Our first hutch

Cost of Raising Meat Rabbits (Part 2)

Before jumping into meat rabbits, you are researching. Smart! That’s what landed you here. This article is to help make sure there are things you think about before you sink in a lot of time and money.

Additionally, we will lay out the costs of building a sturdy hutch / grow-out area for your rabbits. This information, plus the information found in Part 1, will help you determine your costs and whether this is a worthwhile investment for you.

a litter of meat rabbits, ready for the freezer

Housing and Grow Out Considerations for Meat Rabbits

We highly recommend the YouTube channel “The Rabbitry Center”. He has a lot of great information about raising rabbits. He actually will give you free plans to build a rabbitry hutch. We did. We LOVE his design. You can take the cages out for easy cleaning. It is so much easier than the other hutches we have that you cannot remove cages. Here is the link to those plans.

We built ours back in 2021. Below is what we bought for the above linked plans and an estimate for our materials. As you can see, it IS an investment. Additionally, these are 2021 lumber prices.

actual costs of wood to build a hutch in 2021 plus an estimate of

Feed has risen to $18 with tax per bag in our area. So you see, you’ll need to figure what your costs are. The cost of cages was a separate cost we had figured, but we made our own. These are also can be found on the Rabbitry Center.

Also, instead of the OSB plywood and polycarbonate roofing, we went with tin roofing for both. These were the sides and roof of our hutch.

How Many Hutches?

While this is a beautiful hutch for a doe and a buck, you will need an additional one for growouts – this is a place to put the rabbits from week 5 to week 12. So in this case, you would double the cost. (We were able to score one from someone getting out of rabbits for a cheaper price. This is always an option. I am NOT in love with the design though of that one and have had to spend money fixing it up anyway).

As you can see, all in, the hutch, rabbits, and beginning of feed were about $622. You cannot buy a new one for cheaper than you can build it. With needing two of them, your cost for hutches is now at $1,200. That’s a hefty amount, but it’s new construction and an amazing design that will last many, many years.

Word of Advice: Location of Your Hutches

One thing that is commonly overlooked is the location of your rabbitry. More needs to be considered than placing it than where you have room.

Rabbits are amazing at handling very cold weather. However, if you are prone to an area with high humidity and temps over 85 degrees, you will need to put your hutch in an area that is shaded and you can place fans on it.

Our hutches are located in an area that is shaded all except a few midday hours every day. It is close enough to a power source that we can run extension wires to be able to place fans on them with those two or three weeks of brutal Tennessee heat in the summer.

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