How to skin a rabbit

First, kill yourself a rabbit

First, trap, shoot or otherwise kill your rabbit.

Start by laying the rabbit on its back

Lay the rabbit on its back on a flat surface and pinch the skin at the loose part in lower belly. Cut a small hole in the skin with a sharp knife, being careful not to puncture the stomach lining.

Pull apart the skin and tear all the way around the rabbit

Pull apart the skin and tear all the way around the rabbit. If you haven’t the strength, then cut right around. (If you’ve paunched the rabbit in the field, simply extend the opening you’ve already made.)

Grasp the skin and pull the skin off

The skin comes off like a rubber glove

Using the loosened edges, grasp the halves of the skin firmly in the centre of the belly and pull the skin very hard both ways until the front and back legs are free of the skin. (It’s a bit like pulling off a very tight rubber glove.)

Cut off the rabbit\'s head

Snap the feet off at the joints

Cut off the head and snap the lower part of all four legs to remove the feet. Next, cut through the groin to remove the intestine and anus, then cut a ‘V’ into the flesh where tails joins to remove the tail.

Be careful not to puncture the stomach or intestines

Taking care not to cut the intestines, cut the stomach lining and remove the guts. Check the liver and other internal organs for signs of white patches or spots or, more unusually, growths. If you find any discard the rabbit.

The skinned and paunched rabbit with the heart, liver and kidneys alongside

Retain the liver, heart and kidneys, then discard the remainder of the innards. Rinse the insides out with clean, cold water and do a final check to ensure the rabbit is thoroughly clean inside.

To get the best flavour soak the rabbit in salted water with a little vinegar splashed in it for about six hours or overnight.

Then use your favourite recipe for rabbit…

265 Responses to “How to skin a rabbit”

  1. Do you think that you could possibly include some images to help me understand the gutting process. That would help seeing as I haven’t gutted anything before myself and I believe my Mum is slightly rusty. Also maybe some tips on actually killing the rabbit in the first place would be useful too.

    Thanks, Bob.

  2. Next time I do a rabbit, I’ll take a few photos. The only problem is that we’ve eaten almost all the rabbits on our place!

    • :’-( sniff sniff sniff!!! sob sob sob!!!!
      mr. not to be rude and immature about the situation but how could u hunt kill and eat such poor defenseless animals?? they need to eat too so i think thats why they went after you properly grown vegetables. what i think would have been a better solution was to barbwire or fense around your crops so that somthin like this would not have to be required. i have a feeling since your so good cutting and ploting(good with your hands) that you would have and can make a beautifully built guard around your crops so that nothing goes in unless it has aposable thumbs. please sir im juss asking that you come about this situation a diffrent way so that the rabbits can continue to live. Thank you for your time.

      • mallisa, obviously this was not written for you. While I don’t really like the idea of hunting or trapping bobcat/wolf, they are viable clothing material and their pelts fetch a nice price. There is a bag limit to prevent over harvest. Again, I would not trap or hunt such animals. Rabbit, beaver, woodchuck, muskrat are also good sources of fur and can be prepared as very tasty meals. Or do you prefer to buy your fake fur from china and only eat factory farmed products? Can’t have it all. Rabbits are abundant and breed similar to rodent. On another note – stonehead, if you cut down all the trees this year and burn them how will you heat your house next year? keep that in mind with the rabbit man.

        • I love your answer Shanon im in South Africa and would love to maybe discuss purchasing some of your pelts if youre open to it :)

      • death to all rabbits Reply 11 October, 2009 at 19:13

        we have to eat as well. and do you know how expensive it is to put up a fence, let alone one they wont just dig right under. its survival of the fittest, if they can’t last then that’s too bad for them. they don’t even have souls for crying out load.

      • I am using this info for survival purposes only. It’s good info to know so that if you do catch or kill a rabbit in the wild, you won’t get sick by eating the wrong parts like the guts.

      • hmmmm. . . several hundred dollars to protect your crops or a $3 bullet which also provides you with a meal ?

        • $3 bullet lets try a .22 instead of a 50 caliber, Its less expensive and you still have most of the rabbit left.

        • $3 per bullet?! Yowza! I think I just developed a new appreciation for my slingshot :p

        • I remember cycling into town as teenager, going to the gunshop, and buying a box of 50 .22 LR’s for Aus$1 and a box of 25 12-gauge SGs (for wild pigs) for Aus$3. Pocket money prices. Not only that, but I didn’t need a firearms licence.

      • I agree with you Mellissa!!

      • it’s easier just to kill and eat it. at least they didn’t just leave it to the birds. you gonna tell me you’ve never eaten a hamburger? trust me. THOSE scenes are much more brutal!

      • Malissa, unless you never eat any animal products and never wear anything made of leather you really have no room to talk. Even if you do manage that, you still don’t have any right to tell other people what they can and can’t do. Why is it that human beings are the only predators that are not supposed to hunt and eat their prey?
        My family is looking into raising rabbits and goats for food, because prices are breaking us, but we have a little land we could use.
        Thanks for the info stonehead.

      • If you dont like it then why are you even on this site?

  3. Thanks for the info stonehead – now living in the ulu in NZ and have taken up shooting to knock down the rabbit and possum population!

    Amazing these new air rifles – I can take rabbits out at up to 70 metres – not like the pop guns of old!


  4. Hi Stonehead

    Ive been looking around your site and i have got to say its excellent mate – I will now be a regular reader – long may it continue!



  5. I Skin them the exact same way works great

  6. That’s how we skinned the one we had.

    It was killed by dog – we have a terrier.

  7. A gourmand I know swears that rabbit liver is the tastiest treat of all, but you can’t buy it in Canada. Have you tried it?

  8. This is gonna come in useful as our meat rabbits ought to be kindling any day soon.

  9. Gamo shadow is a good air rifle i use it for hunting rabbits i got my frist kill and do you have any tips for skinning the fur if you do please help me
    thank you

  10. Alright Stonehead, could you tell me what the white patches or spots might mean and why should you not eat the rabbit? Thanks

  11. I’ll try to find time to write a post about the different things white spots and growths mean, but for now it will have to suffice that it indicates disease or parasites.

    • coccidosis, (white spotty liver) can be a problem with animals living in crowded conditions. we have rabbits off the ground, fed on garden weeds and biodynamic pellets. we costed it out to $6 AUD a bunny not including labour. tastes firmer than chicken but not chickeny. hubby skinned from left food in one go. ive looked into veganism and vegetarianism but they are both externalizing energy costs to petroleum and ignoring the wastage of both cockerels and steers from egg and dairy industries.

  12. I am going to bookmark this one. Thanks for posting it.

    Dora Renee’ Wilkerson

  13. Jenna and cayla Reply 25 May, 2008 at 21:07

    Omg why did you have to do that to a rabbitt when it didnt even do anything to you!!

    • I totally agree with you!! Atleast theres one other person here with a heart.

      • How about you just get a life and leave this poor man alone! I don’t eat rabbit but I am ruffing it for a weekend so I need this guide! People must eat, when your done hugging your trees then reply. If you dont like seeing it DON’T READ IT!
        Cheers Mate Excellent guide!

      • Thank you both, I totally agree. This is heartless and cruel. Protests make a difference!

        • How is it heartless, ie lacking feeling, or cruel, ie showing a sadistic disgregard for others, to skin a dead rabbit? The rabbit is dead. A lifeless carcass cannot suffer.

          Was it heartless or cruel to shoot the rabbit with a single shot to the head that killed it instantly? No, I shot it in such a way so as to kill it instantly. It was alive and eating grass, then it was dead. If I lacked feeling, I wouldn’t have considered how best to kill the rabbit with minimal or no suffering. If I was showing sadistic disregard for the rabbit, the same would apply.

          If you don’t believe killing rabbits, or any other animals, for food or for their skins is appropriate, fine. That’s your choice. Spell it out if you want. But please, make an effort to use valid logic and accurate language to make a tenable argument for your case instead of relying on appeals to emotion that utterly fail to to validate your premise.

          Incidentally, I take it that you don’t wear leather shoes? Or leather clothes? Or woollen clothes? Or silk clothes? Or take medications derived from animals? Or sit on a leather sofa? Or walk on a woollen carpet? Or eat food from monoculture farms? Hypocrisy and appeals to emotion are often found together.

    • If you live in Australia, the DSE (environmental agency) actually mandates that landowners must control rabbit numbers on their land, as they compete for habitat with native wildlife. In addition they compete for grass for dairy and beef cattle and destroy crops. They cause countless ankle fractures for cattle that fall through collapsed holes, and they destroy fences and tracks. You should also look up your countries hunting laws. most countries, Australia included have an animal cruelty act that mandates the humane hunting of animals. With today’s firearms they are dead in seconds, sometimes less. It is often best to research your topics before preaching them.

  14. Well, I was vegetarian but the rabbit ate my carrots and cabbage, so I figured the only way to eat my veg was to eat the rabbit… :D

    • Excellent answer.

    • Thats awesome man!

    • Stupid answer from a stupid heartless man!

      • get a life jaqueline, and go and preach your gospel to someone who is out there slaughtering thousands of people, or the modern slave traders, have you ever drunk coffee or eaten chocolate? Try worrying about all the abuse that they deal with instead of a man who headshot an animal, and used the product instead of wasting it. Idiots like you are one of the reasons the world is depent on oil, guess you only wear synthetics.

      • Alexander Green Reply 11 May, 2012 at 03:15

        You’re intelligence is literally so low, that it is lowering mine just by reading you’re comment. Please, if you have nothing useful to add to the gene pool, just shoot yourself now. Humans have been hunting animals for thousands of years to survive. Get over yourself.

    • ha ha, that’s what my hubby says too! When do’s waskily wabbits r eating our lettuces, he says now the garden is growing meat too, nice garden. Yeah, one is very cute! When we saw two, (of course!) then we knew we would have the offspring. We did put up a fence, but the bunnies and the rodents can attract the coyotes and wolves and birds of prey who will mess with our dogs and chickens. City people.
      Personally, I find it much kinder and more responsible and more chemical free meat to take the animal yourself and give your thanks to the creature and the universe than buying meat all processed and wrapped in plastic. THANKS Stonehead

  15. mummys little angel Reply 25 May, 2008 at 22:02

    Hey Stoney that’s only 2 of your 5 a day!

    damn those Romans for introducing them in the first place!

    Update no it might have been the Saxons who introduced them to feed their families fresh meat and the Romans decided they were a delicacy.


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