Commercial Meat Rabbitry Feasibility Study

Project Overview

Project Type: Farmer/Rancher
Funds awarded in 2012: $13,246.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2012
Region: North Central
State: Indiana
Project Coordinator:
Nick Carter
Meat The Rabbit, LLC

Information Products


  • Agronomic: grass (misc. perennial), hay
  • Animals: rabbits


  • Animal Production: feed/forage
  • Farm Business Management: budgets/cost and returns, feasibility study, agricultural finance, market study
  • Sustainable Communities: local and regional food systems, new business opportunities


    Our research was intended to answer one fundamental question: Can a commercial distribution channel be created for rabbit meat in Indiana such that would be profitable for small-scale producers?


    Industrialization of farming in recent decades has rendered small farms un-profitable for traditional grain farming or livestock operations. Similarly, the barrier to entry for first-generation farmers is high considering the large amounts of acreage that are required to create a sustainable income from mainstream grain farming.

    We set out to discover if meat rabbitries could become a major new revenue opportunity for small family farms in the next generation, as well as first-generation farmers entering the agricultural arena for the first time.

    Project objectives:

    There were three questions that we wanted to answer through our research:
    1) At what volume does rabbit production become economically sustainable for a farmer?
    2) Is it cost-justifiable for a processor to tool and staff a shift for rabbits at that volume?
    3) Will the market bear the costs in the end product?

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.