I pick them up by the fur on the back of the neck and if they are not tryin to scratch me I put mu other arm between their front legs and I hold onto the rear legs. If they are trying to scratch i hold the neck down in the cage and grab hold of the back legs.
If they are realy determined to draw blood I make stew.
My fryers scratch the most, so I grab onto the skin on their lower back- the hip area, and hold them upside down. This keeps them calmer, and if they do try to kick, I'm out of scratching distance. Adults I hold by the back of the neck and support under the belly as I remove them from the cage. Then I usually carry them gripped by the back of the neck with my left hand, resting on my right forearm with their head tucked under my right elbow. When you cover their eyes, they calm down. Generally speaking, the adults are calm and only get jumpy when going in or out of the cage. High-strung adults that scratch a lot get culled. I would be hesitant about holding their front and/or back legs, because if they jump or try to kick to get away, they could break their back. That has happened to me before with fryers.
I try to never pick a rabbit up by the scruff of the neck especially if it is a show rabbit or one in which the pelt will be used. When you do that you kill the nerves and damage the fur over time. I pick them up by supporting them under their belly and hold them next to me. Some will scratch but I've found that if I support their bellies and hind legs they struggle less.
I do a combination of the methods other people mentioned. With big rabbits, it's easiest to lift them up with one hand under their belly and then gently flip them onto their back and cradle them. In my experience, large rabbits seem to "trance" when held like this and are usually very calm. I have found that smaller rabbits won't tolerate that, though, so I do what someone else here mentioned: lift them as above and then hold them in my arms upright with the feet supported. I agree that picking them up by their legs is too risky and could easily cause a back injury.
A forum community dedicated to living sustainably and self sufficiently. Come join the discussion about livestock, farming, gardening, DIY projects, hobbies, recipes, styles, reviews, accessories, classifieds, and more!