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This is a badge bit (BB) that is part of the PEP curriculum.  Completing this BB is part of getting the sand badge in Animal Care.

Rabbits are widely considered to be one of the most generous meat returns for grass inputs.  

But to harness their great reproductive power for your larder, you must know how to harvest them safely, efficiently, and humanely.  

Here's one write-up depicting three humane methods of slaughter: https://www.raising-rabbits.com/killing-rabbits.html

Here's another good step-by-step: https://www.instructables.com/id/Simple-method-to-butchering-Rabbits/

And one more: https://morningchores.com/how-to-butcher-a-rabbit/

If you still want more information, choose your favorite search engine and go to town.

For this BB, you need to process 1 rabbit for meat and provide documentation in the form of pictures or video.
Requirements are:
-1 Live Rabbit
-Killed in a humane manner
-Processed and either prepared or properly stored within an hour

To document your completion, provide proof of the following as pics or video (less than two minutes):
-Living rabbit.
-Rabbit after slaughter, depicting the method used.
-Rabbit ready for cooking or freezing/preservation for a later date.
COMMENTS:
 
gardener
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Location: Zone 7a
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I get to go first! You'll see from my picture my current preferred method of dispatch, choke chain. I've tried a couple other ways and I'm very satisfied with this one. To make the loop I tied a bowline (https://www.animatedknots.com/bowline-knot) to each end and looped the rope through to anchor above and below, around the rabbit. Use more rope than you think you need. You can always shorten if it's too long, but standing on tippy toes to get the rabbit in isn't fun.

I would like to submit this video for the Wiki. It really helped me improve my process. From picking up the rabbit to getting the next it takes me 12 minutes.


I did 9 rabbits yesterday. It got hot and I had other chores to do so I stopped for the day. I don't know if the intent of the requested proof is to show a dead rabbit hanging upside down but I chose to not take a picture of that. If it is required, I have others I still need to process, but I would prefer not to.
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rabbit with choke chain
rabbit with choke chain
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Cleaned rabbit on ice
Cleaned rabbit on ice
Staff note (jordan barton) :

yep you are missing this part of the requirements.

-Rabbit after slaughter, depicting the method used.

 
pollinator
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Approved submission
Rabbit harvest.

I like this method of dispatch best as it doesn't require much upper body strength and I have a 100% success rate for one pull dispatch.

I don't handle my rabbits much (they're for food) so he's a little wiggly about getting into position.

Also, I always tap the cornea (eye ball) as soon as I finish to make sure that the animal is fully "gone". No blink reflex when you tap means they're dead not just paralyzed or stunned.

Normally, I also don't just let them thrash around but since I was filming by myself, I let him go to turn off the camera.

Link to dispatching video

https://youtu.be/iWsec_Ss1F0
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Cleaned and ready for the pot
Cleaned and ready for the pot
Staff note (Mike Haasl) :

I certify this BB complete!

 
Posts: 121
Location: Ohio
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Approved submission
Collecting some badges. Hoo boy. Lets see if I have all 3 on the same rabbit. I think these all connect well enough.

Ok, so this is a litter from a long while ago, mom was a tricolor Flemmish giant mix, da was a NZW, and this is 3 litters co-habitating in a 4x4 cage.

We process our rabbits using Cervical Dislocation, AKA broomsticking. It's just easiest and fast. Here is a rabbit hanging after using CD. This rabbit is an adult in this photo - long after the initial litter pictures were taken. He was designated a breeding buck, but never sired any litters that we kept any kits from due to aggression so we don't have adult pictures of him.

Well, I don't have more pictures of him, specifically. But I do know he went into this batch of sausages we made! I hope that counts!
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Staff note (gir bot) :

Mike Haasl approved this submission.

 
pollinator
Posts: 382
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Yesterday, my son and I decided to butcher our 4-month old kit of rabbits. There were 8 of them, so we recruited help, and trained 3 friends how to butcher and clean and process rabbits as well.

The dispatch method I prefer is to dislocate the head from the spine with a quick blow from a blunt object. (In this case, a wooden club, but metal pipes also work) It's easiest to hit the desired spot, behind the ears, when the rabbit is held up by the back feet. Once lifeless, we hang them by the back feet with slip knotted rope. In about a minute, seizures have stopped and the blood has drained.

We skin the rabbits. So far, we haven't tanned the pelts, but we have 30 of them waiting in the freezer for me to gather the courage! Once skinned, we gut them; a fascinating anatomy discussion every time! So far, we have gotten the processing time down to about 20 minutes per rabbit, from start to freezer. 8 rabbits kept us working past sunset. I am holding the camera at the moment, but I got my hands plenty bloody in the demonstrating and assisting for these 8 rabbits.

My favorite way to cook them, so far, is to boil them and shred the meat, or dice it, and use it like shredded chicken. Pot pie, enchiladas, pasta salad + meat are my family's favorites. Well, I probably shouldn't say "favorites" for them. But they tolerate eating the rabbit in these ways. The more recipes we learn, the more we will move towards sourcing most of our meat this way.
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8 kits, waiting for butcher.
8 kits, waiting for butcher.
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My son teaches his friend and uncle to clean and process 2 rabbits at a time
My son teaches his friend and uncle to clean and process 2 rabbits at a time
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My daughter and aunt work together. Girl power!
My daughter and aunt work together. Girl power!
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cleaned rabbit, labeled and ready for freezer
cleaned rabbit, labeled and ready for freezer
Staff note (gir bot) :

Someone flagged this submission as not complete.
BBV price: 1
Note: It is great that your taught people to harvest and they each coudl earn their own badge bit but we need to see you doing the harvest/process for you to earn a BB.

 
pollinator
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Location: Western MA, zone 6b
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Submitting for rabbit harvest BB.  

Yesterday I processed 4 of my 5 month old rabbits.   I usually do them in pairs and it takes about 45 minutes start to finish to do two.  

Method of dispatch is "broomstick" method, or cervical dislocation.   I like this method best because rabbits sit normally and quietly on the ground fully supported without panicking prior to dispatch.   Dispatch is very quick and clean  and reliable.  

Each of these dressed out around 2lbs,  very nice.

They are brining in salt water in my fridge to be pressure canned tomorrow.  

Heads, feet, organs, and front quarters are used to feed my dogs (part of why I raise rabbits) and furs are donated to folks learning to tan.   Very little goes to waste, and what is left (some intestines mostly, and rinse water) is buried in my garden.  

(adding a picture of me attempting a selfie while working, lol,   I swear it's me..  )

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Staff note (gir bot) :

Mike Barkley approved this submission.

 
Rebekah Harmon
pollinator
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We harvested another rabbit today. This time, I did the work myself and got someone else to hold the camera and my baby. This one, I shot with a bb gun at close range. I strung up the carcass and cleaned it out, then bagged the meat for dinner later this week. Bunny tacos!
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He is one of these bunnies
He is one of these bunnies
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me, butchering
me, butchering
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how we bag and store the meat
how we bag and store the meat
Staff note (gir bot) :

Mike Barkley approved this submission.

 
Posts: 10
Location: Middle GA
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Submission flagged incomplete
This is an older doe who was too aggressive for my liking... Plus she never had big litters.



Used the "broomstick" method



Cleaned up! She was made into a delicious Hasenpfeffer. Sad I don't have any pictures of that dish. It was phenomenal.
Staff note (gir bot) :

Paul Fookes flagged this submission as not complete.
BBV price: 1
Note: Final picture should be Rabbit ready for cooking or freezing/preservation for a later date.(ie fully butchered out of the dressing rope) 

 
pollinator
Posts: 273
Location: Gaspesie, Quebec, Canada, zone3a at the bottom of a valley
168
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forest garden rabbit books chicken composting toilet food preservation bike building wood heat homestead composting
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Here's my bb submission for harvesting a rabbit.

Winter is coming and it was time for harvest. My champagne d'argent rabbits were ready to cook, so i made used of a last warm day to deal with them. I used The  Fatal Blow Method depited in the proposed link up this thread. In the same time i'm writting this, the meat is already canning on the woodstove. I love that !

Staff note (gir bot) :

Heather Staas approved this submission.
Note: Nice pelts too!   do you do anything with them?

 
Raphaël Blais
pollinator
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Yes Heather Staas! I'm currently tanning one of them for a photographer who will use them tomorrow for newborn pictures. No particular project at this moment for the 3 others pelt and foot and tails... We'll see what future will bring next !
 
pollinator
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Location: East Texas, USA
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I butchered a rabbit using broomstick cervical dislocation. Despite my high expectations, I was still surprised by how quick, clean, and humane the slaughter was. The rabbit wasn't stressed for more than a moment, and the corneal reflex was gone almost instantly.  The trickiest part was bleeding, but I expect I will do better in the future as I gain experience.
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live rabbit (he was handled regularly and was therefore used to being held)
live rabbit (he was handled regularly and was therefore used to being held)
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slaughtered, with broomstick
slaughtered, with broomstick
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carcass ready to cook, with pelt ready to salt. (I hadn't decided whether to cure the feet for decoration yet, so I have them here in the yield picture.)
carcass ready to cook, with pelt ready to salt. (I hadn't decided whether to cure the feet for decoration yet, so I have them here in the yield picture.)
Staff note (gir bot) :

Raphaël Blais approved this submission.
Note: Great job! didn't decide here too what to doo with the feets, they are still in alcool.

 
Posts: 80
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My husband wanted to know what rabbit tasted like, and wanted to see if he had it in him to cull and process one, so I brought 4 rabbits.

Here is the result of me(and only me) processing the first one (we did end up processing the other 3- I made sure to save everything I could and what couldn't be tanned, preserved or eaten was turned into compost)

I like to use a variety of tools, one sharp knife for cutting, a duller knife for skinning without fear of poking holes, shears for removing the feet, and scissors for clipping anything while my hands are slippery (if anyone was wondering just why I had so many tools out.)
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Rabbit, alive and still caged
Rabbit, alive and still caged
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Picked out from the group, still alive
Picked out from the group, still alive
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Broomsticking
Broomsticking
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Post culling, now bleeding- thank you again for your sacrifice
Post culling, now bleeding- thank you again for your sacrifice
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Post skinning and gutting
Post skinning and gutting
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Everything bagged and labelled- marker is very faint
Everything bagged and labelled- marker is very faint
Staff note (gir bot) :

Timothy Norton approved this submission.

 
Been there. Done that. Went back for more. But this time, I took this tiny ad with me:
Building a Better World in your Backyard by Paul Wheaton and Shawn Klassen-Koop
https://permies.com/w/better-world
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