gutting a rabbit

1 Conversation

Initial preparation

A rabbit should have the urine expelled from it before gutting to avoid puncturing the bladder during gutting and thus contaminating the meat, this procedure is carried out immediately on killing your rabbit. The procedures discribed here are carried out in the field. For gutting, the rabbit should have 1cooled, or it will bleed, this does not affect the eating quality but if the rabbit is to be carried in a gamebag it will soak through onto your clothing.

Removing the urine from a rabbit

To remove the urine, by far the best way is to hold the rabbit in one hand by the chest, belly up, and rear legs hanging down.Using your free hand take hold of the rabbit about midway down its abdomen, so that your thumb is on its belly, and in a gentle stroking motion downwards express the urine from it.This procedure not only prolongs the life of game bags, but saves the risk of contaminating the meat with urine, when preparing the rabbit for the table

Gutting a rabbit

Although techniques may vary, this method is a quick, tried and tested means of performing a task which some may find objectionable, but which can be accomplished using this method with minimal contact with the yucky bits. It is important that it is carried out on waste ground, or an alternative method will need to be used.

need a knife with a sticky sharp point, a craft knife is suitable, but any small sharp pointed knife will do. Take hold of the rabbit in the left hand2 around the chest belly up, and taking care not to go stabbing wildly, insert your knife just below the ribs at a shallow angle3, and make an incision about three quarters of an inch long, you should be looking at going in no further than say a quarter of an inch or 6mm. Two fingers can now be inserted into the incision and it can be torn open to give you an opening about three inches long. This sounds brutal, but it is the best way to make sure that you don't contaminate the meat by puncturing the entrails with the knife.

Take the rabbit by the back feet with one hand, round the chest with the other, raising it shoulder high, and using a motion similar to emptying a bucket whose contents are stuck to the bottom of it, swiftly swing the rabbit downwards. This will remove most of the entrails,4 they will still be attached at front and rear, however. The part attached to the rear can easily be pulled and broken without risk of contamination, as the only thing you will encouter here are rabbit droppings, which are usually very dry and hard. The front is a different matter, it is attached to the stomach, up beneath the ribs. Take the rabbit round the ribs in the left hand and grip the stomach, and remove it, it is about the size of a golf ball and providing you didn't puncture5 it with your knife, it will come away cleanly leaving you with a gutted rabbit, as it would be, if you aquired it from a game dealer, or ferreting friend.The chest cavity is normally left intact as it carries little risk of going off, thus contaminating the food. If you have managed so far however, and want to finish the job, look inside the body cavity and you will see a tight membrane.This is the diaphragm which separates the thorax from the abdomen.Puncture this and the heart and lungs are easily removed by taking hold of them and pulling them out. Quite often this is unnecessary though as, unless the rabbit is being cooked whole, the ribcage is often discarded due to the fact that there is very little meat on it.

1The rabbit should be gutted promptly on cooling as the meat can become tainted especially if the rabbit has been shot, as on occasion, the gut will be punctured allowing the contents to come into contact with the meat.2,This is for right handed people, if you're left handed then use your right hand to hold the rabbit.3It is not the end of the world, but easier if you don't stab the stomach or puncture any of the intestines4 Whilst it is possible to control the direction in which the entrails travel, it is advisable to carry out the task alone until you become proficient.5 If you did puncture the stomach, or it bursts on removal, the fouling should be washed out immediately as it taints the meat.

Bookmark on your Personal Space



Infinite Improbability Drive

Infinite Improbability Drive

Read a random Edited Entry


h2g2 Entries


h2g2 is created by h2g2's users, who are members of the public. The views expressed are theirs and unless specifically stated are not those of the Not Panicking Ltd. Unlike Edited Entries, Entries have not been checked by an Editor. If you consider any Entry to be in breach of the site's House Rules, please register a complaint. For any other comments, please visit the Feedback page.

Write an Entry

"The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a wholly remarkable book. It has been compiled and recompiled many times and under many different editorships. It contains contributions from countless numbers of travellers and researchers."

Write an entry
Read more