How to Skin a Rabbit
Knowing how to skin a rabbit can help you out of a survival pickle or even just provide you with a tasty home caught meal should you want to treat your friends and family. The following how to provides instructions for how to skin a rabbit either with or without a knife.
1- Watch for common parasites and diseases. Things to look out for: Warbles (live under the skin and are planted by bot flies. They should not be considered dangerous to humans in this form. But should be removed),and Tularemia/rabbit fever (people are at a higher risk by inhaling the bacteria during skinning. Inspect the liver of your rabbit for white or yellow spots).
2- Cut a ring around each of the ankles of the rabbit and a slit up the leg all of the way to its backside. There is no need to cut all of the way through the skin. You can start pulling away some of the hide at this point.
3- Cut through the bone of the tail taking care not to puncture the bladder. Pull the rest of the hide from the body with both hands. Work your hands into the sleeve of the hide where the arms are. This may take a little effort but keep at it.
4- Pull the hide down until you’re at the base of the head and then sever the head from the spine, taking the skin with it. Similarly, break the bones at the arms and leg joints to remove the feet.
5- If not using a knife, start by pushing the knees out until the hide separates from the flesh (push the knee joint in one direction and the skin in the other).
6- Under the genitals, work your hands under the skin and start to pull the hide away from the belly. Do the same from above the tail, working your hands up the back.
7- From its backside, pull off the skin from the tail until you reach the arms.
8- Break through the skin where the arms meet the head using your fingers, and then pull the sleeves away from the meat of the arms.
9- Crack the spine at the base of the skull and remove.
Check the liver to check for any signs that the animal is unsafe to eat (think the smell and colour that you would expect from a normal healthy liver).
Some people find it easier to skin and gut the rabbit whilst being hung. This way the meat is kept off of the ground.
To keep the skin, dry it immediately by cooling, dabbing dry and then hanging.
Skin the rabbit as soon as possible once you’ve killed it.