Today I slaughtered five rabbits. One was Miss Piggy, a doe that I bought for breeding. None of the nine kits from her first litter survived, and I suspect she abandoned them. I made the decision on butcher her last month, after she abandoned her second litter as well. It took me over a month to carry out my decision.
The remaining four were from Bonnie’s first litter, who were almost six months old. Rabbits are normally butchered at three months of age. However, these weighed barely four pounds at that age, so I thought it best to let them grow a little more before turning them into a meal. Well, life got in the way, and they ended up almost six months old before I got around to it.
Part of the reason was that I had never done this before. In fact, I’d never killed anything that weighed more than a few ounces in the past. So, I kept finding reasons not to do it. Roomie’s attachment to the furry little critters didn’t help matters. She cried when she found out that Miss Piggy’s babies died. Both times. She got upset and left the room when I told her that since Miss Piggy was a shitty mother, I was going to turn her into stew.
Well, I did it this morning. I put them into carriers, and drove to the range. I live inside the town limits, and with less than a quarter of an acre, I’d certainly get in trouble if I shot them here. Fortunately, nobody else showed up while I was doing the deed.
A CCI MiniMag to the back of the head dispatched each of them. I then took them to a nearby tree, where I removed the heads and bled them. Then it was back to the house for the rest of the processing.
I had watched some amateur instructional videos several times, and this somewhat prepared me for what I had to do. Due to their age, particularly the older doe, the process was a bit more difficult than demonstrated in any of the videos. However, I was able to complete the process, get them all into the freezer, and get the mess cleaned up long before Roomie and Wifey returned from shopping. Wifey knew my plans, Roomie did not, and I want to delay her finding out for as long as possible.
I did learn that my new knife is not up to the task. I recently bought a Mora 2 Classic #2 from amazon. This knife came from the factory with the sharpest edge of any knife that I’ve ever bought. I really liked it as a utility knife, despite the cheap plastic sheath, which cracked in the belt loop area the second time I wore it. I bought it to use for rabbits as well. However, at some point during rabbit duty today, the blade chipped. I was quite disappointed. It only cost fifteen bucks, so I guess I shouldn’t have expected a lot, but it was rated very highly in the reviews that I read prior to my purchase. I would recommend it for general and/or defensive use, but don’t expect it to hold up well when used for heavier tasks.