Dealing With Hair during Butchering - Suggestions?

brentr

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I butchered another batch of rabbits this past Saturday. Seven rabbits, just shy of 3 lb. carcass weight average. 13 weeks old.

Anyway, I found myself (as when I've butchered before) picking a lot of hair off the carcasses during cut/bagging. I got to wondering if others have this same challenge, or if I am inadvertently doing something that is causing this problem for me. I notice most of the hair on the hind quarters and saddle. Three kind of related questions:

1 - do you find yourself having to pick/clean a lot of hair off your rabbit meat when you home process
2 - what is the easiest method of removal of hair from the carcass
3 - what tips/tricks do you employ in slaughter/skinning to minimize or eliminate hair getting on your freshly skinned rabbit?

I'd be grateful for any advice or suggestions. I am pretty basic in my process:

-break the neck
-hang by hind feet
-cut off head/bleed out
-cut hide around hind feet, strip down to vent (I think this is where most of the hair causes me problems - cutting around the feet & getting the hide loosened off the legs)
-work hide free around vent/tail, pull whole hide down body to remove
-remove guts, etc.
-Cut off feet
 

redtailgal

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my hubby said "Nair is a wonderful thing". :rolleyes: He is a dork.

Honestly, when we clean a rabbit (we dont raise them, they are wild), we clean them and then give the a good hose down. Water takes care of it perfectly for us.
 

smiles-n-sunshine

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White fur doesn't show on meat as much as colored fur does, so you should switch to New Zealand Whites! :lol:

My rabbits shed their fur now and then, so I get more loose fur some times than other times. I get less if use a boning knife rather than shears, and slice up through the skin from the meat side, rather than down from the fur side - but as you mentioned, it's hard to do that around the feet. Maybe cut anus to feet, not feet to anus? Young rabbits (8-10 weeks) I can usually tear the skin with my hands instead of cutting, as long as I'm not saving the pelt for anything.

Like redtailgal, I also use *lots* of cold running water after gutting. Even without loose fur, this washes off surface-dwelling bacteria like E. Coli, and starts cooling the carcass down to a safe temperature. If you have any doubts from fur being on the meat for a few minutes, you can do as the factory slaughterhouses do and dip it in a bleach solution. (I wouldn't.)

Thanks for sharing that video, hydroswiftrob. The man definitely has a good technique, and I'm looking for some para cord (sp?) myself. A couple thoughts: I'm curious how he gets a good bleed-out from a pellet-sized shot to the head? (I puncture the jugular vein with a sticking knife after clubbing with a piece of rebar.) And, not to brag but my rabbits dress out much better than his. :cool:
 

CocoNUT

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I rinse off with cold water as well.
 

jakeinkalispell

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Something I've used with good success on deer and other animals is a plain copper scouring pad (the ones that look like a ball of copper wires), after skinning out give the carcass a good rubdown with one and it removes all hair and mucous, I didn't think it would work when I first heard about it but it's pretty amazing (haven't butchered rabbits yet, expecting our first litter today or tomorrow)
 

sawfish99

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What I do with deer, and plan to do with rabbits, is singe the hair off. I take a propane torch and just barely touch the meat with the flame. It singes the hair without cooking the meat. After you are done, use a solution of vinigar and water to wipe down the carcass. This will remove the singed hair and clean the carcass. Air dry and package.
 

Hutch

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I am new at this and have studied it more than I have done it.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dpDmHG_8pwE

I just saw this video for the first time a short while ago. I got some good tips from it. One was to hose the rabbit before you remove any skin. Helps with hair.

A few things I did differently or in addition to video:

Whack head, with point of knife, cut past windpipe for carotid/jugler, leave windpipe intact
Express the bladder
Remove head, feet, tail
Slit skin across back and pull toward ends
Cut pubic part of pelvis with scissors/shears

I have to include this video too. I look forward to the day when I can debone like this.

Deboning video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J6ud68Qmdyc
This guy is an artist.
 

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