Dispatching the rabbit, would this be correct?

Discussion in 'Rabbits' started by Mosherd1, Apr 20, 2012.

  1. Mosherd1

    Mosherd1 Well-Known Member

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    So tomorrow I am doing my first set of butchering. Most are at 5 lbs, some a little more. My plan is to hit the rabbit across the eye/in front of the ears with the back of a hatchet. I will then hang the rabbit upside down with hooks through the achilles tendon. At that point I will slit its throat but not all the way through to cut the head off, just enough for it to bleed out. Is this correct or should I cut the head off immediately after I hang it? I figured if the heart is still pumping it will push as much of the blood out as possible. Am I on the right track? Thanks for the help and constructive criticism!
     
  2. PD-Riverman

    PD-Riverman Well-Known Member

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    I did my first meat rabbit yesterday morning, but just for info, I have slaughtered hogs, 100's of raccoons(sold the hides and meat years ago---never eat one), skinned deer, squirrells, chickens, ducks, turkeys etc, etc, but just never a rabbit. From the time I started till I had him in a bowl was probably 5 minutes. If I was going to hit him with something I would hit him in the back of the head just above where the neck joins to the head. I do it with a 22. I took a wire cage into the where the rabbits are at. I pick up the rabbit by the back of the neck/shoulder and set him into the cage. I carried it around a building away from the other rabbits, set the cage down, put a piece of greens into the side of the cage to get his attention and so he would set still while he was eating, I got the 22 and popped him in the back of the head, he made no noise, was a instant kill. I gave him about 30 seconds while I put the gun up and got the water hose, knifes etc. I reached in and held him by the back legs and washed him down, took a pair of hand limb cutter and clipped off his front and rear feet at the first joint. I then took a sharp knife and made a slit across the top of his back in his fur just big enough to get a couple fingers on each hand into. I pealed his hide off the bottom end and most of the front in one pull. I then finished the front section by pulling the front legs out the hide, skint the hide to the base of the skull then clipped the head off. A quick rince with the water then I layed him on his back on a slanted table neck end up. I split him from end to end being careful not to puncture any organs. I took a heavy sharp knife and broke through the bone on each side of his groin area so I could get the "butt gut" out. I pulled everything out from the neck down then clipped the tail off still attached to his intestine. A quick rince and he was ready to take in the house and cut up. Really no more than 5 minutes from the shot. Hope this helps.

    Edited to add, If you are going to hit it with something you can cut its throat and hang so it will bleed. My method of kill, he had no problem bleeding. I would leave the head on till you get his hide off the bottom section----gives you something to hold on to.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2012

  3. Barnhouse

    Barnhouse Well-Known Member

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    There are some "How to butcher a rabbit" videos on youtube.com

    This one was very informative, and I'm sure there are others.

    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iali_mkReYA]How to Slaughter, Skin, Gut, and Butcher a Meat Rabbit. Clean and process a rabbit. - YouTube[/ame]
     
  4. craftyfarmgirl

    craftyfarmgirl Well-Known Member

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    I did mine with a pellet gun, 1 shot and done. Also used a small round home made cage and waited till the bunny was content. Said a prayer and that was it. Held them upside down till they stopped the spasms(they bled out easily). I clean cut them flat. Found a good video on it form someone on this forum. I did 5 in one afternoon. It was much easier than I thought it would be.

    How to butcher rabbit video_0001.wmv - YouTube

    the video. Best of luck!
     
  5. craftyfarmgirl

    craftyfarmgirl Well-Known Member

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    also rinsed it down, worked good.
     
  6. unregistered168043

    unregistered168043 Guest

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    When the time comes, I'm going to use the shot in the back of the head method. Seems easier on both of us.
     
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  7. Caprice Acres

    Caprice Acres AKA "mygoat" Staff Member Supporter

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    I load up a show carrier with friers - preferably a carrier with 1"x2" mesh in the top. I use my old pump action BB gun to put a pellet right between their ears and a little forward. They drop, I open cage and grab them by their ears and flop them down on their side outside of the pen. I use my foot to gently keep them from 'escaping' simply by their reflexive kicking (they do NOT 'feel' at this point, don't worry), then I slit the throat and dangle them from one hand because at this point they're still kicking pretty good. Takes about 15 seconds.
     
  8. notasnowballs

    notasnowballs Well-Known Member

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    I saw a Youtube video where a guy was doing rabbits in his garage, and I used his method of dispatching. I can't do this with our Flemish Giants, as I am a woman, so not strong enough, but the big Rexes and whatnots I can do it with, a 5 lb. or so rabbit, up to 10 lbs. Any bigger, and the animal is too tough and I don't have the arm strength. He had a "V" board hanging from his garage into which he would slip the rabbit's neck, using it's head to help hang it there. Then he would quickly pull and break the rabbit's neck. Instant death, no screaming, and no flopping- just alive one minute and peacefully dispatched the next. I do that, but I have the V board attached to a block in the back yard and I stick the rabbit in sideways instead of hanging vertical. Then I can use my foot for leverage on the block and pull back hanging onto the back feet. I do it a bit sideways, because I want to make sure it's quick and done the first time. The first time I ever did that to a rabbit, it looked dead, and then I hung him up in my wire loops for his feet and he started to make that pitiful cry they do, because it apparently hurt him to hang that way, which meant he wasn't dead yet. I NEVER EVER made that mistake again.

    So I HATE killing rabbits, but I also hate it when I make them suffer needlessly. I stop petting the ones that will be dinner at about 3 months. They never do stop being cute...
     
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  9. mferg265

    mferg265 New Member

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    I have used a cervical dislocation tool much like a rabbit wringer, self built. I find that bruising of the back and legs are inevitable. It is also difficult for my wife, who is small, to dispatch a larger senior animal. So I created a prototype for a simpler more efficient cervical dislocation tool that anyone can use easily. See Video : [ame="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ULaJwtigcI"]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ULaJwtigcI[/ame]
     
  10. sammyd

    sammyd Well-Known Member

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    I have dispatched them by breaking their necks as the description in John Seymours book The Self Sufficient Life and How to Live it.
    But later I used a heavy steel drift punch and did as PD Riverman suggests
    If I got back into them I would probably go with some sort of CO2 operated pellet gun, although the tool in the above video looks interesting...
     
  11. Bearfootfarm

    Bearfootfarm This Space For Rent Supporter

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    Shooting them is more dangerous and makes more of a mess.

    A simple blow to the back of the head is just as efficient as any fancy device, or trying to break the neck.
     
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  12. a7736100

    a7736100 Well-Known Member

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    Carcasses are chilled soon after slaughter to prevent the
    growth of dangerous microbes that can cause spoilage
    and illness; the quicker the chill, the less bacterial growth.
    Chill the carcass too quickly, though, and the consequence
    is incredibly tough meat caused by a process
    called cold shortening. This occurs when the temperature
    of the meat drops below 59ºF before the onset phase of
    rigor mortis. At temperatures below 59ºF, muscles contract
    to abnormal extremes. This causes shortening of the
    muscle fibers (and therefore the muscles), in some cases
    to less than 50 percent of the original length. Therefore,
    when the final contraction of rigor mortis sets in, the
    result is a magnified tightening of the muscles, causing
    irredeemable toughness of the meat.
    A similar condition, called thaw shortening, happens
    when meat from a freshly slaughtered carcass is frozen
    prior to the onset of rigor mortis. In this case the meat
    never goes through rigor mortis, therefore never exhausting
    the muscles of their ability to contract. When the
    meat thaws, the muscles come back to life (in a manner of
    speaking), contracting in the same manner as with cold
    shortening and ending with similar results.

    From Adam Danforth, Joel Salatin-Butchering Poultry, Rabbit, Lamb, Goat, and Pork_ The Comprehensive Photographic Guide to Humane Slaughtering and Butchering-Storey Pub (2014)
     
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  13. popscott

    popscott Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Pick the rabbit up by scruff of the shoulder ( not neck), leave enough to club behind the ears. No screaming this way that will chill you to the bone here.

    I have cleaned many a rabbit with this quick method...
    [ame]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2TfyQIuNmvc[/ame]
     
  14. bobp

    bobp Well-Known Member

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    I posted once about the Hopper Popper. it seemed to me like it would work quickly... It didn't seem to get the best response, on here. but looked humane to me.
     
  15. Fire-Man

    Fire-Man Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Dispatch the way you feel is best for you. You do not have to do it like others. The hopper popper might be good for some as well as many other devices that people use. I just do not want to take the time to hang them in these devices to skin---just takes to long. Fryers from alive in their cages to cleaned in the cooler usually less than 5 minutes. If I got a litter of 8 to do----it takes about 30 minutes because I slaughter one, while it gets finished with its jerking I slaughter another and then dress the first while the second goes through its jerking, then slaughter the 3rd and clean the 2nd while the 3rd gets through its jerking---etc, etc. BUT you do not have to do it like I do---find your own method that works the best for you.
     
  16. Fire-Man

    Fire-Man Well-Known Member Supporter

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    This Video is good but he stopped the camera (or edited that part out) and cut around each of the 4 legs before he started skinning it----which would have taken some a couple minutes longer. I guess he felt showing that was not necessary but if you are going to do it that way he should have shown it---but then his video would have not looked as quick.
     
  17. lamina1982

    lamina1982 Well-Known Member

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    the best thing i ever got was a mini captive bolt. handheld spring loaded. killing is so much faster quicker and smoother. i never had a problem with cervical dislocation but once i started using this it was just so much easier. i forget where i ordered from but it came from germany and was only like $30
     
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  18. oldasrocks

    oldasrocks Well-Known Member

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    Don't know if this is the right way but it's how we did it.

    Hole the rabbit up by the back feet. Karate chop hard behind the head. His nose will twitch 3 times then blood runs out.
     
  19. pmondo

    pmondo Well-Known Member

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  20. Hybridcx

    Hybridcx Active Member

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    we use a rabbit wringer for the meat bunnies and a club to the back of the head if they are mature rabbits its easier than the wringer IMO. but no miss swings with the wringer on the smaller ones