This is the system I have been using for the last few months.  I find it to be very quick, and the least messy of the methods of rabbit meat production I have attempted. If you are interested in this, you may be interested in reading my blog.  It is located at Little Tassie Prepper.

I think I should point out that this Instructable has many images showing the process of butchering a rabbit.  I think that people who would find this distasteful should consider not going any further. 

Before you begin this process you must prepare your area for work.  You will need:

  • A blade sharpener (I use a simple one)
  • Several knives.  At least one small knife for precision work, one heavy duty knife for cutting between joints.
  • Rubber gloves (makes working on the rabbit much easier, and will prevent you from getting to messy)
  • A container for the unwanted parts of the rabbit (I use an old plastic bag, reused from the shopping)
  • A container for the parts of the rabbit you want.  (I have recently decided that an Esky filled with cold water would be a suitable receptacle)
  • A means of suspending the rabbit while you work on it.  (I use two large nails that I have nailed into a pallet as hooks).
  • Heavy duty scissors or garden shears.

Step 1:

Firstly, I feel that the rabbit must be killed in a humane manner.  Some people would do this by breaking the rabbit’s neck, some by severing the arteries, some prefer a bullet to the brain.  I feel a swift, precise, blow to the base of the rabbits skull is the best method, followed by severing the veins.  A quick death for the rabbit and doesn’t know what is about to happen, so it is much more civilised.

Once the rabbit has died, I usually secure it to the hooks/nails by pushing the back legs of the rabbit onto the nails, so that they piece the skin between the Tarsis bone, and the Achilles ligament.  The rabbits stomach should be towards you at this stage.  I place a bucket on the ground, in line with the head, and I use the short blade to sever/cut into the skin of the rabbit’s neck.  Once the skin is broken and I can reach the flesh underneath I proceed to cut the veins and the muscles around the neck as well as sever the skin around the neck.  I then use the larger knife and cut the ligaments between the vertebrae to allow me to remove the head from the body.  I place this into the scrap area to later be given to my dogs.  I allow the blood from the rabbit to drip into the bucket, which will later be added to my garden beds.
<p>Thanks for the great tutorial. Too bad there's so much garbage advertising on this site that it makes it a pain just to navigate to your useful info.</p>
<p>hello Little Tassie Prepper, I was wondering if you had a video on this tutorial, or if you could make one.</p>
Thanks for putting the effort into this instructable. I am pleased to say your method is remarkably similar to what my Dad taught me as a kid and how I still do the job. <br> <br>
Thanks for the feedback. While I obviously haven't taught you anything you didn't know, it is nice to know that other people use this method.
When you skin the animal if you cut through the tail before pulling the hide down you can leave anus (I like to tie it off) and take the tail with the hide so that at this step you don't have a hairy tail contaminating the hind quarters.
I think this makes sense if you intend to keep the body as a whole, yet I only cut the meat I intend to use and leave the harder to get at pieces. I don't feel that the hairy tail adds much to the risk of contamination, especially since I wash the body parts I remove (I just noticed I forgot to mention that the parts should be washed. I will add it shortly). I usually don't even do step 6, as it adds too much time to the whole process, for such a small reward. As I don't even enter the body cavity the risk of contamination is even smaller. <br> <br>I do appreciate you taking the time to comment.
I agree with your method of dispatch, however I prefer to skin before removing the head (makes a better pelt). I hate to waste a good hide, even if it is not the primary purpose of butchering the rabbit.
Hi Moose nuggets, thanks for the comment. As I cut the head off right under the head, I loose only about a square inches of hide, so I feel that removing it earlier makes the skinning much easier. I remove the ears for drying and feed the head to my dogs as a treat.

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