By John Maniatty
Over the years I've raised, killed and dressed thousands of bunnies. This is a very easy way to dress out your bunnies. The video and the stills go hand in hand.
These are 6 New Zealand Whites that I'll be processing today. I killed them using the method I described in the Rabbits: Dispatching A Rabbit link complete with a short video showing how to quickly dispatch your bunny. This method of skinning works hand in hand with the method of killing that I demonstrated in the thread.
The first thing I do is grab a pinch of skin along the back and poke a hole in the hide.
Next, begin to enlarge the hole by pulling the skin toward each end of the bunny. Do this around the complete mid-section of your bunny.
Your bunny should now look like this with the complete mid-section naked with the hide pulled toward each end.
Now pull the hide toward the head of the bunny inserting your fingers around each front leg and pulling until the hide breaks around the bunnies paw (do the same with the rear legs). Because I completely dislocated the bunny's neck upon killing it, the head comes right off without any additional cutting.
Next, take your knife and cut through the joint of the paw, removing each paw.
To remove (or joint) the rear paws completely dislocate them by bending to the side. You'll hear them snap. Cut through the exposed joint with your knife and remove rear paws. You can also remove the tail now or when you are ready to gut your bunny.
Now gently slit the belly skin making sure that you don't puncture any of the entrails. An easy way to ensure this if you're new at undressing a bunny is to lift the belly skin away from the bunny and slit the skin. This ensures that you don't cut open the entrails and spend the next hour trying to clean up the mess you made inside the body cavity of your bunny.
Next make a slit all the way to the rib cage and and to the pelvic bone of the bunny.
Roll the entrails out as soon as the slit is made (it helps the bunny cool quicker) and cut through the hip area completely exposing the anal tract. Cut off the tail if you've still left it attached.
Now locate the urine sack, squeeze it closed, twist and remove.
You don't want it to accidentally be spilled in the body cavity.
Next locate the liver and remove it. To gently remove the bile duct, squeeze the end of the bile duct along with a little liver and just kind of tear it off. You don't want it to break or spill on your bunny. It turns your meat green and undesirable to eat.
Now reach up into the rib cage (you may need to puncture the membrane guarding the rib cage if it's not already ruptured) and remove the heart, lungs and esophageal tract.
A clean, undressed bunny.
Next remove all the flank meat from the rib cage down to the rear legs on both sides of your bunny. I grind the flanks up as part of my bunny meat for rabbit sausage.
Remove the forelegs. This is easily accomplished by lifting the whole shoulder of the bunny and sliding your knife against the rib cage while cutting, removing the complete foreleg
Now trim the flap of meat off the elbow removing the small elbow bone.
And the other foreleg.
Next grab the rear legs of the bunny and push down against the sides of the backbone with your thumbs while lifting the thighs with your hands. This will dislocate both legs at the hips and allow an easy separation. You will hear a loud snap when you do it correctly.
Cut up along one side of the tail bone and around the dislocated hip.
Remove the second rear leg in the same manner.
You will not be cutting through any bone if you've fully dislocated each leg.
Now cut off the tail bone and save it for the stock pot.
Next we'll remove the back. Cut through the meat on each side of the back in front of the first rib until you hit bone. Twist off the complete back in one motion. See video.
I usually trim pieces up as I work through the bunny.
The final cleaning before I pack them finishes them up real well.
Now I trim the tenders and other meat off the rib cage.
I'll use the meat for rabbit sausage.
Sometimes I damage the neck so much that I don't want it in the stock pot.
A quick chop with a meat cleaver eliminates the mess.
Heart • Liver • Kidneys
Forelegs • Back • Rear Legs
Sausage Meat • Rib Cage for Stock Pot
Stock • Rabbit