Rabbit farming is an exciting and profitable new venture emerging in the agricultural and hobby farming sectors.
There are a number of different markets you can choose to enter, when beginning rabbit farming, and you will need to consider which market you would like to branch into. This will determine which breed of rabbit you will keep, which housing to use. Also the type of feed, and the intensity of the labor needed will need to be researched. You will need to decide where and who your target market is, and how you will be able to meet the needs of these consumers.
Rabbit farming can be an easy backyard hobby farm, or an expanded commercial venture, but when properly planned, it can be very rewarding. From the earliest days when sailors began traveling the high seas, their need for fresh meat had them start up rabbit colonies in all their ports of call. Since those early beginnings, rabbit farming has truly grown into a new venture into addressing the growing demand for meat protein, and the shrinking land resources with which to fulfil this need. Rabbits require much less land, and much less feed to produce a lb. (kg) of meat, than what cattle or any other regular farming animal require. This makes rabbit farming a commercially viable alternative to supplying the steady demand for meat.
Of course you may decide to raise rabbits for their fur, or as pets. Even here, there is a steady market, although not a market with the same growth rate, as rabbits for meat. Whichever market you will be breeding for, however, it will be necessary to budget and plan for your enterprise to be successful.
The first of these is to ensure that you have a market which is ready and willing to absorb all that you can produce. In other words, do not begin your farming venture of 100 breeding does, and sufficient buck for servicing them, if you do not have the resources to house and fees 4000 offspring each year, and a market ready to buy these 4000 offspring each year.
A number of more hidden costs need to be taken into account as well, when planning the size of your operation.
• Heating and lighting, as well as air-conditioning in summer will add a sizeable amount to the running costs.
• What buildings are available, or have to be built, to house your rabbits.
• How will feeding and watering be done, and how much feed will be required. Water accounts need to be taken into account as well, because rabbits can consume a large amount of water, when multiplied by a couple of 1000.
• Housing, cages, nest boxes, nesting material, hay and feed need to be budgeted, as well as medication, veterinary bills, cleaning materials and labor. Housing maintenance and repairs also need to be considered.
Remember that planning and budgeting wisely are the cornerstone of building any successful venture, and this is just as true for your rabbit farming venture.