Breeding Bunnies for Profit

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Breeding rabbits and selling their offspring can offset the cost of keeping a rabbity. Feed, hay, cages, supplies, etc.. all cost money and make this job or hobby expensive. I would not suggest getting into breeding rabbits if you do not have the time to put into caring and maintaining them. There are currently 50 recognized breeds of rabbits according to the American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA) in the year 2022. Keep in mind that these are ONLY the breeds recognized by the ARBA but I’m sure there are hundreds of others that include, but are not limited to mixes and projects for making new breeds. 

In preparing to profit off of breeding rabbits, I expect you will do lots of research. We began by reading several books. Just remember that authors of everything from books to internet articles, are a lot of the time, based on opinions and experiences. Everyone has their way of doing things and over time, we found that we like to do things differently than some and some things we agree with others on. So please keep in mind that we are giving you our experiences here and you take from it what you feel is best for you and your future plans. 

After beginning with the wrong breed for us, we sold them and purchased a breeding trio of pedigreed English Angoras. They were honestly just supposed to be mainly pets and fun for the kids. It quickly went from pet only, to hobby, and then before you know it, Country Bumpkin Bunnies was established. It was hard to make this a business rather than just a hobby but when you spend a lot, you need to make money to cover the cost.  


Average EA Rabbit Cost

Doe 1 $200

Doe 2 $200

Buck   $200

Hutch per bunny 3 x $200

A 50 pound bag of rabbit pellets will last you approximately one month to feed three rabbits. On average today, rabbit feed cost around $20 for 50 pounds.

A bale of hay will last you well over a month and depending on your area, the cost can be anywhere from $7 from a local farmer in Illinois and up to $29 for a compressed bale of Timothy hay from Tractor Supply.

Feed and Water Dishes all very in cost. To keep it to a good rounded and reasonable cost, we will estimate $20 for a set of feed and water dishes per bunny, this comes to $60 total.

The above is the minimum of required supplies. The total cost comes to a rounded $1310. I did not include a nest box, toys, resting mats, books, grooming tools, or anything additional. There is obviously more that you will need but this is the bare minimum you can get by with to get started. Below are extra costs that I would suggest you plan to invest in as well.

Nest boxes – $64 for two from Tractor Supply

Brush/Comb – $30 for both from TSC

Nail clippers – $10

Trimmer/Clippers/Scissors for wool breed – $30 for our favorites

Blower for wool breeds – $100 Amazon

Treats – calf manna $20, BOSS $20, oats $5

Toys – misc $20+

Litter pan and pine pellets – $18 for 3 pans plus $7/bag pellets

Tattoo equipment – $100+

Rabbit transport carrier – $95 for 3 hole carrier

Resting mats – $8 x 3

Total for extras only for three rabbits: $543

I did not include medications like wormer and fur mite treatment/preventions. However, they are going to be needed at some point in every rabbitry. As you can see the basics are listed here and will give you a good idea of where you can start and know the cost involved. 

You can try using Craigslist or Marketplace and find used equipment but be very cautious and careful with cleanliness so not to pass on any disease, illness, parasites, or germs. 

Books are always great to add to starting any business so you will want to add that into your cost.

Estimated Costs Rounded up:

A grand total for the basics: $1310

Total for everything extra added: $1855

So for under $2000, you can start your own rabbitry with a breeding trio. If you choose a breed that costs significantly less, you will need to adjust these prices. Let me add that there is an additional fee to register your rabbitry with the ARBA. Please check with them on their current pricing as that can change but it was well under $100 when we began.

Now let’s talk about breeding and making money. 

Breed both does the same day so you have help if needed from a foster mom. Your average litter we will say is 6 kits. Not every bunny survives so we will round down to 5 survivors per litter. Take these numbers x what you paid for your parent bunnies ($200) and add in an extra bag of feed per month ($20) to cover feed cost.

10 offspring @  $200  ea = $2000 

Subtract $40 for an extra bag of food for two months

Bunnies can leave at 8 – 10 weeks of age

Total Gross income $1960

You can make your money back on your investment in just two litters. If you like to spend more money getting started, you can adjust your profit margins as needed. Also be aware that first time moms do not always do the best. Be sure to try again quickly if your first litters do not make it.

Next is probably the most important step in running any business regarding sales.  You will need customers. There are lots of platforms and audiences out there but you have to do the leg work and find them. Rabbits are very popular and customers are always there. The next job is to figure out what kind of marketing is needed for the breed you chose to raise. 

This is not a get rich quick job. There is a lot of effort that goes into profiting off of raising rabbits and many hours to put into the job, but it CAN be done! Don’t forget to save all of your receipts and keep track of your business for tax purposes. You may want to speak with a CPA or accountant and get information ahead of time so you reap all of the farming rewards of running a rabbitry.

Keep in mind that a new breeder should not charge top dollar  for their first litters of bunnies. We upset a couple of breeders that we purchased our bunnies from when we started our rabbitry. We charged much less for our offspring than we paid for their parents. We paid top dollar to great breeders and sold their offspring for half price literally. The reason was because we just did not have a name for ourselves. We did not have anyone interested in buying bunnies until we figured out how to advertise them. We had to learn the ins and outs, figure out what was the better quality, and learn from our mistakes. When we got the hang of things, became more educated, had more of a business plan put together, we THEN and ONLY then did we raise our prices. Better breeders at that time did not like our lowball pricing because it caused the market to not demand high dollar for the breed. Don’t expect to get top dollar for something you are just starting to learn about. Give yourself room to grow and expand on your education with your business.  You will learn how to produce better quality and you will be able to charge different prices and get better money the more you learn.  Prices have slowly been climbing just like everything today. Finding customers is the most difficult part of owning a rabbitry.  Always keep your eyes open to different avenues to sell your bunnies and be open minded. I do want to add that it is a very good idea if you are going to reproduce rabbits, you really need to do the best you can at making them quality offspring. Showing is the absolutely best advice I can give you! You learn a lot from judges and competition! Give it some consideration because you don’t want to reproduce a bad bunny out of ignorance. Just educate yourself and it will pay off!

There are other avenues to make money from breeding rabbits. Although  it is not the price you earn from a bunny sale, it does add up. Rabbit manure is awesome fertilizer. Fill your empty feed bags and sell the manure for $5 – $10 a bag. It does not have to be composted first and can go directly on plants! It is known as a cold fertilizer and black gold! Rabbit tea is also a great fertilizer which is made from soaking rabbit manure in water and selling the liquid. Landscapers love this stuff and it will sell for higher dollar amounts if you find the right buyer!

There is the wool breed profit from harvesting wool and selling the fiber. Just to clarify, for those who do not know how to harvest Angora fiber, it is simply a hair cut. You do not harm the bunny in harvesting their wool. It grows back in a few months and is ready to harvest again! Our bunnies love it when we give them hair cuts. I believe they are so much more comfortable! Prices vary greatly on Angora fiber sales. I have seen it lowballed at $6 an ounce but we sell ours for $20 an ounce. It is all in the quality, properly harvesting and care (tangles, dirt, staple length, and storage). You can expect 3 – 7 ounces of fiber off a decent English Angora harvest 3 – 4 times a year. Some fiber artists prefer plucked fiber so you will need to see what your audience prefers if this is the route you want to take. If I plucked all of our fiber, I’m afraid no one would be able to afford it lol! It is so time consuming to pluck verses shave/trim. 

Let’s do an example breakdown. 

3 angoras harvested 3 x year = 9 harvests

4 ounces each harvest  = 36 ounces of fiber

36 ounces sold at $15/ounce = $540

Subtract an approximate $40 for packaging and supplies used

Gross from Fiber Sales = $500 for the year

Not that I have tried this but …go search YouTube for information on using rabbit urine as a natural pesticide! I’m not sure I will ever try this but they do this in some countries and make more money from selling jugs of rabbit urine as a natural pesticide for gardens than they do in just selling commercial meat rabbits!

Since we are breeders of a wool breed and do not gear our uses towards meat, I will keep this short. This is not meant to offend anyone who may be disturbed by discussion of raising rabbits for meat. However, there is always a need for rabbit meat for human and pet consumption. Prices for whole rabbits vary from different locations and demands. There are people who will pay top dollar for whole rabbits to feed their families or raw feeding for dogs and cats. Rabbit meat is very healthy and low in fat. After all, rabbits are livestock animals and some people laugh at the thought of keeping one as a pet. How can you not love a cuddly looking bunny!

I have so much more information to share on this subject but didn’t want to overwhelm anyone with too much reading. We are in the early stages of compiling all of our ideas, what has worked and not worked, how to save on feed cost, what other avenues that lead us to have a mini farm and what extras we do to help run a smooth rabbitry.