Humane, affordable and ethical culling methods?

Discussion in 'Rabbits' started by bojay, Jul 21, 2005.

  1. bojay

    bojay Active Member

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    Hi all. I'm relatively new to raising rabbits for profit and am having a hard time getting up the nerve to cull the diseased or deformed rabbits from the herd myself. I took one to be put to sleep by the vet, costing $45, there goes any hope for profit. I hope someone out there knows how I feel.

    What are some of the ways experienced farmers/breeders use to humanely euthanize suffering rabbits?

    Thanks for your responses.
     
  2. rzrubek

    rzrubek Flying Z

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    Don't take this as rude or anything. If you can afford it, the most humane way is to use CO2, ask Tracy how she does it. I snap their neck either by hand if they are small, or with the use of a bar across their neck that i stand on and pull up on their hind legs. Now i know to some this would sound barbaric, but it kills them instantly. They do kick for awhile, but that is just nerves firing randomly, just like chickens do. If they are diseased, dispose of them by buring or by putting out in the trash in a sanitary way. If they are just deformed, then eat them. Rabbit is the most nutritious meat there is.
     

  3. hollym

    hollym Well-Known Member

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  4. rzrubek

    rzrubek Flying Z

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    Thanks for the link holly.
     
  5. Jaclynne

    Jaclynne Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Does anyone know if Hollym's suggested method affects the meat quality? It sounds like a good way if you cannot do it 'hands ons', and I can't. Killing is the one thing I have trouble with, I have no problem with cleaning, cutting or packing the meat. I haven't gotten rabbits for this reason.

    Halo
     
  6. hollym

    hollym Well-Known Member

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    Gosh I'm glad I'm not the only one, Halo, I feel so stupid that I'm this way. Keep having pep talks with myself about how it's the test of a 'real' homesteader, etc.

    I am going to try one or two either this weekend, or next, and I will be glad to share my results with all of you, keeping in mind that I am doing chickens, not rabbits.

    hollym
     
  7. Rosarybeads

    Rosarybeads Well-Known Member

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    I used to take their back feet/legs and swing them against a post, I know it sounds bad, but it immediately dislocated/killed them, if you do it right. Our neighbor helped my Dad butcher some, and he did the block/axe method, but the rabbits didn't like it because their head was strapped in first. My Dad didn't like it either. The H20 shouldn't affect the meat, I'm thinking. We used to buy the euthanasia medicine from the vet, and do it ourselves for the culls (about $4/rabbit), but I got fed up with it when sometimes the rabbits would wake up from it after they appeared to be dead. Not many, but some. I felt so bad then, and I just learned to swing and hit their heads hard, they don't have a clue other than the split second they are swinging.
     
  8. nehimama

    nehimama An Ozark Engineer Supporter

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    My late husband had a strong arm and true aim. He could dispatch a rabbit with a well-placed blow to the back of the neck. I have tried, and have caused needless suffering, and it made me feel really bad. I invested in an inexpensive CO2 BB pistol. Used one years and years ago, and found that a well-placed shot to the head does the job instantly. Neither the rabbit nor I suffered.

    NeHi Mama
     
  9. lsy1111

    lsy1111 Member

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    "a well-placed shot to the head does the job instantly."

    Hi I've been lurking here awhile. This is a great site for info!

    I have some New Zealands who are just about ready for the freezer and a BB air rifle but don't know exactly how to do it. Where do you put the shot in the head? Is it the back from the top or the side or where? I would hate to do it wrong and have the rabbit feel anything. I don't think this is the type of thing I really want to experiment with!!! Thanks!!! lsy1111
     
  10. Thatch

    Thatch Well-Known Member

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    Yup, I use a hard rubber mallet and hit hard at the base of the skull while holding the rabbit in my left by the rear legs. One hit, it's done. I'd think the little gas chambers would make for a panicy rabbit.

    Sometimes the easiest on us, isn't the easiest on them. You have to choose which one is more important to you.

    J
     
  11. Jaclynne

    Jaclynne Well-Known Member Supporter

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    This will sound terribly unpolitically correct, but I don't care about the rabbits suffering except in how it affects the quality of the meat. I care about getting sick while holding the back legs of that rabbit after the mallet hit and you get that awful little quiver thing! Or holding the rooster's legs and feeling the last jerk of life. :eek:

    Halo
     
  12. nehimama

    nehimama An Ozark Engineer Supporter

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    Someone asked about the placement of the shot. Between the ears just at the back of the head is what always worked best for me. Good Luck with those New Zealands. Is this your first time harvesting? Hope you and your family enjoy the meat.

    NeHi Mama
     
  13. nehimama

    nehimama An Ozark Engineer Supporter

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    HaloHead, the awful screaming they do if you don't get it right the first time is what makes me feel bad. :(

    NeHi Mama
     
  14. lsy1111

    lsy1111 Member

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    Yes, it will be my first time providing I do it :)! I better because thats why we got the rabbits in the first place! My husband will go nuts if we end up with 8 rabbits instead of 2. He's a little touchy about "too many animals" !!!

    And I'm trying to raise most of my own food, so no rabbit is no meat (in theory anyway.) I'll just have to grit my teeth and hope they don't scream!! I've tried not to get attached but they are kind of cute...I'll have to keep thinking about rabbit stew...
    Thanks for all the info and help. Will let you know how it goes. I'm going to grow them a week or two more. They could get a little bigger, they're only 7 wks now.
     
  15. nehimama

    nehimama An Ozark Engineer Supporter

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    If it helps any, you could sort of view the breeding stock as "pets" and lavish your affection, etc on them. Just try not to get too attached to the little ones. . . . . I know; it's difficult. They really are cute, huh?

    NeHi Mama
     
  16. patarini

    patarini Well-Known Member

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    Cute n fuzzy -- good thing i need a backup buck and one more doe too! Rest I named -- dinner, brunch, stew and fricasee! Read that the CO2 doesnt hurt the meat, saw another setup somewhere on line homemade that used a CO2 cartrige from a paint ball gun looked real easy to make!
    here is one version
    http://forums.kingsnake.com/view.php?id=828262,830464
     
  17. HeatherDriskill

    HeatherDriskill Well-Known Member

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    The only problem I saw with that method was that it wasn't recommended for animals over two pounds. I don't raise rabbits (I am just lurking and learning), but I would think that they often weigh more than two pounds.
     
  18. seedspreader

    seedspreader AFKA ZealYouthGuy

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    And do you get a clean bleed this way?
     
  19. lsy1111

    lsy1111 Member

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    Well once anyway...Thanks very very much nehimama: I got a CO2 pistol .My husband conveniently jammed the air rifle chasing a skunk around the yard. Then he took it apart to try to fix it. Didn't kill the skunk but killed my air rifle :shrug:

    Anyway I thought a pistol might be alot easier so I tried one and it worked out very well: the rabbit was gone right away. There was a little twitching but thats to be expected? It was kind of sad- its my first time- but i just didn't think about it and did the job. AND put it right in the pan and it smells really good! I am so glad I didn't use the hammer method. I just know i would have not been brave enough to hit it hard enough and that would have been awful...It wasn't fun, but I do eat meat and at least this way you appreciate what it really is...It really wasn't that bad, which is good because there are 2 more bucks out there to be done. There wasn't that much meat on it though, I think i'll wait a couple more weeks for them. They'll be 10 weeks then. And that'll give me a little rest.... :)
     
  20. Rosarybeads

    Rosarybeads Well-Known Member

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    Good job! :") Yeah, we found that out with the chickens, it's not as bad as it seems it would be, and easier than you think. And they sure are yummy. :)