Getting Started In Rabbit Farming
There are two things you need to become very knowledgeable in if you have your sights set on making a profit in rabbit farming. Obviously you'll want to know all you can about rabbits, how to raise them, how to care for them, and so on. It's one thing to have 2 or 3 rabbits in a hutch in the back yard. Presiding over a few hundred, or a few thousand, puts you in a different world entirely. Know your rabbits.
The second thing you need to understand well when it comes to rabbit farming is how to run a business. It doesn't matter if it's a small business or a big business, or a small business destined, you hope, to become big. You need to know how to successfully run a business. The rabbits can't do that for you, though they'll do their part.
Even if you've read up on rabbits and on running a small business as well, and even if your grandfather raised a few rabbits and you learned a few things back then, you're probably not going to be knowing everything you need to know when you first get started. A good first step is to visit a few rabbit farms. A rabbit farmer is likely to give you some good tips and advice, unless of course you're seen as a competitor. It might be in your best interest to contact someone some distance away, a rabbit farm that isn't apt to think of you as competing for the same customers it serves.
Think Small When Asking For Advice - If you are asking advice about rabbit farming from another rabbit farmer it might be a good idea to think small. Give the impression you're trying to start up a small business which is just one step up from having a hobby, with earning a few bucks on the side as your goal. If you spill the beans, and let on that you intend to eventually corner the rabbit market in the western half of the United States, the person offering you advice might suddenly clam up, even if their rabbit farm is in the eastern half of the country. Those who raise rabbits are usually eager to talk about their business, and unless you’re regarded as a competitive threat, you'll probably learn a lot.
What Are You Raising Them For? - One thing you need to know up front is the breed you intend to raise. You aren't strictly limited to a single breed, nor is your choice cast in concrete should you change your mind later on. You should know however if you are going to raise rabbits for food, or wool, or fur. This will in part determine the breed or breeds you'll be raising.
Know Your Market - You also need to decide who you are going to sell to. Will you be needing to seek out two or three customers or do you plan to sell to whomever is in the market for the rabbits, whether they order 2 rabbits or 200. Perhaps you'll have only a single buyer, another rabbit farm that either looks for a special breed that you are raising, or a rabbit farm that acts more as a distributor. You'll usually make less of a profit on a per rabbit basis selling to another rabbit farm, who in this case is acting like a middleman, but you may be able to sell at a higher volume.
You Can (And Probably Should) Start Small - On of the nice things about getting into rabbit farming is you don't have to start with a hundred rabbits. You can start with two, as long as they are of the opposite sex. A number like twenty might be a bit more realistic, even though a female rabbit can produce up to 4 dozen offspring in a year's time. Another advantage to starting with just a few rabbits is you can build your facility as you go along, though the more rabbits you get, the more rapidly you'll have to build, until you begin selling them and your rabbit population begins to level out.
Rabbit farming can be a very lucrative business, as there will always be a market, no matter what you're raising them for.