1st Time for Butchering

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by amysue2012, Sep 28, 2008.

  1. amysue2012

    amysue2012 Songster

    Oct 6, 2007
    Montpelier Ohio
    Well today was the day! I did it!!!

    Ok lets back up... Our friend always comes over to help my husband butcher our rabbits, my part in this is taking them out of the cage handing them to the guys for the "work" and then caring them into the house to either cook or freeze. I have never actually skinned or gutted a rabbit.

    I've also got or should I say had 10 Buff Orpington roos that needed to go. (Cold weather is coming on fast and Im getting tried of feeding chickens I wasnt getting eggs in return for.) Our friend said he would show us how to do chickens but wouldnt do any more than 1 cause he didnt like doing it...Ok fair enough. We got the rabbits done and then did 1 Roo. It didnt really look much different than the rabbits. Instead of plucking the feathers he showed us how to skin them (I thought it worked out really well).

    My mom was also over just to visit and said she had watched her mother butcher chickens years ago when she was a little girl but didnt really remember what to do. After our friend left and my hubby was getting ready to go to work...my mom and I looked at each other and decided we would give it a try. I did most of the cutting and mom helped me with the holding and pulling the skin. I was ok till it was time to clean the insides. Laughing at myself now I just closed my eyes and said well Im this far and Im not going to waste it so...it all went pretty well.

    After we finished that 1 we decided to do another...and another...I knew I wanted to keep one but couldnt decide which looked best I narrowed it down to the best 2.

    Mom and I ended up butchering 8 Roos today. Im sooo proud of what we accomplished.

    Some people might not see this as an accomplishment at all but I look at it this way Im no longer spending money on unnecessary feed and Im able to put some really good meat on the table for my family.

    Today was also a first for my daughters watching the butchering process. Before when we did rabbits I always made sure they were gone for the day because I wasnt sure that it was something they needed to see. They've all said they wanted to help and to see what it was like. My 10yr old did very well, my 9 yr old did what I figured she would, she is rather sensitive and went inside to watch tv. (She knows what the meat is shes eating and prefers rabbit over any other meat but this just wasnt something she wanted to be a part of. Which is fine and I completely understand). And my 8 yr old she just wasnt sure about it, she watched the first rabbit and then came back outside to watch the last few chickens. After everything was done and cleaned up I asked each of the girls if they were glad to be home and see what had happened...they were all ok with it and say that they are ready for the next time that they all want to be home again.

    So, today was a huge success in my book for everyone. Im very proud of my girls for all the help they did today and of the help of our neighbor and my mom.

    Kudos to all of us!!! [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
  2. roosmom

    roosmom Songster

    Jun 3, 2008
    upper peninsula
    I am proud of you. I do not know if I could have did it. So here is a pat on the back....pat pat pat
  3. al6517

    al6517 Real Men can Cook

    May 13, 2008
    Great job with both the birds and the children, your right it is something you knew you had to do and stayed commited to it, good for you. The same thing happened to me this week when I processed our first turkey of the year, I was very comfortable with the process and skilled, but my daughter came home from school at the same time, I baited her with the video task and she was just great, now she said she wants to be my helper. I just think that most people need to get a little better hold on their emotions, and not over think and cry over the whole thing. Once again I am proud of you, good job.
  4. carress

    carress Songster

    Mar 26, 2008
    Orange county NY
    It most certainly IS an accomplishment.
    I imagine all the people around who haven't ever, and may never take their food from the birth to the plate. It's crazy how dislocated we are form our food sources. Anything you do to reconnect is something to be proud of, and now you know that if all hell breaks loose, you can still feed your family - literally.

    I also commend you for bringing your children in on the lesson. It's important that they understand where the food comes from and at some point they are able to carry out the act themselves.
  5. dancingbear

    dancingbear Songster

    Aug 2, 2008
    South Central KY
    I did the killing part by myself for the first time, just recently. I know it IS a big accomplishment, to be able to go through with it. I've wondered for a long time if I could kill my own meat if I needed to, and now I know I can.

    In previous generations, such things were to be expected, but these days, we're so divorced from where anything really comes from, it can be a quite a trial to learn to do "the deed". Especially those of us who end to get attached to our animals.

    Good for you, I'm glad you managed so well on your very first time!

    If you like skin, (I do, it's one of my favorite things about chicken) plucking isn't that hard, you just have to scald properly. You might to a forum search and find some of the many threads that describe how to pluck.

    It sounds like those roos will be stewers, rather than fryers, I find the crock pot works wonders. If you need ideas on what to do with crock-pot chicken meat, I have plenty!
  6. Zookeeper9000

    Zookeeper9000 Songster

    Mar 1, 2008
    Gladstone MI
    Good for you and your Mom. I am not ready for the killing step yet so I got the Pet Taxi Lady to come and do the killing part. I was fine with the dunking the plucking and the butchering. One of these days I will have to do the killing and then I will be doing the pithing. I know that much for sure.

    One other thing I want to get meat rabbits. What kind do you have and at what age to you butcher them. Thanks
  7. amysue2012

    amysue2012 Songster

    Oct 6, 2007
    Montpelier Ohio
    We have White New Zeland when they are completely full size they can weight out at 10-12 lbs. We usually butcher them at 4-5mos. It just depends on how you feed them, if you ration it to them or give them a continuous supply of feed. Obviously the more feed you give them the faster they grow and the sooner you can butcher. Rabbits multiply very fast if you breed them to. A doe only takes 28-32 days on average for gestation. Another rule of thumb is the larger breeds tend to have more per litter.

    We have the White New Zelands because I prefer the clean crisp look over the other breeds, also its said that a lighter colored rabbit will skin easier. Another little tip is that younger rabbits tend to be easier to skin and the meat tends to be not as tough as say a older rabbit might be.
  8. Zookeeper9000

    Zookeeper9000 Songster

    Mar 1, 2008
    Gladstone MI
    Thanks, so that I am clear on this, the rabbits are ready to butcher at 4 to 5 months and are they the 10 to 12 lbs at that age and is that before or after butchering.
  9. amysue2012

    amysue2012 Songster

    Oct 6, 2007
    Montpelier Ohio
    Zookeeper - 10-12lbs is full weight we usually dont wait that long. We usually butcher at 6-8lbs ruffly 4-5 mos of age. Also that is weight before butchering, so you can figure ruffly half of that is skin, inerds, and bone.

    Hope this helps.
  10. moenmitz

    moenmitz Songster

    Apr 15, 2008
    Its a HUGE accomplishment!! I took part in my first "processing" a few weeks ago, and my second this weekend. I was petrified and nervous about it, and found it really wasn't so bad. Liek you, the gutting was a "grab and go" moment, but I feel like I cna handle so much more now, and am proud that I overcame my fears and revulsion to take care of the family. AND...those fried roos this weekend were SOOOOO worth it! [​IMG]

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