These bunnies were difficult to kill. They were my pets, they had names, and provided hours and hours of joy to the girls. I really got to see their personality, and learn a lot about rabbits. Chubbs and Cuddle Button were by far, my favorites. I have to dispatch of Cuddle Button tonight, and I cried a bit when I killed Chubbs.
Most people find that rabbits may not be the most efficient, since you lose 50% of the mass in harvesting. But nothing goes to waste. The dog gets the head, feet, and innards, and I get the rest. I got my fleshing knife now, and will hopefully get to try it out on the furs I have frozen.
Chubbs was 5.75 lbs at killing, and dressed out, weighed 2.85 lbs.
Sugar was 4.72 lbs, and dressed out at 2.25 lbs.
I am getting pretty good at cleaning them. I adoped use of a kitchen scissors, which is actually faster and safer than a knife.
5.1/10.47 = 49% dressing. Not efficient for a rabbit, but good enough.
From these, I get an EPIC fourth of July feast!
Kansas City BBQ’d Rabbit
- Arthur Bryant’s KC BBQ Sauce (or your favorite)
- Rabbit Loin
- 6 slices Hickory Smoked Bacon
I only had access to a propane grill, however, it has a BBQ setting (low temps), and I wanted to try it out.
At the ribcage, I cut off the back half of the rabbit and the stomach meat (for use in later recipes). This left me with a saddle (back loin) and substantial legs. These comprise a majority of the meat on the rabbit (I think combined, they were over 3.5 lbs of the 5.1 lbs meat).
Using a kitchen scissors, I cut through the bottom of the pelvis, so the rabbits could lay flat on the grill.
Once the grill was warm, I threw on the rabbits, draping them in three slices of hickory smoked bacon each. I left the rabbits on the grill (not turning them) until the bacon was done.
I then removed the bacon, put BBQ sauce on the top of the rabbit, flipped it, and sauced the bottom.
After 3-5 minutes (once the BBQ sauce was dry to the touch), the rabbit was finished.
I brought it inside, cut off a leg, and ate it like a chicken with some wild rice and mushrooms.
Epic Feast Indeed!
I find it’s better if you give them names that are more appropriate to their purpose. One does not name a black cat “snowball”, you know? So if you’re gonna cuddle a bunny name it cuddles, if you’re gonna eat a bunny name it Grill.
Also, the 50-60% dressage ratio is about what most animals dress down to. Rabbits raised right have to potential to be the most efficient of all the small domestic animals with ratios up to 80%. I get 70-80% carcass weight out of my rabbits. :3
Haha! The first two were Steak and Little Bunny… I also had a pet cow named Curly, whom I had for a year. He was DELICIOUS! But I cried when he was taken into the butcher shop.
I know that my dressing ratios aren’t THAT great, but my scale isn’t super accurate. What age do you butcher at?
I butcher at 10 weeks, but anywhere from 10-12 weeks will get you a high dressage ratio. If you’re butchering adult animals or before 8.5 weeks forget it; you’ll always get just a smidge over half. My scale isn’t insanely accurate either, but it’s pretty clear when I weigh a rabbit live at 4lbs and it dresses down to three!
My adult rabbits get dog food names. My babies get colors or random descriptor names. Like I have a group of rabbits right now who are all just called Boy Bunny.
For me, live weights are usually lighter than dead weights because they move. But, I wait until they are around 5 lbs. I let the Girl Scouts name the rabbits… though, they DID name one of the chickens Nugget.