Rabbit is known for being a lean, healthy source of food. Rabbits grow quickly and can be produced in a very short time in high numbers. It’s no wonder that the market for this protein source is growing exponentially. For families who are looking for a healthy, affordable source of protein that is environmentally friendly, rabbit is high on the list. Pastured rabbit farms have a very demanding market to feed.
Obtaining the Right Stock
Different breeds of rabbit can be used for a rabbit farm, but most farms prefer breeds that grow very quickly, are quite hardy, make great mothers, and have an excellent muscle to bone ratio. Great candidates include New Zealand Whites, Flemish Giants, Californians, and other large breeds. The animals should originate from a proven rabbitry, with healthy lines that produce large litters. The owners of the rabbitry should be able to direct a new farmer towards some of their most promising specimens from their best lines.
Gathering Used Storage Equipment
One important part of production is storage. Once processed, the meat will need to be kept in an inspected and approved freezer. Several freezers may be necessary, especially when there are a lot of customers. The costs can add up quickly for new equipment; therefore, used equipment is a much better option for a newer farm. Commercial freezer parts can be purchased to upgrade or repair older models, saving the farm thousands of dollars in the long run.
Building a Market & Customer Base In Advance
Long before the rabbits begin to produce, it is important to build a customer base in the local area. This gives the farm an opportunity to draft a waiting list for customers, allowing them to obtain the meat as soon as it becomes available. This increases sales, lowers the amount of cold storage needed, and is more appealing to customers who enjoy fresh meat straight from the farm.
Raising pastured rabbits is far cheaper than raising the rabbits on feed; it also looks far more desirable to health conscious customers, as the animals are being fed a wholesome, natural, unadulterated diet.