Raising Rabbits for Profit

If you’ve considered raising rabbits for profit, read this advice from a professional conservation breeder.


| 2012 Guide to Backyard Rabbits



rabbit

Choose a breed that is known for its meat-production qualities, and do some homework in finding bloodlines within that breed with the necessary qualities to be good production rabbits.

Paul Murphy/Fotolia

If you’ve been raising rabbits for a while as a hobby, the thought may have occurred to you that you could make a little money raising them. The thought may have even occurred to you that you can make a lot of money raising rabbits. After all, two rabbits will be 200 in a short amount of time, right?

Maybe yes, maybe no.

Rabbits have the potential to be one of the more profitable species to raise. They often give birth to large litters, and offspring grow fast and reach either market or breeding weight more quickly than any other species. They do not require large amounts of space compared with most other species, and they are generally quiet, nondemanding animals.

But there are several things you should consider before making the leap into raising rabbits for profit rather than as a hobby.

Selecting your rabbit breeds

Around the rabbit community, people joke that “all rabbits are made of meat.” True, but some breeds are better suited for the table than others. New Zealands and Californian rabbits are two of the more popular choices. But a few rare breeds are making a comeback, such as the American Blue and White, or the Silver Fox, which also are listed on the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy’s Conservation Priority List (see Historic Meat Rabbit Breeds).

These rare breeds are wonderful animals to work with, but they are not always easy to come by, and they may not have been previously selected for production qualities. New Zealands and Californians may be much easier to acquire, plus they have the added benefit of a white pelt, which is easier to market than a colored one.





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