How to score a rabbit, will be discussed in our article. We are raising this topic because breeding eared fish for meat is becoming one of the most popular branches in animal husbandry. But it is difficult for novice breeders to deal with the subtleties of killing, when they first come across this. We will help you to understand this topic and teach you how to stab an animal, at what age to do it, how to prepare yourself and the animal, what to do with the skin, what tools are needed and why rules are needed.
Determination of time for killing, depending on the purpose of the rabbit breeder
To begin with, we will not find out how to kill a rabbit, but establish the dependence of this process on the goals you are pursuing. If you specialize in the production of meat products, then the time of year for slaughter does not matter. It is only important to wait for the animals to reach the required weight - from 1.5 kg.
But, if you competently approach animal husbandry and expect to receive high-quality rabbit skins, carry out the slaughter, considering some nuances. The determining factor is the molting period. If you do not take it into account, and it is too early to score the eared bird, then the fur will come off, and the skin will depreciate.
Selecting the optimal time for slaughter, keep in mind that rabbits ripen on average 4 months after birth. But before putting the ears for slaughter, it is necessary to wait out the seasonal molt that comes in spring and autumn. And remember that vaccinated animals are killed no earlier than a month after vaccination.
Based on physiological data
Determine how much the rabbit grows to slaughter, based on the physiology of the animals. As already mentioned, if the goal of killing an animal is to obtain meat, then the only requirement is to achieve the required weight. The best mass of 1.5-3 kg ears are gaining by 4-5 months, depending on the breed.
To obtain high-quality skins, it is not enough to feed the animals up to a certain mass. Rabbits grow to 8-10 months. During this period, experiencing a two-stage molting. The first - in 4 months, the second - in 8 months. To keep the fur from peeling off and the product does not depreciate, it is necessary to wait out both stages.
It is possible to determine when the rabbit moult is completed in two ways. The first is suitable for all breeds. Try to pull out a small piece of hair and see if they are left in the hand. If yes, then kill the animal early.
The second option does not fit white rabbits. According to it, the end of the change of undercoat is determined as follows: spread the wool and look at the skin color. It should have a uniform white shade without stains. If they are, the animals have not yet completely changed the skin.
Overview of tools and fixtures
Above, we talked about the age at which rabbits were slaughtered and how to determine the “X” moment. Now let's look at what tool to prepare for slaughter. It is important to understand that most adaptations are suitable for one method of killing and are completely useless with another.
But some devices are more popular than others. For example, a strut hanger required for hanging rabbits upside down. The design consists of a hook for hanging and a horizontal bar, along the edges of which there are mounts for paws. Use it to remove the skin, and you are interested in details on the topic can be found in the article "How to butcher the rabbit."
A good knife is always needed - without it, it is impossible to remove the skin. If you choose a blunt weapon, you can damage the future product. We recommend to stock up on various dishes to collect the blood and internal organs of rabbits during the cutting. A set of other tools depends on which method of slaughter you prefer.
Methods and techniques for killing eared
There are several techniques for slaughtering a rabbit at home. For starters, a bloodless version is more suitable, in which the animals are “knocked out” of the central nervous system (CNS) by stunning. This is a kind of anesthesia, disabling their feelings. Only after that they are killed and bleed.
The blood method does not imply prior stunning. To use it, a large artery is cut by the rabbits so that the blood leaves the carcass as quickly as possible. In addition, there are:
- french method;
- electric slaughter;
- air embolism;
You can read more about these methods below. As for the choice of technology for killing rabbits, the decision is always individual. Bloodless technologies are considered the most humane. But the release of blood when the heart is working is faster.
On the other hand, bleeding when killing an animal may be part of a religious culture. For example, the Muslims.
Bloodless method of killing an animal
The slaughter of rabbits by the bloodless method is most common. Its principle does not cause difficulties even for beginners. The eared bird selected for slaughter is lifted by the hind legs with his left hand so that its head is on the bottom. We'll have to wait a bit before the animal stops breaking free.
When the rabbits calm down, the gunners strike them with one precise knife strike in the occipital region behind the ears. This leads to the fact that the medulla oblongata is affected, and respiratory paralysis occurs, as a result of which the eared mouse dies. When using this method, death occurs almost instantly, so the blood from the carcass does not flow out quickly enough.
To exsanguinate the carcass, rabbits are suspended by the hind legs and pierced through the nasal septum or the eye is pulled out. This must be done quickly so that the blood does not have time to stagnate. For blood collection use prepared container. It is possible to determine that the procedure is completed by the color of the meat: it acquires a white-pink hue.
French method and technology of electric current
To produce the slaughter of a rabbit by the French method, only a physically strong person can. Its principle is that the driver with one hand takes the animal by the ears, and the second firmly fixes its hind legs. As soon as the animal stops struggling, it is necessary to pull it strongly in different directions, which will lead to rupture of blood vessels and arteries. Death, in this case, comes instantly.
It is more humane to kill rabbits at home using electric current. But the application of the technique requires the use of special equipment and is unprofitable for small farms. But, if the production of rabbit meat is put on stream, then the use of this technology is justified.
To kill a rabbit with electricity, you will need a cord, on one end of which there will be 2 metal pins, and on the other - a plug to a 220 volt outlet. One needle is introduced into the gluteal muscle, and the second - into the area between the ears. It remains only to turn on the plug in the socket, after which the animal will instantly die.
Other methods of killing: neck collapse, air embolism and headshot
If you don’t have any equipment on hand, you can slaughter rabbits by simply folding the neck. Use your left hand to fix the animal, and with your right hand, take his neck so that your fingers will close under his chin. Now quickly turn the arm 240 degrees or more, which will lead to a broken neck and instant death.
When choosing a rabbit slaughtering technique, try to make the animal die instantly. It is humane towards him and easier for your psyche.
The technology of an air embolus consists in introducing a large amount of air into a vein going to the heart. It is more convenient to use a large syringe. Put an injection of oxygen in the ear of the rabbit, so he soon gets to the heart. But remember that this is not the most humane option, since death occurs no earlier than a minute later.
You can kill the rabbit by shooting him in the head with a pin-needle. This is a special device, striking a large force. The main thing is to calculate the shot point correctly: draw lines from the left ear to the right eye, and from the right ear to the left eye. The location of the needle is the intersection of these two segments.
A few words about the rational use of eagles
Growing rabbits for meat is not enough. This is only a fraction of the profit you can get. It will be rational to also implement their skins. Deciding to do this side of the business, you need to remember a few simple rules. After you split the carcass, you must clean and preserve the skinned skin.
The canning process is as follows:
- skins stretch on special struts;
- covered with salt;
- the edges are straightened out;
- blanks laid out so that they do not come into contact with each other;
- dried in a dark room for at least a day.
If a mole is present in the room for drying rabbit skins, then naphthalene or any other insect repellent is added to the salt.
If it is not enough to smooth out the skins, then the material will rot, and bald spots will appear on it. Then the rabbits died in vain, and you do not get the expected income. Fabrics prepared for drying are stored in a room with a temperature of 18-22 degrees Celsius. Heat more than 30 degrees, cold and damp, adversely affect the product.
Even dried rabbit skins should not be stored for a long time. The faster they are used, the better the item will turn out. More information about creating blanks can be found in the section "About the manufacture of rabbit skins at home."
Tips and tricks for newbies
The process of growing eared, involves long and close contact with them. Therefore, it is not easy to slaughter rabbits because of strong emotional attachment. This is the most common mistake novice breeders - addictive.
That is why, for beginners, it is difficult to slaughter the animal, especially on its own. We recommend that you do not get close to them, but if this has already happened, then choose the quickest and most painless way to kill.
Never kill a rabbit before a vet examines it. If a specialist detects a disease, then cut this animal is not worth it, because its meat is unsuitable for consumption. It is forbidden to kill pregnant rabbits and newborn babies if there is no epidemic on the farm.
If children live on the farm, try to kill the animals so that they do not see it. The day before slaughtering, separate the selected rabbits separately from the rest of the group. At this time, they are forbidden to feed, so that in the process of death feces do not spoil the product. You can only give water.
Molting in rabbits begins with the muzzle and ends at the tail. Therefore, its end is checked on its hind legs. Do not choose an overly large carving knife - it is better that it fits comfortably in your hand.
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