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Published on Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Rabbits

  My father got some rabbits when I was about seven.   We were very poor.  He put 4 rabbits in an old display case he found and we put grass clippings on the floor for them to eat.  By the end of the summer we had way too many rabbits, the neighbors were complaining of the stink, and he decided we would learn how to butcher rabbits.  [My brother threw up and left.] 

  When I was about 25, I got some GIANT CHINCHILLA rabbits, made some huge cages to hang from the rafters in the garage, where I had garbage cans in their potty corners. [and emptied them at nite into holes in the garden so the neighbors would not complain of the smell... The does did a good job of reproducing, and I had high hopes of a second income.   The rabbit shows were really fun too.  We sold a few for breeders, won some blue ribbons, had lots of fun.  But my kids did not like to eat them, they said ''who did you murder THIS TIME?''

 The point of Giant Chinchilla Rabbits is, they are supposed to be good for fur--especially the adults--and for meat.  I could never get them to butcher-size in 6 weeks, but they were OK at 8 weeks.  Those extra two weeks are expensive!  As for the fur, it is gorgeous, especially at the neck where it truly does resemble chinchilla.

  To butcher a young rabbit,  you hold it by the hind legs and hit the back of its neck fast and hard with the edge of your hand.  This stuns it and then you lay it on a tree stump and cut off its head.  Or, if you broke its neck, just tie its back legs above the knee onto the two cords you have tied to a 2x4 fastened to a tree.  [You can also use a swingset]  Be sure you have 3 buckets handy.

  Cut off the head to bleed it.  Skin it by cutting the fur above the ankles without cutting the tendons, then cut the fur down to the body, cutting around the poo hole, and take the skin off like a sock.  Or, cut the skin carefully down the back--remember, the prettiest fur is under the neck!--and pull it off the body.  Drop the fur in a bucket of water.  Have another bucket of water for the peices of meat.  Cut off the front legs at the body, gut the front, cut  the ribcage off, then cut off one leg at a time at the ankle.  Easy!  Much easier than chickens!!

  There are various ways to cure rabbitskins.  The easiest is to take 1/2 cup of old battery acid  and mix it with a gallon of water, then submerge the skins until they turn white.  [left in too long, the fur falls out.] This method makes great blankets; just cut the rabbitskins in 2'' wide strips the long way of the skin.   Then sew them end-to-end.  As the strips dry [away from cats and dogs!!!] they will curl up at the edges and become round and you can weave them on a loom into bedspreads or ponchos.  Absolutely gorgeous.

 

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Earthchild
Earthchild>

Earthchild

Since childhood, I have been interested in creating my very own Garden of Eden. This used to be called ''homesteading'' and I have a roomful of books and magazines on the subject, [as well as a subscription to www.LDSAVOW.com] which includes natural medicine and preparedness.

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Cara

2/24/2014 1:18 PM

I enjoyed your article on raising rabbits. I'm interested in raising rabbits as a protein source, but frankly I have never cooked one! I hear they can be tough and stringy if not prepared correctly. Got any tips?

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