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Discussion in 'Rabbits' started by birdie_poo, Oct 17, 2003.
Ours know that they ones we raise for meat are food. That's why we don't handle the kits.
Our kids have always been somewhat respectful of the chickens, mostly becuase of agressive roosters. While they mostly run free, as do the children, they tend to ignore each other. You get the point...The kids don't mind a chicken dinner or two, we don't have "pet" chickens.
Bunnies on the other hand are a different matter, they ALWAYS end up as pets! Doesn't seem to matter if they are named, numbered or speculatively named, "Hossenfeffer", fer instance, they are always missed.
I tend to try and butcher early, before coffee even, so that I don't have to debate about who most likely fits the bill for the freezer or dinner.
My simple solution for explaining what is for dinner is the answer, "chicken".
All these years, I have lived in fear of one of the kids acquiring a taste for "wings".
Why do you whack it behind the ears for dog food, but between the eyes and ears when it is destined for the dinner table?
Does anybody who raises meat rabbits have children? If so do they make pets of the bunnys? I have a stupid question about how they handle eating their pets. I have seen shows about serial killers who blame their mental problem on seeing parents butchering the farm animals or having a pet and then finding out he ate it for dinner. This freaks me out as I don't want to scare my son, or make him sad about losing pets. How do you and your kids handle this?
My sons both had pets.One had hens the other one had rabbits. Their pets were never part of the food chain. The animals we raised for eating where kept separate from the pets and treated quite differently. The pets had names ,where fed treats, handled every day and above all were the responsibility of my sons. The animals reared for the table had no names and were kept to the highest standards but in an impersonal way. The two just did not get muddled up. When a pet died it was buried with due ceremony.
I have four kids ages 7-13, and they don't mind butchering time or eating the meat. We have rabbits that are pets with names and we then have the rest of the rabbits that they know will be dinner for us or someone else. We are very honest with which animals are which. For example we had a goat die yesterday and the kids all cried and mourned the goat because the goat was a pet not for food. Now two weeks ago it was butchering day for rabbits and as dh and I were doing the ol' process line the kids were right there asking to help and commenting on the different rabbits. The bigger the rabbit the more comments I heard about what they want for dinner (fried rabbit, stew, rabbit pot pie, ect). It's just the facts of life, and I have found kids who are taught the food chain understand this concept well.
Now this weekend we will be butchering a tom and hen turkey. They have been free ranged and despite knowing that they are food these turkeys follow us around like dogs and really have become attached to the family. The kids said they do not want to watch us butcher them. That is fine, and to tell you the truth I really don't want to watch dh do the deed either on these two, but it needs to be done.
When first starting out eating your own animals I found it extremely important to keep them in the freezer for a couple weeks and then it just seems like you are pulling meat out of the freezer for dinner.
Good luck, I think you will really enjoy the way your homegrown meat taste.
I agree with the other posts. Keep the pets seperate from what is destin for meat.
I really believe all these PETA whackos probably have never been on a farm let alone the concept of raising meat. The probably is 90% of people dont have any clue to where there food comes from. They pick it up nicely packaged in a store.
True story, One year for Thanksgiving I had family out. My 39 year old sister refused to eat the turkey [best tasting turkey I ever ate] because it had been walking around our yard for 5 months 8O . She had no problem buying a turkey from a store and cooking that. Well at least my turkeys were not factory raised and were able to walk around not raised in inhumane conditions.
As far as seriel killers blaming butchering for their problems. BULL. If you are humane and matter of fact about it there should be no issues. If there really where we would have a community full of AMISH seriel killers. Kids that deliberatley hurt animals for the fun may have some mental health issues but that is totally different.
how do you butcher rabbits? I read a book that says to break their necks. I don't think I have the strength to do that.
A blow to the head will do, or slit the throats.
for butchering i use an 18" piece of wood called a tire knocker.
no idea what a tire knocker is really for, but i saw it one day at the feed store and thought it would be perfect for bonking buns. looks like an old school night stick. nice grip to in and a cord through the handle.
we do a swift blow to the head to stun, and then break the kneck and cut the throat to bleed it out.
if the rabbit is for dog food, i whack it behind the ears where the spine meets the skull and then break the kneck. if for human food, i whack it between the eyes and the ears.
i have no issues killing the ones we raise for food. they are food from the moment they are born. the breeding stock is a bit different. i would feel wierd eating them. but the dogs don't seem to mind.
as to the serial killer thing, there are plenty of folk who found out they ate hector the pig and did not turn out to be serial killers.
We have 5 children, ages 4 to 13. And while we eat rabbit, we don't eat the pets. And while each child has their own pet, that "pet" is a working part of the barn, be it a brood doe or a herd buck. We've always raised and butchered our own meat, so the children have no problems with it....it's just a part of everyday life for them.
In fact, one purchased herd buck "pet" turned out to have a very bad attitude, so my son said, "Next time we butcher, I wanna do Snow." The herd buck he now has thinks it's a lap dog
i'm more likely to miss a bit and bruise the shoulders if i whack it behind the ears where the spine meets the skull. i pull their ears down over their eyes when i go this route so they aren't looking at me. (wife thinks this is silly, she's probably right)
we feed our dogs whole, unbled carcasses and they could care less about a bruise or 30.
i, on the other hand prefer my meat bruise free.
either location is effective if force and position are appropriate.
if anything, i tend to use too much force. i'd rather not have one start to scream on me.
My husband and I raise meat rabbits for personal use - we have two does and a buck, and alternate litters between the two does. We also have a three year old daughter who loves the baby buns. In our family, the rabbits have maximum utility if we use them first as companions for our girl, then as food.
They always get too big and scratchy for her to play with well before time to butcher, and in the meantime the other doe will have a litter and she has new buns to look forward to...this may not work for some, but it has for us.
There is no secret regarding their future - we eat "rabbit meat" and "chicken meat" and "pig meat". She knows they are food, and that meat comes from animals, even if we buy it from the store.
I remember as a child (I was one of the lucky ones who grew up in a homesteading family) of about eight finding a bowl of butchered rabbits in the refrigerator. Horror! I don't know why my parents didn't tell us that these rabbits were food; we helped to butcher chickens, pigs and cows. I felt very betrayed.
I guess every family has to be honest with themselves in finding their own comfort zone in butchering animals-there is no one best way.