Lunch Saturday for me was fresh rabbit kidneys and hearts sauteed in butter. It was absolutely delicious. Naturally, to have acquired such fine ingredients, we had to process some of our rabbits.
**Graphic meaty pictures ahead**
seriously, you’ve been warned
We had 21 rabbits born this spring. Last Saturday we began the process of turning them into food for our family and our dog. I’ve posted about the process before but not on this blog and it was fun to remember how much faster and more pleasant the whole experience is than processing chickens. Rabbit truly is the best lean meat ever.
Proper tools make all the difference and a sharp knife is key to a quick and happy experience for all involved. The girls were very interested in the sharpening.
The animals we raise only have a few bad seconds in their lives. The rabbits are picked up (and they are used to being handled), walked a few feet, then carefully and slowly laid on the ground. The only bad part is when Neil puts the bar on their neck because they don’t like being held down, but a quick tug on their hind legs and the discomfort is done. It could not be more humane or respectful.
Our ladder is the perfect scaffold for the dressing process and eventually it will be used for goats too. A few cuts and the pelt can be pulled off in one go, flipping it inside out, ready to be washed then frozen until I get around to tanning them.
Quick aside: Corra watched the whole time, completely engaged. She wanted to know all about the internal organs and if hers looked like that. She wants to be a doctor and is fascinated by the human body. Kids are tough and really handle the idea of death much better than adults, I think. The trick is being open and honest about death from the time they are little. It’s only when adults are scared or ashamed or squeamish about death, that a child takes on that mindset. However, since the child doesn’t have a full understanding like an adult it becomes scarier, more shameful, and they grow into an adult that cannot deal with the idea of killing their own food. Naomi asked which rabbits we processed, since she’s named them all. I didn’t know, but Corra told her the names of the three. Nay shrugged her shoulders and went back to her book. Some people would think this was a sign of insensitivity to life or a sociopathic disconnection from an act of cruelty. Nope. It’s a healthy understanding of what it means to eat meat. Naomi and Garyn have been feeding and playing with these babies since they were born. They love their rabbits almost as much as I do. They fully understand the role the rabbits play for our family and they are learning the deep gratitude of a meat eater.
Into a pot of cold water then into the fridge for a few days to let rigor mortis wear off.
I get the kidneys and heart. Tatanka gets everything else and she loves it. Turns out intestines and stomach complete with greens in all stages of digestion are phenomenal food for dogs. It’s pretty nasty, but makes our pup happy and healthy.
This equals about 3 pounds of meat plus three-ish quarts of light stock. Really not bad for 10 minutes worth of work. Raising rabbits is one of my absolute favorite things that we do.