Break it down: A cost analysis


Note: This is a Facebook post I shared to our rabbitry page on May 19, 2013. It seems to have resonated with others in the rabbit community, as it gained more than 250 likes and more than 100 shares. At the time, I was seriously aggravated with an inquiry I got from an individual who criticized me for refusing to give them a rabbit for free. But in the end, it turned into a sort of humorous post about the realities of what we do as breeders.

In the beginning, I purchased a breeding pair of rabbits for no less than $150 each, from lines nationally recognized for health, temperament, type, and longevity.

They needed cages, $50/hole, dishes and bottles, $10/set, a bale of hay, $3, and a bag of food $20.

I bred them.

It was a first-time doe, so I housed her in a solid-bottom cage ($50) to ensure that the babies were born safe and sound on soft ground, even if she missed the nest.

Assuming everything went smoothly and the doe kindled a perfectly healthy litter, I spent the next 6 weeks cleaning the cage daily or every other day to make sure the kits were raised in clean conditions ($10 bedding, $5 cleaning supplies, $10 paper towels, plus hours of labor).

I handled them daily to make sure that when they left, they wouldn’t bite, kick, scratch or run, but instead, sniff, relax, and cuddle on your lap like you expect of baby bunnies.

At 8 weeks, the babies were weaned. I carefully measured food (more $20 bags) and hay (more $3 bales) daily to avoid digestive upset. But they’re Hollands, so at least one had issues anyway. So I spent extra time syringe-feeding Pedialyte and probiotics to wean it back onto a normal diet ($10 + hours). Then I cleaned their resting mats. Again. Because someone pooped on it. Again. Just like yesterday. And I’ll be doing the same thing tomorrow.

Producing this hypothetical litter costed, conservatively, $551 to raise IF everything went perfectly, as described above. And only those who raise rabbits will understand how laughable that over-simplified dream of a litter is.

Now, please tell me again how you “will not pay $25 for a pet rabbit.” I promise not to be as offended at your response as you were when I listed my price.

2 thoughts on “Break it down: A cost analysis

  1. I believe the people who expect rabbits to be free or very cheap consider them to be disposable pets. We all have heard that if you pay more for something, you are more likely to take care of it. So when people ask me to lower the price of a rabbit, I have to wonder if they would truly appreciate the bunny or if it would be forgotten in a few weeks. Few people bat an eye at a $300 puppy from a reputable breeder, but expect an equally well bred rabbit to be $10 or less.

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