Dispatching rabbits with ether

Discussion in 'Rabbits' started by MaggieJ, Oct 26, 2006.

  1. MaggieJ

    MaggieJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    This was discussed in another thread, but as the original topic there was safe treatment for ear mites (Al. Countryboy "Need a little help") I thought I'd post this separately.

    Bernadette mentioned that ether was used for women during childhood in the not-so-remote past. If it was considered safe to use then, I am wondering if it could be used to render rabbits unconscious before killing them for meat. Is starter fluid pure ether or are there other ingredients?

    Would the ether make the meat inedible? I'm thinking that if the rabbit was unconscious, one could just bleed it out and proceed. I hate bopping them :viking: and due to our strict gun laws I have not gone through all the hassle of getting the necessary permit to own a .22.

    I once saw a plan for a rabbit guillotine that looked very efficient but it was years and years ago, long before I had rabbits. I tried Googling the topic without success.

    Anyone have any good ideas for a less hands-on method than bopping? I can't use the broomstick method because arthritis in my knees limits my agility.
     
  2. james dilley

    james dilley Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Do NOT use either to kill rabbits (or any other critter used for meat) As the animal will have chemicals in it system.And may poison the meat. So No do not use to kill the critter . Useing either. It is not safe for the meat or your health..
     
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  3. bob clark

    bob clark A man's man

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    Im pretty sure it would spread threw the meat very fast.
     
  4. doodlemom

    doodlemom Well-Known Member

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    Maybe find a farmer that will do in the rabbits for you for a few free rabbits like I did originally- got culling lessons and now can do it myself. If I saw a rabbit guillotine for sale I might buy it and was wondering if such a thing existed. There are clear restraining boxes available for lab rabbits which might help you. I've heard some people actually use a nail gun or screw gun from the hardware store.
     
  5. MaggieJ

    MaggieJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I've been doing some reading on the subject. Apparently "captive bolt stunning" is considered humane. I suppose the nail or screw gun would have a similar effect, but would it be efficient enough to provide instant unconsciousness?
     
  6. Hilda

    Hilda Well-Known Member

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    Well, this is something I'm thinking about, too. The starter fluid would be good for tiny baby rabbits that weren't going to be eaten. I don't want a .22 either, too much hassle, but I've heard that a high-power (Co2)pellet gun/riffle will do the job quickly and effeciently, that's what I'm looking into. I think broomsticking is a good choice as well BUT without a very experienced someone to show me exactly how to do it and be around while I do the first few, I'm not going to try it. Same with bopping them on the head, there are just some things I can't do unless I have "hands on" training.

    The pellet gun riffle, well, I hunted as a kid so I do have some experince with that.
     
  7. Honorine

    Honorine Carpe Vinum Supporter

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    I'll check the can, but I think that starter fluid has stuff other than ether in it. I think it would taint the meat. I've really only used it on small kits, and I don't butcher for meat(yet) so I don't have any more helpful suggestions.
     
  8. Reauxman

    Reauxman Well-Known Member

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    Just hit them in the head with a bat or hammer.

    It's not like it takes all kind of force. If you can drive a mail you can kill several rabbits with a single swing(not literally)
     
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  9. 6e

    6e Farm lovin wife Supporter

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    I can tell you from personal experience on using ether for rabbits. It doesn't work like it shows in the movies! LOL
    It takes A LOT to bring a rabbit to even a semi sedate state and then they come out of it really quick too, but it makes them sicker than a dog. We used it on a rabbit as a last resort to try and dig the ear mite stuff out of his ears. It was a neighbors rabbit and this rabbits ears were so full of brown stuff that the oil you put in their ears couldn't penetrate it and that rabbit was so mean you couldn't hold it long enough to get it out. What a mess!!!!
    This was years ago when we were young and dumb enough to try this. Yeah, didn't work.
    The quickest way to kill a bunny if you don't feel you can break the neck is with a .22 in the back of the head. :shrug:
     
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  10. MaggieJ

    MaggieJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Okay, okay... no ether. It was just an idea. :shrug:

    We do bop them and it does work, but I hate it. So I am looking at alternatives.

    I would prefer to be able to manage this without relying on Brian to always do the "dirty work." Right now he does the killing, bleeding out and skinning and I take it from there. By then it is just meat.

    22 is out - too much hassle and too expensive for registration fees and purchase of the rifle. We're pretty broke at the moment. I wouldn't even care to shell out enough to buy a high-powered pellet gun, if I can avoid it.

    Broomstick is out - I haven't the agility.

    I have very small hands and a touch of arthritis in the fingers - so snapping necks is not an option for me.

    I'm looking for a quick, clean, certain, humane method of killing or rendering unconscious the rabbits we raise for meat. A method that someone with my physical limitations can handle and that doesn't cost much to make or buy. Something less hands-on than bopping because I find it so distasteful that I am afraid I would "pull my punches" and botch it.

    Anyone ever actually tried the nail gun method? It sounds creepy but only because it is a new idea to me. If it is effective, I could get past that.

    Likewise the "captive bolt" method, although it sounds as though it might be expensive.

    Actually, the rabbit guillotine sounds better and better. The weight of the blade and the sharp edge would make it just about instantaneous and it would be just about impossible to botch it, as long as I kept my fingers out of the way.
     
  11. Jennifer L.

    Jennifer L. Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Maggie, my elderly uncle told me once that the small general store in town (long since closed) used a little guillotine to do in chickens that they raised themselves. So there was something out there like that at one time. You could probably build something if you spent some time at it. With rabbits I think the problem would be getting their front feet out of the way so they wouldn't get hit by the blade.

    It's an interesting idea.

    Jennifer
     
  12. 6e

    6e Farm lovin wife Supporter

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    Shouldn't have mentioned the nail gun. My hubby said he's going to have to try that. LOL
    He asked if you could use an ice pick right at the base of the skull? It would be quick and humane.

    I think rabbit guillotine sounds like a winner.

    I know how you feel. I don't do any of the killing. I tried to chop off a turkey's head once and I missed and ended up wounding it real bad. That was the last of that. So, I leave the icky work to him. I skin and the kids gut.
     
  13. doodlemom

    doodlemom Well-Known Member

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    6e I can relate to that- when I was a young girl I tried to chop off a duck's head, but the duck was big like a goose and strong hissing and beating me with it's wings and ended up taking an off swing not quite fatal and then drowning the duck so I wouldn't fail on my mission. My mother and grandma must have been watching through the window laughing because when I came in with it and was cleaning it my mom piped up-"You know how they tell if a person drowned? They put the lung in water and see if it sinks. Then she put a little chunk of lung in a mason jar of water and sure enough it sank. I was so embarassed I started crying.They never sent me out to get a duck again.
     
  14. Terry W

    Terry W Duchess of Cynicism

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    A NAIL gun? Okay-- one would have to be real sure about where they placed the working end-- and they would need one that would not require a lot of pressure to get it to fire-- my brother's nail gun has a safety feature that does not permit it to shoot if the gun is not pressed FIRMLY against the work surface.

    Perhaps the BB gun at the base of the skull-- to "blow apart" the connection between brain stem and spinal cord. And the brain stem is the important part-- it is that part that keeps the heart beating and the lungs functioning... It 'processes' pain, as well...
     
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  15. doodlemom

    doodlemom Well-Known Member

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    They really do use pneumatic nail guns to kill- maybe the pig farmers or cattle farmers can reccommend the exact type as they are used on larger animals- I personally use a hammer for banging nails in the walls and to the back of the skull for processing- next time I'm in Lebanon I'll ask, but I could probably surf for the answer as well.
     
  16. doodlemom

    doodlemom Well-Known Member

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    finding lots of references to nail guns and even a game where you have to kill as many rabbits as possible with a nail gun to win- I registered with ashok forums just to check it out lol, but there's a delay just like when I registered for this forum.
     
  17. MaggieJ

    MaggieJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Thnaks, Jennifer, for posting that information. Makes me feel that I'm perhaps not crazy after all.

    I've been Googling in my spare time. They use a small animal guillotine in some research labs. They start at about $500. But it is considered to be acceptably humane.

    I've also been checking out the history of guillotines - French Revolution style. The actual principal is simple enough. I think if there was a box to hold the rabbit that tilted slightly downhill, the front feet would be out of the reach of the blade and the tilt would help to bring the rabbit's head forward, positioning it correctly. It's pretty interesting stuff, in a grim sort of way.

    The hardest part would be gauging the necessary height of the frame and necessary weight attached to the blade to make it come down with sufficient force to make a clean kill. Guillotines used for human executions were over twelve feet high and the "mouton" attached to the blade weighed about 60 pounds.

    I wonder what one would need for a rabbit?
     
  18. MaggieJ

    MaggieJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Thanks for checking into this, Doodlemom, and please let us know what you find out.

    I draw the line at making a GAME of slaughtering rabbits - even virtual rabbits - but I really think a device to handle the slaughtering for meat cleanly and without error would make things a lot easier to MANY homesteaders.

    TerryW - Would a BB gun would have enough force to be effective? Perhaps someone out there can tell us.
     
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  19. bigbuc

    bigbuc Member

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    I know this thread is very old but I'd like an update on what y'all are all doing now.
    i tried clubbing but i got bloodshot shoulders and it seemed one good bop wasn't enough i had to bash their heads in.
    I'm using a .22 rifle now.
    BUT, I'm thinking of building a scissor guillotine with a retraining cage. I've not seen any plans so anyone's help or alternate advice is appreciated.
    The wringer just turns me off. The .22 cartridges are expensive in 2013.
    thanks
     
  20. bigbuc

    bigbuc Member

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    On the nailgun. Why not just a long nail through a board?