RURAL EXPRESS - A very furry hobby proves productive
Ruddy Mathison, Gleaner Writer
Robert Depass did not fathom that he would be paying his bills from a pastime that he had no inclination would become his main source of income.
A resident of Garveymeade in St Catherine, the 68-year-old Depass recounted, for Rural Xpress, a life changing phenomenon that came at a time when his main source of income had slowed down considerably.
Displaying a small clear plastic bag with six greenish capsules inside, Depass disclosed how he started out selling herbal extract that he was able to process into capsule form with help from a Jamaican scientist Dr Gregory Simpson, who now resides in the United States.
"Even though I had clients such as a couple large pharmacies that use to buy my herbal extract, I was not seeing enough money to pay the bills," Depass told Rural Xpress.
No cats allowed
He said at that time, there was a cat in the house which his wife had bought as a pet.
"Without knowing what the outcome would be, I told my wife that she had to get rid of the cat because I don't like cats," the elderly man stated, adding that he had to find a pet that both he and his wife could agree on to replace the cat.
"After careful thought, we decided that we would replace the cat with a rabbit," he said, with a broad smile on his face.
Depass revealed how he went out and acquired a male rabbit that they both adored. He said after some time, he decided that the rabbit they named Pancho needed some form of company, so he went out and purchased a female rabbit they called Beth.
Depass stated that it wasn't long before he saw 10 little rabbits, offsprings of Pancho and Beth. Not being able to keep all 10, he decided to sell them. He made a special cage and took them to Spanish Town and parked his vehicle along Burke Road, where he displayed the rabbits for sale.
Depass said he had some knowledge that rabbit meat was a delicacy, so he priced each rabbit base on the size, the lowest price was $2,000 and the highest $4,000.
On this his first rabbit sale, he made a total of $70,000.
According to Depass, since then, which was about two years ago, he has been selling at least 10 rabbits per month netting in excess of $100,000.
"It is this little rabbit business that is paying the bills. I never dream that this could happen," he declared.
He pointed out that he has ambitions of establishing a large rabbit farm where he will be able to supply rabbit meat to the hotels.
Depass said he had rabbits weighting up to 15 pounds and a pound of rabbit meat is sold for $700.