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Making rabbits make money  RSS feed

 
Posts: 64
Location: Callisburg Texas
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Has anyone had success eith this?

I raise pedigreed TAMUK meat rabbits and while others have had success selling them we don't seem to.

Some of my ideas are calling a meat truck to come and pick up rabbits once every 2 or 3 months. Selling the manure. Or selling the tanned pelts

Do any of yall have any other ideas. Theories or proven are both welcome!!!
 
pollinator
Posts: 4339
Location: Anjou ,France
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Rabbit I find is quite regional and to be honest here in Europe a bit of an ethnic thing as well , culturally it depends on where you are as to if you have a good market or not . So where are you ?
Are there any markets you can tap into ?

David
 
pollinator
Posts: 145
Location: Courtrai Area, Flanders Region, Belgium Europe
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Love rabbit stewed in brown beer. How is non super mass produced beer called again in English ?
 
pollinator
Posts: 1793
Location: Wisconsin, zone 4
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Erwin Decoene wrote:Love rabbit stewed in brown beer. How is non super mass produced beer called again in English ?



Microbrews
 
Erwin Decoene
pollinator
Posts: 145
Location: Courtrai Area, Flanders Region, Belgium Europe
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Thanks Todd i could not find the word.


Tommie how many rabbits are you producing that you can call in a meat truck ?

As David mentioned rabbit is quite specific. My US family told me that they have trouble finding rabbit meat in the greater Detroit area. You could perhaps target restaurants? French and Belgian cuisines to name 2 have a rabbit tradition.

In Belgium almost every family has its own recipes for beerbased porc, beef and rabbit stews. People used to keep rabbits more than nowadays. You used to see people herbs and grass for their rabbits. If you wanted a rabbit you could usually find several small scale producers - often pensioners supplementing their income.


Folks in the microbrew business might be interested.



An acquintance disolves and ferments rabbit manure for use in her vegetable garden. She attributes her considerable succes to this (her youngest son is also very happy with it - his 3 pot plants for personal use were massive).







 
Tommie Hockett
Posts: 64
Location: Callisburg Texas
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I live in North Texas. As far as how many I produce... I can have as many as I could produce 360 rabbits a year ish... I do not currently produce this much because my family can't eat that many. I will have to check into the restaurant thing. That may require me to become usda certified. Which costs alot of money. That is also the reason I havent started selling the meat. The meat goes for around $5 a pound if it is a roaster and close to $7 a pound if it is a fryer. Why would the micro breweries be interested? I am curious because I am a brewer myself. Not on the scale of a brewery just for personal consumption
 
Tommie Hockett
Posts: 64
Location: Callisburg Texas
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Here is my craigs list posting
Screenshot_20180117-172427.png
[Thumbnail for Screenshot_20180117-172427.png]
Screenshot_20180117-172436.png
[Thumbnail for Screenshot_20180117-172436.png]
Screenshot_20180117-172441.png
[Thumbnail for Screenshot_20180117-172441.png]
 
David Livingston
pollinator
Posts: 4339
Location: Anjou ,France
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Maybe you need two adverts :-) as this picture is very cuty cuty and I think would appeal to the pet trade maybe you could sell cages too :-)l
Many people dont like to eat stuff that look cuty cuty maybe a seperate advert mentioning stuff like weight of meat, ease of breeding and feeding , selling rabbit keeping and butchering lessons as well , the whole package .

David
 
Tommie Hockett
Posts: 64
Location: Callisburg Texas
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Thank you sir. I really like the idea of butchering classes. For 1 because I didnt even know how to break down a rabbit for about a year after we started raising them. As far as un-cuteifying them.... I will try posting weight and a little more on the breed. But it is dang near impossible to make them uncute, they are baby rabbits after all haha.

P.s. I do sell cages also but there is actually very little money in it when you figure in labor for building them. They are on another post.... maybe I could offer installation also.
 
Erwin Decoene
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Posts: 145
Location: Courtrai Area, Flanders Region, Belgium Europe
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Second try to answer - my net connection is annoying me.

In Belgium we have a lot of recipes based on beer. There are specialised restaurants. Other places have beer charts in stead of winecharts etc.....
So when a brewer is launching some new beer, he asks (or pays) a chef to make recipes with his new brew. Rabitmeat is great in combination with beer. My brother and a friend of mine started a brewery and they did likewise.

http://brouwerijdefeniks.be/english.html

Of course - to us - it's cultural. That is something that works around here - No idea if it would near you.

Seems to me that you make both main ingredients why not combine them to bring in customers curious about what to do with rabbit meat. Selling rabbit stew with beer sauce, selling rabbit paté with beer, ..... You have competitions for the best chili con carne - why not a best rabbit recipe ?

 
Posts: 62
Location: NW KS/NE CO State Line
4
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Rabbit in the US falls into a very awkward place.  

The USDA classifies rabbit as an exotic meat, rather than livestock.  While it can be processed at a normal plant, because inspection of exotic meats is optional, the cost of inspection is based upon their overtime rates.  
The non-livestock classification, however, does allow for more leniency.  States are allowed to set their own standards for processing for sale within their own states, but if you want to sell across state lines, you still need the USDA stamp.  

 
Posts: 45
Location: N. Idaho
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I have a friend that sells rabbits and she has completely "uncutifed" them.
They are a commodity and little more to her, she rarely advertises the breed, generally the only people that care about what breed they are are people whom are flirting with the idea of breeding them commercially.
People whom want them as pets don't usually care,as the inbuilt cute factor overwhelms any kids common sense anyway. So 90% of her stock are heavyweight meat producing bruisers, and the remainder the mini breed of the week for those wanting pets in an apartment setting.
The beauty of rabbits is the shear volume of lean meat they can create, and it needs to be marketed as that, a "healthy" alternative, to fat marbled beef, as such it needs to beat the price, of fat marbled beef and come butchered and packed in a volume that restaurateurs can rely on. This is a tough sell, its been tried with bison, emu, ostrich and people just don't wanna be that healthy!
The waste is all packaged in pails and sold as fertilizer, the hides go to a commercial tannery, (hides are almost valueless!....but the volume thing goes into play again), unfortunately  the vast majority of meat goes to.....dog food producers.
Reasonably to make a living, (50K +) this is a ten hour a day job and after costs (feed, packaging, freight, building maintenance,) needs to be done on an mini industrial volume of hundreds per week, although with just a little help it can be raised to thousands per week...if you have the facility to handle it.
 
Chris Palmberg
Posts: 62
Location: NW KS/NE CO State Line
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Rabbit meat is the healthiest domesticated option out there.  The difference between rabbit meat and other exotics is that rabbit meat has a rich culinary tradition in multiple cultures.  From hassenpfeffer to the aforementioned beer braised traditions from Belgium & France, to a savory Appalachian stew, rabbit has a strong place in many culinary traditions.  Other exotics just don't have that place in consumer's hearts (or stomachs, as it were.) It's easier to sell people the flavors of their heritage, of their grandmother's kitchen, than it is on something truly exotic.  
 
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Depends on the market, I was breeding pet breeds and at 5 weeks whining them and direct selling them for pets to a store at 5$ so a litter of 10 would net 50$ which would cover the cost of the feed for the doe and buck normally.
As for meat rabbits the longer you have to keep the rabbit the more you cut into a profit, I raise meat rabbits for myself but I do see them on the odd occasion to private customer(I process them for him also) for 15$ each. That is 11+ weeks. I also reduce the cost of my feed by moving my grow outs into a mobile tractor that I move before I leave for work in the morning and when I get home as rabbits gorge on food at dusk and dawn as a natural way to reduce being seen by predators. As for the hides other then personal projects I do not save them and while there is a market for the rabbit manure I just place mine direct into my garden to help my crops.
It all boils down to the demand in your area if you can find someone that wants the babies like I do then it can be worth it but again the longer you have them the more feed you use.
 
pollinator
Posts: 328
Location: Colville, WA Zone 5b
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When I decided I wanted to expand my rabbitry . beyond two mutts for meat, I decided to go with a more rare breed and have invested in some really high quality breeding stock. I'm just getting started with them, but my plan is to have my three kids in 4H show the rabbits, we will breed for show quality, eat the culls ourselves (or feed them to the dog) and meanwhile any show quality rabbits will go for $50 or more, since the breed is so rare in our area. As opposed to the standard $5-10 that you'd pay for a more generic rabbit.

The way I see it, is it's the same amount of effort and cost to feed the high end breeding stock, but I should (hopefully) be able to get more money out of them. In my area though, rabbits for meat is probably not something I'd want to sell just because they are often worth more as pets or show stock. And the rabbit market (for meat, that is) isn't very big around here.
 
pollinator
Posts: 2046
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio,Price Hill 45205
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My friend has raised rabbits on grass,selling them for a really good price to high end restaurants.
He offered to partner with me,  with me getting pregnant does from him,  keeping them till the kits where ready to be weaned.
My daughter objected strenuously.
Looking around online,  pastured rabbit goes for 8 dollars a pound, easy.
 
austin miller
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If I could raise rabbits for 8$/lb I would be increasing my current breeding stock lol. I sell them for half that to a private buyer. Not by pound just as a whole and I process them as well but in PA to sell them to any market or place that would resell or use it for commercial use you have to have an approved butcher shop or have it processed at an approved shop. In some states this isn't required and you can process your own and freeze them in packaging and take them to the farmers market to sell. I raise my grow outs on the old cow pasture to not only reduce the cost but it is a leaner rabbit as the Californian breed on feed alone does tend to get some fat on the back.
 
Posts: 51
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I suggest that you go after the research/scientific/medical market.
Texas is a big state with a large number of colleges and universities, medical schools, govt. and private research labs, and hospitals.
I think that Texas institutions may give consideration to "local" suppliers. There may already be Texan suppliers. If there are they probably keep a low public profile to protect their lucrative business.
It is my experience that filling a "small" niche market can make the difference between selling your crop as a commodity for $4.50/lb or selling your crop as a specialty for $45.00/lb.
 
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