butchering rabbits

Discussion in 'Rabbits' started by lizmont2000, Mar 24, 2005.

  1. lizmont2000

    lizmont2000 Active Member

    Messages:
    34
    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2005
    Location:
    TX
    Hi!
    We have extra rabbits that didn't sell this year and need to butcher them.
    My question is how does everyone kill them? Knock them on the head?
    Thanks,
    Liz
     
  2. frog1437

    frog1437 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    70
    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2005
    A knock on the head , or a quick twist of the neck works good.
     

  3. birdie_poo

    birdie_poo Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,308
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    Hold by the back legs, then whack on the back of the head between the ears.
     
  4. apirlawz

    apirlawz playing in the dirt

    Messages:
    281
    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2003
    Location:
    Northern MN
    I'm too much of a wimp to do the job manually. :eek: I use a .22 to the top of the head, right between the ears. Quick, clean, and painless - for both of us! Worthless advice if your in town, though!
     
  5. Milking Mom

    Milking Mom COTTON EYED DOES

    Messages:
    425
    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2004
    Location:
    Texas
    This is one thing that I HAVE to wait for my DH to help me with. I have NO problem at all skinning them, but I cannot whack them in the head. DH stays inside the barn and whacks them in the head with an old hammer handle and then brings them out and holds them while I skin them and gut 'em. Speaking of.....I have got 5 I need to do that to this weekend. Easter Weekend....Oh WOW...I hope the Easter Bunny don't put a curse on me or something. :haha:
     
  6. sheep tamer

    sheep tamer former HT member

    Messages:
    276
    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2005
    My DH uses a piece of pipe and gives a blow to the back of
    the neck area. (While the young 'uns and I are far out of
    earshot ) :waa:

    Was wondering if anyone can suggest ways for cutting around
    the rectal opening so as not to nick the bowels open? Could be
    we just need more practise, but would appreciate some help here...
    TIA!
     
  7. apirlawz

    apirlawz playing in the dirt

    Messages:
    281
    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2003
    Location:
    Northern MN
    I first skin them, taking the tail off with a pretty hefty kitchen shears while I'm skinning. Then, using a scalpel, (buy at TSC as part of a castrating kit, but be sure to buy spare blades, the cresent-shaped blades in the kit don't work well for this), I cut the skin around the "plumbing", forming a little furry "bull's eye".

    Then, cut (vertically) down to the pubic bone. Once you have the bone exposed, carefully cut the bone with the shears. I slide the bottom blade of the shears under the bone, using my finger to clear the way before I insert the blade. Once this is done, you open the pelvis further by pulling the legs open (like a book, assuming the rabbit is haning upside-down), and then, you grab the skin and "plumbing" that you cut away earlier, and carfully pull it through the gap you created in the pubic bone. After that, you should be able to gut away with no trouble!

    If you are butchering bucks, you will find some "boy parts and accessories" in the groin area just under the skin. You will want to, again, carefully free these from the abdomen, and then pull them through the gap in the pelvis along with the rectum.

    I learned to butcher rabbits by doing the same thing my dad taught me to do with deer. :haha: But what the heck, it works!
     
  8. bethlaf

    bethlaf Homegrown Family

    Messages:
    747
    Joined:
    May 26, 2004
    Location:
    N.Ar
    the mosty humane way and easiest by far is to grasp them by the hind legs and lay the head on the ground, put a piece of pipe or bar of any sort, put feet on bar on either side of rabbit' head and just pull up, you will hear and feel the pop, but they dont usually twitch or bleed much as with the other methods mentioned here.


    _Neal
     
  9. Xandras_Zoo

    Xandras_Zoo Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    815
    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2004
    Location:
    Richmond, BC, Canada
    I've heard of that, but I thought it would hurt a ton to have a bar that has 10 x your weight on it on your neck, and to feel yourself being stretched....
     
  10. apirlawz

    apirlawz playing in the dirt

    Messages:
    281
    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2003
    Location:
    Northern MN
    That's what I was thinking... :confused:

    I don't think there is a "most humane way", but just whatever works for the person doing the deed, while not putting the rabbit through any undue stress or pain.
     
  11. bethlaf

    bethlaf Homegrown Family

    Messages:
    747
    Joined:
    May 26, 2004
    Location:
    N.Ar
    I dont suppose that it would hurt anymore then a whack to the head or a twist of the neck an axe, or even a bullet............


    It is very quick, thats all I was refering too.
     
  12. Sherpadoo

    Sherpadoo Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    155
    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Location:
    Astoria, OR
    I was taught to hang the rabbit by both feet with a peice of rope. This calms them down right away like it would a chicken. Then at the base of the head behind the ears use a sharp knife and hold on to the ears and swipe as you push down between vertebrae. This will remove the head and they bleed out nicely with one instant movement. The woman who taught me (I was 13 at the time) was 74 and had been butchering since before she was my age and was a pro.
     
  13. apirlawz

    apirlawz playing in the dirt

    Messages:
    281
    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2003
    Location:
    Northern MN

    I can see where you're coming from. If a person wanted to go the hands-on route, the bar method seems like it would work well for a smaller person who might not be sure if they'd be able to quickly enough on their own....kind of like a second set of hands.

    I prefer my .22, but that's me. Not all rabbit folks have them lying around. Either way, the job gets done quickly and cleanly!
     
  14. bethlaf

    bethlaf Homegrown Family

    Messages:
    747
    Joined:
    May 26, 2004
    Location:
    N.Ar
    Actually you will have to excuse my hubby, the true reason i do it this way is because often i save the hides for tanning, a hide without any type of bruising or holes in it , and without any blood is much easier to work with rather than having to deal with washing blood out of a hide , or throwing away a good portion of good soft fur because its caked with blood or bruised and hard to work with
    i dont save NZw hides, cause they arent that exceptional , but when i butcher one of my satins you can bet i save those hides for working with

    lets face it , there are several methods to kill a rabbit, and in the end , they are all rather cruel by thier very nature ,
    everyone has a method that works ,

    i know using my bar hanging and slip skinning a rabbit i can have 2 rabbits cleaned dehided and gutted in about 15 minutes
    and frankly , though i love the taste of rabbit, i hate the killing/ cleaning process, thats why i do it this way, its quick efficent , and gets me the results i need, a good hide , and a good carcass for eating, relatively quickly

    as for cleaning, i have a tree branch with slip knots tied to it, i hang it up by the back legs, a slip of the kinfe around each ankle , and then down in a y shape ,to the center of the pelvis, not down the abdomen!
    grasp the hide around the legs,and pull down , it will slip off inside out like a sock , pull it all the way past the front legs till you get to the feet, then cut off the front feet, and finally the head, a slip of the knife into the abdomen , i remove all entrails, skipping the tail and anus area , till i take it from the upside down , then holding in one hand i cut around the anus, all the rest of the guts fall out, i dont bother with lungs or heart, because theres not enough meat in the rib area for cleaning it out, i take the back ,all the legs, and the straps from the back of the ribs, voila, done

    its the way i have always done it , so of course it works for me
     
  15. lizmont2000

    lizmont2000 Active Member

    Messages:
    34
    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2005
    Location:
    TX
    Thanks for all the ideas!

    If anyone has a great recipe for the meat we are about to have on hand please share those too!

    Thanks again,
    Liz
     
  16. Have you ever hear of a chicken cone? You place the chicken down head first into the cone and then slit its throat. I'm just wondering if you could do a rabbit the same way. Make a cone for its size. When I use to process my own chickens I would use empty 2 liter pop bottles for cones. Cut out the top for the head to go through and then cut out the bottom which will be the top when you nail up to a wall or tree.

    Also, how would a pellet gun fare when dispatching a rabbit. I know I've killed wild rabbits before with my pump up pistol. Instead of using a 22 rifle/pistol, use a pellet gun and pop the rabbits right through the brain or since there would be little damage shoot right through the heart area.
     
  17. apirlawz

    apirlawz playing in the dirt

    Messages:
    281
    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2003
    Location:
    Northern MN
    You know, I tried to find out if an air rifle would work, and it looks like there are some out there...I know Daisey makes one specifically for hunting.

    I like the shot through the head, simply because the rabbit has no idea what hit him...no pain, stress, handling, etc. He goes from chomping happly away on alfalfa in a small, open-topped chicken crate to...nothing. The small exit wound is under the chin - no gore or spattering - so there is no bleeding or damage to the pelt from the neck down.

    Personally, I don't know that I'd trust my aim enough to go for the heart, especially when I'm using a .22 and don't have to worry about penentrating the skull. Perhaps with an air rifle and a modified killing cone (with nothing behind it that a pellet would ricochette off of!) , you can "reverse" my shot....shoot under the chin up into the skull?? The pellet would go through the soft pallate into the brain will a well-placed shot.
     
  18. Hey April, sounds like we got something mustard up here! If only the killing cones will hold a rabbit upside down and remain there long enough to get a shot off we will have her made.
     
  19. apirlawz

    apirlawz playing in the dirt

    Messages:
    281
    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2003
    Location:
    Northern MN
    I wonder if an old bleach bottle would work. It is "square" enough to hold the rabbit by the shoulders while the head hangs down....by golly, we might have something here! :D
     
  20. chas

    chas Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    549
    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2004
    Location:
    western pa
    I hate the killing part,so I use a hammer behind the ears to knock them out.Then with a fish knife cut the jugler, that way the still beating heart pumps all the blood out!
    I love the way my wife bakes the pieces in layers off stuffing mixed with golden mushroom sause/soup and dry onion soup mix MMMMMMMMMMMMMM
    Chas