Breeding rabbits as a business – step by step plan

Farms have a wide variety of biases. Hard-working hands can realize here the cultivation of any living creatures and any plants within their climatic latitude. In this article, we will analyze in as much detail as possible such a bias as a rabbit breeding business.

Pros and Cons of Running a Rabbit Breeding Business

The advantages include the following points:

  • Relatively low start-up capital for a small farm;
  • Short payback periods with stable sales markets;
  • Rabbits breed… like rabbits;
  • Since the maintenance of rabbits is cheaper than most animals per kilogram of live weight;
  • To register this business, you will need a minimum list of documents;
  • The meat of these animals has a stable demand in the market;
  • Additional income will be the sale of rabbit skins and manure;

The disadvantages of this type of activity include the following:

  • High mortality rate in case of saving on veterinary drugs;
  • Severe sanitary requirements;
  • When selling products to large networks, we receive only 50% of payment for products immediately, and the rest upon sale.

Raising rabbits – step by step business plan

  1. Analyze the market and the possibility of selling your products on it
  2. Plan the livestock and determine the breed
  3. Build the optimal number of cells 
  4. Collect all necessary documents and permits
  5. Purchase of breeding stock

 Demand and competition analysis

Despite the high potential of the business, there is currently little competition in the rabbit meat market. The main reason for the deceleration of interest in rabbit meat is its price . But, due to the increase in interest in healthy eating, the demand for rabbit meat is still growing year by year. Rabbit belongs to dietary meat, therefore it easily fits into the diet of the healthy lifestyle concept.

Before you decide to organize a rabbit farm, you should take care of the markets . Simply put, if you can’t sell your products for the right price, should you start?

We define sales markets

The main markets for rabbit meat are hypermarket chains and small butcher shops . Here, a category of potential consumers has already been formed, for whom, first of all, the quality of products and their regular deliveries are important.

You can also offer cooperation to restaurants , but it is worth discussing this matter directly with the chef, who will be able to appreciate the quality of your meat and include it in his menu.

Don’t forget word of mouth, which is one of the best options for building your own customer base and good reputation. 

Therefore, at the beginning of your steps in this business, you should monitor the availability of pricing policy in order to attract more customers. 

Determining the breed for breeding

Promising breeds of rabbits:

  • Strokach. These rabbits have a short, thick neck and a muscular body. They grow quickly, so when they are 8 months old, they are sent for slaughter.
  • White pannon. These are large-sized rabbits with an average weight of 5 kg and a snow-white fur coat. For one okrol, a female of this breed is born 9 babies.
  • Flanders. These rabbits are gray in color and have an arched back. Although they grow very slowly (ready for slaughter no earlier than 9 months), their weight reaches up to 12 kg. 
  • California rabbit. A red-eyed animal with a catchy white color. Thanks to the lightened bones, they give a lot of meat.
  • Gray giant. They are precocious and fast growing rabbits, which already weigh 3 kg by 2 months. Slaughter yield is up to 55%. 
  • White giant. This breed of rabbit has an immaculate white coat but is relatively in poor health. Therefore, they need special care.
  • Soviet chinchilla. It is distinguished by high-quality thick fur of a silver-gray color and rapid growth. However, they can be sent for slaughter only at 5-9 months of age. 
  • New Zealand rabbit. This breed is not demanding in care. They have shiny thick white fur.
  • Ober. From rabbits of this breed, you can get both juicy meat and high-quality skins.
  • Hikol. The meat of this breed is great for baby food, as it has little fat.

Preparation of necessary documents

In the rabbit breeding industry, it is mandatory to register your business. You can register your business in three ways: Peasant farming (KFH), and an individual entrepreneur (IP) and personal subsidiary farming.

  • KFH . The advantage of this form of ownership is state support,  in the form of subsidies and preferential terms . With this registration, you will act as an individual entrepreneur, but with a limited list of rights. It includes only that category of people who have the right to any economic activity. If you are running a medium-sized business focused on home rabbit breeding, then this form will suit you perfectly.
  • Individual entrepreneurship .  This is a simple and convenient form of doing business with a large list of opportunities. You can easily move from a small farm to a large livestock complex. In taxation, you can use the single agricultural tax or a simplified system. 
  • Personal subsidiary farm . This is the most economical design option in this business. It has the advantage of not being taxed on the sale of meat. To obtain this status, you only need to provide a certificate of ownership of a summer cottage.
    You can get it from the OMS. However, if you are planning rabbit breeding on a large scale, then this type of design will not suit you. You will not be able to sell the supply of your product in hypermarkets and restaurants, and there will also be a limit on the number of products sold. 

To obtain a sales permit, you need to prepare the following package of documents: 

  • Sanitary book
  • Certificates from a veterinarian confirming the absence of diseases in rabbits
  • Certificates from laboratories where tests were carried out 
  • Sanitary certificate of a vehicle for transporting rabbit meat.

The rabbit business involves the purchase of equipment for keeping rabbits. There are three main ways of keeping them: semi-free, aviary and the most common – the cellular system. The cell system is the most convenient for maintaining veterinary requirements and sanitary standards.

Preparing the premises and equipment

To prepare a room for rabbits, you need to remember that they are afraid of sudden changes in temperature. The optimum air temperature should be 12C-18C. It is also impossible to allow high or low humidity. It is desirable that sunlight enters the room. Drinkers and feeders are installed along the walls.

Indoors, it is recommended to make a room for storing inventory tools. Some farmers equip a place for feed. A separate manure storage facility is being built.

Sheds for rabbits 

The shed system is great for raising rabbits. It is a free-standing closed space that does not let in direct sunlight and high temperatures, while letting in fresh air. 

A shed system is a complex building , which includes cells arranged in a vertical or cascading manner. To maintain heat, it is necessary to maintain a distance  of at least 70 cm from the floor of the lower cages to the ground. 

When using this system in suitable climatic conditions, it will practically not differ from natural ones. Rabbits will be able to lead a freer and more mobile lifestyle, and farmers will spend less time and effort. A characteristic feature of this method is the most rational use of space . 

The disadvantage of this system is the heating in cold winters and the feeding of rabbits with warm water.

In order to avoid outbreaks of diseases and infections, it is recommended to regularly clean the cages, as well as disinfect them. Disinfection is carried out at least once every six months. Mainly in spring and autumn, as well as unscheduled after the end of diseases in the herd or their upcoming breeding.

For disinfection, strong antiseptics are used for the inside and outside of the cells, followed by washing them with fresh water. 

Downhole shop

The slaughter of rabbits takes place in specially equipped premises – slaughterhouses. It includes a slaughter department, utility room, refrigerators and dryers. This room must comply with all hygienic requirements. Walls and floors must be lined with materials suitable for washing and disinfection .  

Rabbits are processed on carousel-type units, on mechanized slaughter stations and on flow-mechanized lines.     

Methods for slaughtering rabbits: electrostunning, a blow with the edge of the palm on the back of the head, a blow with a stick on the forehead or nasal bone. The death of the rabbit comes instantly.

According to the slaughter weight of the rabbit, its meat productivity is estimated. The older the rabbit, the higher the slaughter weight. 

Refrigeration equipment

Food storage conditions is a fundamental part. Therefore, special attention is paid to refrigeration equipment . It must maintain the correct temperature, maintain the desired level of humidity and proper air exchange.

There are the following types of refrigerators:

  • cooling chamber
  • blast freezer
  • for long-term storage of the product
  • freezer for meat with temperature from -25C to -40C.

Industrial refrigerators for meat storage are controlled automatically .

manure storage

Usually, manure heaps are formed using metal square molds without a bottom, approximately 3×3 meters with a hook for a crane. After filling the form is rearranged to another place and the cycle repeats. Rabbit manure is the most optimal for fertilizer. A year later, the heap is ready for implementation.

Purchase of rabbits

If you have decided on the breed of rabbits, then the next step is to purchase them. To do this, find good nurseries where the breeds you are interested in are bred and see in what conditions they are grown. Make sure you buy quality young stock. 

To determine high-quality, healthy and most importantly prolific rabbits, we invite you to familiarize yourself with our tips: 

  • To avoid incest and genetic diseases, do not take a female and male of the same litter
  • Do not buy rabbits if there are sores on the inside of the rabbit’s ear. They may be a sign of ear mites.
  • Obese rabbits are not prone to active breeding 
  • Do not take pregnant females, after transportation and the resulting stress, they may experience serious health problems.

Please note that prices can vary greatly depending on the elite breed of rabbits, but you should not save on the purchase of livestock . Farmers at the initial stage start with the purchase of adults in order to get offspring as soon as possible and reduce the time for making a profit.  

Forage harvesting

Rabbits are picky animals when it comes to food. For feeding you will have to use a complex of substances. It includes: compound feed, fruits and vegetables, hay and grains, as well as nutritional supplements of vitamins and minerals. 

The daily norm of an adult rabbit is 100 g of feed . If you use a mixed type of feeding, then the feed rate is halved. The fertility of your rabbits will depend on a properly composed diet, because, as we know, obesity reduces their fruitful activity.

Feed is one of the main items of expenditure, so many farmers want to cut it. Given that the purchased compound feed is quite expensive, it can be made independently. To do this, you will need grain, grain waste, a grain crusher and a granulator. The compound feed concentrate has three different recipes, as separate feeds for adult rabbits and young animals, as well as for rabbits of all ages. 

Purchase of veterinary drugs

Rabbits are rather sickly animals. Therefore, the rabbit breeder must have a “rabbit” first-aid kit.

It includes dressings, medical instruments, disinfectants, as well as other groups of medicines (immune stimulants, analgesics, antibiotics, skin parasites, antiviral complexes, drugs for the stomach, etc.)   

Staff

For constant high-quality work, the rabbit breeding farm has a whole production team. It consists of:

  • Working operator. A person who monitors the life and health of rabbits.
  • Slaughterer. A person who kills and butchers rabbits, and also packs and puts them in refrigerators.
  • Veterinarian. The doctor monitors all sanitary and veterinary measures.
  • Engineer. He monitors the serviceability of the equipment and repairs it. 
  • Other workers. These include an accountant, a driver and a cleaner.

How much to invest at the start

We should calculate how much money we need at the initial stage of opening a farm. To do this, we will compile a column with the item “initial expenses”.

  • Rabbits 120.000 RUB
  • Cells 200.000 rub
  • Inventory 30.000 rub
  • Business registration 10.000 rub
  • Room equipment 100.000 rub
  • Equipment 100.000 rub
  • Feed 30.000 rub
  • Total ~ 600.000 rub

Profitability of rabbit breeding

Profitability shows our economic efficiency. Since our business plan showed that we need about 600,000 rubles to open a small rabbit farm . Now it is worth calculating the income from our farming business. 

rabbit breeding business
  • With regular slaughter and maintenance of a livestock in the amount of 1000 rabbits, the meat yield per year is about 4 tons. 
  • On average, the price for 1 kg of meat is from 300 rubles.
  • the cost of staff salaries, feed and utilities will amount to 800,000 rubles / year.
  • The average revenue will be 1.2 million/year.

Thus, we will get a net profit of 400,000 rubles.

In this scenario, the rabbit breeding business will be able to fully pay for itself in just 2 years and we will begin to receive a stable net profit. 

Additional sources of income (fur, manure)

Rabbits are not only dietary meat, but also valuable fur. Soft hats and warm fur coats are made from it. 

Although the price of rabbit fur is low , but there is a demand for the product. The main buyers are manufacturers of clothing and footwear.

In agriculture, organic fertilizers are always needed. You can also engage in the production of biohumus . The demand for it is always quite high, and the shelf life is long.  

Home mini farm format

To build your own small farm, you first need to find out from the local administration how far the farm should be from residential buildings. This knowledge will help you avoid fines in the future. 

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