“… I couldn’t live the rest of my life like a rabbit.” – Mike Huckabee

day 6: I have earned the tires trust. They still do not realise I am a compost pile.

On Sunday I turned my compost pile again and I was even more impressed than my last turning.  For the record, it was 6 days since the compost pile was created.  The compost is looking even better than I previously reported.  To start with, the pile appears to be about as large as it was when first created.  This shows me that I have not lost any of the nutrients to the atmosphere.  On checking the temperature of the inside of the pile I was surprised to note that I could not keep my hand within for more than a few seconds.  I estimate the temperature to be around 60c.

As I have previously described, I peeled off the outer layer and it now becomes the bottom layer.  As I started to reach the inner layers I uncovered compost with a rich, earthy aroma.  I encountered the chicken carcass I included in the pile and, as you can see from the photo, it is a shell of its former self.  The body looks like it is cooked on the inside and it is at least half the size it was six days previous.  I believe that this is remarkable evidence of the compost creation in action.  The temperature is so hot that it has cooked the chicken!

Sorry for the graphic image.

When I reached the bottom layer I was rewarded with the darkest, richest soil I have seen in many years.  I expect that in around 2 weeks the entire compost pile should resemble this soil and I can already imagine the wonderful vegetables I will be able to grow next year.

Is it wrong to be so excited about dirt?

In addition to my work on the compost pile (and hosting a local prepper family to afternoon tea), I slaughtered and butchered one of my rabbits.  The rabbit I selected was a nice, young, albino rabbit that was around four months old.  He wasn’t full size, yet as he was from the English Giant Breed, he was quite large.  Usually when I butcher a rabbit I need to set aside about 45 minutes to complete this process which entails:

  1. Removal of the head and paws.
  2. Careful incisions to remove the rabbits nether regions.
  3. Careful use of the knife to peal the skin from the rabbit.
  4. Extremely careful cutting to enter the abdominal cavity and removal of the intestinal/stomach area.
  5. Removal of the upper organs (lungs, etc).
  6. Washing of the carcass and cutting into smaller pieces.

I have not been taught how to do this, I have taught myself.  I used my knowledge of pig and duck butchering to learn this method.

On Sunday, on a whim, I looked up Rabbit skinning on Youtube and I came across the most amazing video.

This man demonstrates that you only need to remove the edible parts of the rabbit, which on retrospect makes total sense.  I imitated his method and I am very excited to say that it now takes me 10 minutes to dress a slaughter rabbit.  When I used this method on my albino, 4 month old male, I ended up with 700 g of meat.  I had two other rabbits to prepare for the table on Monday.  I used the same method when I returned home from work and it took me about 25 minutes.  I would have been faster, but my younger son wanted me to give him the rabbit tails and paws to play with while I worked.  He also wanted me to explain which parts of the rabbit were the heart and the liver.  I am more than happy to show him as it is good for his education to know where our meat comes from and that most living animals share similar organs.

I am keeping the rabbits’ skins in a plastic bag in my meat freezer so that I can tan them and one day make moccasins from them.

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