Tanning Rabbit Hides


| 4/21/2017 1:03:00 PM


Tags: meat rabbits, rabbit hides, tanning hides with salt and alum, Good Simple Living, Melissa Souza,

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We started raising meat rabbits on our small acre homestead, and wanted to honor the animals that feed us by using as much of the rabbit as possible. The innards are buried, and turned to compost. The ears and feet are dehydrated, and used as dog treats. Also the hides are saved, and preserved the best we can. The process we use takes around 3 weeks to complete, so I save up hides until I have about a dozen before processing a batch.

To obtain the hide we cut around each foot, and between the leg, and pull the entire hide off in a tube. I rinse in cold water to remove as much blood from the neck area, and roll them skin side out. Each hide is placed in the freezer in a large bag until I have enough to process. They will keep about a year in the freezer.

Once I am ready to process I remove my hides from the freezer, and let thaw about 6 hours. I fill a clean 5 gallon pail (or Rubbermaid tub if you have more than 10) half way with hot water. Add 1 cup non iodized sale, and 1 cup aluminum sulfate (alum) to water. Stir until fully dissolved. I add fresh or thawed pelts to the solution. This will tan 10-12. If needed I top off with a little more water, and weigh down with a plate, and something heavy to make sure that all pelts are fully submerged.

soak

My pail is stored at room temp for 5-7 days, and stirred twice a day to make sure that all areas are soaked in brine. It is important to keep this out of reach from animals and children. 5-7 days after the first brine I pull my pelts, and squeeze out as much brine as possible back into the bucket. Do not wring them out, just squeeze. The brine is saved for the next step.




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