Start Up Cost: (Housing, Food, Animals, Misc.)
So, obviously because we had never done this before, there was a “start up” cost to get the items needed to begin raising our Rabbits. Building the hutches, getting the feeders/waterers, making the nesting boxes, and getting a small animal tattoo kit (for the pedigreed rabbits)— that all cost us around $520 total. My first “Rabbit Hutch Post” has a cost breakdown and a supply list, if you are also looking at building your own hutch! (We did 2 hutches, but they have slight differences when compared to each other. They can both be found in the Rabbitry section or in Archives). The 5 Rabbits themselves (3 does, 2 bucks) cost a total of $395.
However, please note, pricing for the actual animal can change with different locations, breeds, breeders, etc. A lot can vary with that. I did still want to add it though, so you can see the exact cost breakdown of our Rabbitry’s start. We also have all of our Rabbits pedigreed. That can too, change the pricing.
Food Cost, Per Year: (Hay, Pellets)
Per year with 5 Rabbits (including the 3-6 months we will have kits during a year) it costs us about $340 dollars for their hay and pellets. The way we have it worked out is, we sell the litters from one doe, while the other 2 does litters we keep for meat purposes. Out of the 3 does we have, selling 1 or 2 litters from the one, a year, (with an [rough] average of 6-8 kits a litter) we will hopefully be making the money back to pay for all their feed costs! Making it so the rabbits essentially pay for themselves.
Doing it this way, will also be more efficient for our current amount of space! Right now, we don’t have enough room to have more than 2 litters going to the freezer at a time, so we had to plan it out carefully. This feed cost, does not include all the scraps from garden, and the pasture time we hope and plan to give them during the Spring and Summer. So with that in mind, I’m interested to see how this may change (or not change) our feed costs at the end of this year.
In total, we did everything at about $860, not including the $395 it cost to buy our specific Rabbits ($1,255 to be exact with that).The only yearly cost will be on the feed, which is the $340, but again, should be made back and paid through selling a litter (or about 6 rabbits a year).
How Much Meat Will We Be Getting?
We are a family of 3, with #4 coming in a few months for reference. On average, does can have 6-8 (although some can have up to 14!) kits per litter. For our current size family and space, we will breed them anywhere around 2-3 times a year— depending on health, and quantity of course. The rabbits will give (an average) about 4lbs of meat, per rabbit. We will be getting, hopefully, around 96-128 lbs of meat per year from our litters.
This for us, means we will not have to spend as much money on our chicken meat, because we will be trading our chicken, for rabbit meat this year! I will update you on this and if we even saved money with that, at the end of 2022. We still plan to eat chicken meat, as we do still like it, but I want to try the trade off this year to see how it goes for us and to see if we can save any money at all, by doing so.
Breeding Begins Now!
We bred all 3 does today (January 7th) to get some litters in February. This breeding is mainly as a “trial run” to see how they all do! We are hoping for healthy rabbits; the does and their litters! Two pairings were switched, since my last posted update, as well. I had one doe who (on her 2nd time now) seemingly hated being bred with our solid black buck, so I decided to try switching bucks, and it worked! She was still not in love with the process, but was much calmer! I had 3 “fall offs” with everyone so I’m hopeful for good results.
- Solid chocolate buck x Broken castor doe #1
- Solid black buck x Broken castor doe #2
- Solid black buck x Blue otter doe
We have decided to wait for the second round of litters to process any of them for our meat, as well. That way we can get a good handle on the first time breeding and litters. If everything goes smoothly, the next round of litters should be around June sometime!
Updates to come! February 7th is the due date!