Today I weighed the kits. They are all doing very well. Almost every kit put on 1/2 a pound and the two that didn’t were like 7 3/4 ounces. A couple were in the 9 oz range. Very good growth over all.
Kit 1: 1 pound 8 1/4 ounces
Kit 2: 1 pound 10 5/8 ounces
Kit 3: 2 pounds 4 3/4 ounces
Kit 4: 2 pounds 1 1/4 ounces
Kit 5: 1 pound 15 3/4 ounces
Kit 6: 1 pound 12 1/8 ounces
Kit 7: 1 pound 12 7/8 ounces
Total litter weight is 12 pounds, 4 3/8 ounces. I’m very happy with that.
Today we also processed the juniors who were 17.5 weeks old. I am not showing any pictures of that. We did five of them, 3 boys and 2 girls. I made the decision to keep one of the does at the last minute. I just really liked the way she looked, she had great ears and nice body lines. I decided I wanted to grow her out longer and see whether or not I want to keep her as a breeding doe. If not, I will sell her. She seems to have calmed down a lot now that she has the cage to herself.
It took us about a half an hour per rabbit. I think it would have gone faster if we’d been able to lock up the chickens who kept getting underfoot and wanting to drink the rabbit blood. Yuck. It wasn’t easy, but it wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. I think it will be better with the Rabbit Wringer, if it ever comes. The husband didn’t care for the shooting method much and will build us some kind of wooden wringer (since it doesn’t look like the one we ordered is ever going to come) that we can use instead.
The weirdest thing for me was rolling up the inside out fur to put in the freezer. It just felt utterly bizarre and the skin was still warm. I found a way of tanning furs that I am going to go with, but the solution is for 12 to 14 hides, so I am saving this batch in the freezer and the next time we process I will then tan all the furs together.
We didn’t withhold feed for 12 hours. It didn’t seem necessary and it wasn’t when it came right down to it, because rabbit poop is a fairly contained thing being in pellets like it is. We didn’t have any issues with urine or poop getting on the meat. We ended up with about a pound of liver. I’m going to try a recipe with it that I saw on One Man’s Meat for this sort of liver pate bacon meatloaf thing on homemade melba toast. He made it with chicken livers, but I figure rabbit liver will work the same. Also I’ll leave out the mushrooms because I am allergic. But otherwise I’ll pretty much follow the recipe as written.
I took weights of the rabbits before and after processing.
Buck 1: 6 pounds 10 5/8 ounces, dressed 3 pounds 10 5/8 ounces
Doe 1: 6 pounds 12 1/4 ounces, dressed 3 pounds 3 3/8 ounces
Buck 2: 8 pounds 1 ounce, dressed 4 pounds 1 ounces
Doe 2: 6 pounds 5 1/8 ounces, dressed 3 pounds 2 1/4 ounces
Buck 3: 8 pounds 1 ounces, dressed 4 pounds 2 1/4 ounces
Total dressed weight is 18 pounds 4 1/2 ounces.
Right now the rabbits are in our giant chest cooler in ice water. We are giving them 24 hours in that and then we will package them up assuming rigor mortis has passed. We don’t have fridge space to let the meat rest in, so this is the closest we could get. We will add fresh ice as needed to keep them cool. We can keep them in it for longer if rigor mortis has not passed. Once it has it should be easy to fit them in a gallon size zip bag. I may have to cut them into two pieces, but we’ll see how it goes.