I am so proud of myself this week. There was a time, not so long ago, when I never imagined I could raise and harvest my own meat – even though factory-farmed meat sickens me, and I desperately wanted a way of assuring my meat was humanely and happily raised, as well as humanely killed. I also liked the idea of knowing exactly what my future meat was eating!
I started out by designing and building – entirely by myself (other than some help lifting the walls and roof into place) a colony bunny barn. You can read about that, here.
From my first breeding, I got six kits, and boy howdy, were they cute!
Twelve weeks later, they weren’t quite so adorable, and it was time.
I used my ballista, a captive bolt gun, which made the death entirely instantaneous and humane. The part that was hardest on the rabbits was the weighing before hand – for some reason, they hate going into the basket scale. The rest of the process was MUCH faster and simpler than chickens. I let the meat rest in the fridge for 24 hours, and then cut it up into servings and froze them. Again, much easier than chickens!
From six rabbits, I have enough meat for fourteen meals, PLUS a huge pot of extra bits to turn into broth. Several more meals, right there!
We ate the livers fried – rabbit livers are even more mellow flavored than chicken livers – and yesterday, had our first official rabbit meal. I used two of the thighs, in an Asian sauce over rice.
Turned out perfectly! I’m sold. These rabbits are going to work out really well on our farm.