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!
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.
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:
- Removal of the head and paws.
- Careful incisions to remove the rabbits nether regions.
- Careful use of the knife to peal the skin from the rabbit.
- Extremely careful cutting to enter the abdominal cavity and removal of the intestinal/stomach area.
- Removal of the upper organs (lungs, etc).
- 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.