When to Butch rabbits and what to do with pelts?

Jesusfreak101

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I have 21 current rabbit kits ranging from 2 months old to three weeks old. I need to figure out what I am going to do with them. They are califorian rabbits so when should or can I start processing them I have thought to sale some as 21 rabbits in my freezer won't fit in goat milk and other meats until I get another freezer. My other question is what do .do with the pelts and how do I preserve them.
 

animalmom

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You can start processing your rabbits at 8 weeks (2 months). That seems to be the usual time to process for tender fryers.

I prefer to take mine when they are 12 weeks seeing I don't fry them but rather bake/roast them.

Rabbit meat cans nicely, but you need to use a pressure cooker.

It is YOUR personal preference. I know folks who separate parts out when butchering by putting all the forelegs in a container to use as "wings" at a later date. I hope that made sense.

As for the pelts you can roll the pelt I've had good luck with scraping and putting on a stretcher and air drying. I've read where other folks scrape and salt. Some just roll up the pelt and freeze it for another time.

All of the scraping and drying (air or salt) is done before tanning. I've not tanned so I can't address that. Do be aware that rabbit skin is not very durable; it is thin. It isn't like cow hide, so you do need to be gentle with what you are doing.

There is a BYH member who was looking for rabbit pelts... @HomesteaderWife. Could be she would be able to give you more help with what to do with the pelts.

Hope that helps you some.
 

Jesusfreak101

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Oh wow they aren't that big though I figured to wait until they were much larger they are maybe 10 in long at most and weigh maybe pound each..
 

Jesusfreak101

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Here a picture or their sizes one of the adults is in the upper left hand corner and the one on the grass near the water container is one of the older two month old bunnies
 

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Here a picture or their sizes one of the adults is in the upper left hand corner and the one on the grass near the water container is one of the older two month old bunnies
:hu

It doesn't really matter when you butcher them, just whenever you like to.

I find rabbit is easy to make taste good, even really old rabbit.

We scrape the hide, then salt, then after they dry we hang them on the wall. :hide

Actually... a deer pelt is hanging right next to my front door... for years now.

Yeah... we had a string of squirrel pelts on the wall for years.... wonder what the kids did with them... .not sure.

One weasel pelt, after scraping and salting the kids stuffed it with dry rice and sewed it back up. Pretty good taxidermy work actually. They stuck it on top of a picture frame.
 

Hopalong Causually

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I have tanned rabbit pelts with tanning chemicals purchased from a taxidermy supply company and then used them to cut zonker strips for tying fishing streamers. Works great. I prefer tanning New Zealand broken reds since I can get both white and red colored zonkers without having to dye them. Tanning pelts from older rabbits gives a slightly thicker leather but is also much more tear resistant.
 
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