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Anyone full time producing raw pet food?

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Anyone full time producing raw pet food?

Post Number:#1  Unread postby Daniac » Sun Oct 23, 2016 5:53 am


I have been breeding just to keep my freezer full but lately I have been investigating selling rabbit meat as dog food and it appears fairly lucrative when selling direct to the end consumers.

Based my math a rabbit farm could be selling $4k a month with a 42 day breeding schedule on 80 does, however my math might be horribly flawed.

I would like to hear from any full time rabbit producers selling to the raw pet food market.

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Re: Anyone full time producing raw pet food?

Post Number:#2  Unread postby Dood » Sun Oct 23, 2016 10:26 am


I sell rabbit as pet food and I can help in understanding the raw food market as I've been a raw feeder for 5 years, but I have a few questions

Are you planing to sell whole rabbit /prey model or dressed or ground or all 3 ? and how much did you plan to sell them for per pound?

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Re: Anyone full time producing raw pet food?

Post Number:#3  Unread postby akane » Sun Oct 23, 2016 1:35 pm


Check the laws first. People actually have made $1000s and then they get investigated by the USDA because you are supposed to stay below something like $500 to keep it a hobby and not a business that needs inspected. Fines for that mistake have ruined people's lives (in the $100,000s sometimes) so be sure you don't fall under it. Advertising in some areas can also get the attention of animal right's groups who have basically illegally taken entire herds with the police there and they find the tiniest problems to take pictures of and present as evidence so you can't get your rabbits back. See the paranoia thread. Most won't give their address and sell at their house even for live rabbits.
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Re: Anyone full time producing raw pet food?

Post Number:#4  Unread postby ButtonsPalace » Sun Oct 23, 2016 5:31 pm


I don't sell my rabbits at my home. I wouldn't even if I owned my own property somewhere. I do sell live rabbits, but I always go to this huge landmark like church within walking distance and I make sure they don't see me walk home.
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Re: Anyone full time producing raw pet food?

Post Number:#5  Unread postby Daniac » Mon Oct 24, 2016 2:57 am


Dood wrote:I sell rabbit as pet food and I can help in understanding the raw food market as I've been a raw feeder for 5 years, but I have a few questions

Are you planing to sell whole rabbit /prey model or dressed or ground or all 3 ? and how much did you plan to sell them for per pound?


I had intended to sell all 3 and had been looking at some sites online selling for as much as $2 per pound for the ground rabbit.

The other statements make me a bit concerned about doing my own processing on my own property. Guess I need to read the paranoia thread.

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Re: Anyone full time producing raw pet food?

Post Number:#6  Unread postby Dood » Mon Oct 24, 2016 6:46 am


Ok

Most raw feeders not feed whole prey or whole dressed - they don't like their pets food to look like a cute widdle bunny ;) The meaty portions like thighs and loin will be in higher demand as will organs leaving you with a lot of ribs, front legs, heads, etc.. which you could turn into ground BUT most raw feeders want their ground raw to be balanced and complete and to meet AAFCO and/or NRC nutritional requirements so they don't have to add anything and can just plop it in a bowl :)

Your location is a factor as often the shipping charges are a big hindrance to people ordering, climate is another factor as meat spoils fast in the summer and I've heard many stories of people's 50lb order going bad because of delivery delays - usually the company has refunded or replaces the meat at no charge which is an expense you'll need to consider

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Re: Anyone full time producing raw pet food?

Post Number:#7  Unread postby FourRingCircus » Mon Oct 24, 2016 8:38 am


Definitely check the USDA regulations - I thought I had found an amazing business opportunity (research - a lab that was a supplier for college science classes) only to find that I would have to be registered with them... screeching halt. I know people do it and are fine with it, but not the hoops I wanted to jump through in this stage of life. I started reading some of the stories like what akane mentioned and didn't want to touch it with a 10ft pole. It might be worth it for you though so definitely check it out for yourself!
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Re: Anyone full time producing raw pet food?

Post Number:#8  Unread postby SuburbanHomesteader » Mon Oct 24, 2016 9:36 am


I sell to several folks with large guard dogs. Whole, frozen, unprocessed rabbits - 3 to 5 pounds. Around here it's known as BARF - biologically appropriate raw food. I used to sell to a guy that processed the rabbits himself and made dog treats. He went out of business - couldn't afford the liability insurance. As soon as you grind it up and add anything, you may find yourself on the hook if someone's pet gets ill or dies.

Ditto all the warnings about animal rights dangers. Especially in the US and if you're in or near an urban area. In addition to the threat of having your animals seized, you may find that you're in violation of zoning laws - livestock in a residential zone, business in a residential zone, pet breeder without a license, violation of sanitation codes, or whatever else they can come up with.

Best of luck to you.

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Re: Anyone full time producing raw pet food?

Post Number:#9  Unread postby Nika » Tue Oct 25, 2016 4:36 am


Dood wrote:Most raw feeders not feed whole prey or whole dressed - they don't like their pets food to look like a cute widdle bunny ;) The meaty portions like thighs and loin will be in higher demand as will organs leaving you with a lot of ribs, front legs, heads, etc.. which you could turn into ground BUT most raw feeders want their ground raw to be balanced and complete and to meet AAFCO and/or NRC nutritional requirements so they don't have to add anything and can just plop it in a bowl :)


Wow, what a difference in thinking. Where I live there would be a high demand for whole prey rabbits but they are really expensive compared to other types of meat. People usually don˛t buy human grade meat for dogs because of the price (1:3 or 1:4 ratio) and are constantly on the lookout for the best price/quality meat. Chickens are another story, you can get them regulary anywhere, industries often sells out "old" hens so you can get them almost for free (if you get them before livestock rescue people do..). Also old sheep are pretty cheap, but there you need a bigger freezer. Whole prey is really appreciated here, but there are some disadvantages.. Also, ground meat - here they don˛t care about complete food, but they need to know what is inside (ratio bone to meat, or organ to meat) so they can complete the food at home. And when I say they I really mean we :) We feed raw so that we can balance and complete dogs food, not that the industry will complete it for us - we have kibbles for that. I think that year has past, since we have a first dog food industry who buys "leftovers" from the butcheries and sell them to pet customers. On this area we have insanely stupid legislation and finally things are progressing.

What are the prices for different kinds of meat in your end?

SuburbanFarmer, BARF here is known as Bones And Raw Food and it contains different kind of vegetables, fruits, etc.. an you telll me what is the difference between our and your BARF? I hope I am not terribly offtopic..

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Re: Anyone full time producing raw pet food?

Post Number:#10  Unread postby Dood » Tue Oct 25, 2016 12:40 pm


Big country raw and Mountain Dog Food are two of the most trusted suppliers of raw in Canada, there are several smaller companies and for do it yourself raw feeders there are abattoirs that specifically sell by-products for the pet food market

Rabbit is still quite expensive and I sell my whole prey for $4/lb and ground for $5/lb and I cannot keep up with demand but I am not looking to expand my herd ;)

http://www.bigcountryrawstore.com/Default.asp

http://www.mountaindogfood.com/mobile/products.html

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Re: Anyone full time producing raw pet food?

Post Number:#11  Unread postby Daniac » Wed Oct 26, 2016 3:19 am


The difference in attitude between the US and Canada is really surprising. I am just over the border from Sarnia & Windsor, I would how many hoops I would have to jump through to sell live or frozen rabbits to a Canadian company?

I am zoned agricultural with my little 33 acre farm we just purchased, we are in an large farming area where a lot of livestock is raised, I don't worry too much about the PETA people out here. I am concerned about the USDA seizing my herd, my property or forcing me to have inspections and permits that kill the profitabilty of such a venture.

I a trying to find an profitable but efficient way to raise livestock on my new property and since I already raise rabbits and they are very efficient, if I raise hay on 10 acres I could supplement their feed to reduce costs and make them even more efficient.

Interestingly it seems there are not any commercial rabbit producers here in the USA on RabbitTalk?

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Re: Anyone full time producing raw pet food?

Post Number:#12  Unread postby SuburbanHomesteader » Thu Oct 27, 2016 1:08 pm


Nika wrote:SuburbanFarmer, BARF here is known as Bones And Raw Food and it contains different kind of vegetables, fruits, etc.. Can you tell me what is the difference between our and your BARF? I hope I am not terribly offtopic...


I've heard it called that, too. And I know that BARF requires supplements of some sort. I guess the big taboo is on grains and cereals.

There are enough sites online that whenever I've had an inquiry, I've just suggested that they look online for more information since I'm not really a practitioner.

I don't really care what you call it - just be sure and buy your rabbits from me!

:lol:

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Re: Anyone full time producing raw pet food?

Post Number:#13  Unread postby Nika » Fri Oct 28, 2016 2:54 am


:D

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