Are you thinking of diversifying your agricultural operation by adding new business activities to your traditional farming practices?
Farm diversification – the process of turning to other avenues of income outside the scope of your traditional farming practices – is a great option to help grow your business. There are countless possibilities when trying to determine a realistic option for your farm’s money-making side venture.
If considering livestock diversification options, consider the latest livestock diversification trend: rabbit farming. Lean rabbit meat is gaining popularity as more consumers incorporate rabbit-based dishes into their diets in stew, soup, and kebab form, and as more restaurant owners feature fancy rabbit-based dishes on their menus.
Rabbit farming is an attractive option because rabbits reproduce quickly, and also, similar to poultry, require very little feed to reach slaughter size. As such, rabbits are economical to produce. While rabbits are most often raised for their meat, they’re also raised as lab animals. What’s more, certain species of rabbits are raised for their fur (Angora).
Currently, just 5,000 U.S. farmers raise and sell rabbits. Based on the increasing consumer demand, both online and at farmers’ markets, there’s definitely space to enter the market. Many rabbit producers report that sales are quick, often with consumers purchasing rabbits even before they are born!
Though simple to raise and easy to sell, rabbit farming doesn’t come without obstacles. Animal rights activists are featuring rabbits in many of their latest animal rights campaigns, claiming unjust treatment and inhumane slaughtering practices. Many of these campaigns are backed by activists that denounce the consumption of all meat, regardless of practices. Many grocers, including Whole Foods, have received protester criticism for the introduction of rabbit meat. Given the controversy, it’s hard to say if rabbit meat will remain in high demand or dwindle as negative images reach the general public.
If you are looking for ag financing resources to support your farm’s diversification efforts, look no further. AgAmerica, an ag lending company, offers agriculture loan options to finance just about any agricultural venture. Ag loans feature low interest rates, quick turnaround times, and flexible payment plans. To learn more about our exceptional ag loan options, contact us!