Thursday, September 8, 2011

Rabbit wrangling

Yesterday I yelled to James, "NO, don't let the dogs out!"  Keri was already barking and Lex sprinted toward the shed.  I called him back and put him and Rosie back in the house.  All four rabbits were on the loose.  Keri wouldn't touch them but barked for a good while as she followed them into the woods behind their abode.  It's good I don't have a job outside the home because I would have been late, that's for sure.  How do you catch 3 rabbits (one of them ran back into the shed when Lex chased it and was cowering inside) when they have many places to run and hide?  Luckily they're unfamiliar with this territory since they don't leave their shed, so they didn't venture more than 50 yards from the house.  Surprisingly Keri was a big help in herding them back, well kind of.  Sometimes she'd chase them down to the creek which is in the wrong direction.  They didn't really seem all that scared.  One of them stopped to clean its ear so Keri stopped chasing to watch.  I don't know how we'll ever count on her to keep rabbits and groundhogs from our garden and orchard.

To make a long story short, Keri would chase them back toward the shed and they ran in eventually.  Each time one would enter the shed I'd catch it and lock it in a cage so I could leave the shed open for the next one.  I don't know how long this took, maybe an hour.  And so I decided it was time to do this.
Even though James' office is just upstairs we still sometimes email each other.  I sent him this picture with the subject line reading, I did it.  Later he told me it looked like Keri.  WHAT?!  Does he really think I'm that heartless?  Some of you may think that anyway now that you know I killed a lapin (that's rabbit in French).  It sounds better to say lapin than bunny.  The reason I got rabbits was to fill our freezer but I've been procrastinating because it just seemed too, I don't know, heartless.  But to be quite honest, I found it harder to butcher two roosters today than I did the rabbit, I mean lapin.  I find chickens to be more amusing, I guess.  They seem to have jobs to do, eat bugs off our plants, protect the hens, march around in a comical manner, announce when the sun is rising (and every other hour).  Tonight I'm cooking my first rabbit dinner.  I hope it's really delicious.

It was a busy day today, but a productive one.  As I told you earlier I'm working more with my donkeys in hopes of training them to pull a cart or plow or at least let me ride them a little.  Wilson is still way too young but I want to get him used to the idea of something around his stomach and on his back, which led me to buy them their first blanket and surcingle.  Yup, surcingle.  I never heard of one until recently.  I didn't even know how to pronounce it and let the woman at the saddlery tell me what I needed.  For those of you who know as little about equines as I, basically it's a strap that goes around the horse's belly and holds on the blanket or whatever and is used in training or to put reins through when pulling a cart (or something like that).  Chy and Wilson were very good about letting me put it on them.  Unfortunately it's too big and I need to get a smaller one.
Doesn't Chy look pretty in this color?  I'm not sure she really cared.  Saturday I may be going to look at a horse drawn cart a friend wants to sell.
Wouldn't that be cool to be pulled around in a cart by your donkey?  I know!!!  I'm also training Benny to walk on a leash and eventually to pull a goat cart.  He looks so cute in his too-big-halter.  He's getting used to it already.  Today was his second day to wear one. 


  1. How was the rabbit, I mean lapin? XO LO

  2. It was really tender. We didn't need a knife at all. The flavor was very good, unfortunately I soaked it in a brine too long and it was too salty. Tonight I'm cooking the leftovers with potatoes in hopes the potatoes absorb some of the salt.

  3. Congratulations! Yeah, I think butchering rabbits is easier than chickens. Glad you enjoyed it.