With skyrocketing fuel prices setting multiple records daily, the price of wheat as well has exploded 60%! We are at war; and wartime prices and scarcities are at hand. The supply chain for the US was in trouble before Russia invaded Ukraine. With all the foregoing, we are entering the threshold of a time of trouble that no living person has ever seen before. Hyperinflation is real and here. Even if there is food on the shelves, the average home may not be able to afford it. Food shortages are imminent and coupled with an impending financial crash. This will make the toilet paper shortage of 2020 look like a warm sunny day. And time is short… But there are ways to prepare that are fast, efficient and effective.
A simple organic and absolutely adorable solution can be found in … rabbits!
Rabbits offer a low cost / low investment way for Patriots to insure their survival and even the survival of their cats and dogs. Rabbit meat is low fat and high in protein and nutrients. During times of supply chain crisis, rabbit meat could even be an alternative to pet food.
Rabbits poop some of the best organic fertilizer on the planet – and they poop alot of it. Gardeners will also line up to purchase rabbit manure. It is an excellent fertilizer that can be put directly in the garden without any chance of burning the plants. With the ongoing “oil war” we will see a domino effect that will even limit things like fertilizer. Fertilizer is petroleum based. A shortage in fertilizer will cause food shortages throughout the world. This is serious business folks.
Rabbits produce at an astronomical rate. “Breed like a Bunny” has some serious implications when you do the math. Rabbits are noted for their prolific breeding ability, but the popular phrase “breeding like rabbits” isn’t quite the whole story.
A few factors make rabbits in general — notable in the breeding department. To start with, rabbits are able to begin breeding at a very young age, as young as 2 months to 3 months old, according to the Animal Diversity Web. Rabbits also have a short gestation period, between 25 and 28 days, which means they can have several litters of babies each year.
Rabbits can have between one and seven litters each year, and they average three or four litters annually, Animal Diversity Web reports. Each litter can contain between one and 12 babies, with the average being five. And female rabbits can get pregnant again almost immediately after giving birth. When you consider that the babies of each litter can begin reproducing so soon after they are born, the math can quickly become overwhelming.
There are trends in thinking about micro farming. Everything from grasshoppers to fish and yes even rabbits too. Low impact on the amount of space required, rabbits offer a viable food production system in even the smallest of back yards. Because they do not need much space they are a perfect opportunity for urban homesteaders. Cages can be kept in the garage, the backyard or on a patio. The smaller the space you are working with will require extra attention to cleanliness. Cages will need to be cleaned daily and sanitized weekly. Apartment homesteaders will be limited to the space on their porch or balcony, but they can also enjoy the many benefits of raising rabbits.
Homesteads with small children are the perfect place for rabbits. Rabbits are gentle if handled regularly and most rabbit chores can be performed by children. If they are too small to complete the chore on their own, they certainly can assist; everyone can get involved.
You can get creative with the type of shelter you provide as you meet three requirements: 1. The hutch should be easy to clean; 2. The shelter should receive plenty of air flow; and 3. provide ¾ square foot per pound of rabbit (mature weight).
Wood hutches are fine but do not last as long as wire cages. Rabbits will chew on the wood and the constant urine causes the wood to decompose fairly quickly. Wire hutches with a pull-out tray make stacking and cleaning easier. Cages should be located in a shady area that receives plenty of air circulation.In addition to shelter cages, a rabbit tractor or movable pen is advisable. Allowing rabbits to pasture-feed decreases food costs, allows rabbits to act more like rabbits, and provides tastier, more nutritious meat. Your rabbit run needs to keep rabbits in and predators out. It also needs to be in an area that has plenty of shade. Plans for light weight movable pins, “rabbit tractors”, can be found easily with a simple search.
Before buying rabbits you should assess exactly what your best options are. Rabbits can supply two viable ways to become profitable: meat and hair.
The best meat breeds are New Zealand White, Giant Chinchillas, Californians, and Champagne D’Argent. New Zealand Whites reach an average market weight of 10 pounds and they are known for the high quality of their meat. Giant Chinchillas reach a market weight of 12 pounds and their meat is rated excellent. They are a crossover breed, prized for their pelts as well as their meat. Californians are also rated excellent, as are Champagne D’Argent, who are also raised for their fur.
Meat rabbits take longer to mature, grow and breed because of their size; but the math still calculates out to show the potential for quickly becoming profitable. Meat rabbits can be harvested as fryers at three months of age, weighing between 1 ½ – 3 ½ pounds. Roasters are older rabbits, harvested at 8 months of age. When harvesting your rabbits keep the pelts as whole as possible. Tanning rabbit hides is a relatively simple process and can double the profit made from each rabbit.
Your best markets for processed rabbit are private chefs and local, high-end restaurants. You are more than likely prohibited from selling processed rabbit at a farmers market, but you can advertise and direct your customers to come to your farm to pick up their order. The price of a dressed rabbit starts at $10.00.
Harvesting rabbits for meat automatically provides you with two more products. If you have kept the pelts intact, tan them and sell them at craft fairs, Pow-wows, and Renaissance fairs. You can sell the pelts as is or make your own blanket, fur-lined mittens, or other value-added items. A tanned pelt costs $10.00. This doubles the profit from one meat rabbit.
If you don’t relish the idea of butchering rabbits, you can raise fiber rabbits. Natural fibers are very popular and can make you a handsome profit without harming your rabbits. You can sell the wool as is, washed, carded or spun. The more value you add to the fiber, the more profit you will see.
The four popular fiber breeds are English Angora, French Angora, Giant Angora, and Satin Angora. The English Angora is a small breed, weighing between 5-7.5 pounds. The wool is extremely soft and it can be white or colored. The French Angora rabbits are slightly larger, weighing between 7-10 pounds. Their wool is slightly coarser than the wool of English Angoras, but still very desirable. The Giant Angora is a 9-10 pound rabbit with white fiber. The fiber on the Satin Angora is white or colored and has a beautiful sheen. Again, the Giant Angora is the perfect choice to maximize your investment into profit. Angora wool is obtained by pulling the loose hair from the mature coat. It does not hurt the rabbit.
Angora wool is a high-priced commodity and an excellent option. Processed angora wool sells for up to $95.00 a pound. Whether you breed fiber rabbits or meat rabbits, hosting a hands-on workshop is another way to profit from your rabbits. Remember, someone wants to know what you know.
Small scale farming rabbits can be fun and profitable for sure. In these current times rabbit farming could become a viable solution to food shortages and it could be done quickly. Already we see so many bare shelves in America that it is alarming. Get proactive today and explore the fascinating world of small scale rabbit farming.
If you live in North Florida, particularly North East Florida – you can start fighting back today. Dustin Nemos can be reached through the chat of this web site. Dustin is homesteading, producing rabbits, and is offering for sale heavy duty rabbit cages with, or without, the rabbits.
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