The hardest part of raising meat – Butcher Day

We received Banjo as an adult rabbit from a farming friend of ours. She knew we needed a male for our breeding adventures, because the one we had chosen wasn’t quite old enough to perform his duty. Banjo came to us with an okay-ish attitude, but definitely not something you would want around as a pet. I knew he would be our first to butcher, simply because he attacked us when we got near his cage and I couldn’t have that with the kids helping out on the homestead. I figured it would be easy to butcher an animal that not only hates you, but you pretty much dislike as well. I was wrong! I couldn’t dispatch him, and had my husband do the deed instead. The creators of the Hopper Popper sent me a set of their dispatching tools to review, and I admit that we had issues, but I would assume anyone would on their first try.

They sent me their “Bare Nekkid Hopper Popper Combo”, which included:

  • 1 – Hopper Popper (cervical dislocator)
  • 1 – Hopper Hanger (skinning and butchering station)
  • Constructed of 304 1-1/2”x 1-1/2” stainless angle
  • 5/16” diameter connecting rod
  • 7/16” diameter working rod
  • Pre-drilled with mounting bolts included

I needed to prime and paint it before use so that it wouldn’t rust outside. This was an easy process, and I got my primer and paint for only a couple dollars at WalMart. I decided on Neon pink for my color, because….why not? It took a few coats and a few hours of drying time, but it was a simple process.

Hopper Popper

Next was mounting them, which we royally messed up on! Here’s why.


You will notice that I have the cervical dislocator at the same height as the skinning and butchering station. This made for a difficult dispatch, and I definitely recommend that you do as I say and not as I do! We have moved the cervical dislocator down to about knee height, so make the dislocation much easier and quicker. Pulling down works but it takes way more force and the spine can separate anywhere. The rabbit should be looking away from you and looking up with a “v” in it’s neck. You can also mount the popper on the ground. Like on a board or on the deck. Makes the pull a little easier using your legs. he job was done, however not as effective as I had hoped, but it was a lesson learned.

Here is how you hang your dispatched rabbit on the skinning and butchering station. You have to sort of loop their back legs through the V in the device, then begin your process.

Here is a great video from the makers of the Hopper Popper that explains the whole process, it really comes in handy.

All in all, I would say that I did well, despite the couple hiccups. With the new placement of the cervical dislocator, things should go more smoothly next time. I do recommend this kit, as it seems to be the most humane way to dispatch that I have seen so far. When done correctly, it is quick. Please make sure that you thank your rabbits for their life and give them an extra hug before they go. That’s what I enjoyed most about this experience; knowing that (even though he was a mean rabbit) he had a good life for the time that I had him.

I am also in the process of tanning the rabbit hide to use in the construction of a trapper hat. I will post more on that when I have finished.


We had a dinner of breaded and baked rabbit with onions, potatoes and green beans.

Enter to Win

Two winners will each receive a Bare Nekkid Hopper Popper Combo, valued at $25 each. Enter below.

Willow Stevens

Willow is a mother of six who begins to feel the empty nest, with faer oldest child living with his long-time girlfriend in another state, and the next three begin their talks about jobs and the excitement of college and living alone. Willow started couponing in 2007 to save their family some money on the grocery budget. That's how Freetail Therapy was born, so that fae could share their knowledge of saving money with others. Though the site has become so much more since then, and now includes homeschooling and homesteading info, Willow still does it all on a budget and shares how. Willow enjoys snagging freebies, snuggling with their dog, Xander, drinking decaf coffee, gardening, cannabis and of course, their large frugal family.

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