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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
i been posted a lot recently. sorry.. lol i know there are a lot of posts about this already and such, BUT once a thread gets few pages long their hard to navigate.



i got a hanging scale for Christmas from my dad. because i kept saying i wanted to wait till rabbits got to a certain weight before i butcher. but i cant get them to sit still on a normal scale. lol pillow case with some clip on grommets to hang on the hook works perfectly.


i have the rabbit popper. i .. dont really like it. i dispatched one rabbit so far. and used it. she got her head lose and screamed and i had to do it a second time. WAS HORRIBLE.


i been seeing people use a pellet gun. but i know nothing about guns.. any of you use a pellet gun? which one do you use? how powerful? so on..... ALSO knife recommendations would also be nice too ! the knives ive used get dull fast, and will not resharpen well.. ive probably spent a good $200 on knifes and cant find the right one.


the 2 im going to harvest are 8lbs 8oz and 9lbs even. and just for the fun of it , i weighed one of my grow outs that i was told should be to weight by now, but look tiny, and their about 4lbs. a little off from what i was told they would be (6lbs) so i added alfalfa pellets , oats, and sunflower seeds to add a bit of fat and extra protein maybe i can get them to add a little meat on their bones faster.
 

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If you are not used to guns, please don’t go that route.

Get better using the system that you have. Learn to restrain the rabbit.
 

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My grand father used a wooden stick to stun our bunnies. (Think cops night stick) He picked them up by their back legs, held them upside down and gave them a sharp whack right where the head attached to the neck. He would then hang them up by the back legs and cut their throat so they bled out properly. as to the knife issue... he was a butcher by trade, claimed the fat is what dulls the blade so quick. He cleaned his knives with a steel rod made for the purpose Every few minutes. He would just give the blade a couple swipes on each side against the steel and it was good to go again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
If you are not used to guns, please don’t go that route.

Get better using the system that you have. Learn to restrain the rabbit.

i know how to use a gun, im a very good shot, plus i would be doing it at point blank like most people i see on videos do, they just never mention the gun they use. i just dont know much about them i dont want something so weak its just going to hurt the rabbit, and i dont want something so strong that it will blow the rabbit to bits. if that makes sense.


reading up on the rabbit popper or broomstick method, people bring up the fact that it can bruise the neck meat, and thats a "no go" by them , so i should probably avoid it... plus holding them seems to stress them out pretty bad , which can make the meat tough.. or so said. pellet wise i could set them out in a pen to munch on some grass or hay , and get it done with less stress on them , and me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Don't make it too complicated. You have a hammer, right?

i could barely pull hard enough , i highly doubt my swing is going to be powerful enough to do it in , in one go . goal is, quick.and as painless as possible, im not use to this killing part yet. ive gotten chickens down. but the method is a lot different. im going to work on a "easy" way, then ill explore with other methods once ive been doing this for a while. gun just sounds like the easiest way. so thats why im looking for recommendations for one. otherwise im just going to pick one and hope for the best.
 

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i could barely pull hard enough , i highly doubt my swing is going to be powerful enough to do it in , in one go . goal is, quick.and as painless as possible, im not use to this killing part yet. ive gotten chickens down. but the method is a lot different. im going to work on a "easy" way, then ill explore with other methods once ive been doing this for a while. gun just sounds like the easiest way. so thats why im looking for recommendations for one. otherwise im just going to pick one and hope for the best.
Bludgeoning is generally considered inhumane, because the fail rate is so high. All you have to do is miss ever so slightly or not use the correct strength and now you've got a suffering animal. It's a heck of a lot worse than the hopper popper.


Here is a study on various dispatch methods --



I think you might want to look into a bolt gun, rather than a pellet gun. There's some videos on how to use a "bunny ballista", which is a penetrating type (not covered in that study). It would be a lot easier than trying to handle a pellet gun while also keeping the rabbit calm.
 

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most any pellet gun that will generate 900fps or more with a .177 cal pellet or 650 fps 5mm/22cal pellet with a and you shoot them right in base of the ear.


however I think you might be better served by some thing else one idea is a DeathRay this is a strangulation device used to dispatch raccoons, coyotes, wolves ,bobcats , fox, possum
possum are about the hardest thing to kill. L&P Trapline supply they are not cheap but are rebuild-able with a new cable for not much. lee doesn't take any new orders during trapping season but it is getting towards the end of season

I am sure one could make a simple strangulation, or neck braking cable device something along the lines if a saw horse type table with a cable that came up though the top made a loop and went back down set the rabbit on the table , keep it calm slip the loop of cable over it's head . the cable goes down to a lever/pedal you place your foot on, tighten it up then stand your weight on it, easy on you , and you can put your weight into it to do the work , rather than pulling or hitting.
use a simple cheap bungy cord to keep the pedal up and tension off the cable a little hardware and a bit of wood.




you do not need to spend big money on knives and you need very little for knife work on a rabbit almost everything a rabbit needs is a hook blade and a pull. Knives | F&T Fur Harvester's Trading Post

a diamond sharpening steel makes a huge difference to touch up your skinning knife after a few
every kitchen really needs one of these Dexter-Russell 12" Diamond Knife Sharpener | F&T Fur Harvester's Trading Post
 

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Pick them up a little further back than the scruff of the neck... they will not fight or squeal.....whack behind the ears at base of skull where your hand ain’t..... pipe or solid stick
 
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i could barely pull hard enough , i highly doubt my swing is going to be powerful enough to do it in , in one go . goal is, quick.and as painless as possible, im not use to this killing part yet. ive gotten chickens down. but the method is a lot different. im going to work on a "easy" way, then ill explore with other methods once ive been doing this for a while. gun just sounds like the easiest way. so thats why im looking for recommendations for one. otherwise im just going to pick one and hope for the best.
I use a steel pipe about 16" long to the base of the skull with the rabbit hanging down---holding by the back feet. I do them kinda one at a time---I walk into the rabbitery---I choose the rabbit and take it out the cage---being gentle I get a hold of its back feet with my left hand( I am right handed) and gently tuck the rabbit under my left arm---against my side. I walk out the rabbitery---out of the view of the other rabbits to my cleaning table area. I keep a hold on the feet and cradle the rabbit in my right hang---stretch out my left arm out and up some and gently allow the rabbit to hang head down with its back to my right----get the steel pipe and deliver a quick hard blow to the base of the skull---if I feel its needed I will quickly deliver a second blow---I then drop it into a 5 gallon bucket of water head first. Then go into the rabbitery and repeat---after the blow to the skull I reach in and get the first rabbit out the bucket and drop the second one in the bucket. Skin and gut the first--rinsing with the hose sprayer several times as I am skinning and gutting then a final rinse and into the cooler, then back into the rabbitery for the 3rd---repeating and get the second one out the 5 gallon bucket of water and put the 3rd in it then do the second one---Just makes it faster---not having to wait until is stops kicking, BUT you can use a pellet gun----just set the rabbit on the dirt with some fresh greens---shoot, get a hold on the back legs and drop it into the bucket of water then I get the next and repeat--I do not save the Hides and I am over 60 and can do 12 "fryers" a hour without rushing---older rabbits--say 8lb-ish about 10 a hour. About your knife---I rarely have to sharpen my knife doing a dozen?? Are you trying to cut bones with yours??
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I use a steel pipe about 16" long to the base of the skull with the rabbit hanging down---holding by the back feet. I do them kinda one at a time---I walk into the rabbitery---I choose the rabbit and take it out the cage---being gentle I get a hold of its back feet with my left hand( I am right handed) and gently tuck the rabbit under my left arm---against my side. I walk out the rabbitery---out of the view of the other rabbits to my cleaning table area. I keep a hold on the feet and cradle the rabbit in my right hang---stretch out my left arm out and up some and gently allow the rabbit to hang head down with its back to my right----get the steel pipe and deliver a quick hard blow to the base of the skull---if I feel its needed I will quickly deliver a second blow---I then drop it into a 5 gallon bucket of water head first. Then go into the rabbitery and repeat---after the blow to the skull I reach in and get the first rabbit out the bucket and drop the second one in the bucket. Skin and gut the first--rinsing with the hose sprayer several times as I am skinning and gutting then a final rinse and into the cooler, then back into the rabbitery for the 3rd---repeating and get the second one out the 5 gallon bucket of water and put the 3rd in it then do the second one---Just makes it faster---not having to wait until is stops kicking, BUT you can use a pellet gun----just set the rabbit on the dirt with some fresh greens---shoot, get a hold on the back legs and drop it into the bucket of water then I get the next and repeat--I do not save the Hides and I am over 60 and can do 12 "fryers" a hour without rushing---older rabbits--say 8lb-ish about 10 a hour. About your knife---I rarely have to sharpen my knife doing a dozen?? Are you trying to cut bones with yours??

what is the bucket of water for ? when i first did it i just hung it after being popped , cut the head off, and began to skin.

i dont wanna do the blunt force method as of right now, i dont think i can handle it , im still trying to get use to killing in the first place. i think i found a pellet gun ill be getting. killing is the hardest part for me, chicken ,rabbit, duck. i want it to be quick im very new to this. and i know ill have to explore which way works best for me. i can easily gut. thats probably the easiest part for me.

i use the knife to lop heads off , chicken and rabbit. by the 3rd chicken my knife is dull and hard to use. i use pruning sheers to cut feet and tail bones
 

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Are you a good shot? Can you hit the EXACT spot necessary?

I hate to be a party pooper (see what I did there?), but I think you will have similar issues.
 

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a small hatchet to cut things like heads , you can use a dead blow hammer or wooden mallet , a clean fire wood round for a chopping block, place the hatchet where you want the cut , smack it with the mallet. If you are not comfortable swinging the hatchet , machete or cleaver.

a combo manchette/ cleaver Amazon.com : Marbles Bolo Camp Cleaver. : Fixed Blade Camping Knives : Sports & Outdoors

the old hickory 7-7 butcher knives are also useful https://www.amazon.com/Ontario-Knif...prefix=old+hic,sporting,176&sr=1-2&th=1&psc=1
other sites have them for 10 dollars Old Hickory 7-7 Butcher Knife 7 Drop Point 1095 Carbon Steel Blade

a quality air gun that has a lot of uses beyond dispatch or rabbits for butchering Benjamin 392S Pump 22 Cal Pellet Air Rifle
they can even be rebuilt with new seals they have plastic stocks now but I know people who have them that are more than 20 years old , leaving one pump on it with an empty chambers makes the seals keep better Benjamin 392S Pump 22 Cal Pellet Air Rifle

it sounds like you might be sort of a small and not very strong person if you have trouble pulling rabbits , changing technique , a fine edge skinning knife the edge rolls easily when you encounter bone

you could sharpen a knife like the 7-7 old hickory or a 7-10 old hickory with a 30 degree angle and you can put a second hand on the back of the blade and after having cut to the bone place the large knife and push with both hands rocking it

or even make a cutting board with a block you stick an inch and a half or 2 inches of the knife tip into a slot then push down you can put your weight into it that way.

or the hatchet or cleaver with the mallet
hatchets are a different steel that doesn't roll the edge the way a fine edge knife does.

also a diamond steel will bring a knife edge back quick a high carbon steel knife like a old hickory 7-7 butcher which is 1095 steel will sharpen fast and hold it reasonably well price is reasonable.

as for shooting there was a movie where a guy told the other he could make a perfect bulls eye in darts every time, he proceeds to walk up to the board and stick the dart perfectly in the middle.

dispatch of animals works the same way just place the muzzle where you want to hit and you hit every time wipe the muzzle with an oil rag when your cleaning up your tools but there is generally not ever back spray , that is an effect for the movies and not real life.
 

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what is the bucket of water for ? when i first did it i just hung it after being popped , cut the head off, and began to skin.

i dont wanna do the blunt force method as of right now, i dont think i can handle it , im still trying to get use to killing in the first place. i think i found a pellet gun ill be getting. killing is the hardest part for me, chicken ,rabbit, duck. i want it to be quick im very new to this. and i know ill have to explore which way works best for me. i can easily gut. thats probably the easiest part for me.

i use the knife to lop heads off , chicken and rabbit. by the 3rd chicken my knife is dull and hard to use. i use pruning sheers to cut feet and tail bones
The water makes skinning so much less messy---since I started dropping them in water---I have hardly any hairs that need to be removed from the meat. I use the knife to cut the meat but when I get close to the neck bones or any bones-- I use pruning shears to cut the bones or through joints. I start by clipping the feet off with the pruning shears, Leave the head to help in shinning----I cut the hide across the back and then put two or 3 fingers from each hand in the slit and just strip the hide off by pulling outward with both hands, then hold the head end n the table and pull the lower hide off---rinse the rabbit and table---then hold the lower end down to the table and pull the hide off to the neck then take the knife and cut around the neck then shear the neck bones leaving the skull in the upper hide piece.

I understand about not wanting to use a pipe, etc---a Pellet gun or just a 22 rifle will work good if you deliver the bullet to the brain.
 

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I don't think a pellet gun is a good idea. Sometimes I shoot poorly behaved chickens with a 22 pellet rifle and it doesn't necessarily drop them, even if it's a well placed shot.

Just grab it by the neck the way you pick a rabbit up and smack it over the head with a piece of pipe and then cut its neck to bleed it out.

I understand the emotional turmoil but you're thinking about it too much. Soon, depending on how many you produce, this will become just another time consuming chore.

Anyone ever skin small mammals with an air compressor and a blow gun?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Are you a good shot? Can you hit the EXACT spot necessary?

I hate to be a party pooper (see what I did there?), but I think you will have similar issues.

id like to say im a pretty good shot. i was raised with guns. mostly blind in my right eye , so i have to shoot from the middle of my chest, so i cant use guns with a bunch of kick. but i havent missed a target in a looong time. there was a while when i had some of my fence down for a repair, 3 ish 4 ish years ago. and my neighbors had a pitbull that kept getting in my yard where the fence was down. and i would nail him in the butt with a bb from my bedroom window. probably about 250 feet distance. for the rabbits i would be doing point blank range. looking at a .22cal with 950 fps pellet gun that way i can shoot ***** as well to protect the chickens. so even if i dont like it for rabbits ill still have use for it.


funny thing is , being raised with guns. i still knew nothing about them other then which bullet went to which gun, and how to shoot it , didnt know names of them , or what cal meant or fps . just had fun shooting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I don't think a pellet gun is a good idea. Sometimes I shoot poorly behaved chickens with a 22 pellet rifle and it doesn't necessarily drop them, even if it's a well placed shot.

Just grab it by the neck the way you pick a rabbit up and smack it over the head with a piece of pipe and then cut its neck to bleed it out.

I understand the emotional turmoil but you're thinking about it too much. Soon, depending on how many you produce, this will become just another time consuming chore.

Anyone ever skin small mammals with an air compressor and a blow gun?

for my birds i have a cone. put them in head first , grab them under their jaw and cut jugular/ cut head completely off


i had a neighbor shooting some of his chickens one day and i had 3 spare roosters. he asked if i wanted some of the birds he dropped because he didnt want to process them, and he was just going to body dump them. and i of course took the offer. free food. and i asked him to drop the 3 extra roosters of mine too. and honestly i will never shoot chickens. that was a horrible experience . 1 he was a BAD shot.. i should have asked to borrow his gun so i could do it myself. and 2 TINY heads, TINY target. he missed so many damn times.. i ended up grabbing one of my injured boys and pop his neck manually myself. neighbor was horrified i just did that. but i wasnt watching him suffer.

honestly if i noticed my rabbits suffered from the shot , i wouldnt do it again and find another use for the gun.
 

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I don't think a pellet gun is a good idea. Sometimes I shoot poorly behaved chickens with a 22 pellet rifle and it doesn't necessarily drop them, even if it's a well placed shot.

Just grab it by the neck the way you pick a rabbit up and smack it over the head with a piece of pipe and then cut its neck to bleed it out.

I understand the emotional turmoil but you're thinking about it too much. Soon, depending on how many you produce, this will become just another time consuming chore.

Anyone ever skin small mammals with an air compressor and a blow gun?
Sebastian makes some good points.
I made a set of cones for chickens , great way to go for them.

yes I have used the air compressor and blow gun. on raccoons. it can make some difference , but mostly if it was going to help it already wasn't that hard to pull.
it can burst the gut also. not a huge deal if your skinning and composting the carcass but if it's food not so good.

a joke.
reporter says to the sniper "so you killed the Jack of diamonds of the terrorist insurgent group. What did you feel?"
sniper , "recoil"

on your hundredth chicken what did you feel , the knife starting to dull so I wiped it of and hit it with the steel.

first lesson of dispatch, everything kicks when it dies

chicken if you don't break the spine much less, but the legs still kick as the last beats of the heat happen.

some people can't get over it , I have a friend raises beef, chicken, turkey, pork , lamb . it bothers him to put them down.
works out for me I don't feel a thing and get free meat sometimes.



dispatch, bleed , you probably could just slide the knife in like we kill deer that are not finished in the side of the neck and out the front, I have just never tried it on a rabbit. an up side is nothing makes noise when you take the wind pipe.

it will be about finding a technique to easily and efficiently restrain the rabbit to be able to get the knife in I would think something like a short length of rope and you slip the loop over the head pull the loop snug with one hand while sliding the side of the blade against the rope strait in from the side just below the spine then push down with the knife as you pull up with the rope. I would need a few to really figure out a technique but it is a place to start.

there are so many ways to do it , it is all about what you can do fast and efficient with minimal cost and energy

a gambrell is nice you can make them with some cable and ferrels or small pieces of tubing
a set of loops to grab the hind feet
this started as a saw horse and turned into a skinning machine the raccoon size gambler is rapped around the antlers in this picture. a rabbit size might be a touch smaller
when it was in my garage it had some planks making a table between it and the other saw horse some strong cordage and a golf ball and you can get a lot of pull on a hide once you have it peeled a bit.

warm rabbits really are not hard to pull the hide from, but if you have strength issues

this clearly gets used for things bigger than raccons now
I have done , deer ,a small pig , and a couple sheep

the loop of cable to the deers hoof is actually my starting cut loop stick one hind paw of a racoon ,squirrel , rabbit ,in the loop pull down on the other real paw make cut from the inside of the leg at teh cable to the in side of the foot on the other leg. skin around that leg and hang it on the ganbrel , skin the second foot , start pulling down , cut tail, keep working the hide down

a loop or two like that might be plenty to get several rabbit done

93267
 

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I use cones for chickens usually, the only ones that get shot are the rebellious ones that won't go back in the coop and are scratching around in the garden.

And for the ones that go in the cone I do apologize to them and thank them. But it's gotten quite mechanical and form letter-ish
 
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