There is more than one way to skin a rabbit. While the concept remains the same, there are variations in the methods used from one person to the next. This could include a preferred way of rabbit positioning and specific choices in tools used. Whichever methods and means you utilize, the goal is the same: a cleanly skinned and gutted rabbit.
Photo: Deak's Farm
One of the ways to begin the process of skinning a rabbit includes hanging it upside down from a sturdy point of contact, such as hooks through the hocks or securely tied hocks. With the rabbit in this position, you can begin the skinning process by cutting around the tail, anus, and legs near to the hocks and pulling the pelt free in a downward motion with the knife or other tool of your choice. The pelt can be pulled downward until it reaches the head and front paws, which at that time can be removed.
Photo: The Wenatchee Word
Another method of rabbit skinning involves laying the animal on a flat surface, such as a board or table. To make this method easier, you may prefer to remove the head and feet before you begin the skinning process. Since the rabbit is resting on something flat and not braced or held into position, removing these parts ahead of will create less resistance as you pull the pelt away.
Lastly, you can forgo having a place to secure your rabbit and simply do all the work with your hands. With a firm grasp on the rear legs with one hand, it is possible to pull skin away from the body of the rabbit with your other hand. At times you may have to brace the rabbit against your body, but in the case of a fresh kill, the pelt should pull away with relative ease.
Photo: Outdoor Life
Once the skin is removed, the remainder of your efforts will include taking care to puncture the abdominal cavity. Paunching the rabbit is essential to keep it from spoiling and must be done soon after the animal has passed. Depending on how you have chosen to position the rabbit, this could be a messy job, but the goal is to keep the innards intact. Do not puncture the bladder, intestines, or spill stomach contents as these actions could contaminate meat. When you locate the rabbit's liver and kidneys, set them aside with the edible components for use in a delicious meal.
Photo: The Guardian
With your rabbit free of fur, skin, and internal organs, giving it a thorough rinse in water should be your next step before freezing or prepping it for a meal. Depending on your preference and the meal you desire, the rabbit can be kept whole or sectioned for cooking. If sections are your preference, the most common cuts include splitting the two front legs (and sometimes leaving a section of rib cage attached to each one), sectioning off the saddle or midsection, and splitting the two hindquarters down the center. Once your rabbit is trimmed down to your eating preference, or kept whole if you so choose, all that remains is preparing a delicious recipe you and your family will enjoy!
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