Sunday, May 30, 2010

three weeks from harvest

18 Comments:

Blogger Mike & Ricci said...

Jenna how do you put your animals down? One of our one month old chickens seems to have broken there jaw. If its not doing better this afternoon I'll have to do something.

May 30, 2010 at 8:54 AM  
Blogger doglady said...

They are lovely looking buns. I hope you give us lots of information on how the deed is done. My Silver Fox kindled last night so I'm going to need the Jenna method.
A cervical dislocation for a chicken works. Not too hard to do. Or, the old sharp hatchet.

May 30, 2010 at 9:09 AM  
Blogger Jenna Woginrich said...

My rabbit mentor is coming over to help with the harvet. his method of dispatching seems to be the best I've seen. He simply ties a rope to a door frame (makes a noose), lopps it around the rabbits neck and while holding the scruff of the neck and the hind legs, jerks back once and quick. The rabbit's head is instantly dislocated from the body, and dead. It doesn't pop off or anything, just breaks the neck.

May 30, 2010 at 9:28 AM  
Blogger Maggie in Tally said...

Jenna, I don't down you for doing it, and if my feet were under your table I'd sure as heck eat the rabbit, but I don't think I could kill one. They're really just too....cute. And snuggly. And soft.

May 30, 2010 at 9:30 AM  
Blogger Mountain Walker said...

Jenna,
These guys look great! How much would you say they weigh? How much are you expecting them to weigh at the butchering date? Are you expecting anymore bunnies soon? Do you have some recipes that you are itching to try?

May 30, 2010 at 10:36 AM  
Blogger bairdlet said...

Poor death row bunnies. Do you look at them and think "countdown" or "dead bunny walking", which keeps you from getting attached to their fuzzy little ears and twitchy little noses?
I can dispatch chickens for food, no problem. But bunnies...they're the epitome of cuteness.

May 30, 2010 at 1:19 PM  
Blogger Rene said...

So are you planning on selling some of the meat? I'm just a bit curious about the reasoning behind a mass slaughter. It seems like the meat would "keep" longer on the rabbit so you could harvest it when you need it rather than having it maybe going bad in the freezer. I'm just a city bumpkin, though, so would appreciate some education on the matter.

May 30, 2010 at 1:32 PM  
Blogger karl micheal said...

Some people need to realize that on farms animals and crops are raised for sustainance (not sure on spelling of that one) and are not for show or pets. So with that said, all are entitled to their opinion. Mine is rabbit stew, fried rabbit, baked rabbit, barbecued rabbit...MMMMMMMMMM!!! Jenna, you go girl!!!

May 30, 2010 at 2:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My middle daughter is a vet assistant, animal lover and meat eater. I asked her if she had any qualms about eating rabbit. "Oh NO, Mom. Not at all! Don't ask me to eat bunny, though." I asked her the difference. "A rabbit is a bunny who has bitten me hard enough to draw blood."

Aha.

May 30, 2010 at 4:36 PM  
Blogger Jenna Woginrich said...

So first off, an 8-12 week old fryer isn't acute bunny anymore. it's a lanky, long-eared heavy meated piece of livestock. About 5 pounds, nearly all of that dressing weight too...

I will be harvesting all of these for my own freezer and some co-workers. Each rabbit is about two meals. So 7 rabbits is really just a month of one rabbit dish a week with leftovers, when you factor out sales of the other 3.

May 30, 2010 at 4:50 PM  
Blogger Rene said...

Thanks for the info. I didn't think about it that way. I very rarely eat meat so one rabbit would last me at least two weeks or more. Being single, food spoilage is one of the biggest budget problems I have.

Do you think it'd be worthwhile to raise meat rabbits in an urban setting (say an apartment)? I remember you saying that angora bunnies were like apartment sheep. Maybe meat bunnies could be apartment cows.

May 30, 2010 at 4:55 PM  
Blogger Rosie said...

At over $7.50 a pound for whole frozen rabbit and you don't know what they were fed, growing your own makes all the sense in the world.

I have my first batch (6) of 4 week old American Chinchilla Rabbits in the works.Looking forward to the addition in the diet.

Rene - the only problem is having space and cleaning those large pens needed for litters. Then there is harvest, you will need a location. Not an activity for public places.

May 30, 2010 at 5:41 PM  
Blogger Stargazer 2 said...

JENNA,
I would love to see sequential photos of the deed being
done so that I (we) can all see the process from beginning to end!!!
This would be a tutorial for myself as well as others!!!
I think you are way ahead of the game for being self sufficient!!!
Well, I've put in my two cents worth, & looking forward to
your next installment of CAF
CHEERS with a health drink!!!
Ronnie

May 30, 2010 at 8:24 PM  
Blogger Paula said...

The other reason for slaughtering at a given time is feed conversion. You don't want them getting too expensive before you off them. You want to get it juuuuuust right.

Good luck, and I wouldn't mind seeing a blow by blow because I'm thinking about raising backyard meat rabbits.

May 30, 2010 at 8:41 PM  
Blogger ~ Janis said...

I am a little confused about the door method. I would also appreciate step by step photos.

How much are you selling the packaged rabbit meat for ?

and will you also be figuring out the meat/grain ratio ( cost from birth to package ? )

May 30, 2010 at 9:30 PM  
Blogger Northern Farmer said...

I'd appreciate a blow-by-blow too Jenna. I'm moving onto my homestead in less than 2 weeks now, Cali rabbits, Barred Rocks and Nigerian Dwarf goats. While I've started waffling here I'll just carry on... I picked your book up from the library a few months ago, it really helped with some 'steading decisions and I have been following this blog for about a month now.

So thanks for the book, the blog, and the inspiration!

May 31, 2010 at 7:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jenna, I too would like 'blow by blow' photos of the process; many blogs and websites detail the process but I haven't found any that actually have pictures of it to show those who don't have a mentor to assist. I have helped with this when I was a child, but that was more years ago than I care to mention, and a visual refresher would be good.

Plus, I want to show it to my husband, who grew up in a well-heeled family near Scottsdale, and is very squeamish about having anything to do with his food prior to being a cut of meat. I want him to see that it's not as bad as he thinks it will be.

May 31, 2010 at 12:54 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Jenna, will you cure the skins? I've always wanted to make my own rabbit coverlet! I hope you have many years of writing this blog ahead of you - after all, you can't experience EVERYTHING in the 1st year or 2, can you?

June 1, 2010 at 8:29 PM  

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