In order to raise rabbits for profit, you have to have a pulse on your rabbitry’s income and expenses. No if, and, or buts.

At first of course you are not going to have as much of an income but you need to create the habit of income and expense tracking early. You are not going to be accurate if you try to remember it in your mind. 

If you are just starting out decide how much you can afford to spend from your personal income for feed costs and basic expenses.

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Save Up Money To Get Started

Ideally, you should save enough money for 3-5 rabbits plus 3-6 months of feed depending on the time of year.

You have to assume you won’t have anything to sell right away. It takes AT MINIMUM three months to breed and raise a successful litter to the age they can leave your rabbitry.

The stress and pressure to turn a profit will crush your dreams faster than you thought possible. On top of that people are going to smell your desperation if you are using intense language when trying to promote your rabbits.

But if you have a decent amount of money saved it will relieve so much stress.

sticky notes, a phone, and some coins set out as on a wood background

Save Money Where You Can

Like I said before you can’t go willy nilly into raising rabbits and buy all the things that tickle your fancy. Have a want list and upgrade as you can.

Buy the things you can’t DIY like quality tools and the things that will make your life easier. But save money where you can and get scrappy with the things that don’t need to cost as much.

You can make your own wire cages and nesting boxes. You can also get creative with your supplies. 

Tips To Save Money On Cages

The best way to get started is to find old cages on Craigslist or Facebook marketplace. They might need some work but you can do it and if you’ve never done that it’s a good skill to learn.

Just make sure when you do the repairs that there are NO sharp points anywhere. Rabbits get abscesses so easily and those are not easy to fix.

If you have skills with power tools you can look for things that could be turned into a hutch. I had a trophy display case that I turned into a rabbit hutch. It looked awful in the back yard but it did the job.

Find more tips on buying rabbit cages here.

Where To Buy A Rabbit Cage

If you have the money and you are able to buy cages that look nice and are pre-done. By all means, don’t be ashamed of that. Just know that will cut into your profit that first year.

There are really only three options for buying rabbit cages.

  • Buying from a rabbitry supply dealer like this one here. I personally buy my cage floor wire from them and they are wonderful.
  • Tractor Supply or another farm store that is great.
  • Make it yourself. When you have a large breed sometimes you have to make the cages yourself. You are just not going to find what you need.

Save Money On Rabbitry Supplies To Keep Profits High

Don’t buy from the rabbit section in pretty much any store. The supplies are much smaller and are priced ssssssooo much higher.

Go to the dog section or even the horse/livestock section if the store has them.

Choose supplies that will last you longer. Rabbit water bottles are a waste of money in my opinion. Before I found my favorite black rubber bowls for the rabbits I used to buy these bowls from the dollar tree. They are great for the winter and the ice can be easily broken out of them. Buuuutt the plastic ones tend to break after a year or so. But do what you gotta do to get started.

Things like nail clippers are a lot more durable for dogs than for cats and rabbits.

So that is another way to look at it. The better quality the tool the longer it will last.

How To Budget In Your Rabbitry After You Are Making Money

For most rabbitries, income is seasonal. This is the case for any business so you have to budget for that.

If you can figure out a way to have rabbits available all year long you would not have to hold back as much money to pay for the feed bill. However, there will still be a few slow months out of the year.

But assuming you are making money 6 months out of the year you need to save back enough money for the other 6 months of feed and expenses. Make sense?

Let’s use a rabbitry that goes through 1 50-lb bag of commercial feed per week as an example. (That is about how much I go through raising 12-15 French Lops)

It’s Time To Do Some Math.

  • 1 bag costs $18 Monthly Feed Bill / $18 x 4 (bags) = $72
  • Quarterly Feed Bill / $18 x 12 (bags) = $216
  • Yearly Feed Bill / $18 x 52 (bags) = $936

Don’t start sweating yet. I am going to help you figure out how much you have to make to cover the cost. Just breath.

When it comes to cages, supplies, and other expenses you have to be the one to decide how much to save back. But at least $100 would be advisable.

And if you want to make or buy new cages quite a bit more.

This is where planning ahead will do you a lot of good. You have to think through your projects and when would make the most sense to do them. So in turn you can save money for each project.

calculator and a notepad on a desk

How Much To Charge For Your Rabbits

There are two ways you can figure this out.

  • How many rabbits do you have to sell?
  • Or how much do you have to charge for each of your rabbits to cover your expenses? – (This is helpful to know if you are limited on space and don’t have the opportunity to expand. You still have to be realistic with this and make sure its possible to get the price you would need to charge.)

Let’s start with…

How Much Do You Have To Charge To Cover Expenses?

Two things to keep in mind. 

  • Is it realistic to expect this price for the animals you have?
  • Will the market pay that price?
  • Do you have the reputation to support that price point? – You can’t expect premium pricing right out of the gate if people don’t know who you are.

Ok let’s get into the details.

Depending on the breed the litter can be as few as 3 kits per litter or as many as 8-10 so NEVER EVER overestimate because that will leave you in the red if you don’t end up with enough young rabbits to sell. So let’s say your average is 6 kits per litter.

Let’s say you are trying to cover the annual expense budget of $1000 and you can have on average 8 litters per year.

  • 6 babies x 8 litters is 48 babies.
  • 1000 divided by 48 = just over $20 So you have to sell each rabbit for at least $21 to break even.

That’s it! See how much “less scary” that number seems.

And for my students in The Profitable Rabbitry Playbook, I want your charging 3-5 times that for your rabbits. (But in order to do that you have to show your worth and elevate your brand to be able to command a higher price.

How Many Rabbits Do You Have To Sell?

Let’s flip this around. Let’s say you know you can charge $50 per head and you have a bill of $1000 per year to cover expenses. Let’s figure out how many sales it will take to make that amount.

1000 divided by 50=20 So you have to sell 20 rabbits to cover the cost. Anything over that is a bonus.

20 rabbits divided by an average of 6 kits ber litter means you have to have 3 – 4 litters per year to cover the coast.

Anything over that is money in your pocket.

To Raising Rabbits For Profit, You Have To Attract Buyers

Now we are dipping our toe into the making money part. You can’t raise rabbits for profit without that. You need to learn how to use each platform and put together a marketing plan for your rabbitry.

Find A Way To Be Unique

To raise rabbits for profit, you have to find ways to stand out.

Yes, you may have found a breed that is not super common but there are still other rabbit raisers out there. Why should people buy from YOU and not the other person?

Some of the best ways to stand out are free.

  • You are easy to reach and check your messages often.
  • Find ways to look professional.
  • Clean and edited images. Not dark and ugly.
  • Keep your social media and website very clean and neat.
  • Be very informative.
  • Be willing to say when a breed is not right for someone.
  • Create an experience for your buyers. Make them want to come back to you and sing your praises to those they meet.

You Have To Promote Your Rabbitry For It To Be Profitable

To raise rabbits for profit people have to know that you exist. Buying a few rabbits does not mean you will have customers. And you have to attract that first mouth before you have word-of-mouth marketing.

Talk about your rabbitry where people are spending their time. Most often it is on that little device in their back pocket using these little apps we call social media.

It might make you cringe and you might want to drag your feet. But do you want to raise rabbits for profit? Or do you want to just have fun raising them and barely make anything?

The choice is yours.

If you want to learn more about marketing your rabbitry you should check out my marketing course for backyard farmers.

Choose One Platform To Promote Your Rabbitry

Start with one platform or method to promote your rabbitry with the goal of working up to two.

One might be a social media platform. And another could be going to rabbit shows. Or building a website to be found in search.

Eventually, word of mouth will become an option but you have to get people to know you exist first.

Get creative and use the platforms that people are using. The popular social platforms today won’t be the same in 10 years. The users will change and the way they use it will change also.

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A Profitable Rabbitry Needs A Home Base

Social media is not our own. The creators of those platforms can change the rules any time they want and you could lose all of your work and following in an instant. In the summer of 2021, I completely lost my traffic from Pinterest.

I am having to rebuild traffic avenues using other sources.

Which is why I recommended you work your way up to at least two methods of promotion. If one goes out you still have another platform to add fire to.

Get help and find motivation as we build our intentional backyard farm together.

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Getting Found In Search Is Powerful

80-90% of my rabbit sales come from people finding me on Google and getting on my rabbitry email notification waiting list. This is where people get emails from me about the rabbitry just as if they followed me on social media. It’s another way to get people who don’t want to use social.

If you know you are going to stick with it for a while need a home base off of social media. I typically tell people to invest time in a site after one year if they are seeing results they are happy with.

I used a free website for over 5 years before switching to a hosted (paid) website.

Having a website gives you a level of authority and the freedom to use other methods to make money. Things like selling your own products and making affiliate income. Which will give you more income than just livestock sales.

You can do anything you set your mind to. Get creative and try things that others are not doing. Give it time to build momentum and think of it like an experiment, not a failure. There are so many benefits of raising rabbits that you may not find until you get into it.

If something doesn’t work figure out why and what you can do differently.

laptop computer on a desk

You can raise rabbits for profit if you are willing to do the work and stick with it. If you want a step-by-step guide to raising rabbits for profit make sure to check out my business book for rabbit raisers. I walk you through the exact steps and systems I took to get my rabbitry to multiple four figures a year.

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