Starting a rabbit farm is quite an interesting and affordable solution. Rabbit farming can be a profitable and interesting business for one person, a single family or even a group of people.
What breeds are suitable for a meat rabbit farm, what to pay attention to, the pros and cons of this business idea – I will tell you in simple language in this article.
Pros and cons of running a rabbit farm
The pros include the following points:
- Relatively not high start-up capital for a small farm;
- Short payback period with stable markets;
- Rabbits breed … as rabbits;
- Keeping rabbits is cheaper than most animals per pound of weight ;
- You will need a minimum list of documents to register this business;
- Meat of these animals has a stable demand in the market;
- Additional earnings will be selling rabbit pelts and manure.
The disadvantages of this type of business are as follows:
- High mortality rate in case of savings on veterinary drugs;
- Harsh sanitary requirements;
- Large batches of meat require a lot of effort to sell quickly.
Farming rabbits – step by step business plan
- Analyze the market and the ability to sell your products on it
- Plan your stock and decide on the breed
- Create the optimal number of cages
- Collect all the necessary documents and permits
- Purchase of breeding stock of rabbits
Read also: Rabbit As Pet: Why It Is Good Idea
Analysis of demand and competition
Despite the high business potential, there is currently little competition in the rabbit meat market. The main reason for the inhibition of interest in rabbit meat is its price. But, due to the increasing interest in healthy eating, people’s demand for rabbit meat is still increasing year by year. Rabbit meat belongs to the dietary meat, so it is easy to fit into the diet of the concept of a healthy lifestyle.
Before you decide to start a rabbit farm, you should take care of the markets. Simply put, if you can’t sell your products for an adequate price, is it worth starting?
Determining the markets
The main market for rabbit meat are hypermarket chains and small butcher shops. Here a category of potential consumers has already been formed, who first of all care about the quality of products and their regular deliveries.
It is also possible to offer cooperation to restaurants, but it is worth discussing this matter directly with the chef, who can appreciate the quality of your meat and include it in his menu.
Do not forget about “word of mouth”, which is one of the best options for creating your own customer base and a good reputation.
So in the early stages of your steps in this business, it is worth keeping an eye on the affordability of the pricing policy, to attract more customers.
Facilities and equipment for rabbit farming
To prepare the room for rabbits, you must remember that they are afraid of sudden changes in temperature. The optimal temperature should be 12C-18C. Also do not allow high or low humidity. It is desirable that the room gets some sunlight. Along the walls are installed drinkers and feeders.
It is recommended to make a room in the room for storing inventory tools. Some farmers arrange a place for fodder. Separately, a manure storehouse is built.
Sheds for rabbits
The shed system is excellent for farming rabbits. It is a freestanding enclosed room that keeps out direct sunlight and high temperatures while allowing fresh air in.
A shed system is a complete structure that includes cages arranged vertically or in a cascading pattern. A minimum distance of 70 cm from the floor of the lower cages to the ground must be maintained in order to retain heat.
If this system is used in suitable climatic conditions, it will be almost indistinguishable from the natural one. The rabbits will be able to lead a more free and mobile life style and the farmers will spend less effort and time. The characteristic feature of this method is the most rational use of space.
The disadvantages of this system are heating in cold winters and feeding the rabbits with warm water.
In order to avoid outbreaks of diseases and infections it is recommended to clean the cages regularly and to disinfect them. Disinfection is carried out at least once every six months. Mainly in spring and autumn, and unscheduled after the end of diseases in the flock or their upcoming breeding.
Strong antiseptics are used to disinfect the inside and outside of the cages, followed by rinsing them with fresh water.
The slaughtering of rabbits takes place in a specially equipped slaughterhouse. This includes the slaughterhouse, utility room, refrigerators and dryers. This room must meet all standards of hygiene. The walls and floors must be lined with materials suitable for washing and disinfection.
Rabbits are processed on carousel-type units, mechanized slaughterhouses and in-line slaughtering lines.
Read also: What Causes of Sudden Death in Rabbits
Storage conditions for food is a fundamental part. Therefore, special attention is paid to refrigeration equipment. It must maintain the right temperature, maintain the right level of humidity and proper air exchange.
There are the following types of cold stores
- refrigeration chambers
- Blast chambers for blast chilling
- For long term storage
- Cold rooms for meat with temperatures from -13F to -40F (-25C to -40C).
Industrial cold rooms for meat storage are controlled in automatic mode.
Normally, manure piles are formed with bottomless square metal forms, approximately 3×3 meters with a crane hitch. Once filled, the form is moved to another location and the cycle repeats. Rabbit manure is the most optimal for fertilization. After a year, the pile is ready for sale.
See also: Why Do Rabbits Eat Their Poop?
If you have decided on a breed of rabbit, the next step is to buy it. To do this, find good nurseries that breed the breeds you are interested in and look at the conditions under which they are raised. Make sure you buy quality youngsters.
In order to find quality, healthy and most importantly prolific rabbits you can read our tips:
- To avoid cross-breeding and genetic diseases you should not take a female and a male of the same litter
- Don’t buy rabbits if there are wounds on the inside of the rabbit’s ear. They may be a sign of an ear mite.
- Rabbits that are obese do not breed actively
- Do not take pregnant females, they may have serious health problems after transportation and the stress involved.
Keep in mind that prices can vary greatly depending on the elite breed of rabbits, but do not skimp on the purchase of stock. Farmers start by buying adults to get a litter as soon as possible and to reduce the time it takes to make a profit.
Buying veterinary medicines
Rabbits are quite sickly animals. Therefore, a rabbit breeder should necessarily have a “rabbit” first-aid kit.
It includes dressings, medical instruments, disinfectants, and other groups of medications (immunostimulants, analgesics, antibiotics, skin parasites, antiviral complexes, drugs for the stomach, etc.)
The rabbit farm has a whole production team for constant quality work. It includes:
- A worker operator. A person who monitors the vitality and health of the rabbits.
- Slaughterer. The person who kills and butchers the rabbits and packs and puts them in coolers.
- Veterinarian. Physician oversees all sanitary and veterinary activities.
- Engineer. He makes sure the equipment is working properly and repairs it.
- Other workers. They can include an accountant, a driver, and a cleaner.
Profitability of rabbit farming
Given the mass of different, sometimes unforeseen costs, to achieve self-sufficiency and income is usually obtained in 2-3 years. This is a long time if you are seriously engaged in farming rabbits, and not just your new hobby.
Read also: What Causes Rabbits to Lose Weight?
Rabbits require daily attention and care. Even if it is only 20 minutes or a couple of hours (depending on the number of rabbits), it is necessary to go over the cages, pay attention to the health of the rabbits, the availability of water and feed.
You have to enjoy rabbit farming, otherwise you will quickly become tired and de-motivated.