Tuesday, April 24, 2012

How To Skin a Rabbit

                            This is my friend Debbie

She raises the most beautiful rabbits I've ever seen

Boomer - Mini Rex (Velveteen Rabbit)
Cassidy - Lion Head
Jasmine - Black Otter
Popsicle - Flemish Giant/New Zealand White cross
Lilac - Mini Rex
Bear - Black Otter
Peaches - White Mini Rex
Orange Julius - English Lop
All her bunnies were sweet, gentle and OH SO SOFT!

On a homestead, each homesteader develops criteria that the animals must meet in order to remain on the farm. Some work, ie horses - for transportation and labor, some provide food - meat goats, rabbits, cows, chickens.. some bring in an income, and some are personal pets.

When an animal does not meet any of these personal criteria then it must be culled.

When it got close to time for Siann to have her litter of babies she became very aggressive. This was undesirable but tolerable, but when she later killed 8 of the 9 babies she was raising, Debbie decided that these genetics would not be passed on so she invited me to come learn how to skin a rabbit.

* rabbit
* kitchen scissors
* string (approx 3 ft)
* utility knife
* plastic bag
* bucket (2)
* clean water
* salt

Sian was put down instantly and mercifully.

STEP 1: Tie loop in string. wrap both feet behind hock to hang
STEP 2: Hang at eye level
Step 3: To remove tail - twist and pull

Step 4: shave to see skin - make hole in               Step 5: Cut V from legs to genitals
skin and cut around both feet
Step 6: Punch finger through 1st membrane below genitals at the top of thighs 

Step 7: Keeping inside membrane intact, gently sever connecting membrane between skin and meat

If you accidentally puncture inner membrane (above), pinch shut and gently pull skin down away from tear

 Step 8: Place garbage bag behind work area to keep meat clean. Using kitchen scissors cut around tail area keeping tail fur intact.

Fur keeps anus and fecal bacteria away from meat

Step 9: Gather fur and pull down. Punch finger through membrane at front legs

Step 10: Pull fur to the end of wrist-bone. Cut at wrists

Step 11: Pull the fur to the head - Place hand in rabbit fur like a glove and stretch gently
Step 12: Carefully cut skin around head until head is clear
Step 13: Cut hide down the middle and turn the feet out
Finally - Place hide in a bucket of clean water and gently squish to get the air bubbles out - DO NOT WRING FUR!

Now you have two options:
* You can leave the hide soaking in the bucket while you deal with your rabbit meat- which will be another blog post or
*You can salt and dry your rabbit fur - which will also be another post

 This whole process was quick and efficient. It is obvious Debby is experienced and her system is fine-tuned. With practice this technique would work for anyone.


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