I have recently seen several comments on many of the groups I belong to regarding the high price of show rabbits. It is not uncommon to see holland lops for $200 and more. In fact I have seen websites that will not sell show quality rabbits for anything less than $100 and in some cases wonít sell them for less than $300. Many people find this disturbing. However, its all about two economics terms called supply and demand.
Supply is the number of a certain product that is available on the market for purchase. The lower the supply, the higher the price. In our frequent search for good rabbits, it is clear that the number of high quality show rabbits is often in short supply.
The second factor in pricing is called demand. This would basically be the number of people wanting to purchase a show quality rabbit. The higher the demand for rabbits, the higher the price of those rabbits.
For a breed like holland lops, both of these factors play a large roll in the pricing. Holland lops are very popular. Here in Michigan they are one of the largest volume breed of rabbit at a show. This means demand is very high. It can at times be difficult to find a good show quality holland. This means the supply is low. As a result, the prices for the show quality rabbits is high.
Is the high price that breeders charge, justified? Absolutley. They can charge that much because they are able to sell them for that price. The question is what can you do to effectively lower your own cost, and in a small degree the market as a whole.
1. Decide what price you will pay for a good rabbit, and then search for a rabbit until you find it for that price. We have purchased some outstanding rabbits for under $50. These rabbits have several legs. We have also spent as much as $150 on a rabbit, and have no legs. Understand that we look for certain areas of strength to improve our herd, so at times we are willing to pay that high price. Your must be patient in your search. Know what you are looking for and how much youíll pay, and then stick to that.
2. Instead of buying two mediocre rabbits, buy one rabbit at a higher price that conforms more closely to the standard of perfection. I know, youíre thinking instead of spending $100 each on two rabbits, I should spend $200 on one, how does that help?
Letís go back to our two factors in pricing, supply of rabbits and the demand for them. Buying one rabbit that better conforms to the standards of perfection, although at a higher price, will actually help us in both areas.
If you buy two rabbits that donít conform as well to the standard of perfection, changes are it will throw offsprings that donít conform either. The result is you have not helped the supply of high quality rabbits. However, if you purchase the better rabbit, it is much more likely to throw better kits, and help the supply.
By purchasing just one high quality rabbit, as opposed to two lesser rabbits, you have also reduced demand. Your personal demand in this case drops from 2 rabbits to just 1. In essense you have cut your personal demand in half!
3. Know how to use a pedigree, and understand its purpose. Many of the areas of weakness that will be seen in a rabbit are hereditary. A lineage of good genes, leads to offspings with the same. Obviously, a background of grand champion rabbits does not guarantee a kit will be a grand champion. Nor does the lack of grand champions mean that a rabbit wonít be. Understand that the goal is to produce higher quality rabbits, thereby increasing the the supply. A good genetic background increase that likelihood.
Although you may cringe at the thought of paying $300 or more for a rabbit, in the long run it may be the best thing for your herd. It will also factor into the future pricing of quality stock. Just make sure that in comparison to other rabbits, the rabbit you purchase is worthy of the $300. A breeder selling a rabbit is typically not selling the best rabbit in their barn.
Three Little Ladies Rabbitry