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Discussion Starter #1
ok...so I'm still looking for my meat rabbits, but I want to make sure I'll have somewhere to take them to when it is time for the freezer. I emailed someone from local harvest who advertised rabbit processing, but he said he doesn't have time for that, and I should just butcher them in my bathroom. :grump:

Is there somewhere I can look to find local butchers? I live on a small city lot, so butchering in my backyard is not an option. Plus, I really didn't want to do the deed. I live in the east bay area in california.

Man, this sure put a damper on my healthy meat project.

On the plus side, I have a lead on cremes and am chins not too far from me. Within a couple of hours. :)

Stacie
 

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I process my rabbits in my kitchen...it's much too hot outside to deal with that sort of stuff this time of the year. They really don't make very much mess.
 

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In cold weather, I process rabbits in my kitchen too. We even shot the past two with the pellet gun there. The only thing that gets done outside in winter is the skinning... and if it was my job I would do that indoors too. It's not difficult to make something to hang the rabbits from while you work. A container lined with a garbage bag underneath will take care of the blood, skins, feet and inedible organs. And a kitchen is made for preparing food, after all. You've got the sink and running water handy and countertops for organizing everything.
 

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I hear you. I cannot do my own butchering either. It's just not something I can do. I have an arrangement with a friend of mine. She butchers and I do everything I can extra for her that I can. Eggs, veggies, help when she needs it, I can help butcher chickens if she kills them. So I try to help where I can.
My mother couldn't do her own either. She advertised for someone to butcher for every 3rd rabbit. It's worth it to have the job done if you can't. I also opens you up to find more people who would be willing. You will get an answer to your ad. Just make sure they butcher clean. You may want to be present and help pack the meat. Once you find someone you can rely on you will just have to raise enough for you and them. That's not so hard.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I think I could do everything after the actual kill. I'm not sure if I could do that part. Maybe I'll ask some of the farmers at farmers market this weekend. Maybe someone would be willing to help for some meat or money.

Stacie
 

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I'm not sure I'd trust someone else to do my butchering. When I do it, I know it's clean and sanitary. Other people might not be as careful with my meat as I am.
 

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I guess I'm cold, but I much rather kill or skin than gut.

Killing doesn't phase me. I went to bring some feeders to a store a few days ago and the girl didn't want to take them because the person who kills them to freeze wasn't there. I wasn't about to bring them back home, so I got the bags and broke their necks at the register. Didn't even get any blood on my shirt or tie(brought them in on the way to a campaign fundraiser)

I think the people waiting to check out liked to die...lol.
 

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Gnawsey said:
I think I could do everything after the actual kill.
That is me, in a nutshell. The kills and beheading really bother me for some reason.

DH has done all our kills, and he's done it by breaking their necks.

However, this last group we did, he used a pellet gun. I pulled a broccoli plant out of the garden and put it in their enclosure and they all came running to pig out on it.

DH could put the pellet gun right up to their heads and pull the trigger. They'd scamper a bit while we removed the dead one and then he'd do the next.

He shot them in the middle of their foreheads. They were happily munching broccoli and then they just fell over. It was the happiest, most stress-free killing I've ever seen. It was just amazing. They did bleed quite a bit and kicked some, like a chicken will, but they were obviously gone.

I could do it with a pellet gun and a treat. Happy happy rabbits right up to the end. Not even the stress of being picked up.

I just need to deal with the beheading now.
 

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Yes, I vote for the pellet gun too! We shot our last ones at point-blank range at the back of the neck, just below the skull. They just dropped. Very minor twitching, but it is as Turtlehead says, they were gone. Stacie, if you decide to learn to do your own butchering, this is definitely the least stressful for both rabbits and people.

Turtlehead, if you can force yourself to try the beheading on just one out of each group, after a while you will find you can do it. Sort of like my Mom always said about the vegetables we hated as kids: "Have one bite each time we have it and you will learn to like it." Not that you'll ever learn to LIKE this, but you will become accustomed. (That's if you want to... otherwise, let dh handle it.)

My goal next butchering is to learn skinning. Then, if necessary, I could handle the whole operation. I'm not squeamish... once they are dead I am okay as long as it was quick and clean... but I don't have much strength in my hands and so have always let Brian do the removing of the head and feet, the bleeding out, and the skinning. I take it from there and that suits us both, for the most part. But I want to learn.
 

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I can do everything after the slaughter, as we used to have friends that helped when we butchered our culls. I like the idea of the pellet gun, but living in the city I'm not sure it's a good idea. We have some pretty tight firearm discharge laws!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Yes, I live in the city, so guns are out. That seems like the easiest way though. I was looking at butchering photos last night, and I'm not sure I could do the beheading or the cutting off of the feet. Everything else I think I could manage. Once they don't look like a cute bunny anymore. lol

Stacie
 

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I was reading recently where someone said they used pruning shears to lop off the head and feet. That sounds like something worth trying.
 

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A pellet gun is very discreet and no one need know you have it. It doesn't go bang! like a real gun, more like pfffft! We used ours in the kitchen in the winter and even if we had a really close neighbour there is no way they could have heard it. Anyway, you could just turn on the TV to mask any noise. An old western in the VCR or DVD player would be ample insurance. Here in Canada you do not need permits or certificates to own a pellet gun - and our gun laws are pretty strict - and a decent one has quite enough power to do the deed. I just walked into Walmart to buy mine.
 
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