Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Cost of Producing a Meat Rabbit.  (Read 5405 times)

hughesy

  • Joined Feb 2010
  • Anglesey
Cost of Producing a Meat Rabbit.
« on: October 17, 2014, 02:34:13 pm »
Out of interest does anyone have a ball park figure for what a typical meat rabbit costs to produce? Not taking into account any set up costs or buying breeding stock, just the actual, cost per carcass, that anyone producing meat rabbits for sale needs to know?

cloddopper

  • Joined Jun 2013
  • South Wales .Carmarthenshire. SA18
Re: Cost of Producing a Meat Rabbit.
« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2014, 12:25:02 am »
You will have to look at the calorific value of the feed your are giving the rabbits.

This is a rough guideline of producing meat rabbits on a commercially produced pelleted food.
Which sadly does have a massive variation for nutrition , vitamin & trace elements for every batch produced by the mill.

It's to do with the natural variations in the crop growth season the harvesting method employed & sometimes stored quality of the finished basic elements  such as paper sacks or plastic sacks , bulk blown into a feed silo quantities , weather at the storage and age of the basic ingredients plus the types of binding oils used.
 
There are charts detailing how a commercial breed such as a Carolina meat or a NZ meat or a cross of them run /grow develop . These charts are often titled feed conversion rates ( FCR ) taking the above paragraph into account even these specialist charts can vary tremendously .
I'd look for the charts nowadays in some of the American Agricultural  college extensions .

Whatever conclusions you draw from any of these charts remember that most of the charts will have been promogulated from data obtained in nigh on laboratory conditions.  So  if you calculate everything out to the Nth degree , like as not you'll be much nearer the mark if you divide the final cost by two .

When I did our calculations & presented the sources of info & my figures for a 1 , 2, 3 & 5 yr. business plan to the enterprise board & my bank they were both straining at the leash to give me EU funding or have our account .
 It proved over time to have been a rather over enthusiastic set of plans  our end profits were less than  half of the projections  for various reasons most of which were out of our control.

Don't go & look at any sales blurb from any of the zillions  rabbit equipment sellers or organisations no matter how long they have ben in existence that concerns rabbits & projections as these will tend to show you what is theoretically possible under perfect conditions . As we all know only too well you'll be darn lucky to actually attain half of their suggestions .


 I can't give you the exact figures for I'm no longer in the business.  how ever  I seem to recall though cannot say for sure that at the outset in 1989 when I did the initial calculations  feed was around 90 per tonne , for three tonne batches of 25 kg ( paper ) bags of pellets from a local feed mill
 
Here is a very , very rough guide
 100 gram  of feed per non pregnant doe or the buck per day , this is a maintenance diet
 First few days of pregnancy this is upped to say 130 gram per day for the doe.

 By the end of pregnancy term this goes up to almost double and carries on whilst she is suckling her kits.

The kits .
You need to see what they as a litter can handle by feeding them twice a day  weigh what you give and what is left by the time you go to give the evening feed and dividing the amount by the number of kits. This gives you the base figure
Kits waste an awful  lot of feed , about three times as much as a single doe or the buck . Often by peeing in the feeder or by scratting it out .
   
 The amount of feed required increases , at first gradually ,then as they get to about five weeks old it starts to increase tremendously as they grow bigger &  produce more heat and meat .  By the age of 8 weeks old at the supposed harvesting time they will only give you just over break even costs . After 8 weeks old and up to 20 weeks old they will eat you out of house and home  sometimes needing 400 gram or more per day of commercial pelleted feed . 

Please do not be dazzled by the price of say 18 per Kg of  prepared rabbit meat in the supermarkets / specialist shops , as their mark up is usually well over 6 times the base price they pay to the processor . The processor in turn marks up what he pays for the farmed rabbits by the same amount for he cannot survive on anything less.


 Even my mates who are rifle and ferreting experts  struggle to cover the cost of the ammo or fuel when selling fresh rabbits by the score , jacket on , pissed & paunched ( JOP&P'd ) to game dealers.
 Frozen or a held JOP&P'd for a couple of days in  a very cold  chiller till they get a batch of hundred or so attract even less money .

 One route that did prove profitable to me was locating  individual customers or clubs with a high ethnic content from the former eastern states communities . Word of mouth was the best advertising  here.  Though nowadays these folk tend to be established & are doing their own direct sourcing legally or otherwise .
« Last Edit: October 25, 2014, 12:42:50 am by cloddopper »
Strong belief , triggers the mind to find the way ... Dyslexia just makes it that bit more amusing & interesting

hughesy

  • Joined Feb 2010
  • Anglesey
Re: Cost of Producing a Meat Rabbit.
« Reply #2 on: October 26, 2014, 02:39:27 pm »
Thanks clodhopper very interesting. The reason I asked was because I can retail rabbits through our market stall where we sell our pork. I have customers who'll buy fairly regularly and at the moment rely on the few wild rabbits I can shoot or a few that a friend brings me. I'm just wondering if it would be worthwhile to invest in a small rabbit rearing operation to supply the stall.

nutterly_uts

  • Joined Jul 2014
  • Jersey - for now :)
Re: Cost of Producing a Meat Rabbit.
« Reply #3 on: October 26, 2014, 02:44:39 pm »
People are raw feeding a lot more too, and whole rabbits are in demand in a lot of places. People are paying anywhere from 4 to 7 for a single rabbit so that might be another avenue to explore. I can't get them for less than 5 a bunny and I'd kill for a regular supply!

hughesy

  • Joined Feb 2010
  • Anglesey
Re: Cost of Producing a Meat Rabbit.
« Reply #4 on: October 27, 2014, 07:33:54 am »
I sell wild rabbits, skinned and ready to cook for 4.50 and they go quite well. A home reared "farmed" rabbit would have to be a bit more expensive than that but there would be more meat for your money. Whether the customers who buy wild would want farmed is another question.

cloddopper

  • Joined Jun 2013
  • South Wales .Carmarthenshire. SA18
Re: Cost of Producing a Meat Rabbit.
« Reply #5 on: October 28, 2014, 01:49:48 am »
Be careful, when you put farmed meat on your stall you may have to register as a producer of fluffy cute Ben & Benjamina bunnies , your details will be accessible to all manner of nutters. Especialy the cretins in /of SHAK and UFAW .

You'll need a regular set of customers to make it pay ..
How was your trade in the warmer weather?.
 Sales of rabbit meat usually slump from March to the middle of October.
 Most growers me included used to reduce stocks down   at teh begining of marhafter selectiong the new breeding sti=ock which would come on line in august and produce an 8 week old meat crop in October.

 It would do you good to get a big Julian planner sheet and work backward days in soft pencil from the time you want to have your 20 week old breeding does to produce the litters for the market day right back to the matings that these mothers will be  be born from and then go back a couple of weeks more to indicate to you when to select the best mothers for producing the replacement breeding stock .
 

 Whilst you mayb not go this big ...mating stock ratios can work well with one buck for every 12 does till you attain a 200 doe unit ,then you can oftn reduce the ration  down to 15 does per buck when you've identified the best buck . Which helps no end in the food bills and cage occupancy stakes.
Every penny has to be meticulously garnered , for it's so easy to pass the critical point of in profit to into loss and have to stop due to financial losses.

It's all down to planning and making informed reasoned judgements.. that why most folk fail totally at growing quality meat rabbits.
Strong belief , triggers the mind to find the way ... Dyslexia just makes it that bit more amusing & interesting

hughesy

  • Joined Feb 2010
  • Anglesey
Re: Cost of Producing a Meat Rabbit.
« Reply #6 on: October 28, 2014, 07:35:55 am »
We've been breeding pigs for meat for a few years now and a lot of what you say has similarities with the planning we already do. I'm going to have a long hard think about this I doubt if it would ever get past a small operation. Maybe a few sold as pets could help things over the summer months?

cloddopper

  • Joined Jun 2013
  • South Wales .Carmarthenshire. SA18
Re: Cost of Producing a Meat Rabbit.
« Reply #7 on: October 28, 2014, 10:49:25 pm »
We ended up moving in that direction big time with all manner of small mammals and as a result had to be a licensed and registered " Pet Shop " with monthly  inspections .  Day 14 it was the councils animal welfare  idiot , day 28 it was our resident vet's animal health check and advice etc.

 Funny thing was they kept coming to me for advice about all manner of small mammals , diseases & welfare etc.

. That's when the SHAK  UFAW & other funny numpties etc. started up with vicious malicious & threatening phone calls & letters crap .  They trawl council registers which are by law open the the public view on a regular basis so do give that angle a bit of careful consideration.

 For some reason The RSPCA  turned up without an agreed appointment, obliquely demanding access to inspect and check my stock.  Saying they were following up a report of animal cruelty , but that's another story told elsewhere on this site.
 
Strong belief , triggers the mind to find the way ... Dyslexia just makes it that bit more amusing & interesting

hughesy

  • Joined Feb 2010
  • Anglesey
Re: Cost of Producing a Meat Rabbit.
« Reply #8 on: October 29, 2014, 11:07:25 am »
There's definitely a lot to think about.

 

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