An Overview of Rabbit Farming
In the western cultures today, the idea of rabbit farming may feel a bit odd because the rabbit is seen as
a pet, but in reality, rabbit has been a source of meat for thousands of years. Rabbit meat is light in
flavor and is healthier than many cuts of beef or pork. This meat is about 100 calories less per serving
than ground beef and has a high nutritional content, with 28 grams of protein and 4 mg. of iron in every
For those who really are turned off on the idea of rabbit farming to produce meat because they don't
want to kill anything, you can also raise some breeds for pets or for Angora production. Bet you didn't
know that Angora sweaters came from fluffy bunnies, did you? Most people don't but it's true. Angora
rabbits can be shorn three or four times per year. This fur is spun into yarn used for all types of ultra-
soft, ultra-luxurious textile goods.
Rabbit farming for meat production has several benefits besides it being healthier. In the same space it
takes to raise one cow, a person can raise about 40 rabbits. Rabbits are ready to breed between 4 and 7
months old, depending on breed, while a cow won't be ready to breed until it's at least a year old. The
gestation period of a rabbit is only about a month, while a cow takes two to four weeks longer than a
human being. Clearly, you can raise a lot more rabbits in the same space and time frame as it would
take to raise a beef cow.
Start-up costs for a rabbit farm are quite low, from $2500 and up, depending on how large you wish to
start out. Obviously, if you want to start with just a few rabbits, the costs will be lower than if you ran
out and purchased 100 to begin your farm. You will need a decent building, cages, feed dishes or
equipment, hay and commercial rabbit food to start with. If you plan on raising Angora rabbits for their
fur, then you will also need the tools and equipment in order to shear them properly.
Before you adventure into rabbit farming, it is a wise idea to make sure you have places to sell the
meat. As mentioned above, some people have an aversion to the idea of eating 'bunny rabbits', so the
demand isn't as high as with other meats. It is growing, however, as people find out about the health
benefits as well as the environmental benefits of rabbit meat over beef or pork. Some farmers sell
directly to meat plants, but many sell their meat to local restaurants or other types of consumers.
Dani Schaeffer is the Publisher of The Pioneering Parent, an online blog for “Suburban Survival
Families.” The Pioneering Parent features articles on microfarming in suburbia, and covers topics on
microfarming, including backyard chickens, rabbit farming, and tilapia farming, as well as gardening,
cooking, preparing and storing food, alternative energy and financial planning.