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rabbits and stuff

Half a dozen soft fluffy rabbit skins set curing - rabbits all bar one in the freezer.  Hunt marksman coming to take out two stags for us begining of February when they move back down into our woods so with a regular supply of rabbits the freezers are starting to look quite healthy with lots of free meat - which is good as our supply of pheasant has dried up this year so only getting the odd brace instead of the 20 brace we usually have at this time.  Will obviously be curing the red deer hides as well when the time comes

Very nice! Sounds like you are definitely set! (Not to mention BUSY! )

Well done Debbie - sounding good  

What cure method do you use?

What will you be using the skins for?

I have never really found a good use for them, unless I cut them up and use them for training the dogs, then it easier to cure a few roe skins instead.

Simon will make mocassin style slippers and hats from the skins when we have enough.  

We alt the skins for a week or so in salt then scrape them.  They then go into a bath made of 1 pint of salt and 2oz of oxalic acid powder to every gallon of water for another two weeks.  after that they come out and are washed in washing soda (very alkaline) then they go in the washing machine for a good wash and spin - when we do sheep skns etc we take them to the launderette and use their big machine - with the sheep skins for rugs we just dry them and dress them with leather dressing periodically but with the skins we want to process into other things we work them and dress them as they dry so they are supple.

It works for us.

Now ....... red deer mocassin slippers and hats, sounds interesting.  

Have you and diagrams/plans on how to do, or if you know of any sites with good diagrams/plans maybe you could post them.

Has Simon made mocassins or hats before, if so would it be possible for him to post a pic or two.

What gun is used on the rabbits

No, no photographs I am afraid but when he makes the next ones I will put some photos up - or links to them as I am a bit useless where posting photographs are concerned.

No idea on the gun Slipster - a friends shoots them for us but I will ask him.

Sounds interesting  

i found a taning mix on line using acid form car batteries! may have to try it at least once!

budgie wrote:
i found a taning mix on line using acid form car batteries! may have to try it at least once!

wow!  Oxalic acid ie reasonably mild in that its a wood bleach and used in a relatively diluted solution - not sure I would try car battery acid!

Debbie, that sounds a lot easier than the method in a taxidermy book I have, which has always put me off trying to cure our rabbit skins.  If I can find a source of oxalic acid here in France (or someone prepared to post it from the UK) I will have to give it a go.  

its dead easy to buy on line and cheap too - I paid 21 including delivery for 5kgs of the stuff.  Over here IDY shops will get it in for you too.  We started using it as it is easy to find we had a terrible job trying to get hold of allum.

3 brace of pheasant arrived at 10pm last night - I do love it here you know - a few sacks of seasoned hard wood will be dropped off tomorrow to the doner with our thanks

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