Rabbit Butchery and Frugal Eating.. Getting the most of your rabbit..

If you are raising your own rabbits and you want to use every part of those yummy rabbits, if you are buying rabbit in the store (yikes on the price, at our local stores, you are looking at around 20 dollars per whole rabbit) you are really! going to want to get as much bang for your buck as possble.. which in my mind at least means breaking down the parts into different meals and some of those ways need to “stretch things”

So my typical breakdown is, two back legs, the back loined cut out, the two front legs, the rest of the ribs/neck and back. So each back leg is a full meal per person or if you really stretching, one full back leg would provide enough meat to use as the accent meat in a full dish. The back loins are enough to do one per person or a full stew/pan dish, the front legs will make a great fried up side dish, and or can be tossed in with the back, ribs, neck for a long slow simmer and the meat pulled off to make soup or stew or pot pie with.

On average each whole rabbit broke down will serve a min of eight meals for Dh and I and if I push it, more like ten to twelve meals for the main meats but if you are lucky enough to be self butchering, I have to remind you that there are more meals in there..

You will get a reasonable portion of blood,  one very small heart, smaller lungs, 2 tiny kidneys and a lovely sized rabbit liver, you can save the heart for future use in a meat minx or dice finely and add to dishes, the lungs can be used in making a fine soup as will the blood and the kidney’s, well I don’t care for them but the old hound adores them, and the liver, o the liver.. fresh rabbit liver is one of the finest!  This is my most favorite rabbit pate recipe but there are a good number of other ways to serve them up as well.

So that’s another four or five more dishes that have rabbit in them, which means that I have brought the amount of meals if you are nose to tail eating upward of 16 to 20 meals  out of that single rabbit..

But I am not quite done!, don’t forget to make your rabbit belly bacon or jerky!  While it can be eaten as a snack, if you want to stretch that out, make it bacon and it will be the accent for around one two person meal per side, so that’s four more dishes..

Last but not least is the Rabbit white bone broth, now I got a half stock pot of broth when the meat was fall off the bone tender and once put though the strainer, it left me with my big steel pot full, or about 20 plus cups of broth, which I am now going to simmer down by half and then either pressure can or cool and freeze for later use in those wonderful rabbit soups or stews, or it could be used to start chicken or turkey meals, anything that uses a white meat in the meal. So that would can up to about 3 to 4 pints of homemade stock broth.

The hide should not be overlooked, if its of good quality, do consider keeping it and processing it, the joy of starting with a small hide is just that.. its a small hide..

Got Chickens? Then be sure to throw the rest of the inners that you are not using out to them, as they will rip it apart and chow down, recycling that into eggs later on. In summer, they are not quite as keen as they are free roaming, they will eat the best bits and leave the rest to be picked up and composted but in winter! they go crazy for it! and there are many amuzing chicken keep away chases over the best parts.

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9 Responses to Rabbit Butchery and Frugal Eating.. Getting the most of your rabbit..

  1. Inwick says:

    Now that’s what I call making the most of a Rabbit! I am no longer able to keep chickens for a while, but I was considering keeping rabbits instead this year and was further inspired by your post. Can I ask about the bit that comes before eating them though? What kind of hutches do you have for them and what do you feed them (pellets/mixed feed/hay/fresh cut greens/kitchen scraps?). Do you have any experience with Morant hutches (moveable runs on grass, with sleeping/nesting quarters)?

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  4. You get a lot of use from your rabbits! Way more than I get from our wild rabbits. How much bigger are your domestic rabbits compared to their wild cousins?

    • My breeder rabbits are big! I bought my main genes from these guys.. they imported genetics from france. my females average 9 to 11 pounds and my biggest girl is a solid 14 pounds.. The males average 12 to 14 pounds as adults. The 10 to 14 week old’s do a nice 3 to 4 pound dress out weight, but I often will raise till 4 to 6 months and get 5 to 7 pounds after dressing out. I did bring in some nice color two years ago that dropped my dress out rates by about half a pound or a full pound. but I will pick up a new white breeder and pull the rates back up but keep the prettier color patterns so when I work with the hides they have more colors and patterns

      • Yep, that’s much bigger than the rabbits we harvest here. The last one, once it was process was about the size of a scrawny chicken. However, it was still very tasty and it provided dinner for four of us with a little left over. I would love more details on how you process the skins. That is a skill worth having.

      • Something I will be sharing more posts on this year 🙂 Hide work is part of my “indepth” work my current skill set but deeper year.

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