Several weeks ago our 10-year-old son took over the rabbit project.
He is quite the little entrepreneur and wanted to find more ways to earn himself some money. We already offer the kids extra chores if they want to earn money, and sometimes he is able to go to work with my husband for an afternoon and earn as well. But he wanted something more involved and business-like. So we came up with an idea.
We offered him the chance to take over the rabbit project if he could find a way to make them profitable, at least to the point of paying for themselves. We told him that if he was successful he could keep any profit he made, but that he would be totally responsible for the cost to take care of them. I gave him the records I had been keeping on the cost of the rabbits, the breeding records, etc. He came back to us two days later with a business plan all written out. He had calculated how many kits we average per month, the cost of the herd per month, etc and had put it all into a plan for how to make it profitable and what he would need to charge in order to do that.
We were pretty shocked, although knowing him like we do we probably shouldn’t have been. We approved of his plan and decided to hand the project over to him. We “gifted” him the two does (1 was pregnant at the time and very far along), two bucks, 12 lbs of frozen rabbit meat, and all the rabbitry supplies. Then we gave him a “small business loan” of $17 to buy his first bag of feed.
He made flyers and I drove him around to different pet stores and feed stores to put them up. He set up his own binder to keep records of everything. He took over the breeding plans and decided which would be bred to which and when. He took over all the cleaning and feeding.
In the approximately 6 weeks since he took over he has paid off his start-up loan of $17, paid for the feed for all the rabbits during this time, and is $28 ahead already! He also has more customer demand than he can supply at this point, so we are discussing another small loan to help him buy some more does to add to his breeding group to increase the supply.
He definitely found a niche for his business and we are excited to watch it grow and watch as he learns along the way how to run his own small business and manage his money. In addition, it is one less thing that my husband and I have to take care of and keep track of around here – which is nice. Of course, we oversee him and make sure he is properly caring for them, and my husband helps butcher them.
There is always something for the kids to learn and do around here and that is one of my favorite parts about our little homestead.