rabbit as dog food?

sawfish99

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We are currently running 5 does in production and 2 bucks. I have 2 does being raised to join production. Our biggest issue is moving the meat. We use 1 fryer a week for our family, but I have 14 in the freezer, 12 ready to go to freezer camp in a week or so, 2 litters at about 3 weeks, and 2 does due tomorrow. We have been advertising for sale on CL, but the ads get flagged around here. I have also been selling some through a farm's market type site, but it is not proving to be the cash cow I was hoping for. We were selling fryers for $6/lb, but raised prices to $6.50/lb due to feed costs going up so much. As it is, I know it is costing us about $4/lb to raise the rabbits.

So, I was wondering. Do others sell rabbit as raw dog food? If so, how much does it sell for in your area? I have heard it is best to grind the bone, organs, and meat together then freeze. What kind of grinder do you use?

I would love to expand the rabbitry if we could move the product.
 

WhiteMountainsRanch

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I also run a rabbitry but have the same problems you do, craigslist is useless for rabbits. I RARELY get anyone willing to pay $6 per pound, if I do it's usually ethnic groups like russians. I also advertise to sell it as dog food, but the problem I've found is 1. you have to grind it yourself which is A LOT of work and 2. No one wants to pay that much for dog food. The only money I make off my rabbitry is during spring when I sell my pedigreed babies to the 4H kids. You have to time it right though because they have to be certain age and weight. Even with that it still doesn't pay for the feed for the rest of the year. Unless I'm missing something I haven't figured out how to make money off rabbits either; we just use them for family use (and occasionally friends).
 

Bossroo

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Econ 101 ... your cost of production is $4.00/ lb. ... you are asking $ 6.50 / lb. for human and / or dog food ... one can buy chicken at the grocery store for $ 0.89 / lb. ... quite a bit of difference in purchase point. Rabbit meat tasts like chicken meat... So, which one will a person purchase especially in this economy we are experiencing today ? I would suggest that one whould cut back on breeding rabbits to a point where one can produce only to supply demand for rabbit meat or for your own use only.
 

20kidsonhill

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I must have gotten lucky, we had 9 mixed meat breed kits and they sold in less than 24 hours on craiglist,just a couple weeks ago, the ad was never flagged, under farming. and we sold them at an average of 6 weeks old for $128.00.. But your posts have me worried. My son wants to raise rabbits, We are trying silver foxes, and what doesn't sell as breeding stock or 4H projects, will go for meat for our family or to be sold. I was hoping it would be a better market than what you all are talking about.
 

brentr

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Bossroo said:
Econ 101 ... one can buy chicken at the grocery store for $ 0.89 / lb. ...
I would like to shop at the store where you shop. :/ No one around my neck of the woods is getting chicken breast for that price. A person MIGHT find a package of thighs or drumsticks on sale for $.89/lb.

Rabbit meat is far superior to that IMO...use prices for chicken breast to compare equitable products.


As for selling rabbits, I've been pretty lucky, I guess, compared to some of the experiences related in this thread. I've sold >$500 worth of bunnies since October. I mostly sell breeding stock and/or pets (nothing registered or in any way rare) through venues like and including CL. I get $20/head on average for a rabbit between 7-8 weeks old. What isn't sold by 8 weeks is grown out and put in the freezer.

My family consumption is probably equal to two rabbits a week.
 

20kidsonhill

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brentr said:
Bossroo said:
Econ 101 ... one can buy chicken at the grocery store for $ 0.89 / lb. ...
I would like to shop at the store where you shop. :/ No one around my neck of the woods is getting chicken breast for that price. A person MIGHT find a package of thighs or drumsticks on sale for $.89/lb.

Rabbit meat is far superior to that IMO...use prices for chicken breast to compare equitable products.


As for selling rabbits, I've been pretty lucky, I guess, compared to some of the experiences related in this thread. I've sold >$500 worth of bunnies since October. I mostly sell breeding stock and/or pets (nothing registered or in any way rare) through venues like and including CL. I get $20/head on average for a rabbit between 7-8 weeks old. What isn't sold by 8 weeks is grown out and put in the freezer.

My family consumption is probably equal to two rabbits a week.
Thanks that is hopeful for my son. He is 11, and is taking money out of his colelge fund that he has earned from 4H projects and building rabbit hutches and trying to do meat rabbits and then maybe worms under them. As parents we are encouraging him, by having him keep good journals and financial records. He hopes to be able to return the money back to his savings account and fingers crossed, make a little extra.

Do you have any advice for a young man such as himself in this market. We kept the ad up for an additional two weeks and could have sold the liter twice before I went ahead and pulled the ad.
These were red new zealand, white new zealand and standard rex cross, so very ordinary meat rabbits. very even in size and nice shape. Some sold to be grown out to butcher and some sold as breeding does.

Edited to ad: Hopefully that wasn't stealing the thread from the OP. I hope your reply can also help the OP. :hide
 

sawfish99

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Bossroo said:
Econ 101 ... your cost of production is $4.00/ lb. ... you are asking $ 6.50 / lb. for human and / or dog food ... one can buy chicken at the grocery store for $ 0.89 / lb. ... quite a bit of difference in purchase point. Rabbit meat tasts like chicken meat... So, which one will a person purchase especially in this economy we are experiencing today ? I would suggest that one whould cut back on breeding rabbits to a point where one can produce only to supply demand for rabbit meat or for your own use only.
I just sold 14 turkeys at $9.50/lb. I sell chicken for $5/lb. In fact, there has been so much demand for the chickens we raised, that we sold about half of what we were going to use for our family and have increased our rabbit consumption instead. The people who buy meats from us don't care what the price in the grocery store is. They buy from us because our meat is antibiotic free, cage free, healthy, local, etc. It is about confidence in the food supply, not price.

That said, rabbit isn't really a mainstream food. Finding the market is hard.
 

Bossroo

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One can buy whole chickens at Fred Meyers, Safeway, Ralf's, Winco, etc. ... just check the newspaper for sale adds. We just baught 20 (average. 5 lb)whole chickens for $0.79 / lb. ( 103 lbs.for $81.37) just 2 weeks ago from Safeway. I was born and raised on a farm, and I had my own farm too, so I know how to be self sufficient and make every penny squeel. I raised chickens, ducks, turkeys, rabbits, sheep, pigs, beef, and horses. It takes me only 2 minutes to cut up a chicken carcass, then when all are processed, we package them into boneless breast, legs, thighs, wings, then we boil the meat off the rest of the carcasses for taco, chicken pot pie meat into portions for 2 people. We package the broth into one cup size in baggies. Then freeze and store everything onto one shelf in our side by side freezer. Nothing from the carcass is wasted and I don't break the bank . Since we are retired now, I buy live, whole lambs, pigs and steers from neighbors and butcher them myself too. :old With this type of savings, the grandkids get extra birthday / Christmas presents. Spoil them rotten ! :thumbsup
 

Prairiechick

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That is all wonderful, Boss, but many people just want to know where their food is coming from these days. Those great deals you get at the supermarket are oftentimes the leftovers from a big buy they made and didn't sell when they were fresh, so instead of tossing them when they are getting too old to be 'fresh' any more, they package them into 'FAMILY PACKS' to move them out. They are also critters that have been fed in feed lot situations and have been fed a constant supply of antibiotics to keep them all from getting sick since they are so close. I started raising chickens and gardening just for that fact, I want to know where my food is coming from. Buying all of it from the supermarket or Sam's or wherever is supporting factory farming, which has proven to not be the safest way to get your food. I am not a paranoid, granola-lovin' person (though I do enjoy granola ;) ), but the fact remains that most food in this country is grown in a factory style and then it travels on average 1500 miles to get to your store and then to the consumer. I know when I cook up a chicken or turkey or duck or rabbit that I raised myself, I know what went into, I know where it was raised and I know how healthy that animal was when it went to butcher. That gives me a peace of mind that I could never get at the supermarket.

So, if all that concerns a person is the bottom line in the bank account, then getting your food cheap is great, but for those of us who feel it is worth it to pay more, there will always be a market for farm fresh.
 

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