Time and time again, I will revisit this juncture where I ponder and wonder really hard how some people can actually make money out of rabbits. I really do hope that my blog do not give the wrong impression that I make a living out of my buhnies.
I do have a day job mind you. I struggle like anyone else to upkeep my passion and the entire household. Sometimes it is not easy at all with so many bun-mouths to feed. LOL. But that’s because I choose to give them the best and it is definitely worth it!
I do not know about others but this is what I notice. There is a really huge movement of people in the US that breed and show rabbits. Whatever breed it may be, they is a high degree of appreciation and showing rabbits has become apart of the culture (correct me if I am wrong).
Now, compare that with the situation in Malaysia. The group of people that truly appreciate pure bred rabbits is growing but very slowly. Most of the time, owning a pet here is a luxury. Something that people will not NEED. When they have extra, they will indulge. So that being said, the price tag makes a huge difference in terms of their decision making to get a rabbit be it a pet or whatever reason they want a rabbit.
We also have a group of people that wants to make a little out of the poor rabbits. Some breed whatever they can get their hands on and whether or not the specimens are genetically sound does not matter at all. As long as they can produce and make a few dollars.
I find this really disgusting. People just do not want to accept the fact that breeding any pets be it rabbits, dogs or cats do not make them millionaires. It never will.
Until today, I cannot figure out how can someone earn so much if they are feeding and caring for their pets the right way. I do not know about others but the cost of feeding a rabbit for me is on the average RM2.50 per day. That’s RM75 a month for food alone per rabbit!
So a good and responsible rabbit owner that cares about his/her rabbit will spend RM900 for 1 bunny a year.
Let’s say some breeder wannabe does the same and breeds his/her rabbits. An average viable litter may yield 4 kits. A kit will fetch about RM80 (non-pedigree mixed). In a year let’s say a doe needs 1 month for gestation and 2 months (8 weeks to weaning – IF he/she is that ethical), that would mean the doe will have kits every 3 months so 4 litters of 4 kits a year. That will come to about 16 kits a year? Alright, 16 x RM80 would give him/her RM1280.
Alright, you get about RM380 pocket money a year. Please bear in mind that RM900 is the minimum to upkeep 1 bunny a year. If you do not have a buck, how do you get those kits? Please don’t tell me it’s miracle conception. Bunnies are superb animals but they are not godly. So in fact, your expenses is RM1800 a year for a pair of breeding rabbits.
So the real deal is, you get a deficit of RM520.
Now now, I know your mind is working much faster than mine. Instead of having 4 litters, you can increase it to 12 litters a year right?! Because we know well enough that a doe can get impregnated while nursing? I am not going through the figures now because that will definitely blind you from reading what I have to say next.
The quality of the offspring will definitely drop having litters back to back and the doe’s life is definitely threatened. The only reason I can see how breeders can make tons is that, they breed their rabbit more than 4 times a year.
And oh, how stupid I was not thinking that you can have more than 1 doe. Now, no wonder there is a brand that uses rabbit to promote its lewd magazines/products. We can have one super stud buck shared by 10 does? Then we shall have 160 kits a year!
But at the end of it all, those rabbits will always be treated as…..just an animal of no value. Breeding machines assisting human in their quest for worldly riches. Please bear in mind, rabbits that are not handled regularly can be very docile and dislike being picked up or even become stress with human presence. I believe strongly that a skittish rabbit can pass on that trait to its offspring.
I am not too sure how to apply ethics into rabbit breeding but for me, it is very plain and simple. Humans are govern by conscience. My conscience tells me that childbirth is a very taxing and stressful process for both animals and human alike. And there is a high risk attached to it. If you really have compassion for an animal, you would feel the pain too.
My point here really is in fact, in my opinion, breeders that actually earns from rabbits either overbreed or overprice their under quality rabbits. The latter actually makes me feel sad to see ill informed buyers being conned. This also encompasses the possibility of them not feeding the proper diet due to increased cost of feed. Some may not be given hay at all and breeding rabbits are always caged up without any stimulation or whatsoever.
It may seem cruel but if I have a choice to choose between the possibility of passing my rabbits to these irresponsible breeders’ hands and supplying my culls as animal feed (humanely put down), I would rather opt for the latter. I rather them die a fast death than a slow and torturous one. Then again, this is Malaysia. And I would say more often than not, if I pass my culls as animal feed, they may end up being sold as pets with a higher price. That is how you can be screwed by opportunists.
There is no point breeding without providing proper care. Though breeding for quality should be one of the objectives, being fully responsible for what you breed/produce is extremely important too.
There are so many things to take into consideration as far as breeding is concerned. Let’s say you are a breeder and you felt that after reading what I wrote above breeding seemed to be a lucrative business, I have more points for you to ponder. For me, if the following is not taken care of, the breeder is unethical.
1) Ignoring the fact of kindling mishaps:
You may lose a doe during kindling if kits get stuck in the birth canal. Totally denying this fact and telling yourself that it is fated for the rabbit in question to die in such a manner is really inhumane. Breeders that believe that rabbits are born to breed or die is unacceptable.
2) Ignoring genetic problems:
Breeding rabbits with genetic problems such as splayed legs, malocclusion and passing on these rabbits carrying the gene is totally irresponsible. A breeder should always research and improve knowledge pertaining to genetics. Even color genetics can drive me nuts!
3) Over supply
The target group appreciating rabbits is very small but the supply is just too overwhelming. I really wonder where do unsold rabbits go? Do you ever wonder where your kits will end up and will the notion of them being neglected send chills down your spine?
4) Lack of knowledge of the general public
Are you knowledgeable in the first place and willing to share your knowledge with those bringing your rabbits home? Are you still caring for your own rabbits just like how the ill-informed pet shop assistant has adviced you initially? It is always the blind leading the blind and in the end the pet suffers the most. Please bear in mind compassion and passion for money has got a vast difference. I am not labelling all pet shops as ill-informed but most are to be honest.
Alright, I have spend too much time on this post that I believe not many would come to appreciate. So I shall stop here for you to ponder and perhaps, drop me a comment to tell me what you think.
Whatever your thoughts, please don’t tell me that your buck is lonely and you want him to enjoy the act of mating. That is just too primitive! If you have not heard or read, only dolphins enjoy the pleasure of mating. The rest is solely for procreation. And why not allow nature to take its course? The answer is very simple. A pair of rabbits can produce on the average 16 kits a year and multiply that with a thousand rabbit owners sharing your thoughts!
Ultimately, for my closing I would like to say that the FRUITS of your actions of breeding whether it is your rabbits’ natural instinct or yours, are hundreds of PETS ending up having temporary homes because they grow out of their cuteness. The reasons I say temporary homes because, some dumbasses never thought they will be busy at work before buying on impulse and one day just decide to abandon their pets. There will always be a “valid” reason because a rabbit is just…..plainly a RABBIT. An object of temporary joy and short lived happiness.