I really don't know where to start with this. There have been many good times and a lot of rough times also. I guess I could start with some of the lessons learned.
The old saying is true, "You get what you pay for". I found this out the hard way. I hope this story helps some people out so they don't have to find these things out the HARD WAY. I made 3 huge mistakes when I started raising rabbits. The first of witch was buying my cages from TSC. I saw the prices and thought to myself that I can't hardly build them myself at these prices. I ordered (20) 30x36 cages and was out a little over $800. I got home and realized these "so-called" kits weren't kits at all and if you wanted them to stay together you still had to purchase J-Clips and pliers to hold them together. That sat me back another $75. Then within 6 months the bottoms start to rust and all of my rabbit's feet were red from the rust.
The second mistake was the quality of rabbits I purchased. I bought 20 rabbits from a not so reputable breeder at $25 each, which put me out another $500 in rabbits. I soon realized that these rabbits I bought were FULL brother and sisters. I had spastic results with my litters, a lot of which were just funny looking. After this string of bad luck I was on the search for quality rabbits AGAIN!!! I soon ran across an ad on CL in Atlanta GA. for quality pedigreed rabbits. I drove to Atlanta and purchased 4 does and 1 buck all of which were completely unrelated. Then I came across another ad in Lexington KY. and made the trip to purchase 7 does and 1 buck that were completely unrelated also. All of these rabbits were pedigreed with exceptional show lines with a lot of winnings in their 3 generation pedigree. Funny that I mention pedigrees I have an important story on those also that I will mention a little later. Back on topic now I have 10 pedigreed does and 2 pedigreed bucks all of which are unrelated that I can produce unrelated brood stock rabbits for myself and others now.
The third and maybe the most expensive mistake I made was buying cages and rabbits before I actually had a place to put them. In my defense, the metal carport I ordered was supposed to arrive 2 days before I went to pick up my rabbits. Instead of standing the breeder up, which I probably should have considering that he did lie to me, I went ahead and bought the rabbits and set the cages up and used a tarp as protection from the elements. The carport was supposed to arrive the following Friday, a week behind schedule at this point. Friday comes, I set and wait and wait and wait, finally I call and talk to a lady she says that I'm the last one of the day that they will be there. Night time comes and still no car port. Monday rolls around and I call the lady back, she apologizes and promised they would be their the following Friday. 2 WEEKS BEHIND Schedule!!!!!! My wife ended up having to have a kidney stone removed that Friday so I had my dad sit at the house and wait for them. I came home and had no carport and 15 dead rabbits due to heat which would have been avoided IF they would have brought my carport on time. I called the lady again and same story they will be out this Friday, 4 weeks behind schedule. That Friday came no carport, so I thought to myself, I will teach them. I didn't call back and the following Friday, 5 weeks behind schedule, a truckload of Mexicans pulled up to set the carport up. I was not home at the time but my wife was, she called me and asked what I wanted her to do. I told her to tell them to set it up that I was on my way home. I get home they are putting the last piece of metal on and I looked at them and said take it down I'm not paying for it. I lost my $70 deposit but to me it was worth it because of all they had done to me.
Now for my pedigree story. In my search for quality rabbits I ran across several breeders in the local area that were advertising pedigreed rabbits. A pedigree is useless by its self, if it don't have good bloodlines such as Crawford's, Logston, etc. be wary. Also if you run across someone wanting $10 for a rabbit or $15 with pedigree. You are most likely paying $5 for a piece of paper to use for nestbox bedding. A good quality pedigreed rabbit will cost $30 to $40 at 8 weeks of age.
Out of all my searching for rabbits in the "somewhat" local area I have found ONE rabbitry that I would trust and buy rabbits from. That is Mike and Misty in Lancing TN. If you are looking for good quality healthy rabbits, they usually always have some. I'm not going to post their contact info here but if you need help getting in touch with them contact me and I will lead you in the right direction.