Dressing Rabbits?

Discussion in 'Rabbits' started by x_xbirdie, Apr 24, 2006.

  1. x_xbirdie

    x_xbirdie Well-Known Member

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    Hey everyone, before I get my first breeding pair, I'd like to know how everyone drsses their rabbits for human/dog comsumption. I searched 'dressing' and got little help. Any tips/hints for a first timer?
     
  2. MaggieJ

    MaggieJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Yup! Lots!

    Rabbits are EASY compared to poultry. There are various methods of slaughtering and you will need to decide what works best for you. Once the rabbit is dead and the head, skin and feet removed, I have a number of suggestions. (You can tell the division of labour around our house!)

    Rabbits have a convenient line down their bellies. About at the halfway mark, pull the line up so that you can make an incision without cutting into the guts. Cut UPWARDS.
    Take a pair of scissors and cut along the line in both directions. When you get to the sternum, cut to one side right through the ribs and onward until you have opened the rabbit right up to the neck. Then cut the other way until you are almost at the vent.

    You will see that just below the ribs there is a thin flap of flesh. Use your scissors to cut just below the last rib on both sides, right up as far as you can go towards the backbone. Remove the guts, reserving the liver, heart and kidneys. Chill these giblets in cold water. The dark greenish gall bladder lies within one of the folds of the liver. Be careful not to break it or it will spoil anything it touches. It is easier to remove intact once the liver is chilled.

    Once all the guts are removed, use your scissors to finish cutting the carcass down to the anus. Use a paper towel to clean this area, working from front to back. Your rabbit is now completely cleaned and needs only to be divided into serving pieces. Remove each hind leg complete with thigh. Then remove front legs. Divide the carcass just below the last rib. Chill all parts in cold water.

    Okay... now you have 1 loin, 1 rib cage, 2 hind legs, 2 front legs and the heart, kidneys and liver. If your process several rabbits at the same time you will be able to package the parts together which is great when you get to the cooking stage. Three rabbits or more is good. Each hind leg is a serving. Each loin is a GENEROUS serving... or 2 will serve three. I freeze the front legs and giblets together to use for a rabbit pie and the rib cages together to use for soup. Other people will use the parts in different ways, I am sure, but this is what works best for me.

    Oh yeah... that liver and gall bladder. What I do once it is chilled is to cut away the lobes of the liver so that if I goof and pierce the gall bladder I don't lose much. Then taking a knife with a very sharp point, I cut closer to the gall bladder and remove as much of the liver as I safely can. When I goof - and sometimes I do - I discard anything that the bile (the greenish liquid) has touched. It will be bitter and inedible.

    I age the rabbit in the fridge for three days and then either cook it or freeze it. We put 15 rabbits in the freezer last week for a total of 39 pounds. Rabbits are great. Anything you can do with chicken you can do with rabbit... and more.

    By the way... instead of starting with a pair, consider a trio... two does and a buck. You will double your meat for very little extra expense.
     

  3. rabbitgal

    rabbitgal Ex-homesteader

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    Oh yeah, ditto the trio: two does and a buck. An added benefit is that if you breed two does at the same time and one has a large litter or doesn't want to take care of them, you can foster the kits to your other doe.
     
  4. Pat Lamar

    Pat Lamar Well-Known Member Supporter

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  5. x_xbirdie

    x_xbirdie Well-Known Member

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    Thanks everyone!

    I'll consider a trio, but only have four cages right now, planning on using two for grow out cages. I'll be getting more soon. (hopefully)

    Pat, that website rocks! Thanks so much for that. Someone like me (who is completely learning challenged) love pics!
     
  6. Al. Countryboy

    Al. Countryboy Well-Known Member

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    Since I have never dressed over a couple of bunnies at a time, I really didn't think about equipment needed. I have ten that are almost ready now. I really liked the look of the knife and noticed that it looked like the scissors had Remington written on the blade. Anyone have any favorite skinning knife or scissors that they like and are willing to share where they got them from?
     
  7. alabamared

    alabamared Well-Known Member

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    I like to dress my rabbits in frilly dresses and high heel shoes. Did I say that out loud?!
    Cut off the parts you don't want and eat the rest. After you kill the bunny you can squeeze it like a rag from the chest down and most of the guts will come out the rear end.
    Red
     
  8. susieM

    susieM Well-Known Member

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    Over here, they do a karate-chop to the back of the neck to to kill. Then take scissors to cut around the waist...like a belt...one person holds the top, another the bottom, and pull off the 'pyjamas. When it gets down to the feet, cut them off, leaving them inside the inside-out skin, same with the head. No bits of hair, anywhere! Of course, it does take two people.
     
  9. awfulestes

    awfulestes Well-Known Member

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    It's me and DAd. he cuts ,we pull, and I hold the bowl.