Purchasing Rabbits & Pricing Tips

Pricing your sale rabbits can be tricky and can vary greatly based on your breed and location. It can also vary depending on where the rabbit is sold. Prices at the national shows are much higher, partly to cover the cost of transporting the rabbit, but also people tend to lose their head and want to buy the most expensive rabbit, thinking it must be the best. While this is not always the case, I do want to remind everyone that generally you get what you pay for, especially on the local level.
At the Cal State convention this past weekend like usual we had lots of 4-H’ers looking for their project rabbit. First, let me make a recommendation to 4-H’ers, do your research ahead of time, and contact breeders who have rabbits you are interested in before the show. This will enable you to get exactly what you are looking for, rather than settling for what’s available. Many 4-H’ers show up just looking to buy a rabbit and buy what they think is cute, which is fine but if you haven’t done your homework on that breed, how do you know you are buying a quality rabbit? Let’s go over an example from this past weekend. I had already sold the juniors I planned on selling, but this family asked if I had anymore, and so I reluctantly pulled out another junior. I told them his price was $45, but I give a $5 discount to 4-H’ers. The mother was a bit shocked and stated that was what she was planning on paying for two rabbits, as she had 2 sons and others had already offered them 4-H rabbits at that price. They left and I felt really badly for the boys as mom was going to go buy the $20 rabbits. I can’t state for sure, but I’ll bet these were someone’s culls that they were willing to sell for $20. Remember you get what you pay for most of the time. Personally, I do not think it’s right to sell culls to 4-H’ers. I don’t sell a rabbit unless I’m willing to show it myself, and therefore I’m not willing to accept “pet store” prices for rabbits I worked hard to raise and breed to higher level.
So to help you in your pricing and purchasing efforts, here’s how I price my animals. I start all show stock at $45. I add $5 for each leg the rabbit has won. As stated I also give a $5 discount to 4-H. This may not seem like a lot, but I think my rabbits are priced more than fairly. I know a breeder who prices his 8 week old rabbits for more than what I sell a grand champion for because of “his name”. Breeding stock is a little different and depends on how much breeding life the animal has left. Brood does are usually in the $30 to $50 range. Herd bucks are usually more as you can get much more offspring from a buck, even an older one. I do occasionally sell young 8 week old rabbits and I price them about $35, as they are a gamble really, as to what they will turn out to be. I feel it’s important to sell rabbits at decent, affordable prices as the more players we have in the game, the more it helps the whole hobby. But one must remember that not all rabbits are created equal and price should reflect that.

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