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Kicking myself.

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Kicking myself.

Post Number:#1  Unread postby Stephanie » Sun Nov 26, 2017 4:49 pm


I have a bad fault. Perhaps some of you have the same one. Procrastination. Most of the time it only really bothers others. Not today. I put off and put off processing a few well beyond normal age. Like, instead of 9 - 12 weeks, something like 5 months. They were from the last litter of last year's breeding season. I kept telling myself, it's only 3. They won't take that long, and I can do them tomorrow. And if need be, I'll stew them. Quite a few tomorrows passed, and today I decided to finally get it done. I will NEVER do that again. NOT EVER! I could never have fathomed how much more difficult skinning would be. So, if you're one like me. Take my advice. Do NOT put off processing long. You'll really regret it.

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Re: Kicking myself.

Post Number:#2  Unread postby Ozarkansas » Sun Nov 26, 2017 5:14 pm


I definitely like to process on time for extra cage space. But I have skinned lots of 5 month old rabbits, a few 1 year olds, and even a 3 year old and never found it unbearably difficult. Sure they get harder with age but I can still have a 5 month old skinned, gutted, and cleaned in 10 minutes. Were they fighting a lot? I had a round that had been fighting, they did seem a little tougher but still not a big deal. It just doesn't seem like their age alone would make it so much more difficult :bunnyhop:
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Re: Kicking myself.

Post Number:#3  Unread postby KimitsuKouseki » Sun Nov 26, 2017 8:02 pm


I recently processed my sprayer buck and today did a doe I took the kits away from. The buck was only a couple weeks younger then the doe, but was really attached to his skin, while the doe was super easy. Only her mammary glands wich were still full of milk were a bit hard to remove.
Also just spent the day giving my friend's rabbits their yearly injections and males tend to be harder to do subcutaneous injections in general. In short, most males just have their skin tighter on their body then females, but it'll still varry from rabbit to rabbit. And I keep my skins whole and intact so its not a big deal to me, though I still spend 1h processing 1 rabbit but thats silly me XD

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Re: Kicking myself.

Post Number:#4  Unread postby shazza » Sun Nov 26, 2017 9:54 pm


i've found bucks much harder to skin than even adult does. the skin is really thick and clingy and hard to pull down. i end up having to knife it all the way. it still gets done really quickly, because i mean, it's still a rabbit, but it's definitely not as easy as the little 12/16 week growouts :p trying to tan adult bucks is a nightmare! they're hard to flesh and again, the thick skin makes their necks/faces really hard to get soft.

i actually butchered some growouts this weekend that went a little longer than usual...i should have done them like 3 weeks ago but they were moulting so i had to wait til they were done so i could have pretty pelts for my clients. now they're HUGE. my clients got a really good deal haha.
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Re: Kicking myself.

Post Number:#5  Unread postby Stephanie » Sun Nov 26, 2017 9:55 pm


Ozarkansas wrote:I definitely like to process on time for extra cage space. But I have skinned lots of 5 month old rabbits, a few 1 year olds, and even a 3 year old and never found it unbearably difficult. Sure they get harder with age but I can still have a 5 month old skinned, gutted, and cleaned in 10 minutes. Were they fighting a lot? I had a round that had been fighting, they did seem a little tougher but still not a big deal. It just doesn't seem like their age alone would make it so much more difficult :bunnyhop:

Most people have something to hang their carcasses from so they can use both hands to pull down on the skin. I don't have that option. I process in the kitchen sink. That means I have to hold the carcass with one hand and pull the skin with the other. I'm 61, have several old injuries, and I just don't have the strength to pull that hard like that. Plus, as the skin begins to come off, the overall length between the skin and the carcass quickly becomes longer than my arm spread. That makes it even harder to pull since I've already got my arms extended. It's not a huge task when they're younger, more tender, AND shorter.

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Re: Kicking myself.

Post Number:#6  Unread postby Ferra » Sun Nov 26, 2017 9:55 pm


I processed three adults yesterday myself. Compared to the fryers I usually handle, it felt like to took FOREVER. I did notice the bucks seemed more attached to their skins than even the MUCH older doe.

I seem to be way slower than everyone else. While Ozark can process one in 10m, it took me 30m each yesterday. Part of that was there was one I just didn't WANT to process. I dragged my feet on him a bit - but I made a decision, back in September, when I bought plane tickets to go pick up new stock from a US breeder that I would HAVE to cull down to make space for the new animals. Despite having made my choice long before, I kept putting it off.

I finally DID get around to it, though. So as soon as I finish the deep clean on my cages I'm ready for my Angoras' long awaited exit from quarantine.

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Re: Kicking myself.

Post Number:#7  Unread postby shazza » Sun Nov 26, 2017 10:04 pm


Stephanie wrote:
Ozarkansas wrote:I definitely like to process on time for extra cage space. But I have skinned lots of 5 month old rabbits, a few 1 year olds, and even a 3 year old and never found it unbearably difficult. Sure they get harder with age but I can still have a 5 month old skinned, gutted, and cleaned in 10 minutes. Were they fighting a lot? I had a round that had been fighting, they did seem a little tougher but still not a big deal. It just doesn't seem like their age alone would make it so much more difficult :bunnyhop:

Most people have something to hang their carcasses from so they can use both hands to pull down on the skin. I don't have that option. I process in the kitchen sink. That means I have to hold the carcass with one hand and pull the skin with the other. I'm 61, have several old injuries, and I just don't have the strength to pull that hard like that. Plus, as the skin begins to come off, the overall length between the skin and the carcass quickly becomes longer than my arm spread. That makes it even harder to pull since I've already got my arms extended. It's not a huge task when they're younger, more tender, AND shorter.

we use paracord that is tied to the beams of our porch, with a slipknot at the end to put the feet through. is there anywhere you can set something like that up? gambrels don't need to be fancy or expensive! it's so much easier on your back and your hands to be able to hang them for sure. it may not help the fact that they get longer than your armspan, but maybe having a stool to stand on may help? of course, them being younger would also solve that. but i would definitely look and see if there's somewhere you can hang up some rope or paracord loops to make it easier! it's really saved my back, that's for sure. i have a chair that i can sit in when i get down the armpits/neck area (i usually skin my pelts with the faces in them,) so i'm not leaning over so much.
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Re: Kicking myself.

Post Number:#8  Unread postby Ozarkansas » Sun Nov 26, 2017 10:09 pm


Stephanie wrote:
Ozarkansas wrote:I definitely like to process on time for extra cage space. But I have skinned lots of 5 month old rabbits, a few 1 year olds, and even a 3 year old and never found it unbearably difficult. Sure they get harder with age but I can still have a 5 month old skinned, gutted, and cleaned in 10 minutes. Were they fighting a lot? I had a round that had been fighting, they did seem a little tougher but still not a big deal. It just doesn't seem like their age alone would make it so much more difficult :bunnyhop:

Most people have something to hang their carcasses from so they can use both hands to pull down on the skin. I don't have that option. I process in the kitchen sink. That means I have to hold the carcass with one hand and pull the skin with the other. I'm 61, have several old injuries, and I just don't have the strength to pull that hard like that. Plus, as the skin begins to come off, the overall length between the skin and the carcass quickly becomes longer than my arm spread. That makes it even harder to pull since I've already got my arms extended. It's not a huge task when they're younger, more tender, AND shorter.

I totally get that! My bad for not thinking harder about it :oops: I have always skinned them hanging up...
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Re: Kicking myself.

Post Number:#9  Unread postby Stephanie » Sun Nov 26, 2017 10:09 pm


I have considered bolting a board to the top of the upper kitchen cabinet over the sink and having it extend a few inches. I could then attach a cord or wire from that and have them hanging directly over the sink. Great idea, I thought. But, as I pointed out in the OP, I'm a procrastinator. Gigglez!

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Re: Kicking myself.

Post Number:#10  Unread postby KimitsuKouseki » Mon Nov 27, 2017 2:51 am


Most people have something to hang their carcasses from so they can use both hands to pull down on the skin.


I certainly dont do that, I find pulling without cutting the membrane streches the skin in a way where I risk tearing it or the belly.

Ferra wrote:I seem to be way slower than everyone else. While Ozark can process one in 10m, it took me 30m each yesterday.

Nope I got you beat, 1h processing time per rabbit XD

http://rabbittalk.com/how-i-skin-my-rabbits-t32140.html

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Re: Kicking myself.

Post Number:#11  Unread postby Dood » Mon Nov 27, 2017 11:00 am


Do you use the pelt or discard it?

An easier way to skin when you cannot hang the rabbit is to cut off head and feet then slice mid way in the back and pull in opposite directions, then trim around the anus and tail

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Re: Kicking myself.

Post Number:#12  Unread postby GBov » Tue Nov 28, 2017 4:19 pm


I have banged nails into cupboards to hang cord from for tieing rabbits to for skinning, right now I have drilled holes into the pelmet thing over the sink and have cords with slip knots tied through them and do all my skinning and plucking there.

If you don't have anywhere to hang them from you can try banging in two strong nails to the back of your kitchen counter to tie back legs too. That way you are pulling with your entire body instead of pulling downwards which can stress your back. Just be sure the nails are in good, you don't want to be pulling really hard and it suddenly let go!!!

My best time for doing a rabbit, granted it was a fryer, was 4 min, 49 seconds from live to ready to put into the freezer. Smug? It still makes me smile! :D

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Re: Kicking myself.

Post Number:#13  Unread postby Stephanie » Fri Dec 01, 2017 10:36 pm


Dood wrote:Do you use the pelt or discard it?

An easier way to skin when you cannot hang the rabbit is to cut off head and feet then slice mid way in the back and pull in opposite directions, then trim around the anus and tail


I've never heard of that method. I don't keep pelts. I have neither the time or the use for them.
As far as how long I generally take to process, I'd guess maybe 20 mins each. From videos I've seen that's a little slow. But, I'm certain I could nearly cut that time in half if I hung them, and got a better knife. Seems every time I buy a new knife I get a dud that won't keep an edge, even if I hone it often while processing. Most videos I've watched went 8 - 10 mins start to finish. When I first began doing this it took me about 35- 40 mins.

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Re: Kicking myself.

Post Number:#14  Unread postby Ozarkansas » Fri Dec 01, 2017 11:43 pm


I went from 45 minutes to 10 minutes in a year. I admit because I don't keep the pelt I am not very gentle with it :oops: As long as I don't damage the meat, I don't really care what happens to the fur. I want to learn how to cure them, but I really don't have a clue where to start. Need to work on that.....
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Re: Kicking myself.

Post Number:#15  Unread postby GBov » Sat Dec 02, 2017 11:42 am


Ozarkansas wrote:I went from 45 minutes to 10 minutes in a year. I admit because I don't keep the pelt I am not very gentle with it :oops: As long as I don't damage the meat, I don't really care what happens to the fur. I want to learn how to cure them, but I really don't have a clue where to start. Need to work on that.....


The rabbits for fur section has lots of lovely information. ;)

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