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Are you making money or losing money with your rabbits?

From vermiculture and selling rabbit manure to rent-a-bunny for Easter photographs, this forum is a place to discuss other ideas for making a profit from rabbits.
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Re: Are you making money or lossing money with your rabbits?

Post Number:#31  Unread postby Fire-Man » Sat Aug 03, 2013 11:12 pm


I look at it this way. I feed my rabbits 50lb of feed and I get close that much back in fertilizer and/or feed for the worms I raise---I then feed some of the worms to the chickens. I actually fertilize rows of vegetable with the rabbits poop, worm catings(poop) and chicken poop. I feed alot of this food to the animals/rabbits/etc, as well as my family. I even started selling some of the extra vegetables for more than the rabbit feed cost me in the beginning. Then I sell some of the rabbits and cook some good meals using the rabbit meat. If I wanted--I can sell some of my worms and some worm castings. Worms sell for around $20 per lb, worm castings sells for some good money as well as "worm tea".

Rabbits are the only animal I raise that I feel I come out REAL GOOD on. In my opinion, If you are not coming out with your rabbits, maybe you need to look into things that you can do with their by-products.

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Re: Are you making money or lossing money with your rabbits?

Post Number:#32  Unread postby squidpop » Sun Aug 04, 2013 6:24 am


Miss M wrote:I figured once that with the money I spend on their food and hay, I spend about $1.25/lb for rabbit meat. I figure I'm winning, as that is almost the cheapest meat I can buy... and I know where it's been, how it's been handled, and what it's been eating. :)

Rabbit is about $5 a pound here (last time I looked).

Chicken is $1.69 for whole roasters, $1.49 for fryers. At least $1.99 for drumsticks, or thighs, or wings, and more than that for breasts. I can get those 10-lb packs of leg quarters for $.79 per pound.

I used to be able to get Boston butts for $1.18 a pound, but I haven't seen that price in a loooooong time.

So I think I'm doing pretty well.


This is a little off topic but, OMG- A whole chicken in New Zealand is $6.00 and a package of 6 thighs is $6.00 too. Raising meat rabbits here really would save tons of money if it replaced buying chicken if you were in New Zealand. Food is so much more expensive here- they ship it all to China I think.

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Re: Are you making money or lossing money with your rabbits?

Post Number:#33  Unread postby Peach » Sun Aug 04, 2013 7:34 am


hmmmm I'm pretty sure I'm just maybe breaking even somewhat now....but I'm sure I'd be in the negative no matter how you slice it.

When I think about how much I've payed for my stock....I'm just glad it happened slowly over time lol

Equipment... then the monthly feed bill is about $160 with feed and 2 bags of shavings . I seem to be returning back to them eating a little more than 50lbs a week now that I don't have as many litters.

I sell the occasional show quality rabbit here and there...I sell pets but only bucks. The females get butchered because to many people wanted to by my does for PQ does for breeding/ complained about personality. Not that they weren't sweet but they didn't have the same tendencies of a buck. More independent.

I sell 50lb bags of rabbit manure/shavings for $5 and it's a little extra cash

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Re: Are you making money or lossing money with your rabbits?

Post Number:#34  Unread postby skysthelimit » Sun Aug 04, 2013 11:52 pm


Fire-Man wrote: In my opinion, If you are not coming out with your rabbits, maybe you need to look into things that you can do with their by-products.



Now that is the catch. The market for anything has to be there. No market for rabbits, no market for meat, no market for by products. They won't even take the manure for free. Location plays a big part. I figure a lot of people get disheartened because they didn't figure that in when they started. I'm thinking if your not coming out with your rabbits, you need to chalk it up as a hobby. I have a budget, and once I get past that, I start culling rabbits.
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Re: Are you making money or lossing money with your rabbits?

Post Number:#35  Unread postby Miss M » Mon Aug 05, 2013 12:30 am


squidpop wrote:
Miss M wrote:I figured once that with the money I spend on their food and hay, I spend about $1.25/lb for rabbit meat. I figure I'm winning, as that is almost the cheapest meat I can buy... and I know where it's been, how it's been handled, and what it's been eating. :)

Rabbit is about $5 a pound here (last time I looked).

Chicken is $1.69 for whole roasters, $1.49 for fryers. At least $1.99 for drumsticks, or thighs, or wings, and more than that for breasts. I can get those 10-lb packs of leg quarters for $.79 per pound.

I used to be able to get Boston butts for $1.18 a pound, but I haven't seen that price in a loooooong time.

So I think I'm doing pretty well.


This is a little off topic but, OMG- A whole chicken in New Zealand is $6.00 and a package of 6 thighs is $6.00 too. Raising meat rabbits here really would save tons of money if it replaced buying chicken if you were in New Zealand. Food is so much more expensive here- they ship it all to China I think.

Oh, I'm sorry... I meant "Chicken is $1.69 per pound for whole roasters, $1.49 per pound for fryers. At least $1.99 per pound for drumsticks, or thighs, or wings, and more than that for breasts."

So a whole chicken here would be over $6.00 for a 4-pound chicken. Way more expensive than it used to be.

My price per pound is actually calculated on the high side. I am double-counting feed in that calculation. I take the price of all the feed consumed in the rabbitry from the start of a litter to the end of it, and divide it out and get my number. The thing is, it includes the feed being eaten by other growouts, so my actual price per pound is lower than what I stated. I've just never done the careful tallying required to figure out exactly how much feed is consumed from breeding day to butchering day, for one doe and her kits.
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Re: Are you making money or lossing money with your rabbits?

Post Number:#36  Unread postby dangerbunny » Mon Aug 05, 2013 9:40 am


My costs are very low so I am breaking even or making a bit.

Rabbits are nothing compared to horses anyway, horses cost sooooo much.
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Re: Are you making money or lossing money with your rabbits?

Post Number:#37  Unread postby skysthelimit » Mon Aug 05, 2013 9:57 am


dangerbunny wrote:My costs are very low so I am breaking even or making a bit.

Rabbits are nothing compared to horses anyway, horses cost sooooo much.


I bet!

I feed four German Shepherds in a month what it cost me to feed my herd every 10 days. I will add up the total weights of the herd, vs the dogs, and see how that compares.
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Re: Are you making money or lossing money with your rabbits?

Post Number:#38  Unread postby Stormy » Mon Aug 05, 2013 11:17 am


Peach wrote:
I sell 50lb bags of rabbit manure/shavings for $5 and it's a little extra cash


now *that* is an impressive entrepreneurial idea! Make money off manure!! heheh I should start charging my neighbor for wheeling away the horse manure.

I am so far in the negative I don't know how I ever thought raising rabbits would be an economical way to provide food for my family and 4 maine coon cats on a raw meat diet. When the vet said we had to stop feeding kibble due to health problems with a couple of the cats - they have been doing super since switching to raw meat diet - but the food bill for them is $180/month. That felt gauging so I got into rabbits. Now I spend a lot more than that each month!! Maybe also because I keep buying equipment, as we get set up for more rabbits, have more cages and pens. We finally broke down and just got a couple 100 ft fencing rolls and cordoned off part of the pasture for them. Its an exercise to keeping them in there - they love to dig - but they seem to have caught on that if they dig in the middle, we let them have their burrows.

Back to the money bit - I also discovered when our local feed store burnt down a couple weeks ago, that I was paying $10 more a bag of food for Purina than going directly to a food mill couple towns over. Now that I have a cheaper source of food, I hope to someday break even - even turn a profit maybe. With all the health issues I've experienced - and the testing and vet visits - it may be awhile before that happens. I actually am keeping a tally of expenses AND weighing out each butchered rabbit for total pounds of meat so far...

On that note, you can only get $5 a lb for rabbit meat? wow. The local farmer's market is selling for $12/lb, and $45 for a whole rabbit - the guy told me he can't keep them in stock they run out so fast. I was amazed. Can't imagine selling them for so much. Or even buying a $45 rabbit. Very thankful to raise my own! I don't know that I'd want to get into supplying rabbit meat however, though I've thought about it a few times, that would really make me a butcher. It's bad enough killing the ones we eat for ourselves I don't know if I'd want to go large scale on it.
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Re: Are you making money or lossing money with your rabbits?

Post Number:#39  Unread postby Desert Rose Rabbits » Wed Aug 07, 2013 2:51 am


I'm currently in the hole. Figure it'll take a few litters before I get anywhere close to at least breaking even. However, I will be tracking their 'meat worth'. My main reason for raising buns is for meat so if they end up not costing me much more than what my grocery meat budget is, I don't care. I'd rather have FRESH meat w/out gunk in it and pay a little more, you know? However, I've been watching the market and it looks like dressed rabbit is running about $6.99 a pound, and there's a market for hides as well as finished products. I keep the poo for myself since the soil here is so horrible... my dirt literally KILLS gardens, so they're saving me from having to buy amendment.
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Re: Are you making money or lossing money with your rabbits?

Post Number:#40  Unread postby Frecs » Wed Aug 07, 2013 9:41 am


Oh, I'm not even yet by a long shot. I'm still putting money into housing and still spending more on purchased feed than I want to. I may never break even much less make a profit. But, I'm not in it for profit. (Although, breaking even would be nice.)

I've found it is not easy to sell $30 Silver Foxes in an area saturated with $10 NZs and lionheads. I've actually had people ask me to sell for $10. I tell them for less than $20, I might as well put the animal in my freezer. It doesn't cost me $20 to raise that rabbit to butcher size but I still won't sell them for less than that. So, I'm not selling very many.

My brother asked me recently if this "animal thing" was "forever". I guess he thought it was just a short-term project??? Yes, I said, it is "forever". Mother and I enjoy the animals immensely. We don't have cable, we don't go to movies, we don't do drugs or other "recreational" stimulants, we don't spend hundreds of $$ on clothes or shoes. We sit and laugh at our chickens and ducks and hold our rabbits and talk about growing this for food or that for food and where to fit in more hutches so we can increase the number of rabbits. I don't need a gym membership because I get my exercise by mowing the grass, shoveling and moving around the rabbit poop, cleaning up the stinky duckling litter, etc etc etc. As I see my mother getting older and more fragile, the sight of her holding a little bunny gives me joy.

I also see the rabbits, chickens, and ducks as part of our path to self-sufficiency. Not that we can produce all we need on a half-acre but we can produce enough to barter with others and make it in the tough times I see coming.

I love my life that I'm living now and hope that in the years to come as I get this homestead more established I'll be ever so very much happier...and never regret the money I've invested into this lifestyle.

__________ Wed Aug 07, 2013 9:41 am __________

Fire-Man wrote:I look at it this way. I feed my rabbits 50lb of feed and I get close that much back in fertilizer and/or feed for the worms I raise---I then feed some of the worms to the chickens. I actually fertilize rows of vegetable with the rabbits poop, worm catings(poop) and chicken poop. I feed alot of this food to the animals/rabbits/etc, as well as my family. I even started selling some of the extra vegetables for more than the rabbit feed cost me in the beginning. Then I sell some of the rabbits and cook some good meals using the rabbit meat. If I wanted--I can sell some of my worms and some worm castings. Worms sell for around $20 per lb, worm castings sells for some good money as well as "worm tea".

Rabbits are the only animal I raise that I feel I come out REAL GOOD on. In my opinion, If you are not coming out with your rabbits, maybe you need to look into things that you can do with their by-products.


Before the rabbits, I spent $$ on bags of manure for the garden and never could afford all I needed. Now, I have a never-ending manure resource! Plus, my chickens and ducks clean up the spilled rabbit food and enjoy the worms that are ever present. That makes my eggs free and once I start harvesting duck meat, that duck meat will be very cheap (I do have to feed the ducklings until they feather out.)

I would like to figure out ways to sell either some of the rabbits or their pelts or their feet or their ears or something! I need all the manure for myself.
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Re: Are you making money or lossing money with your rabbits?

Post Number:#41  Unread postby cowgirl9768 » Fri Aug 16, 2013 12:18 am


Since last October I spent $447.96 on 3125 lbs of food (I still have enough to make it till Decemberish). I spent $26.00 on health expinces.$100.00 on new stock. 4 rabbits died. and selling my rabbits I made a whopping $0.00..... That puts me at -$573.96 this year... Why do I even keep my records? Well I am completely starting over with new stock and am expecting a litter of BEW lionheads out of some champion lines I can probably sell for about $100 - $120 per kit.So it is looking up!
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Re: Are you making money or lossing money with your rabbits?

Post Number:#42  Unread postby DogCatMom » Fri Aug 16, 2013 1:00 am


I'm looking at my forthcoming Adventure with Angoras (1 or 2 of them, not to breed) as a two-way project:

1) fiber
2) garden problem solving.

1) Purchasing angora fiber, when I can find it for sale (much more difficult than you'd think!), is expensive. I purchased 1 oz. of combed white Angora top the other day (this means that someone else took the time to prepare the fibers for spinning rather than leaving them as they came off the bunny) for $9.75 + sales tax, which around here is almost 10%. :x So my calculation will be: Am I spending more or less than $9.75 (realistically, $8.00--the "raw" fiber price) per ounce of fiber from the Angora?

2) But the bunny(ies) will be worth its/their own weight in compost, oh yes. Once I found out, on this forum, that they eat blackberry canes, my fate was sealed: I'm getting at least one for sure. You bet. I also have chicory which I've let grow out for seeds, so there are chicory stalks, kale stalks, chard stalks, etc. My yard is shaded by a Coast redwood and gets perhaps 4 hours sunlight a day, so we can only grow greens here, but we can grow them year-round. The need for compost is thus never-ending.

Solution: Blackberry canes in ==> compost out. Sounds good to me! Not sure how to calculate that, but it's a good deal, no matter what, because we cannot compost the blackberry canes, dandelions, sowthistle, and other weeds. Our BioStack runs too cool to compost noxious weeds like those; they'd just propagate in there. But if the bunny likes these, and they're good for him/her to eat, well, then! Problem solved! No waste of good biomass here ever again. I'm only sorry now that my dandelion-extirpation campaign a couple of years ago was so successful. However, I'm pretty sure that my next-door neighbor won't mind if I "dead-head" his dandelions! Oh, and the rose prunings, too...another biomass I can't compost but the bunny can. Lots of really great news here. :D

I'll just have to figure out a way to calculate the worth of the free plants; probably charge them as a foregone expense. ("Would have had to pay $___, but was able to feed XYZ plants instead, so saved $____" kind of thing.)

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Re: Are you making money or lossing money with your rabbits?

Post Number:#43  Unread postby Millinex » Tue Aug 20, 2013 3:09 pm


I'm up a lot, I should start taking tally of how much I'm up because I'm really not sure. My intro into rabbits was when I purchased a large burmese python- that needed to eat rabbits. Bought one at a livestock auction that week for $2 and realized how stupid cheap they where to get. I began going out and purchasing all the rabbits under $5 and bringing them home. I'd use the ugliest ones (as mean as it sounds) as food for my animals, mark them up a few dollars and sell extras to other snake breeders. Of course, with every group I'd get 4-6 animals that where exceptionally nice looking, friendly, and I'd list them for sale as pets for $15-20 each.

I held back a single animal of my own, a large male flemish giant cross who is with me as a pet because I enjoy him so much. His cage was purchased with rabbit profits. My initial breeding stock is all animals that stuck with us when the other half decided they where too cute to sell as feeders. I'm now on 8 rabbits in my personal stock and am expecting 2 litters soon from them.

I also frequently buy out some of the local breeders. Yesterday I bought out 13 5-6 week old bunnies for $65. Kept back 4 for myself. Sell the other 9 at $20 each = $125 profit with minimal work, that will pay for several bags of feed and some more cages... If you're having trouble selling rabbits, try reaching out to big snake breeders.... I have ~15 lined up to buy several hundred pounds from me a month as soon as I can get everything established..

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Re: Are you making money or lossing money with your rabbits?

Post Number:#44  Unread postby MamaSheepdog » Tue Aug 20, 2013 3:43 pm


Honestly- I have studiously ignored my profit/loss ratio. I tell myself that the freezer full of rabbit meat is well worth it, the garden loves the bunny berries, and my occasional sales are a nice bonus. :) I really should advertise more often, but haven't made that a priority.

Millinex wrote:I'm up a lot, I should start taking tally of how much I'm up because I'm really not sure.


You have my attention, Millinex. :P

I actually emailed a reptile breeder on Craigslist to try to generate some business, but no doubt they thought I was some AR nut trying to entrap them, because I never had a response. :?

So... what is the going rate for feeder rabbits? I am considering culling young, less thrifty rabbits from my litters. Anywhere from pinkies, to fuzzies, to hoppers, to whoppers.

My current kill method is to whack them on the forehead, which will sometimes cause an eye to pop out of the socket, so I am thinking cervical dislocation might present a more visually appealing product. How do you dispatch yours?

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Re: Are you making money or lossing money with your rabbits?

Post Number:#45  Unread postby ckcs » Tue Aug 20, 2013 3:52 pm


cowgirl9768 wrote:Since last October I spent $447.96 on 3125 lbs of food (I still have enough to make it till Decemberish). I spent $26.00 on health expinces.$100.00 on new stock. 4 rabbits died. and selling my rabbits I made a whopping $0.00..... That puts me at -$573.96 this year... Why do I even keep my records? Well I am completely starting over with new stock and am expecting a litter of BEW lionheads out of some champion lines I can probably sell for about $100 - $120 per kit.So it is looking up!


That food is it pellets? That is like $7.16 for 50lbs where do I need to look to get that price. Awesome.
I'm frustrated right now. I didn't plan things out and I'm in a 8 weeks period with no kits (5 weeks left). I keep checking Craigslist and there is pretty much nothing being offered for sale. I could sell them so easy right now. Watch in 5 weeks CL will be flooded lol

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