Raising Rabbits: Slaughtering Your Rabbits

In order to use the rabbits that you raised for meat, there’s a step you have to go through that no one really likes: slaughtering. It’s most rabbit raisers’ least favorite chore, but it is a necessity. Thankfully there are ways to slaughter your rabbits that are quick and cause the rabbit no pain. With a little research and practice you’ll be able to get this step over with as quickly as possible.

Before it’s time to slaughter your rabbits you should withhold food from them for 24 hours. Follow this step regardless of which method you choose to slaughter. Doing this will help clear out your rabbits system and make butchering easier.

You may be familiar with the ideas behind some of the more traditional rabbit slaughtering methods. Experienced breeders can pick a rabbit up and break its neck in a simple movement. This method isn’t recommended for beginners, though, as it’s easy to make a mistake and cause your rabbit unneeded distress. You may also be familiar with the idea of beheading rabbits on a hard surface. While this is better for beginners than breaking its neck by hand, there are some drawbacks. This method does put you at risk of losing a finger. It also may require two people to carry it out successfully, which puts another person in danger. Finally, this method can bruise the carcass’s shoulder area, which downgrades the quality of the meat.

There is another method that works well for backyard breeders. It’s called the broomstick method and requires only one person and (can you guess?) a broomstick. To carry this method out, lay your rabbit on his stomach with his front paws pointing towards his tail. Place a broomstick over his neck and place one foot on the stick. Grab the rabbit’s hind legs and place your other foot on the stick. Finally, pull the legs up. This motion and the pressure of the broomstick will cause his neck to snap, killing him instantly and humanely.

Whether you choose the broomstick method or another one, keep in mind that there’s a good chance your rabbit will bleed out of his nose. This is normal, so keep the potential mess in mind when choosing where to perform the slaughter.

Once your rabbit has been killed he can be butchered. Butchering is a bit more complicated than slaughtering, so it might not be a bad idea to get in touch with another rabbit breeder to find out the best way to go about it. The internet also has a number of resources and guidelines on this topic.

It’s never fun to end an animal’s life, but it can be made a little easier by knowing you were able to give your rabbits a good life before they were killed. Best of all, you’ll be able to give your family a healthy meal without the mysterious background that meat from the grocery store often has. Knowing where your food comes from is a big step towards a healthier family and a self-sufficient lifestyle.

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2 Responses to Raising Rabbits: Slaughtering Your Rabbits

  1. Jose Estrada April 24, 2017 at 6:43 pm #


    Just found your articles on rabbits… I recently sub’d to your email list and was looking around your site. After reading this article on slaughtering rabbits, I had questions.

    The article states that you wind up with both feet on the broomstick prior to pulling up on the rabbit’s hind legs. I’m assuming you’re facing toward the rabbit’s tale when doing this?

    And, does the pulling motion have to be quick, or just steady?

    You can tell I’ve never done this and am looking into rabbits as a source of meat.


  2. Mario Leal May 7, 2017 at 11:51 am #

    Hi, Jose! I am sorry I missed this comment! It doesn’t have to be quick; but, I think quick is more humane. But, your mileage may vary and it can be a personal thing. Try it both ways and see what works for you.

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