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Best, Cleanest, Fastest Dispatch?

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Re: Best, Cleanest, Fastest Dispatch?

Post Number:#16  Unread postby MaggieJ » Mon May 18, 2015 4:31 pm


The broomstick method is another tried and true humane method of dispatch. I forget to mention it because I am unable to do it due to mobility and balance problems, but for anyone normally able-bodied, it is well worth considering. One of the nice things about it --- apart from its effectiveness --- is that it does not require expensive equipment. A broomstick or a piece of rebar is all it takes.

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Re: Best, Cleanest, Fastest Dispatch?

Post Number:#17  Unread postby the reluctant farmer » Mon May 18, 2015 5:28 pm


I have tried three methods: broomsticking (cervical dislocation), bopping, and pellet gun. All can work; I have my own personal peculiarities which make some work better for me than others. I've detailed what I discovered when the methods were new to me to help avoid repeats of the lesons I learned.

Broomsticking works best for me with a sturdy but thin hardwood dowel, rebar, etc. Too large is hard to fit on the rabbit & crushes their neck instead of being a hard edge to sever the spinal column. I place the rabbit down, pet, stroke, talk to it, place the dowel on the back of its neck, LIGHTLY hold the bar in place with my toes (just enough to keep the rabbit from slipping out but not enough to choke it & cause bulging), then I scoop down, grab its feet and simultaneously step down while I pull up and back. Quick, when it is coordinated. (Practice with a stuffed animal or large sock tied full of rice if you struggle with coordination &want to work on the rhythm of it . Odd, I know, but you will feel a bit better prepared when the time comes.) One of the Rabbit Wringer-like devices would take away the need for all the coordination I require to broomstick. (I have not the grace of a panther, rather a tightly controlled physicality, unfortunately.) The wringers are attached to a wall so no need for reaching down to grab feet while balancing on your heels, etc. Costs a bit but worth saving for. When I do this correctly it is very quick and the rabbit goes limp. I discovered I do have strong hands so am able to do smaller growouts by hand if necessary, though the tactile experience is difficult for me (although not for the bun.)

Bopping (using a heavy stick, short bat, or other device) causes instant death when done correctly. I am not very coordinated in fine motor skills and had a bad bopping experience so I am nervous about it. It is an emergency and/or backup method for me. If you have good hand/eye, it's a good choice. You can even mark the spot where you want to hit with marker. The head is a mess after but it is a definite quick and humane end when done right. The bun will not know what's happening. If you do this, COMMIT. Set your mind to "through the target spot, not on the target spot" so it is quick and final. (That might be why I had crushed skulls, but the alternate was very traumatic for all parties involved.) No hesitating or second-guessing or underestimating force because that's where you can have problems, and no bunny deserves that. No cost for this.

Pellet gun: when I first tried this, my placement was not right, possibly underpowered gun, possibly not pumped enough, and possibly my meat mutts heads are shaped a little differently because the placement Maggie effectively uses didn't work for me. I now have the pellets with a point instead of rounded bb,, pump the gun until I can't anymore (might be bad for the gun?, but gives me the force) and I draw an imaginary "x" from the ears to the eyes & aim for the center of the "x". Actually marked in chalk on the buns head first few times when I tried this method again after a flare-up of carpal tunnel that prevented cervical dislocation. It has resulted in instant "lights out" in the eyes but a lot of nerve-release kicking from the feet. I now put the buns in a cardboard box before shooting to contain blood leakage as well as keep death throes in one area. Initial high cost for the gun & pellets, annd I haven't purchases a lead-free alterative yet so nosending the heads to the animal sanctuary. Practice on an orange or melon if you don't handle guns so you learn how much pressure to keep on it. I 've been using this method as of late.

I always have back up methods with me: a rolling pin or small bat as well as a sharp knife if all else rapidly fails. I almost always cut their throat/remove head as soon as possible after doing my preferred method , even if I'm not intending to fully process. I'm paranoid I'll paralyze, incapacitate or knock out a rabbit without realizing it so that extra step helps me sleep better at night. (Especially important to do if you're processing.)

Thank you for thinking of a plan ahead of time, and thanks to TF3 for doing the right thing when a bun was suffering, even with the challenge of having to manage it with a traumatized child in the house. I think many would have tried to avoid it and that would have been horrible for the bun, ultimately. Ah, I see I talked so long that I may be reating what others said, but will leave this as is.

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Re: Best, Cleanest, Fastest Dispatch?

Post Number:#18  Unread postby TF3 » Mon May 18, 2015 8:07 pm


Thanks heritage.

Susie~ I will check with our nearest places. Esp. for the smaller bunnies who would be no good for meat.

Zass~ that is good to point out! I knew she was gone and it was just the death throes, but that could definitely surprise one! :(
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Re: Best, Cleanest, Fastest Dispatch?

Post Number:#19  Unread postby EnglishSpot » Mon May 18, 2015 8:12 pm


The death throes after I broomsticked the first time alarmed me and I thought I'd botched it. Be sure to LISTEN for the sound of the neck dislocating!!! Then you'll have confidence the deed was done well.
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Re: Best, Cleanest, Fastest Dispatch?

Post Number:#20  Unread postby Susie570 » Mon May 18, 2015 10:40 pm


I just read some truly horrible suggestions for dispatch on a taxidermy site. Those people have no souls. :shock:
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Re: Best, Cleanest, Fastest Dispatch?

Post Number:#21  Unread postby Zass » Mon May 18, 2015 10:53 pm


Susie570 wrote:I just read some truly horrible suggestions for dispatch on a taxidermy site. Those people have no souls. :shock:


Please don't judge all taxidermists from that.

The popularity of my taxidermy skins had much to do with the humane methods of raising and dispatch that I employ, along with the fact that the pelts were a byproduct of rabbits raised for human consumption.

I have also read some horrible (to me) methods of dispatch being mentioned on a facebook rabbit raising group, and occasionally here on RT.

(Freezing kits comes to mind.)
Last edited by Zass on Tue May 19, 2015 12:49 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Best, Cleanest, Fastest Dispatch?

Post Number:#22  Unread postby EnglishSpot » Mon May 18, 2015 10:56 pm


^^^^^^^
That was sheer ignorance on my part for tentatively suggesting it, but never put into practice EVER! The saying "I'd rather freeze to death than XYZ" had come to my mind when I thought of it.


@Zass, how did you dispatch for quality taxidermy skins?
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Re: Best, Cleanest, Fastest Dispatch?

Post Number:#23  Unread postby Zass » Mon May 18, 2015 11:09 pm


EnglishSpot wrote:^^^^^^^
That was sheer ignorance on my part for tentatively suggesting it, but never put into practice EVER! The saying "I'd rather freeze to death than XYZ" had come to my mind when I thought of it.


@Zass, how did you dispatch for quality taxidermy skins?



Cervical dislocation (make sure it's been killed and not just stunned), and then skin immediately without cutting the throat. You can use either a dorsal or ventral cut.

Most of the blood will be pooled in the neck anyway.

When you go to remove the feet, cut the wrist and ankle bones from the inside, leaving the feet attached to the pelt. The same goes for the tail, as those small bones will be removed using relief cuts later.

Skinning out a face without damaging the eyelids or lips takes a little practice, but it really isn't very hard.

The best choice for the initial cut (dorsal or ventral) really depends on the type of mount the skin is intended for. I prefer as short of a ventral cut as possible if it's for soft sculpture. For laying over a form or even using a foam head form, a ventral cut is likely easier.

Neither matters if you want to sculpt the pose with wood wool, but there didn't seem to be much interest in using that method with domestic skins.
Last edited by Zass on Tue May 19, 2015 10:47 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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Re: Best, Cleanest, Fastest Dispatch?

Post Number:#24  Unread postby TF3 » Mon May 18, 2015 11:09 pm


If people only knew (or maybe good they don't!) the specific skills behind 'that lady/gentleman who breeds rabbits'. I am continually impressed!
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Re: Best, Cleanest, Fastest Dispatch?

Post Number:#25  Unread postby Zass » Mon May 18, 2015 11:36 pm


TF3 wrote:If people only knew (or maybe good they don't!) the specific skills behind 'that lady/gentleman who breeds rabbits'. I am continually impressed!


Rabbit raisers do tend to be the hands-on, do-it-yourself types. :D


You know, I've never really mounted a skin, only worked through some of the steps in the various methods in order to get a feel for what would produce an easier product for a taxidermist or taxidermy student to work with.

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Re: Best, Cleanest, Fastest Dispatch?

Post Number:#26  Unread postby Celice » Tue May 19, 2015 1:07 am


Dispatching rabbits is hard on any newbie. I've tried bopping, and broomstick but I personally like a pellet gun. I aim for the brain - higher up on the head and between the ears; the rabbits can't feel the pain if it has no brain to register it with. My pellet gun is strong enough to dispatch my large jumbo does with no problems. And I've found that I don't get much kicking this way too.

I do taxidermy work on my rabbits if I can safely dispatch with minimal damage is the best! domestic rabbits tend to be thicker skinned than wild ones so its easier to sew up holes that I make.

I've mounted your rabbits before Zass! your skins are AWESOME!!

I do have skinning tutorials for taxidermy on rabbits.

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Re: Best, Cleanest, Fastest Dispatch?

Post Number:#27  Unread postby Zass » Tue May 19, 2015 1:22 am


Celice wrote:Dispatching rabbits is hard on any newbie. I've tried bopping, and broomstick but I personally like a pellet gun. I aim for the brain - higher up on the head and between the ears; the rabbits can't feel the pain if it has no brain to register it with. My pellet gun is strong enough to dispatch my large jumbo does with no problems. And I've found that I don't get much kicking this way too.

I do taxidermy work on my rabbits if I can safely dispatch with minimal damage is the best! domestic rabbits tend to be thicker skinned than wild ones so its easier to sew up holes that I make.

I do have skinning tutorials for taxidermy on rabbits.


Ohh, can you post one? I lost most of mine when I wiped out my DA for that.

I've mounted your rabbits before Zass! your skins are AWESOME!!


Thanks. :D I've always especially enjoyed seeing your rogue taxidermy.

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Re: Best, Cleanest, Fastest Dispatch?

Post Number:#28  Unread postby Celice » Tue May 19, 2015 1:56 pm


Zass wrote:Ohh, can you post one? I lost most of mine when I wiped out my DA for that.

I've mounted your rabbits before Zass! your skins are AWESOME!!


Thanks. :D I've always especially enjoyed seeing your rogue taxidermy.



Hehe! sure I'll post the link 'cause it is graphic.

here is how I case skin a rabbit (died for human consummation):

http://tricksters-taxidermy.deviantart. ... -394512161

and how I Half-Dorsal skin (rabbit was sickly):

http://tricksters-taxidermy.deviantart. ... -430663283

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Re: Best, Cleanest, Fastest Dispatch?

Post Number:#29  Unread postby Susie570 » Tue May 19, 2015 10:40 pm


Zass wrote:
Susie570 wrote:I just read some truly horrible suggestions for dispatch on a taxidermy site. Those people have no souls. :shock:


Please don't judge all taxidermists from that.

The popularity of my taxidermy skins had much to do with the humane methods of raising and dispatch that I employ, along with the fact that the pelts were a byproduct of rabbits raised for human consumption.

I have also read some horrible (to me) methods of dispatch being mentioned on a facebook rabbit raising group, and occasionally here on RT.

(Freezing kits comes to mind.)


No, of course... I know there are taxidermists in this forum and I know not all taxidermists are horrible, but geesh. There were people advocating drowning, suffocation, poison gas and a description of how to 'electrocute' an animal using alligator clips fastened to its lip and rectum. :shock:
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Re: Best, Cleanest, Fastest Dispatch?

Post Number:#30  Unread postby 6riversfarms » Wed May 20, 2015 11:23 am


For mature animals I use a .22 rifle loaded with short cartridges. Very effective. For fryers I use the bop and then do cervical dislocation by hand. I realize that these options are not feasible for everyone but it works very well for me and my rabbits.

Absolutely the worst part of raising livestock, hunting, and trapping is dispatch for me.

I am thinking of investing in a rabbit wringer just to see if it may work more efficiently for me.

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