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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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