Yes, you can raise rabbits for profit no matter how many animals you have.
In fact, I would encourage you to start small. Then once you have the system down and feel like you are consistently making sales in your rabbitry. THEN you can grow the number of animals you have.
BUT!!!! You have to go into it very intentionality. You can’t just go into raising rabbits for profit willy nilly.
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.
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Rabbits are not easy to raise and even harder to breed and have successful litters. But if you love it you can stick out the hard times and have a profitable rabbitry.
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?
Multiple Income Streams
You want to choose the rabbits you decide to get wisely. If you find just the right breed you could have multiple income streams with time.
- 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.
Maybe you are like ok Leah that’s all well and good but I mainly want to have rabbit meat on my small farm. 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.
Wouldn’t you rather be able to sell your extra rabbits for $50-$150 rather than selling off your extras to a local pet store?
To Raise Rabbits For Profit You Need To Find The Right 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. Stay focused on one breed to get started and become known for. This will help you have a more profitable rabbitry.
You will be spread too thin and won’t be able to focus on promoting the breeds you have. When continually changing breeds or not being focused on one or two breeds people don’t know how to refer buyers to you.
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 rabbits in the sense that if you try to be known for too many breeds you won’t be known for any.
Suggested Ways To Find Breeds You Like
The American Rabbit Breeders Association is the rabbit version of AKC for dogs. 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 purebred rabbits.
Check out the breeds and write down your top five breeds that pique your interest.
Here are some great rabbit breeds that were bred for a commercial purpose.
- New Zealand Whites
- Flemish Giant
- Californian rabbits.
- English Angora
How To Research And Find A Rabbit Breed That Will Make You A Profit
- Write down your top 5 rabbit breeds on a list.
- 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 that was just doing it for fun and no real professionalize 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.
To Raise Rabbits For Profit Start Your Rabbitry Small
Large numbers do not necessarily mean high profits. Start with a trio or two breeding pairs to get started.
It’s not going to be easy at first and you may not have a buyer for each rabbit before they are ready to leave at 8 weeks. It could take 10 or even 12 weeks before they all sell. And you will likely have to work for it.
But as your rabbitry and your name grows it will get easier and easier. As the demand grows you can add more animals.
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.
One way I try to avoid the long periods of having rabbits past the 8-week point is having some form of a waiting list.
Or a notification system to tell people when rabbits will be available for deposit.
Add more breeding animals as you are able to sell more and be strategic about the breedings you do so you can build your herd by keeping a few babies.
Even if people don’t recognize the rabbit’s conformation very well they will have this sense when looking at them that they are well put together and are of good quality.
To Raise Rabbits For Profit 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.
If you try to keep track of it in your head you will not be running at a profit faster than you can say hasenpfeffer.
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 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.
How To Budget In Your Rabbitry After You Are Making Money
For most rabbitries, income is seasonal. Any 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 feed per week as an example. (That is about how much I go through raising 12-15 French Lops)
Figuring Out How Much Feed You Will Need For The Off Season
As you will see I have three different equations to help you. It can feel stressful to be thinking you have to save that yearly bill.
But if you break it down it’s a much easier mountain to climb. You are just saving enough to get you through to the next time you have rabbits available. That is only 6-7 months. Not a full year.
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 $50 – $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.
How Much To Charge To Run Your Rabbitry At A Profit?
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?
Let’s start with…
How Much Do You Have To Charge To Cover Expenses?
Let’s say you are trying to cover the annual expense budget of $1000 and you can have on average 8 litters per year.
The litter can be as few as 3 kits per litter or as many as 8-10.
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.
6 babies x 8 litters is 48 babies.
1000 divided by 48 = just over $20 So you have to sell each jr for at least $21 to break even.
Thats it! 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 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.
You Have To Treat Your Rabbitry Like A Business To Raise Rabbits For Profit
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 bot buying a rabbit that is “just so cute”. You will have to learn to become stronger in your goals and drive to make the rabbitry profitable.
Set boundaries ahead of time. Know how far you will go and be willing to put the breaks on for something that will cost too much.
To Raise Rabbits For Profit 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 buy 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.
Saving Money On Cages
The best way to get started is to find old cages on Craigslist. They might need some work but you can do it.
Just make sure when you do the repairs that there are NO sharp points anywhere. Rabbits get abscesses so easy 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 looked awful in the back yard but it did the job.
What to look for/think about when looking to buy a rabbit cage.
- No solid floors. This is very unhealthy for rabbits.
- Size of the rabbit and if you will breed your rabbit. If so you will need space for the babies.
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.
Things like nail clippers are a lot more durable for dogs but for cats and rabbits.
So that is another way to look at it. The better quality the tool the longer it will last.
Here are a few of my favorite tools for rabbits.
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.
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.
- 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.
Talk about it 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?
Choose One Platform To Promote Your Rabbitry
Start with one platform or method to promote your rabbitry with the goal of working up to at least 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. Check out this post to learn more about social media.
A Profitable Rabbitry Needs A Home Base
Social media is not our own. The creators can change the rules any time they want and you could lose all of your work and follow 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. And having a website is one of the most reliable sources.
Getting Found In Search Is Powerful
80-90% of my rabbit sales come from people finding me on google and getting on my email waiting list.
If you are going to stick with it for a while need a home base off of social media.
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 which is great. Things like selling your own products and making affiliate income. Which will give you more income than just livestock sales.
Quick Tips For Better Rabbit Production
- If you want to be a profitable rabbit farmer you have to feed them right. Quality commercial feed will give you far better meat production results.
- Butcher weight means how many pounds of meat and bone you are left with after the animal has been processed.
- Rabbit’s gestation period is 29-33 days but the standard is 31 days. – Learn more about rabbit breeding here.
- If your rabbits have large litters you will be better off having extra rabbit hutches so young rabbits can fill out better. Rabbit rabbits are not competing for fresh water and rabbit pellets.
- Rabbits need a nesting box to have a place to hide their litter and keep them warm. (Learn all you need to know about nexting boxes hear)
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.
You can raise rabbits for profit if you are willing to do the work and stick with it.