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Dispatching with a pellet gun...

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Re: Dispatching with a pellet gun...

Post Number:#31  Unread postby skysthelimit » Mon Mar 26, 2012 11:28 am


MaggieJ wrote:
BroodCoop wrote:When I started this and sought the advice of experienced people I was told by each person I met face to face that the quick whack to the back of the head was the tried and true method. Two of these people were very small women but small healthy women. I was apprehensive about my first kill and it was an emotional experience. After months of nurturing an animal and providing for its well being to kill it does not follow naturally. After having done this a few times it is still nothing to look forward to but if you are going to eat, something has to die. This is a humane, effective and efficient method. I have seen no pretty method.


A quick whack to the back of the head with what? Your hand? A length of metal pipe? "Bopping" is indeed a traditional method of killing a rabbit and if it works for you that is good... but many of us do not have the strength or coordination to do it properly. A pellet gun or cervical dislocating device like the Rabbit Wringer is a viable alternative that makes it easier for us to make a clean, humane kill.



Usually with a 2x4. But I have been a soft ball player most of my life, and I always used the heaviest bat the team had, and I am also a skilled martial artist. I am a smallish woman, and I have physically separated two adult male german shepherds during a fight. I do not recommend any of these activities to most people. It does take a strong hand to get it right, and I did not get it right the first time, had a lot of practice with the chickens. Now I can do it rather quickly. I probably could afford a rabbit wringer if I give up my daily coffee, when I feel the need I will either make one with the jigsaw or buy one.

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OneAcreFarm wrote:
greeleyfarm wrote:To all: One of my biggest peeves about processing rabbits is all the clotted blood around the neck. Anybody have experience with a technique that minimizes this or a good technique for cleaning it (other than scissors)? My Buns are all for human tables is the only reason I ask.


I have heard that using a piece of rebar seems to minimize the bruising and clotting when "broomsticking"...I am not coordinated enough to use that method.. :lol:



I don't recall ever seeing a rabbit twitch after bopping it. It is amazing how much blood drains out of the nose though. I guess this whole dispatching thing would bother me more if I was actually eating the rabbit myself. Maybe. I always did enjoy dissection in school.
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Re: Dispatching with a pellet gun...

Post Number:#32  Unread postby akane » Mon Mar 26, 2012 12:02 pm


A salt water soak will take blood out of the meat.
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Re: Dispatching with a pellet gun...

Post Number:#33  Unread postby greeleyfarm » Mon Mar 26, 2012 2:19 pm


Yeah, I have to admit, the broomstick has not been totally smooth every time, and there are some rabbits that just won't sit still for it. These I have "bopped" with the same clotting result. If I don't use the wringer, I may try to work up the courage to try grumpy's method (thanks for the detailed description!).

Also, thanks to Maggie for the link. Seems like in the long run $80 would be well worth it.

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Re: Dispatching with a pellet gun...

Post Number:#34  Unread postby OneAcreFarm » Mon Mar 26, 2012 2:46 pm


greeleyfarm wrote:Yeah, I have to admit, the broomstick has not been totally smooth every time, and there are some rabbits that just won't sit still for it. These I have "bopped" with the same clotting result. If I don't use the wringer, I may try to work up the courage to try grumpy's method (thanks for the detailed description!).

Also, thanks to Maggie for the link. Seems like in the long run $80 would be well worth it.


We have tried broomstick (no thanks), pellet gun (not bad), hubs does karate chop (also not bad, but I cannot do it) and of all of them, I like the Wringer best for myself. Very easy to use, quick and humane.
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Re: Dispatching with a pellet gun...

Post Number:#35  Unread postby akane » Mon Mar 26, 2012 3:22 pm


That is one of the main things I like of the pellet gun. You aren't pulling rabbits in to weird positions they might fight. You just set them in a pen where they likely start eating grass and *pop*. I've only had a few, usually after several are killed, and blood is in the air that bounce around and try to climb out so I have to push them down with the end of the gun. Usually pressure on the back of their head calms them and they go still. Most never know anything is happening. They just get upset they had to be caught from colony and put in a cage and then ooo grass as they sit there comfortably and that's the last thing they know. Much better than the time I wrestled a 12lb adult champagne up in to the rabbit wringer. While most are smaller sometimes I do cull breeders or don't get around to them and am facing 8-10lb rabbits which are longer in body than my arms can stretch with any force.
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Re: Dispatching with a pellet gun...

Post Number:#36  Unread postby OneAcreFarm » Mon Mar 26, 2012 4:22 pm


akane wrote:That is one of the main things I like of the pellet gun. You aren't pulling rabbits in to weird positions they might fight. You just set them in a pen where they likely start eating grass and *pop*. I've only had a few, usually after several are killed, and blood is in the air that bounce around and try to climb out so I have to push them down with the end of the gun. Usually pressure on the back of their head calms them and they go still. Most never know anything is happening. They just get upset they had to be caught from colony and put in a cage and then ooo grass as they sit there comfortably and that's the last thing they know. Much better than the time I wrestled a 12lb adult champagne up in to the rabbit wringer. While most are smaller sometimes I do cull breeders or don't get around to them and am facing 8-10lb rabbits which are longer in body than my arms can stretch with any force.


I usually do full grown rabbits with a pellet rifle, but I have done a 10lb Cal doe with the Wringer, and it worked fine.
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Re: Dispatching with a pellet gun...

Post Number:#37  Unread postby akane » Mon Mar 26, 2012 5:36 pm


While I do martial arts still, ride horses, etc... I do it with an inherited weak back (dad's on his 4th surgery), heart condition no one can solve, and 80 extra lbs I gained the past 2 years from meds on top of a bad knee from a riding accident. I'm in no condition to be lifting multiple 10lb rabbits (I did 6 friday) in to a wringer or pulling up from a broomstick. I almost passed out twice last year while butchering rabbits in the summer cause my heart surpassed 140bpm which is the limit I can physically count out the beats. I do wonder if my wringer could do netherland and mini rex offspring that don't sell so I could feed the smaller rabbits whole but I've heard small rabbits have a tendency not to stay in properly and need the poultry one.
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Re: Dispatching with a pellet gun...

Post Number:#38  Unread postby skysthelimit » Mon Mar 26, 2012 6:40 pm


I just don't do guns, bullet, pellet, water gun etc...
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Re: Dispatching with a pellet gun...

Post Number:#39  Unread postby MaggieJ » Mon Mar 26, 2012 6:54 pm


These threads all lead me to the same conclusion: there is no one "best" method.

As long as the chosen method is humane and the user is comfortable with it and competent using it, that is enough.
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Re: Dispatching with a pellet gun...

Post Number:#40  Unread postby MamaSheepdog » Mon Mar 26, 2012 7:12 pm


I would add that even with the "best for you method" there will be times that things go wrong.
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Re: Dispatching with a pellet gun...

Post Number:#41  Unread postby Lowell » Mon Mar 26, 2012 7:18 pm


I am new to raising rabbits...again, I did raise rabbits maybe 30 years ago but am coming back to it.
I just butchered 2 Sat and dispatched then with a .22 cal rifle. Is there a reason the pellet gun is better?

I have a pellet pistol but worry it may not kill them as quickly as the .22.

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Re: Dispatching with a pellet gun...

Post Number:#42  Unread postby MamaSheepdog » Mon Mar 26, 2012 7:22 pm


Pellets just cost less. A .22 is fine too- we always have a .22 as backup, loaded and ready to go.
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Re: Dispatching with a pellet gun...

Post Number:#43  Unread postby MaggieJ » Mon Mar 26, 2012 7:23 pm


Lowell wrote:I am new to raising rabbits...again, I did raise rabbits maybe 30 years ago but am coming back to it.
I just butchered 2 Sat and dispatched then with a .22 cal rifle. Is there a reason the pellet gun is better?

I have a pellet pistol but worry it may not kill them as quickly as the .22.


Both work fine for the job. You need to be especially careful using the .22 because it has more power and that increases the possibility of ricochet. Some of us, here in Canada, use pellet guns to avoid having to jump through the hoops needed to own a firearm. Some people on both sides of the border use pellet guns because they are inside city or town limits and cannot use a firearm there. Both are very acceptable methods of dispatching rabbits.
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Re: Dispatching with a pellet gun...

Post Number:#44  Unread postby skysthelimit » Mon Mar 26, 2012 7:56 pm


MaggieJ wrote: Some people on both sides of the border use pellet guns because they are inside city or town limits and cannot use a firearm there.



Funny you should say that, had the cops swarm the house a few weeks back, because of a report of shots fired. My brother, big black man, tried to explain to 4 cops 9pm at night, guns draw, that they seriously must have the wrong house, because no one on this property even owns a firearm.
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Re: Dispatching with a pellet gun...

Post Number:#45  Unread postby akane » Mon Mar 26, 2012 8:13 pm


Pretty much what was covered pellet guns or air soft guns are safer, easier to get, legal in more areas, cheaper, and also quieter. For $40 and no licensing or training I can get a pellet rifle and fire it about anywhere so quietly my stepdad (I use my mom's farm) who is totally against butchering rabbits can't hear it at the house from behind some trees in the pasture. The pellets are so soft I squished one in to a misshapen pile of lead loading it at an angle one day with just my own hand strength. That was fun taking the gun apart to retrieve but I think ricochet would be lower since they will probably just squish in to the shape of whatever they hit. They are also not lethal in most cases of accidental gun shot which is good with the dogs bouncing around while I'm shooting rabbits. While I am very careful and an accident would mean another surgery for that darn akita who's reached a $5000 dog it probably wouldn't even go through the muscle. If I get to raising larger livestock (I want nigerian dwarf goats) and have to dispatch with an actual gun dogs will be confined for safety. I'm hoping to save for a captive bolt gun though.
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