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Help! Whole Bunnies!


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20 replies to this topic

#1
NewlyDutched

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I'm alternating wildly from giddy excitement to sheer panic.

 

I just got offered a bunch of whole frozen rabbits. 5-6 pounders for $2 each! I'm super stoked but omg idk how to handle them. I'm assuming that they are going to be skin on and not cleaned.

 

They are coming from someone who breeds show bunnies and is culling their breeding stock.

 

I've never fed anything fur on and they are too big to feed whole. What the heck do I do!?!

 

/runs around in circles panicking


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#2
NewlyDutched

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Yep, they are whole and skin on. I'll be picking up 30 tomorrow. Any advice on how to hack them into meal sized portions?

 

Anyone have a bandsaw the don't mind getting messy  :devil:



#3
jagger

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2 bucks each, I wish. near $30 for a rabbit here in the store.

 

 

I'll thaw (for the most part) then refreeze rabbit, haven't had any issues.

 

We have a 10 pound pooch, usually 3 ounce portions per meal. Not sure what you feed for a single meal but a good meat cleaver is ideal for cutting through spine and ribs. I've destroyed 3 cleavers, the newer ones don't seem to last, blade gets bent on bone. Found an old antique that does the job nicely, it's thick with good metal.

 

Never found hair and such to be a problem, they can learn to skin it.



#4
NewlyDutched

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I know, they are expensive here to, that's why I'm so excited. Mine eat 1.5# and 3# a day. Apparently these are 5-7 pound bunnies. I assume skin on will be rather tough to cut through too...



#5
jagger

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Can't say I've ever skinned a frozen rabbit, but fresh are very easy. Maybe buy a basic meat saw or a hack saw with a stainless blade, would make for easy cutting if they are frozen stiff. Lots of vids on YouTube on skinning.

#6
NewlyDutched

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I ended up only buying 20 since they are so big. Every inch of my chest freezer, fridge, and my own freezer is packed. I moved a bunch of chicken, pork and beef into my fridge/freezer to make room for bunny tetris.

 

The lady I got them from was super nice. She gave me tour of the bunny barn. They raise mini lops and these are the too big culls. She says I can get more later if I like.

 

After languishing about how to process them, I bought a cheapo sawzall from harbour freight since they were on sale for $20. Then when I went to cram everything into the freezers I had one bunny that wouldn't fit. 

 

I know you should introduce new meat slowly, but we are taking the rabbit plunge. Bruno is out in the yard gnawing on it and I'll let Sera have whatever is left.  I'll give them a really light chicken meal tomorrow.



#7
jagger

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Awesome. Were they skinned and gutted or whole? I'd love to find a deal like that but haven't got the freezer space :(

 

Wouldn't worry too much about rabbit. Some dogs are allergic to poultry, so rabbit seems to be a good starting place for meals. Our pup loves it.



#8
NewlyDutched

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Nope! They are whole, fur on. I posted a couple of vids of the dogs first intro to whole bunny.

 

Bruno was like, this is fluffy, is it a toy or something? Wait, it smells like meat, mine!

 

Sera's response was more, I'm a good girl I didn't kill this fluffy thing, wait, I can have it? Really? Nom nom nom.



#9
jagger

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Awesome. That first vid was funny, he's like I know this is food, but how do I break into it?



#10
TRDmom

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I see you've already taken care of them, but here's my two cents. Freshly dispatched rabbit is very easy to skin and portion for a dog. I prefer a blade that isn't too big (easier to work with). It doesn't need to be anything fancy, just sharp and sturdy. My dog loves the pelt (to play with and eat)! Once skinned, it's pretty straightforward about how to cut it up. For my dog, I really only need to remove the back legs (separate meals), remove the digestive tract, and bag the rest. For a person, you'd probably butcher it a bit more specific, but dogs don't care about what cut they get. ;)

 

Since they were frozen, at what temperature did you butcher them? Its nice they were already dispatched for you! That's the part I don't like. 



#11
Iorveth

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Hahaha! You're so dang lucky your dogs don't turn their noses up at fur. I don't know if mine just had the "don't you dare touch that fuzzy thing" speech too well ingrained from when we had pet rats or if they are just snooty, but I can tell you that, once they stopped using it as a toy, I wasn't terribly thrilled to find out that the only way to get them to eat the day old bull calf legs was to skin them... 

I would love to get my hands on some rabbit like that and see if Buck will still turn his nose up at it. Iorveth wasn't even born yet when we had the calf legs so his reaction would be interesting too. He's kind of my princess so we'll see. Ha



#12
naturalfeddogs

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None of mine have ever been to big on rabbit, except Reba. She loved it, but it's so expensive I won't buy it just for her. If I got some free like I did before, she could have all of it she wanted. But $25 for ONE rabbit in the store isn't happening. 



#13
NewlyDutched

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I know! I couldn't say no at the price, and I should be able to get more when these are gone. I am soooooo lucky they will eat them whole. I mean, I totally would have skinned and cleaned them if I had to but I am super grateful I don't!

 

Sera won't "start" a rabbit but she is eager to get it once Bruno has gnawed on it for a while. I think I may let the next one defrost before feeding. It seems like Bruno's face gets tired from all the gnawing before he gets full. It's so neat though frozen...

 

My freezer is bursting with bunny and I got offered some deer. No idea where it will go. I'm thinking about dehydrating it all for treats.


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#14
Iorveth

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I've been in that situation a few times! We have a big cooler and I pulled everything I planned on feeding over the next few days out and stuffed it into the cooler with some ice and put the rest in the open space. We originally bought the cooler for bulk order pickups since some of it was poorly wrapped and we'd had leaks on the rubber mat in the back before. It has been perfect for using as an "overflow" container when I have more meat than my freezer can hold.


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#15
NewlyDutched

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Dug out my cooler and meeting with the deer guy after work. They need to eat faster!

#16
NewlyDutched

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This place needs a thread for meat scores! I'm stoked! 35 or so pounds of gorgeous venison! Loin and tri tip and blackstrap oh my! I think I may have to steal some. There's a bunch of ground too. All professionally processed and packaged.
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#17
Iorveth

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Awesome! I'd be stealing some, for sure! I love venison. Before I got married and still lived with my mom, our neighbors (and closest family friends although they are right smack between my age and my mom's age!) had all sorts of good stuff. He's an Italian hunter so not only does he come home with all sorts of red meat and game birds, but he also knows how to cook them to taste their best! On the grill in steak form, in the oven with herbs in roast form, or even in tacos, I grew up eating wild game prepared in the most delicious of ways. This is a man who can have my mom, someone who despises the taste of lamb with a passion, drooling over roasted lamb. We went over there every Christmas Eve for dinner and, more often than not, there were multiple different meat options and, while he did always have prime rib or some other kind of domesticated meat for the squeamish, there were always wild options like pheasant stuffed with rosemary and thyme or an elk roast with garlic and herbs... When he wasn't cooking up his kills in some elaborate fashion, he was bringing over elk and deer jerky. My first introduction to it, however, was my stepgrandfather who showed up to a family reunion in Ohio with the thickest, most beautiful venison (whitetail) steaks I have ever seen in my life. 

 

Wow... I just had cheap ravioli for dinner and now I am dying for venison! Shame on you. :P I get sad every year on Christmas Eve because I now live 1400 miles away and can't go to Christmas Eve dinner across the street anymore. Hahaha.



#18
NewlyDutched

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Both backstraps and the tenderloin is here! yLWB900.jpg


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#19
naturalfeddogs

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Yay!! I know you are excited!!

#20
NewlyDutched

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They are loving the venison though I may have stolen the best cuts >.>

 

And I just found out that friend is bringing me a 5 gallon bucket of elk trimmings from her boyfriends hunt this weekend!

 

Bruno has gained a ridiculous amount of weight. It's all going straight to muscle, You can still see ribs but his thighs and chest are hulking out.

 

Wefgass.jpg


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