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RE: making or losing money?

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: making or losing money?

Post Number:#1  Unread postby jollysrabbits » Tue Jan 21, 2014 9:33 pm


hey all this is the post I wrote up for a farming site I belong to. I thought it might help and put something into perspective, like how much we spend on our hobbie! :x , if you have any questions about it let me know. I am hoping my business will be just as profitable in Oregon, I am finally selling buns again after 6 months of nothing. moving is stressful! :cry:

"So this seems to be the best way to write this while still keeping names and personal information out of it. I will list start up expenses almost down to the T, and I will list profits & Expenses from this year starting January 1st 2013. The numbers of course are not exact but it is the best I could do. NOTE: numbers rounded up to nearest dollar. I want to add without getting to much into the business aspect of it, you can easily watch spending vs income by keeping a rabbit jar. all money made and spent goes into the jar, pretty soon you will know how much you are making or losing. Hope this helps a little, hit me up with any question you might have."

Start up expenses:
Hutch 10 Hole- $368
3 hole growout-$120
Used 8 hole hanging cages-$100
Gas usage (includes cages, stock pickup) $250
Breeding stock- $240
Feeders-$60
Bottles-$85
Carrier-$45
Nestboxes-$40
Website- $60
TOTAL: $1,368

Feed Expenses: Since start up
Orchard Grass (for nest boxes)- $20
Pellet STAR* Feed- $680
TOTAL: $700

Profits: since January 1st 2013
These I will list because there are not too many because it has only been 3 months. The previous year you will have to take my word for but I will post the sales.
January-March
Flemish-$40
Flemish-$60
American-$50
2 Flemish $100
Flemish $80
Flemish$60
Rex-$20
Cali Trio- $60
Cali/Rex Trio-$60
American-$30
2 Flemish $30
Flemish-$40
Cali Trio-$60
Flemish-$60
4 Flemish-$160
2 Dwarf Hotot-$120
2 Rex-$40
2Rex $40
TOTAL$1110
2012 (profits were affected by breeding stock maturing and not yet producing)
2 litters/18 rabbits for meat (guy was making sausage for Christmas)$180
Pets-$800
Breeding Stock-$850
Meat Rabbits-$250
TOTAL:2080

EXPENSES
Start up-$1368.00
Feed- $700.00
TOTAL:$2068.00

INCOME
2012- $2080.00
2013- $1110.00
TOTAL:$3190.00

PROFIT:$1122.00

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Re: RE: making or losing money?

Post Number:#2  Unread postby Madpiratebippy » Tue Apr 22, 2014 1:39 pm


This seems really reasonable to me. I figure that a rabbitry, much like keeping bees, is something to get extra pocket money vs. make an entire living on, unless you do it on a truly massive scale. If you're making some money, the rabbits are paying for themselves, and you get all the benefits of having that lovely manure right on your own location. Not that bad!

Thanks for being willing to provide details, so many people act like posting their P/L information is like giving you the secret codes to set off nukes!
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Re: RE: making or losing money?

Post Number:#3  Unread postby dangerbunny » Tue Apr 22, 2014 10:27 pm


I have a question, while I am very happy with my rabbit sales so far this year I didn't see new stock included in your figures, are you reinvesting in your herd? I'm also curious what breeds you doing as the costs of your original stock are waaaaaaaay lower than mine and I was wondering how you managed it.
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Re: RE: making or losing money?

Post Number:#4  Unread postby akane » Wed Apr 23, 2014 1:58 am


Those are good prices on rabbit sales. I can't get that here. You need a big name in the show circles to come close. I spent several years trying to sell mini rex after acquiring fairly good stock from various sources. Without going to lots of shows which is lots of gas since aside from 2 shows it's 2hrs + to the nearest one you can't hardly sell anything. The gas might offset anything we'd make anyway. I ended up butchering nearly all mini rex. That's why I got rid of the mini rex for netherlands. Pet buyers all want dwarf rabbits even if they don't know what is and isn't a dwarf or that their petstore dwarf rabbits are larger than the mini rex. You also can't hardly sell pet rabbits for more than $20. People only go looking for breeders because they don't want to pay the $40 at the petstore or they want it to come with a cage. There's a handful who have really done research or already have rabbit experience and went looking for something that truly matches a netherland or a flemish but that accounts for maybe 1 person a year that I deal with.
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Re: RE: making or losing money?

Post Number:#5  Unread postby skysthelimit » Wed Apr 23, 2014 6:43 am


Madpiratebippy wrote:Thanks for being willing to provide details, so many people act like posting their P/L information is like giving you the secret codes to set off nukes!



LOL.

It's just that I don't keep track of what I'm spending and making, because it's just a hobby, and the output never equals the input. If I was to make a list like this, people who were interested in getting a return would be depressed ( I would too...)

With show rabbits, unless you are a top show person, it's hard to get back what you paid for your rabbits. (regional dependent too).

I've paid up to $95 for Rex, $75 for Silver Fox, $75-100 for Angora and $40 for JW, but I could never get those prices for mine.
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Re: RE: making or losing money?

Post Number:#6  Unread postby michaels4gardens » Wed Apr 23, 2014 7:45 am


I am not making money, I am making food...
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hard neck garlic varieties for fall planting.
meat-mutt rabbits, a few laying hens, and too many ducks..
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Re: RE: making or losing money?

Post Number:#7  Unread postby skysthelimit » Wed Apr 23, 2014 9:18 am


michaels4gardens wrote:I am not making money, I am making food...



Pretty much that's how I started and that's how I see it. I only get upset when they aren't making food...
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Re: RE: making or losing money?

Post Number:#8  Unread postby Comet007 » Wed Apr 23, 2014 12:02 pm


I have saved all my receipts and have started my amortization schedule of the start-up costs (capital expense). When I get it all put together, I will post it, either here or on the website that I am starting. My strategy will be to look at the daily amortized cost, which will include our breeding stock and their feed up until the day of breeding. Then I will apply that daily cost to each litter. This way the focus isn't on when we break even, though we will look at that too, but will be focusing on what our price per pound ends up being for each litter and then the average of all litters.

Of course, we are primarily doing this for our own food. I look at this as part of our retirement plan - 14.5 years for DH, and for me, it depends on my health! I figure that Social Security and DH's federal pension get pretty small cost of living adjustments (or none!), whereas food and gas always seems to outpace it. So for us, putting in the infrastructure now when our income is up will allow us to grow food at very reasonable costs once we are retired.

It is very interesting to look at other peoples numbers, so I appreciate the OP. From what I've seen, start up costs can vary a great deal depending on how you go about it all. For us, we had zero scraps of anything laying around, and no time or energy to go scrounging around - I don't have any idea where we could even do that around here, so it might depend on where you live. We also had to build a shed for our buns, whereas some just build hutches or use an existing shelter. It all makes a big difference on cost, for sure!

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Re: RE: making or losing money?

Post Number:#9  Unread postby skysthelimit » Wed Apr 23, 2014 12:23 pm


Having lots of scraps around helped, and having a building helped a great deal. Buying high end rabbits and feed was where it went down. Per lb, this is very expensive meat.
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Re: RE: making or losing money?

Post Number:#10  Unread postby MR_ND » Sun Apr 27, 2014 7:58 pm


Wow! I have yet to make nay money of my rabbits. I am hoping once I get started up with my ND's I will make a little bit of profit or at least break even. I should be able to get decent prices for my ND's since there aren't that many around here.
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Re: RE: making or losing money?

Post Number:#11  Unread postby Ncrabbit » Sat Apr 25, 2015 2:07 am


I also am in it for the food. Any money made is just a little pocket change or to buy food or materials.

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Re: RE: making or losing money?

Post Number:#12  Unread postby Marinea » Sat Apr 25, 2015 8:01 am


Our small rabbitry (two breeding trios and one pet) started as a "Can we do this?" kind of thing. I wanted to be sure I could handle processing and eating cute animals I had raised. Once we got past that hurdle, the next was that the operation needed to run on at least a break even basis. We live in a very rural, low income area, so that was not a given.

After some tweaking, we have managed to meet that goal. We grow a lot of what we feed, lowering costs. We have used a lot of on-hand materials to build cages and equipment. We sell or trade enough kits to cover our needs and still have meat for us and some for the dogs. A lot of our success, I feel, is raising the right rabbits for our area. We raise meat rabbits, and most of our sold kits end up as breeding stock (or dinner) for others. If we were trying to raise fancy "pet type" rabbits here, I don't think we would be successful.
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Re: RE: making or losing money?

Post Number:#13  Unread postby owlsfriend » Sat Apr 25, 2015 8:51 am


I don't keep lists, but my rabbits have fed themselves for months on end. I've got Satin Angoras and I harvest the wool three and four times a year. Since I have so much wool, and so little time, I sell my wool in large lots for a fairly low price $5 an oz, to an off-grid crafter in Hawaii. (She spins the yarn and crochets shawls for rich Japanese tourists to buy.) She also reimburses me for the postage. My last check was for $300.

now that I think of it, that's only 18 50# bags of ManaPro Pro. about 10 weeks of feed for the whole barn, meat-ers and wool-ers. When I sell a kit, I figure that pays for Mom. When I sell a second kit, that pays for Dad. When I sell a third kit, that pays for Mom's cage, a 4th kit pays for Dad's cage....and there's all that "free" meat in my freezer. My goal is for the rabbits to "pay for themselves" in 5 years. Looks feasible.

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Re: RE: making or losing money?

Post Number:#14  Unread postby michaels4gardens » Sat Apr 25, 2015 9:27 am


michaels4gardens wrote:I am not making money, I am making food...


I am feeding restaurant scraps and weeds, [and a little grass hay] so right now feed is almost free--
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Re: RE: making or losing money?

Post Number:#15  Unread postby Susie570 » Sat Apr 25, 2015 9:55 am


akane wrote:Those are good prices on rabbit sales. I can't get that here. You need a big name in the show circles to come close. I spent several years trying to sell mini rex after acquiring fairly good stock from various sources. Without going to lots of shows which is lots of gas since aside from 2 shows it's 2hrs + to the nearest one you can't hardly sell anything. The gas might offset anything we'd make anyway. I ended up butchering nearly all mini rex. That's why I got rid of the mini rex for netherlands. Pet buyers all want dwarf rabbits even if they don't know what is and isn't a dwarf or that their petstore dwarf rabbits are larger than the mini rex. You also can't hardly sell pet rabbits for more than $20. People only go looking for breeders because they don't want to pay the $40 at the petstore or they want it to come with a cage. There's a handful who have really done research or already have rabbit experience and went looking for something that truly matches a netherland or a flemish but that accounts for maybe 1 person a year that I deal with.


This is an interesting thread for me (if an old one) since I'm just getting into the breeding business.

I don't expect to make a living from the rabbits, having them 'pay for themselves' over time is fine with me, any extra bonuses are appreciated, of course.

I've been VERY excited (though cautious) about the response to my mixed breed litter. I've sold most of the litter at $30 each. The remaining kits I've 'reduced' to $25 each and I'm getting serious inquiries (a bird in the hand though...) and they're now 3 months old, so not babies anymore. I may offer a 'special' on the little buck - I really want to get him into his own family.

I think I would be happy being able to sell the purebred mini lop kits for $30 each, unless I get 'show quality' stock, and those few I will sell for more (probably $50 each). The truly exciting thing is... the local pet stores sell their rabbits for $40-$50 each, and they CAN'T KEEP THEM IN STOCK!!! This is non-pedigreed, skittish, often untamed rabbits.

I don't know, I'm not making a HUGE investment into this, so if it doesn't work out I guess it will be ok, but I'm hoping I will at least feel satisfied that I didn't make a big mistake doing this (worst case, I WILL find someone to process them for me and we will have excellent meat in the freezer, and I think that's worth it right there).

Although I would MUCH rather find good homes for the babies, I'm also finding that, as they get older, I'm feeling less... emotionally attached to most of the kits (Sprinkles is still a little doll and I would have a really hard time putting HER in the freezer), so it wouldn't be such a big deal to send them off for processing if I need to. As long as my son doesn't figure it out.. yet... :/
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