Author Topic: Good Knife for Rabbits ???  (Read 21786 times)

devildoc

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Good Knife for Rabbits ???
« on: April 10, 2012, 06:37:10 AM »
Going to be starting my own Rabbitry pretty soon and wanted some quality, low cost knifes for skinning rabbits for meat. Also any recommendations for tool best to use to get fur ready I havent trapped in yrs and figured mabey something new is out to help get the fur ready for tanning.

Thanks in advance.

I do have a gander and bass pro near by prefer the bass pro place I dont know who may carry your brand. 

Offline Dawgus

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Re: Good Knife for Rabbits ???
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2012, 06:57:29 AM »
 If you're trying to save hides to tan,  hopefully someone else has some ideas for knives. But I've cleaned both wild and domestic rabbits since probably age 6 or 7, and never needed anything larger than a good sharp pocketknife.

Offline Cedar

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Re: Good Knife for Rabbits ???
« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2012, 08:21:04 AM »
My new knife of choice is Opineal. But before that I used whatever was sharp in the butcher block in the kitchen. I have never bought a knife specifically for butchering rabbits or chickens.. Actually I have never specifically bought  knife for butchering anything now that I am thinking about it.

Skinning rabbits is easy. Cut the head off, cut the tail off, break and cut the front feet off, then slice from the tail to the hocks, ring the hind leg at the hock, grab the fur, pull down and off. It will be inside out.

Best tool for getting the fur ready is your hands. And the freezer. I don't tan the same day I butcher and I don't tan less than 10 at a time.

Cedar
« Last Edit: April 10, 2012, 08:38:02 AM by Cedar »

Offline Dawgus

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Re: Good Knife for Rabbits ???
« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2012, 08:26:21 AM »
Oh Cedar; Queen of all things gardening, homesteading, and otherwise awesome, how about a tutorial/pictorial on tanning rabbit hides? That's something I've always wanted to try but never have.

Offline Cedar

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Re: Good Knife for Rabbits ???
« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2012, 08:37:06 AM »
Oh Cedar; Queen of all things gardening, homesteading, and otherwise awesome, how about a tutorial/pictorial on tanning rabbit hides? That's something I've always wanted to try but never have.

*S* There is an article in the magazine that I did a year or so ago :oP. Maybe I will post part of it here in a day or so.

Cedar

Offline RIjake

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Re: Good Knife for Rabbits ???
« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2012, 03:02:17 PM »
Take a look at Havalon knives.  Inexpensive and very sharp (surgical blades).  I bought one specifically for small game skinning but have not used it yet.  But for less than $40 you can't go wrong.

http://www.havalon.com/

Offline joeinwv

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Re: Good Knife for Rabbits ???
« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2012, 04:00:15 PM »
I know it is cliche, but you cannot beat a Mora - some of the sharpest out of the box and hold an edge like a champ.

I use a Companion F for hunting and have skinned / butchered deer with one. Also is orange and easy to see. If $12 is too steep for you, try a #511.

Ragnar's has great pricing and shipping, as well as a great selection. (not affiliated, yada yada)

Offline Scottman

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Re: Good Knife for Rabbits ???
« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2012, 04:53:14 PM »
Marjory Wildcraft uses a mora in her dvd http://backyardfoodproduction.com/# . They are inexpensive, and hold a good edge. I'd get one with a guard for when your hands get bloody. I also like the little cold steel bird and trout knife, good little blade that you can get lots of control on. Helps a newbie like myself.



nelson96

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Re: Good Knife for Rabbits ???
« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2012, 06:19:04 PM »
Take a look at Havalon knives.  Inexpensive and very sharp (surgical blades).  I bought one specifically for small game skinning but have not used it yet.  But for less than $40 you can't go wrong.

http://www.havalon.com/

I can say with personal experience you can't beat the Havalon for this.

Offline Cedar

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Re: Good Knife for Rabbits ???
« Reply #9 on: April 10, 2012, 06:23:03 PM »
I don't know.. with the Opinal, which I got for $10 (indirectly) I have butchered 6 hogs, 2 llamas, countless turkeys, rabbits and chickens and have not needed to sharpen it yet. Butchering turkeys and roosters on Friday, so will see how sharp it is still.

Cedar

devildoc

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Re: Good Knife for Rabbits ???
« Reply #10 on: April 10, 2012, 07:11:15 PM »
Oh Cedar; Queen of all things gardening, homesteading, and otherwise awesome, how about a tutorial/pictorial on tanning rabbit hides? That's something I've always wanted to try but never have.

Thats a good idea and I think i will find what i can and put it in my 2012 thread what i can find for now.

devildoc

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Re: Good Knife for Rabbits ???
« Reply #11 on: April 10, 2012, 08:09:32 PM »
Think I made of found one
Gerber Profile Fine-Edge Fixed-Blade Hunting Knife with Gut-Hook
Item # 413246

from gander though I cant stand them they are close.

Offline Vulcan

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Re: Good Knife for Rabbits ???
« Reply #12 on: April 10, 2012, 09:12:05 PM »
Just my $.02: the Swingblaze by Outdoor Edge is amazing. It is a fixed blade but rotates/switches to a gutting blade (not the relatively useless "gut hook") effortlessly.

devildoc

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Re: Good Knife for Rabbits ???
« Reply #13 on: April 11, 2012, 06:52:59 AM »
I like your suggestion .... nice looking blade especially the back part for trimming the fat off the skin blade piece ...may have to change my mind..... I

Offline Vulcan

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Re: Good Knife for Rabbits ???
« Reply #14 on: April 11, 2012, 09:35:45 AM »
Glad you took a liking to it. They also have it in a black handle and call it the Swingblade.

This will gut/skin anything you need it to, from a rabbit to a moose.

Offline Cedar

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Re: Good Knife for Rabbits ???
« Reply #15 on: April 11, 2012, 10:45:05 AM »
Here you go Dawg, and I am actually using my Opinel in the pics. This is one of my white American fryers.

I start by shooting the rabbit with a pellet in the back of the head. Alot of people use a pipe or hammer handle and I just find that it bruises usable meat. My friend who has butchered 60+ years just has a really sharp knife and cuts their head off directly. I have never been daring enough to do that. I then hang the rabbit by both back feet. One string to each hind leg. Butcher at 56 days for the best quality food. Any older and crockpot them, make them into sausage, hamburger etc.


Cut the tail off


Slice CAREFULLY through the skin and not into the meat on each hind leg, just below the hock. Then cut the hide from where the tail was to each hind leg where you cut around the leg by the hock.


Carefully start to pull the hide down from each hind leg from the hock towards the head. Rabbit skin especially on fryers is very very very very thin.. be careful.


Do the same for the other hind leg


Cut the head off.


Break the front leg at the first joint


Cut off at the break, through the backside. Do the same for the other front leg


Pull the skin off the rabbit completely



Start to open the body cavity, be careful not to hit the bladder. The urine will taint the meat. I chuck the whole carcass if this happens. Usually becomes dog food. Not for humans.


Take out the organs that you want to save, the kidneys, liver and heart (not shown as it is under the diaphram at the moment). Discard all other stuff like intestines, cecum ect. The heart will be in the cavity under the diaphram. DO NOT break the gall bladder. Cut it out AFTER the liver has been removed from the carcass.



Remove one rope from a hind leg and break at joint. Cut off at the joint at break, then repeat with the other hind leg.



Take it into the house and wash. I then put them into a quart sized ziplock freezer bag.


Then cook it up anyway you like fresh or freeze it for up to a year.

When I teach people to butcher I always start them out on rabbits, as then in time and with practice, you can do larger animals. These are some my hogs I butchered at home one year. I did 6 that day. It takes me about 5 minutes to butcher out a rabbit and about 20 for a hog. Don't worry about how fast you can butcher, I have been doing it for a long time, but just take your time, don't do more than 2-4 animals the first few times so you do not get overwhelmed.





Cedar - (Who has better directions and such in the magazine. Check it out for other awesome step-by-step how-to's as well)



edit per archer per Cedars request to add a step
« Last Edit: April 11, 2012, 06:41:12 PM by Archer »

Offline Cedar

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Re: Good Knife for Rabbits ???
« Reply #16 on: April 11, 2012, 10:47:06 AM »
Oh Cedar; Queen of all things gardening, homesteading, and otherwise awesome, how about a tutorial/pictorial on tanning rabbit hides? That's something I've always wanted to try but never have.

CRUMBS! After all that I put the wrong one on here.. TANNING! He wanted TANNING! I will do that another day.  :-[
I spent like an hour on that  :-\

Cedar

Offline Morning Sunshine

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Re: Good Knife for Rabbits ???
« Reply #17 on: April 11, 2012, 02:00:37 PM »
Cedar ,do not despair!  I appreciate the pictures on rabbit butchering.  gulp, makes me wonder if I can do it.  It seems so wrong.  but I also know it is not wrong, just new and different for me.  I am such a product of the supermarket....

Offline Cedar

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Re: Good Knife for Rabbits ???
« Reply #18 on: April 11, 2012, 03:18:48 PM »
I got hung up on knife talk. I don't use a knife for tanning, except for splitting the belly.

Cedar

nelson96

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Re: Good Knife for Rabbits ???
« Reply #19 on: April 11, 2012, 05:11:42 PM »
Here you go Dawg, and I am actually using my Opinel in the pics. This is one of my white American fryers.

I start by shooting the rabbit with a pellet in the back of the head. Alot of people use a pipe or hammer handle and I just find that it bruises usable meat. My friend who has butchered 60+ years just has a really sharp knife and cuts their head off directly. I have never been daring enough to do that. I then hang the rabbit by both back feet. One string to each hind leg. Butcher at 56 days for the best quality food. Any older and crockpot them, make them into sausage, hamburger etc.
http://www.downtotherootsmagazine.com/Blogs/ButcheringRabbit1.jpg
Cut the tail off
http://www.downtotherootsmagazine.com/Blogs/ButcheringRabbit2.jpg
Slice CAREFULLY through the skin and not into the meat on each hind leg, just below the hock.
http://www.downtotherootsmagazine.com/Blogs/ButcheringRabbit3.jpg
Carefully start to pull the hide down from each hind leg from the hock towards the head. Rabbit skin especially on fryers is very very very very thin.. be careful.
http://www.downtotherootsmagazine.com/Blogs/ButcheringRabbit4.jpg
Do the same for the other hind leg
http://www.downtotherootsmagazine.com/Blogs/ButcheringRabbit5.jpg
Cut the head off.
http://www.downtotherootsmagazine.com/Blogs/ButcheringRabbit6.jpg
Break the front leg at the first joint
http://www.downtotherootsmagazine.com/Blogs/ButcheringRabbit7.jpg
Cut off at the break, through the backside. Do the same for the other front leg
http://www.downtotherootsmagazine.com/Blogs/ButcheringRabbit8.jpg
Pull the skin off the rabbit completely
http://www.downtotherootsmagazine.com/Blogs/ButcheringRabbit9.jpg
http://www.downtotherootsmagazine.com/Blogs/ButcheringRabbit10.jpg
Start to open the body cavity, be careful not to hit the bladder. The urine will taint the meat. I chuck the whole carcass if this happens. Usually becomes dog food. Not for humans.
http://www.downtotherootsmagazine.com/Blogs/ButcheringRabbit11.jpg
Take out the organs that you want to save, the kidneys, liver and heart (not shown as it is under the diaphram at the moment). Discard all other stuff like intestines, cecum ect. The heart will be in the cavity under the diaphram. DO NOT break the gall bladder. Cut it out AFTER the liver has been removed from the carcass.
http://www.downtotherootsmagazine.com/Blogs/ButcheringRabbit12.jpg
http://www.downtotherootsmagazine.com/Blogs/ButcheringRabbit12b.jpg
Remove one rope from a hind leg and break at joint. Cut off at the joint at break, then repeat with the other hind leg.
http://www.downtotherootsmagazine.com/Blogs/ButcheringRabbit14.jpg
Take it into the house and wash. I then put them into a quart sized ziplock freezer bag.
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_zkYOIyShKY0/S94EUvzLERI/AAAAAAAAAC4/Q4DfUtO9BME/s1600/IMG_3014.JPG

Then cook it up anyway you like fresh or freeze it for up to a year.

Very well done Cedar.

Offline archer

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Re: Good Knife for Rabbits ???
« Reply #20 on: April 11, 2012, 05:38:29 PM »
CRUMBS! After all that I put the wrong one on here.. TANNING! He wanted TANNING! I will do that another day.  :-[
I spent like an hour on that  :-\

Cedar
I appreciate the picture view of skinning the rabbit!
thanks!

Offline Norseman

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Re: Good Knife for Rabbits ???
« Reply #21 on: April 11, 2012, 05:53:05 PM »
EXCELLENT INSTRUCTION CEDAR, looks like you might have done this a time or two. :)

If you are planning on tanning the hides I would also suggest tube skinning (as described by Cedar)  If you spit the belly first it leaves allot of edge to deal with and those hides are like wet paper.  Tubes are allot easier to stretch and work without ripping.

NM

Offline Dawgus

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Re: Good Knife for Rabbits ???
« Reply #22 on: April 11, 2012, 07:26:32 PM »
 Awesome post Cedar. Since I don't save hides to tan, I have a fast way to skin. I just pinch the skin at the back of the neck, cut a slit, insert the first 2 fingers of each hand, and pull opposite directions. I generally just cut off the head and feet beforehand, so everything just comes right off. Suppose I should try this method if I plan on trying my hand at tanning. Thanks!

devildoc

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Re: Good Knife for Rabbits ???
« Reply #23 on: April 11, 2012, 11:01:52 PM »
My new knife of choice is Opineal. But before that I used whatever was sharp in the butcher block in the kitchen. I have never bought a knife specifically for butchering rabbits or chickens.. Actually I have never specifically bought  knife for butchering anything now that I am thinking about it.

Skinning rabbits is easy. Cut the head off, cut the tail off, break and cut the front feet off, then slice from the tail to the hocks, ring the hind leg at the hock, grab the fur, pull down and off. It will be inside out.

Best tool for getting the fur ready is your hands. And the freezer. I don't tan the same day I butcher and I don't tan less than 10 at a time.

Cedar

what chemicals or methods do u use? When I used to do muskrats I used either boards or wire mounts for that.

Offline Cedar

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Re: Good Knife for Rabbits ???
« Reply #24 on: April 11, 2012, 11:06:41 PM »
what chemicals or methods do u use? When I used to do muskrats I used either boards or wire mounts for that.

I always hated using wire stretchers and gave that up back in 1970-something. I use the freezer if I need to store hides for a bit. I can toss 10 fryer pelts in a gallon ziplock freezer bag. I use sulfuric acid and have since I was 9. Makes for a very white pelt (flesh side).

Cedar