Thursday, August 22, 2013

Rabbit Processing

Warning:  Today’s post is about butchering here at the gardens, if this would upsets you please do not read any further. Please know we give our animals the very best life we can offer them but these animals are not pets and raised to be food.

 I got home from work and went outside to feed and water the rabbit, the chickens were out pecking round in the weeds clucking as if I was obviously disturbing them from some very important work. I have been weaning the baby rabbits from their mother and have a pen set up with 4 rabbits, 2 still with their mom. These are our meat rabbits, raised for one purpose to feed us.

It may not be pretty but we eat meat, and a good amount of it. Our goal is to be a self sustaining as possible this includes providing simple foods for the family like fruits, veggies, and recently meat. Some would choose not to do this and that is fine but my goal is to eventually have a farm and homestead off it allowing the land to support us, here at Sunny Spot we have started that process on our urban farm.

While we cannot raise cows, pigs, or other traditional meat animals we can raise rabbits and easily. They feast upon not only store bought food pellets but greens grown in the garden, leftover foods, and grass. They can hop around the garden not causing any problems and produce wonderful poop fertilizer that grow even more veggies.

Today as I went out to feed them I picked one up and it just felt like it was now or never. I have been putting it off because its a hard process mentally. I brought it inside to weigh it. 2.6 pounds as I went back outside it started raining as if mother nature picked up my feelings. I did what I had to and skinned, and gutted the rabbit. As the process went forth I said a small prayer not to God or anyone in particular but for the animal. Im not sure all I said but it was from the heart basically thanking the animal for the food it would provide for our family. The blood went into the garden, the offal to the chickens, the head and tail went into the garbage, the skin into a bag and in the freezer until I can tan it, and the meat came inside and got rinsed out.

Brooke who had been inside then came and started asking questions. She was very curious about it all as it is no secret to her why we raise these animals. She wanted to know all the details but there is only so much I am willing to tell my 5 year old. We went over the basics, then I showed her how I was going to cut it up to chill overnight in the fridge. She was excited about eating it remarking how similar it looked to chicken. As I chopped it she laid claim to a leg.

This process was both a sad and exciting time for me. Now at least I know I can do it.

1 comment:

  1. It was the same way for me when I butchered my first quail - it was time and I just did it. It wasn't nearly as difficult as I thought it would be. Like you, I treat my animals with respect, so I know they've had a good life and in the end, they help support me and my family.