Mammal Oryctolagus cuniculus (Rabbit)

auscraft

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Common Name: Rabbit

Scientific Name: Oryctolagus cuniculus

Family: Leporidae

Order: Lagomorpha

Other Names: Wild European Rabbit

Distribution: Introduced species Found throughout Australia except the northern most parts. Native to south west Europe (Spain and Portugal) and north west Africa (Morocco and Algeria).

Habitat: prefers open, grassy glades in forest, anywhere .

Rabbits are recognised as Australia’s worst vertebrate pest.

Field Notes: Rabbits compete with domestic stock for food, they damage soils thus contributing to erosion problems, and they cause profound damage to native plants. In the arid areas of Australia, including the southern Northern Territory, rabbits overgraze pasture plants and reduce trees and shrubs by killing mature plants and suppressing the recruitment of seedlings.

Rabbits also have a deleterious impact on many native fauna either directly through competition for food or shelter, or indirectly through environmental modification. The result is loss of biodiversity. Rabbits have been linked to the decline of species like the bilby (Macrotis lagotis) and the disappearance of the burrowing bettong (Bettongia lesueur) in the Northern Territory

Photos by Auscraft, 2011. My Yard, QLD

View attachment 1191View attachment 1192
 
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kiwibro

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What potential health effects are faced with eating this animal and how do you identify parasites and diseases that it may carry.
 

TheWander

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Kiwibro

I think it is the same as any game meat, as long it is cooked properly then no problems. As to identifying diseases in rabbits, as I say about all wide foods "when in doubt leave it out". The are many diseases that effect rabbit however there are only a few Zoonotic diseases that will transfer to humans. The only one I know of is Tularaemia which is thought to pass from eating rabbit. Most of the others, will normally be killed during the processing of the animal.

As with all meat it is preparation and hygiene that will impact on humans. With rabbit, skinning, bleeding, and gutting are the danger areas particularly if the gut is ruptured. I always soak mind in a brine after processing. This will remove most of the dangers.

I always where surgical gloves when skinning, bleeding, and gutting, that way I know that my hands have not come into contact with any that may harm me.

The other important thing is how healthy does the animal look, clear eyes, no swelling around the mouth, in most cases these indicate a healthy animal.

Funny thing is in the 70s mid to late, as teenagers here in Australia, one way to make pocket money was to get a brace of rabbit and sell them to the freezer works, in those days we could get anywhere up to 40 cents a brace. This was just before foxes took over as the main source of income for country boys. I remember selling 10 fox skins pegged out in the run position for $180 in 1976. That represented a weekend whistling.

Hope that helps

Cheers TheWander
 
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Nice post TW, interesting stuff.
 

peter.robinson

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What potential health effects are faced with eating this animal and how do you identify parasites and diseases that it may carry.
There are documented cases of rabbit hunters who lived only by eating rabbit through the hunting season, would often die of malnutrition because the meat is very lean and lack of fats and fat-soluable vitamins/minerals was dangerous when they had such a narrow diet. Here's one description:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rabbit_starvation
 

Timmy

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I have heard you need to eat the brains to get some fat and other nutrients. You would need to get a few tough, they are only small.
 

Hairyman

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Unlike most other mammals the souls of rabbit feet are covered in soft fur.
Often only the tips of their claws show up in their tracks.
DSCF6895 (800x596).jpg
 

Aussie123

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I often see fairly clear rabbit tracks in soft ground (including snow). Although the "pattern" of tracks is even more distinctive than the prints IMO.

I guess on soft ground, and perhaps when "trotting" the weight pushes through the fur to make an imprint.

Fur on the feet is presumable a cold weather adaption, although I wonder if it assists with hot, arid landscapes too ?
 

Hairyman

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It may be to do with moving about quietly too as many of their predators detect prey at least in part by their sound, canids, felids, owls etc.
 

Pegasus

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Rabbits are an excellent source of protein. Not too much worries as you will soon see if something is "wrong" with a Bunny. Look on the outside (general health), under the skin as you skin it (milky white "sap" = throw away), eyes, offal, etc. It's all just common bush-sense. I try to bow-shoot to the head so as not to waste meat.




With some fresh Nettles, Typha shoots, Blackberry leaves, a rose-hip or two


thrown in with some fresh mushies


you will have a bush feast. All ingredients readily available all over the Eastern seaboard anywhere out bush. My staple diet at my property.


The beauty about Rabbits are that they are legal to hunt because they are a Feral introduced menace, a legal pest species, free meat, and you do our great Aussie environment a favour by culling them.

Throw in a Yabby or two or three and some Parmesan Cheese and you have a right Royal feast happening with your Rabbit Stew.
 
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Hairyman

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