BUTCHERING AND PREPARATION
This is where most rabbit breeding ideas come to die. Even some of the most well motivated have trouble with this last step, butchering. Killing rabbits can be tricky and if done wrong you, and possibly your neighbors, won’t quickly forget it. Rabbits will scream if given the proper reason (such as a near- death experience).
Rabbit screams are as loud as any screaming baby you’ve ever heard, only with a higher pitch and sound like a child screaming bloody murder. With close neighborhoods, it is common for them to come see what is going on.
As such, killing a rabbit is an all or nothing job. If you “chicken out” half way through, you’ll pay for it with a loud scream for all to hear. Some butchers use a small pellet gun to the back of the head; others break the neck; and others chop the head off in one fell swoop. You’ll need to figure out which method you’re most comfortable with. If you’re selling the fur, you’ll want to make the butchering process as bloodless as possible. Once the rabbit is dead, simply hang it, slit the neck, and let it bleed out.
To remove the fur, simply make an incision at the back of the hind legs, and place a finger inside to loosen the skin from the body. Keep pulling on the skin until you remove it all the way up to the head, then chop off the head. Once the skin is removed, make a light cut to the stomach and between the legs. Remove the innards. You may save the heart and liver if you desire. Rinse the carcass thoroughly to make sure no contaminants got on the meat, and cook or store as desired.
The meat may be stored as you would whole chicken, or you can cut it up into pieces. You can also debone the meat and store it that way.
Cutting up the rabbit into pieces is rather simple. The entire back legs are one piece each and can be cut from the body where they attach. These make great “drumsticks”. The arms of the rabbit can be removed making “wings”. The chest cavity can be cut under the ribs separating the rump from the chest, and if desired, the chest can be split down the center to make two “breast” pieces.