We smoked 7 rabbits last weekend and it was the most amazing thing I've ever had. The smoked rabbit was so amazing that it will be what I will be doing with at least half of every litter on upcoming butcher day. We experimented with making jerky and it was positively divine. Not quite jerky, but small and portable to take to the beach or picnics quite nicely. I'm very happy with the turn out.
A lovely day to smoke rabbit right? Though it looks a bit ominous, it was surprisingly warm. California is getting all the awful weather we normally get.
In process, about an hour or so into it.
One of the bowls from the smoker, fully cooked and lovely.
Plated up smoked rabbit. Mmmm, mmm the best!
Our home brewed Mead. I used some of this in the brine I prepared for the rabbit meat. Out of this world delicious.
Little do they know! But they hung around with us anyway. :-)
Bones and stock bubbling for the dogs.
This is the meat from the carcasses that would not come of nicely for cutting up to smoke. So I gently bubbled it with onions and home canned applesauce to slip beautifully off the bone and give me some fantastic stock! The bones afterward went into a mixture for the dogs. We pressure cook or crock pot the bones down to pure softness and incorporate that into the dogs food. They also get all the guts and heads. Spoiled dogs no?
Here is the beast in action. Not at all pretty, but hey...it was free right? And it holds a lot.
I sat down today and figured out that I can run enough rabbit over the course of this next year with doe's we now have to breeding age. We have 10 does and 3 bucks. The bucks only because I'm going to try a genetic run of black furs as all my others are tan, red and various mixtures of white and such.
Anyway. With this herd I should be able to start having a run of production to go once a week. With an average of 7 kits (due to attrition, blah blah...figures from 2009) and the 10 does I should have around 1400 lbs of meat by the end of the year.
I still have 4 more litters right now working their way into production. I'm excited this is working out so far. Some hiccups and fits and starts but not bad. And by using every single part of the rabbit there is no waste at all. Will be looking at ways to get my furs tanned and prepared and get the feet and tails cleaned up for production too. We throw nothing away.
Next time I'll share a bit on our worms and how that is going!