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Tips for a Newcomer to the Pet Market?

A place to discuss the particular challenges and ethical issues facing the breeder of pet rabbits today.
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Re: Tips for a Newcomer to the Pet Market?

Post Number:#16  Unread postby Olimpia » Fri Jun 17, 2016 5:49 pm


The rabbit market is already over-saturated in so many areas. People on this forum area always complaining about how annoying the buyers are. Dogs and snakes have to eat too, anyways. Though I to am against the live feeding, it is unfair to both animals (we, as moral beings, should take responsibility that they live and die comfortably, at the very least, and avoid the live feeding of animals to each other).

Honestly if you are only planning a litter or two a year, if you have nice stock you could probably sell most of them to other breeders or 4H kids.
Selling rabbits as pets is such a headache. I would price them moderate-high (at least $40) so only serious people message you, and if they don't sell cull them. The cheaper the price the more sketchy the people messaging you will be. -__-

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Re: Tips for a Newcomer to the Pet Market?

Post Number:#17  Unread postby Cookie & Co. » Sat Jun 18, 2016 1:21 am


Rebel.Rose.Rabbitry, I'm not entirely sure what you mean by 'bad pet experience', but as I've been breeding since I was 7 years old (mum has masters in biology, obviously it wasn't a solo endeavour) I've just about seen it all. If you mean a terribly snotty doe, then yes I had one that boxed you if you put your hand in, bit you HARD (stitches hard) if you tried to feed her and tried to scratch your eyes out if you put your face near her. Every night before bed I would carefully wrap her in a towel, place her next to me under my covers (still tightly wrapped) and do some work, and after a couple of months I could cuddle her like a teddy bear and she'd fall asleep. She was an amazing mother and had beautiful babies. I'm very proud of the fact that I've never killed a single bunny, I have 15 does and have never sold a kit for less than $50.

Nymphadora, Zass, What I love about this forum is that it's really putting into perspective how great my country is. I know that sounds terribly stuck up, but the way other countries describe their pet market is insane. I've never considered how unusual my circumstances are, given that I can sell my bunnies for so much and still be picky about who gets them. For example, every potential customer has to fill out a 30 question form that has questions like "describe RCD" and "what is often the first indicator that your bunny is sick". If they answer wrong I deny them the bunny.
What I meant by lowering the price is I start at let's say $150 (depends on the bunny) and then maybe lower it by $10, not going under $100 (if it does then I'd keep it). $10? That is just crazy! Although a friend travelled to the US and at the town's fair they gave children goldfish and hamsters as prices the way we give candy, you have to be 16 here to buy goldfish (don't think that's the law but I've never been to a pet shop that sells to anyone under 16). Since my bunnies are so expensive I highly doubt anyone neglects them, but I have a lifetime return policy anyway to avoid that. The imaginary pet thing could definitely be a problem, I guess you have to be smart when buying here. I let customers visit me before putting down money, but here cops would investigate a stolen $150 so I guess they worry less.
Anyway, thank you for informing me on how different my country is. Most people here view bunnies like cats and dogs, where as it sounds like a lot of America views them as mice and fish. I imagine in a country so large it must be extremely difficult to change perspectives, where as in my (tiny) country a Facebook post about how bunnies are not easter presents spreads like wildfire. Even the 6 o'clock news mentioned it. It sounds like you guys make next to no money and experience a lot of heartbreak, so well done on persevering and doing what you love. And I'm sorry for bashing your country, I'm sure it's wonderful in a thousand different ways.

Actual serious advice which applies to anywhere-
Assuming your pet market is as the above users described, then I would only breed what you know you can sell as morally you shouldn't breed to then just kill (upon review, while I wouldn't do it if you have a problem with rabbit overpopulation it would be the responsible thing to not contribute to that. Just don't be cruel). Include a information sheet, birth certificate (sounds silly but it helps customers bond with the rabbit and view it as a family member. Small things like that actually do help) and some changeover food (maybe 500g) to avoid tummy issues. Definitely have a lifetime return policy (but no refund), that way someone may bring their rabbit to you instead of letting it starve to death and if you must you could quickly put it out of its misery, at no cost to you (personally I keep them, but either option is humane). I would also recommend offering boarding and grooming services for a small charge, that way you can earn a bit of extra money and make sure your bunnies don't get abandoned over holidays, and that they have good sized teeth and nails and no matted fur. Have spare cages in case you don't sell a kit or two immediately. Personally I would charge a deposit on each bunny to ensure you don't get messed around, but I don't know how trusting others are. Try to build up a relationship with your customers, encourage them to send photos and ask questions. And very importantly, make a website (I like wix, it's free) and social media accounts, particularly Instagram and Facebook. If people see pictures of your bunnies grow then they are much more likely to trust you and buy, especially is previous customers comment nice things. Make your website easy to follow, personally I like my friends websites- http://www.cottontails.com.au and http://www.beksbunnies.com as they are very professional and simple.
Last edited by Cookie & Co. on Sat Jun 18, 2016 9:19 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Tips for a Newcomer to the Pet Market?

Post Number:#18  Unread postby KenoshaRabbits » Sat Jun 18, 2016 8:38 am


So the take away Dutchess is move your operation to Australia or New Zealand and you will have no trouble selling your rabbits as pets.

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Re: Tips for a Newcomer to the Pet Market?

Post Number:#19  Unread postby alforddm » Sat Jun 18, 2016 9:05 am


morally you shouldn't breed to then kill.


I disagree with this statement. Rabbits have been used as a source of food for humans and other animals for as long as they have been on the earth. So long as the rabbits are well treated in life and are quickly terminated, there is no reason why they can't be used as pet food or human food.

Sell the best and eat the rest.

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Re: Tips for a Newcomer to the Pet Market?

Post Number:#20  Unread postby Cookie & Co. » Sat Jun 18, 2016 9:15 am


alforddm wrote:
morally you shouldn't breed to then kill.


I disagree with this statement. Rabbits have been used as a source of food for humans and other animals for as long as they have been on the earth. So long as the rabbits are well treated in life and are quickly terminated, there is no reason why they can't be used as pet food or human food.

Sell the best and eat the rest.


Sorry you're right, if you want to breed for meat then go ahead, it's a good idea as it ensures your meat is healthy for you and the animals had a nice life, far far better then most supermarket meats like battery farmed chicken. Plus it isn't bad for the environment, so if I wasn't vegetarian it would be a food source I would consider.
I just mean you shouldn't breed with the intention of selling as pets, then kill for pet food because you bred a little too many. I guess it's not that bad, but still, I find the morals of bringing a rabbit into this world to then just kill it because you aren't responsible a little shaky. But if it's not hurting the rabbits then I guess just say "screw you" and do what you want. Just voicing my opinion, sorry for derailing the thread.

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Re: Tips for a Newcomer to the Pet Market?

Post Number:#21  Unread postby Nymphadora » Sat Jun 18, 2016 9:19 am


:yeahthat:

I understand breeders who want to sell their rabbits as pets only, but rabbits do have a place in the food chain. A breeder may have an intent or preference, but that's not always followed by the customer.

__________ Sat Jun 18, 2016 9:19 am __________

Ha, looks like I posted about the same time Cookie did! :D

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Re: Tips for a Newcomer to the Pet Market?

Post Number:#22  Unread postby Cookie & Co. » Sat Jun 18, 2016 9:30 am


KenoshaRabbits wrote:So the take away Dutchess is move your operation to Australia or New Zealand and you will have no trouble selling your rabbits as pets.


Haha, my bottom paragraph is serious advice. And lol maybe you should...

__________ Sun Jun 19, 2016 2:30 am __________

Nymphadora wrote:I understand breeders who want to sell their rabbits as pets only, but rabbits do have a place in the food chain. A breeder may have an intent or preference, but that's not always followed by the customer.


Yep I agree, as long as you aren't hurting the little bunnies I have no objection to breeding for meat, if you keep your bunnies healthy and happy then it's completely fine. I just think there should be a line between pet and meat. however I am quite naive about these things, while I did grow up on a meat and wool farm I am still young and in my mind bunnies are little balls of fluff you just want to squeeze and love. Just be a responsible and humane breeder, however you go about that is up to you.

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Re: Tips for a Newcomer to the Pet Market?

Post Number:#23  Unread postby Preitler » Sat Jun 18, 2016 9:53 am


Our pet market here is - quite flooded. There are a lot of rabbits, mostly small pet breeds, for free on our craiglist equivalent, and there are about 1500 ads for rabbits, anyway, I can sell some of my meat mutt rabbits as pets that way, for about 15€. Purebreds or pet breeds get better prices.

Rabbits are quite common here, in my road are 2 other breeders.

For breeding just for pets without any other uses you would need something very special here, and it's not easy to sell in advance or in the local area.
I can't do that anyway, because I sell only extra friendly rabbits as pets, but I get lots of other personalitys too, I wouldn't plant such a rabbit on some kid, that would be mean and irresponsible.

Projecting own morals on what other people do is quite a source for problems, morals are very relative, and often from another point of view just not applicable.
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Re: Tips for a Newcomer to the Pet Market?

Post Number:#24  Unread postby Olimpia » Sat Jun 18, 2016 9:58 am


It always breaks my heart a little seeing breeders selling dwarf rabbit kits on Kijiji for $10, $15. To me that is a big sign that they might end up as "disposable pets" (though I have seen some small breeders who sell cheap and seem to screen a lot, I mostly see the same people breeding en masse and selling cheap). Personally, I rescued my friend's sister's mini rex, who had been a loved pet for 2 weeks, and then spent 5 years in a small cage alone in the basement with overgrown nails and a wet bum. Thinking this, is the reason I would rather try to sell a rabbit for $70, $50, then cull if no home is found. I don't mind as much selling to breeders, even if the cage is a bit smaller than I would like to see for the rabbit, I know they at least won't get sick and be left to wilt under a breeder's care.
It always bothers me a bit, as well, raising a litter of meat rabbits, and across from them is a litter of my purebreds... one litter will just be eaten in 3 months while the other has pretty good vet benefits and everything, such class division. :lol:

I think the problem is most people have trouble buying an animal for $10 then realizing they have to go to the vet and get it fixed for $400.

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Re: Tips for a Newcomer to the Pet Market?

Post Number:#25  Unread postby alforddm » Sat Jun 18, 2016 12:23 pm


Cookie & Co. wrote:Sorry you're right, if you want to breed for meat then go ahead, it's a good idea as it ensures your meat is healthy for you and the animals had a nice life, far far better then most supermarket meats like battery farmed chicken. Plus it isn't bad for the environment, so if I wasn't vegetarian it would be a food source I would consider.
I just mean you shouldn't breed with the intention of selling as pets, then kill for pet food because you bred a little too many. I guess it's not that bad, but still, I find the morals of bringing a rabbit into this world to then just kill it because you aren't responsible a little shaky. But if it's not hurting the rabbits then I guess just say "screw you" and do what you want. Just voicing my opinion, sorry for derailing the thread.


Thank you for clarifying. I can respect that point of view.

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Re: Tips for a Newcomer to the Pet Market?

Post Number:#26  Unread postby golden rabbitry » Sun Apr 01, 2018 6:42 pm


BIGGEST TIP OF THE YEAR! CRAIGSLIST! I know it isn't much, but i has 12 people all after 4 bunnies in less than a week. We even had people from 200 miles away just for one bunny. :bunnyhop:

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Re: Tips for a Newcomer to the Pet Market?

Post Number:#27  Unread postby a7736100 » Sun Apr 01, 2018 8:21 pm


You are lucky. In my area rabbit ads usually get flagged.

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Re: Tips for a Newcomer to the Pet Market?

Post Number:#28  Unread postby akane » Sun Apr 01, 2018 10:40 pm


Cookie & Co. wrote:
alforddm wrote:
morally you shouldn't breed to then kill.


I disagree with this statement. Rabbits have been used as a source of food for humans and other animals for as long as they have been on the earth. So long as the rabbits are well treated in life and are quickly terminated, there is no reason why they can't be used as pet food or human food.

Sell the best and eat the rest.


I just mean you shouldn't breed with the intention of selling as pets, then kill for pet food because you bred a little too many. I guess it's not that bad, but still, I find the morals of bringing a rabbit into this world to then just kill it because you aren't responsible a little shaky. But if it's not hurting the rabbits then I guess just say "screw you" and do what you want. Just voicing my opinion, sorry for derailing the thread.


Actually I have done basically that quite frequently with more than just rabbits. Even if it's not a good meat animal for humans my dogs, cats, and snakes are carnivores no matter what I'd choose to eat and most kibble is pretty terrible stuff compared to actual whole prey or quite expensive with still factory farmed meat in it. The snakes will need some rodent if it's not my own. Just because you tried to find it a home as a pet first does not mean it served less purpose keeping other animals healthier while not feeding them animals raised in worse conditions. If I'm raising large breed rabbits specifically for meat why should I fill up cages with netherland dwarf that are small for people to eat but ideal meal size for dogs and cats if they fail to make good pets or breeders? They are both rabbit meat, they both aren't going to sell to pet homes, and some large breeds I butchered had better personalities than some of the small breeds. Expand it to some other small animals and I can use what is not going to find a responsible home or I could leave it in a cage serving no purpose while I buy something that had to die instead in order to feed my carnivores. If you don't have a carnivore as some said you can donate a humanely raised feeder animal to raptor or other wildlife care centers where they rehabilitate or care life long for injured and endangered native species.

I was debating on the drive home tonight the fact that most people have this need to draw lines and divide animals into purposes and then to even impose their decided boundaries of purpose on others because if they didn't they wouldn't be able to justify using the meat from anything for themselves or keeping carnivorous pets. Some people do choose a lifestyle like that and some people can view every animal equally and still use them for meat. Even if it's not something of my own I would turn into food or a feeder like the chinchillas and when I had horses I do not care if other people can efficiently and humanely raise large enough numbers that they choose differently what to do with them in another situation. It's a rather lonely path to take though because those who don't see why you'd keep meat animals as pets will scoff at what you put time and money into and those who can't understand eating certain ones will be harsh critiques of the care all your animals receive. Your morals get questioned by pretty much everyone and you end up debating grey areas like these for your own peace of mind often while not having anyone you can talk to about it.



As others have pointed out there is no market like you experience in most of the US. I'm in an agricultural state where everyone has the space for dozens of rabbits if they want and people produce 100s a year even in small rabbitries. Often without much attention paid to temperament or health. You can't get $100 for much of anything that isn't wanted for competitive shows and it will probably be traveling 100s of miles to it's new home. To pick up a common pet rabbit that most are buying they don't want or need to travel, they don't want to expend tons of effort, and they don't need to pay a lot. It's rare for a rabbit outside of a pet store with impulse buyers or shelter where people feel the extra price is worth supporting the rest of the shelter's operations to go for more than $20 and practically no one reserves a rabbit. A few dedicated people will ask for something specific in upcoming litters but if you don't have that they don't want anything out of the litter. You find out after the rabbits are born what could be sold for show, what could be sold for pet and what won't sell. People also have odd views about older animals so if it doesn't sell at that time of year you can't always just wait for a buyer while not breeding anything because you might wait forever. I really don't get why if you are buying something that will live 15+ years it's too old to "tame" at 6months..... I have to discount my chinchillas $50 after about the 4-6month old range when they look full grown. People really can't get the concept that a small animal could live longer than most dogs (up to 30 years for chinchillas) and continue to evolve their personality with their new owners. It's hard to even say what their personality will settle to before 6months and I'd have to double my own age before I can start to guess the average lifespan of my lines. :lol:
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