29 August 2014

Slaughtering our 1st rabbit *graphic pictures*

This post is about using animals as meat. If you have a problem with that or the pictures of that technique, you should not read this post. Thanks.

A few nights ago we slaughtered our first rabbit. We had too many bucks and this one was not particularly easy to deal with anyways. So, he went first. He managed to scratch me a few times when I picked him up and that doesn't work for me. I also cut myself trying to slit his fur open, but I digress. Here is his last living picture. Yeah, he was cute. I am going to be tanning his hide to keep for craft projects.

With my trusty DH by my side and in control of the camera we got started. I don't have a specialized spot to slaughter yet so we used a tree with a bungee cord on it. Necessity is after all the mother of invention is it not? It worked out ok until I tried to pull the fur off the meat. It was just too jumpy because of the bungee cord. I really need something that will hold it still for me better.
Here you see the rabbit being held up by the bungee. I had yet to really start, but it is somewhat effective.

I'm making a weird face here, but I was trying to concentrate on what I was doing. Plus, I was working on separating the anus from the rabbit. Not a pleasant job in an of itself, but nobody wants it left attached. 

The fur and skin really just slips off the rabbit. You do of course have to tug at it, but don't worry about it ripping or anything. Make sure you cut the forelegs so that you can get the fur off at the end though. 

Next I split the belly open to remove the offal. That string thing sticking out there is the large intestine, full of fecal matter. And I stopped food for 24 hours previous. But this rabbit was well cared for and fed on a schedule so I wasn't surprised that he was still full of poop.

Here is a few more pictures of that process. I was separating the liver and organ meats that we can use from the intestines that we didn't want to keep. 
And all the while, Krunchee was looking on. I think he was waiting to get his part of the 'kill.' In the wild dogs eat as a pack and the pack leader eats first. That's me, so he thinks that after I'm done I'll leave it to him to finish up. (He did get a few pieces too)

This is the rabbit's liver. For a small animal it is pretty large. I kept this, the heart and the kidneys for later. I froze them for now, until I can get some more organ meats to add to it. The liver is in-between the belly and the heart cavity. 
The other picture is busting into the pericardium to get to the heart and lungs. I gave the lungs to the dogs at this point and before you saw that's gross-dog's in the wild eat raw meat that they kill. This was a treat to them. I'm looking into switching to raw food for them anyways. It's what their bodies were made to eat. Kibble is cooked and harder on their systems. Not to mention, who can really trust what is in them anymore?

This is the finished rabbit meat. He dressed out to 2.2 lbs. I did not weigh him live.
All in all I think we did a pretty good job. 
The rabbit sustained our bodies so that we can continue to live. That is a noble purpose, for the noble rabbit. We thank God for the life that we took and the meat that was provided for us.  As well as the wisdom to be good stewards of what He has given us. 

Thoughts for next time.

We didn't have anything to kill the rabbit with so I used a couple branches of the tree and placed its neck inside and pulled up. It was effective, but my DH was worried that I was hurting the rabbit. I touched his eyeball and confirmed that he was in fact dead. But he seemed to think that I could do this a better way. I would love to have a kill board to use in a designated slaughter space. 
I know that some people use a broomstick, but I've never done that method either and I would worry about torturing the rabbit. That is not necessary to do and I do not think it is humane.  With a kill board it is instantaneous and obvious when the rabbit is dead. 

This blogger makes his own rabbit kill board. I may have to make one of these. (Disclaimer-his pictures are explicit as well. If you choose to follow the link be aware that we are discussing rabbit as a food here.) He even sells rabbit boards in his area. I'm not sure where he is, but I think we will just make one to use on our homestead. (No offense Mike!) 

We are working on making a slaughter area for all the animals that we are going to have here at the Silver Fox Homestead. It is going to need electricity and a water source and some way to hold up these implements. It's in the works for next year. 
Until then, I guess I'm using the tree. 

This is a shot of what I made for dinner out of the rabbit. I fried the legs and made some gravy from the drippings and served it with rice and corn. Very Southern of me, I know. 
My DH was happy with it though. :) And so was I.  He was a little chewy to fry so next time we will be making a stew from what is left of him. 

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