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Is rabbit breeding as a business profitable or not?

19.03.2024  |  Rabbit farms

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Rabbit breeding as a business is constantly evolving. Farmers are increasingly interested in this area of animal husbandry due to its quick return on investment and profitability from both meat and fur sales. The market for rabbit meat is currently underserved.

Is rabbit breeding as a business profitable or not?

It is considered that rabbit breeding is a stable and profitable business in agriculture. Many farmers start with a small number of animals and gradually increase their operations each year. Any direction in animal husbandry involves risks and has its pros and cons, but overall, rabbit breeding is noted for its profitability when the farm is managed correctly. The advantages of rabbit breeding include: high fertility of the animals, making a profit from meat and fur sales, saving on feed costs in warm weather, lack of competition, quick return on investment, and low initial investment costs.

The main advantage of this business is the high demand for rabbit products. Dietitians note the quality of rabbit meat, which is easily digested by the human digestive system and contains essential amino acids important for the body. It is a valuable product for those who watch their diet. Possible disadvantages of rabbit breeding include the need to comply with sanitary regulations for animal housing and to obtain permits for the products sold. Beginners should be aware that some breeds do not have strong immunity. Infectious diseases outbreaks can occur among the herd if vaccination is neglected and feeding and housing rules are not followed.
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How to start a rabbit business?

To start a rabbit breeding business, a clear plan must be developed. Before starting, the farm must be registered. Individual Entrepreneurship or a Peasant Farm enterprise form is suitable for this activity. Entrepreneurs are entitled to tax benefits and reduced tax rates. The land for the rabbit farm can be purchased or leased long-term. If the entrepreneur plans on running the farm for a long time, it is better to buy the land. According to the law, the land must be located at a distance from residential buildings, roads, and cattle and poultry farms. Each farm must be separated from these objects by a sanitary protection zone. In addition to the animal housing, additional buildings and structures are needed, such as a feed mill with driveways, a freezer area, a slaughterhouse, inventory warehouses, and manure collectors. Buildings should be connected by driveways for machinery and walkways. The shed where the animals are kept will require a ventilation and heating system.

During the planning stages, it is necessary to carefully consider the feed base as rabbits reproduce quickly and require a balanced diet. If the number of animals on the farm is significant, continuous maintenance of cages is necessary: providing water and food, and cleaning the manure. Clean water can be supplied using nipple drinkers for rabbits, which are considered practical and safe for the animals. Medications and vaccines can be administered to rabbits through medicators in nipple drinkers. Feeding rabbits can be organized with individual feeders that need to be regularly replenished manually, or if an automatic feeding system is installed, feeders will be replenished automatically.

The final step is to purchase young rabbits. It is advisable to find farms that breed rabbits or contact a rabbitry. This way, you can assess the condition of the animals and the conditions of their housing. For every 30 does, 3 bucks are needed. It is necessary to change the breeder once a year. Choosing the breed

The purchase of young rabbits for breeding and rearing is made depending on the desired outcome at the end of the reporting period. There are different breeds: meat-fur, meat, fur, and decorative. Each breed has its own characteristics. When choosing, consider fertility, meat/fur yield, adult weight, and maturity. Let's go through each type in more detail.
Rabbit breeds for business

Meat-fur breeds

Despite the huge number of breeds, only some of them are suitable for breeding on farms. Business usually starts with breeding meat-fur breeds like White and Gray Giants, Soviet Chinchilla, Black and Brown rabbit, Butterfly, White New Zealand, Californian. The advantage of meat-fur breeds is considered to be the optimal balance of costs and benefits, as well as excellent results in the form of sought-after tender dietary meat and high-quality fur. It is also beneficial that both meat and fur can be sold simultaneously. 

Meat breeds

Breeding individuals of these breeds involves obtaining dietary meat and by-products. The output result is significant due to the relatively large size of the animal, its increased fertility, and rapid maturation period. The most common meat group breeds of rabbits are Flemish, Californian rabbit, European Silver, Gray Chinchilla, Gray Giant. The individuals of this group can gain weight up to 8 kg. Typically, a female brings at least 6 kits in one litter, and sexual maturation starts at 4 months. Meat breeds also have a strong immunity.

Fur breeds

Fur breeds are grown on farms mainly to obtain fur and down, with meat being an additional product. Popular fur breeds among farmers include Angora, Silver-Blue, Black and Brown, White plush, Rex. Among the advantages of this group are the high quality of fur and down, quick return on investment, and the higher price of the pelts. The main thing in breeding fur breeds is to maintain cleanliness in the livestock premises, as otherwise the fur will quickly lose its commercial appearance and, as a result, will not be as highly valued. 

Decorative breeds

These rabbits are bred in nurseries, where the result is evaluated in the purity of the breed. The advantages of decorative breeds include low feed consumption due to the small size of the animals, higher prices per individual, and relatively simple care. Another bonus is the absence of difficulties with veterinary checks from supervisory authorities, as rabbit meat is not sold commercially. Popular breeds include Colorful Dwarf, Dwarf Ram, Angora Lion, Holland Lop, Lionhead Rabbit. Decorative rabbits are acquired as pets. On average, individuals live up to 6 years.

Choosing the cultivation method
 
When raising rabbits, farmers adhere to several methods:

  • Rabbit Farming
  • Shed System
  • Mini farms
  • Cages
  • Pits
Holding and Reproduction

Each breed has its own care features which a farmer needs to consider, however, the fundamental care principles are still similar. The basic rules of care include keeping the cages dry, warm, equipped with a ventilation system, as rabbits do not tolerate stuffiness, cold, and drafts. The cleanliness in the hutches must be maintained, and the rabbits themselves should be provided with the correct diet - this is the key to their strong health and proper development. It is important to make the animals feel safe, as rabbits do not tolerate stress. Regular vaccination is important to prevent infection and loss of the entire population. 

Rabbits are quite picky in their food and only consume plant-based food. The main diet consists of hay and greens, fresh vegetables (tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, pumpkin, carrots), grains, and compound feed. For gnawing, rabbits can be given branches of willow, oak, birch, or fruit trees. The daily feed requirements depend on the rabbit breed, age, and sex. The portion of feed is usually divided into 1-2 feedings. In the morning, animals are given greens and juicy feed, and in the evening - hay and compound feed. It is important to provide animals with free access to clean water. For this purpose, nipple drinkers are widely used on farms.

Ways of product sales

Small suppliers find it difficult to establish sales through chain stores. Consumers of rabbit meat include restaurants, farmers' produce stores, own stands at local markets, and wholesale organizations. There is a high demand for this product from baby food producers.

Rabbit breeding is a profitable business with careful organization. It should be started with a business plan that takes into account expenses - from choosing a land plot for construction to purchasing equipment and animals. Rabbit breeding business has its advantages and disadvantages, but with proper organization, a farmer can achieve significant profits.

Agrovent company can assist in organizing a farm. You can buy nipple drinkers for rabbits from us, as well as order silos for compound feed, an automatic feeding system, climate control equipment, and remote access.

Do you need equipment for a rabbit farm? Contact us!