Rebekah Harmon wrote:Our family just butchered our first brace of "coneys" or pair of rabbits. Learning experience, for sure!!! Tell me, what do I do with this beautiful pelt? New Zealand rabbits, 5 months old.
No answer for you, but I was debating raising rabbits but after watching a video of butchering them wasn't sure I wanted to deal with the hassle right now (I just live in a suburban yard). It looked more bloody than the chicken slaughter I helped at a couple weeks ago...
How was that for you?
Hill Country Dream: Land Acquired > Home plans driving me crazy (still) > food forest pending
Rebecca, I've never despatched a rabbit, but have been gifted corpses by a friend and a dog. I found the skinning and butchering quite straightforwards. The main thing is to have a good really sharp knife to cut through the skin. Not to cut into the gut(!) A pair of shears maybe easier to cut off the feet and head. All the messy bits stay together if you are careful and can be caught on some paper and disposed of.
Rebekah, I'm thinking of trying to cure my bunny pelts. Never done it though myself so am interested to see what advice you get. So far I just rolled them and put them in the freezer. We do have a tannery locally. I was thinking of seeing if I could slip these through as a foreigner....but it would be good to have another skill to use really.
I keep my pelts for the simple reason of I don't want to waste it. So far I haven't found much use for them except for making my wife some nice soft slippers... twice (because the dog ate one - can't really blame him either since it is rabbit). They are extremely soft for those projects though - might make a blanket or something one day when I have enough of them. Just have to make sure to keep it away from the dogs.
I could do a quick summary of the tanning process if you're interested. I have gotten much better at it and learned a lot. It is a good skill to hone and I think the pelts look very nice up in the garage. They just felt too pretty to throw away / compost.
Let me know if you want. I'm finishing one hide today and butchering another tomorrow so I might make it into a whole thing with pictures if I have the time to string it together.
"Be such a man
and live such a life,
that if everyone lived like you
this would be God's paradise"
Slippers, bags, hats, quilts, mittens, pillows.... The thing about rabbit hide is it's so thin it sews like fabric. You can even machine it. I just hate tanning the hides and it's expensive to have them tanned for you.
Hello, please call me Mouse. Talk to me about rabbits, chickens, and gardens. Starting an intentional community in Ohio.
Location: Central TX, Zone 8b, multi-generational suburban homestead