Where's the question I asked? ( fur, leather, & raw hide)

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I posted it yesterday (nov,16) & didn't have a chance to check it untill today. I know it was there for a little while as I received a few responces (which didn't have anything to do with my question or was rude). What gives? And for those rude responces, it wasn't a prank post. And I resent being accused of it. As for those that missed the post or might be honestly interested.

I only asked how to tan a fur as I wanted to save a few rabbit pelts as fur instead of leather. I have some past countryside mags., one of which tells an easy way to make leather. I, however, would like to have some other ideas on how to remove the hair without chemicals for making raw hide (nair as mentioned on the first post (now gone) may not work as I must have a non toxic way to make raw hide). This raw hide will be for my dogs (chews).

I fail to see how these rude posters (now gone) could think this post was a prank, offensive, & unrelated to this forum in any way.

I know it seems like I'm ranting but, I'm quite calm & would simply like some answers. To both the rabbit questions & as to why my first post disappeared.

Thank you for your patience


-- animalfarms (jawjlewis@netzero.net), November 17, 2001


I didn't read your 1st post so can't answer question two, but as for rabbit fur, there is a good set of instructions in J.D.Belangers book The Homesteaders Handbook to Raising Small Livestock.I got mine in the 70's but you couild possibly get a copy from a 2nd hand book store or on the internet. It uses battery acid. Maybe the countryside archives would have something.

-- Judy Schumacher (TootlesTheBrit@aol.com), November 17, 2001.

The article in my countryside mag. was useing battery(sp) acid, but I'm afraid it would be toxic. I'm making raw hide chews for my dogs & don't want to poison them or make them sick in any way.


-- animalfarms (jawjlewis@netzero.net), November 17, 2001.

Hi there.......I read your original post, someone responded in a not very nice way and Ken instead of deleting just the response must have accidently deleted the whole post. It was a zoo that day so please don't hold it against him. Someone was using other peoples name and addies and starting crude threads etc. I don't think anyone thought YOUR thread was bad. Take a deep breath and know we all like you. O.K.??? Is Alum considered to chemical??? In tan your hide it is given as a way. have you ever read that book?? Lots of ideas.

-- diane (gardiacaprines@yahoo.com), November 17, 2001.

I've made rawhide by soaking a deerhide in a water and ashes/charcoal (from the wood stove) solution for a few days. Then take out the hide and scrape off the hair with a blunt object. Then stretch and dry. Not sure if this would be poisonous, but it made good rawhide.

-- malinda (teneniel_80@yahoo.com), November 17, 2001.

I do it just like melinda,, make a paste of wood ashes, ,smear it all over,, both sides,, keep it damp, not dripping but the ashes should stay wet,, give it a couple weeks. Then I rub it against a tree , that roughs it up and takes the hair and anything remaining off. I use it for rabbit,, coon, opossum,, ccon makes great boot laces

-- stan (sopal@net-port.com), November 17, 2001.

We've had an outbreak of trolls on the forum, and I'm still not convinced you're not one. Particularly as Ken felt the need to remove the post, and he can cross-reference who is making posts and where they come from. Assuming the best for the moment, one thing I'd advise is getting another handle - "animalfarms" is in use by one of our regulars, and we've also had fake posts pretending to be other people. At the moment, I believe Ken is wading through any suspect posts wielding fire and the sword, and I'm glad of it. May mean some genuine posts get short shrift, but so be it.

Since the question has some merit, I'll address it anyway. First, rabbit skin would be too thin to make a decent dog-chew. Second, hair is generally removed from hides by using a caustic substance - lye is often used. Traditionally, laying out the hide, hair side up, possibly trimming what you can of the hair, then sprinkling the hide liberally with ashes, wetting them down, them rolling the hide up and setting it aside (unrolling and sprinkling again with water every so often).

-- Don Armstrong (darmst@yahoo.com.au), November 17, 2001.

Yup, that's what happened. I managed to delete the entire thread rather than just the offensive post (which also was attributed to a forum regular). I apologize.

Post did mention using a commercial hair remover, such as Nair.

-- Ken S. in WC TN (scharabo@aol.com), November 17, 2001.

the ash sounds like a good idea and I am going to try that one of thes days but if she is using it for her dogs like chew's would that work? I know if you drip water through ashes you can get lye for soap can't you. Wouldn't that be what is taking the hair off the skins. Just wondering. What do you all think?

-- Teresa (c3ranch@socket.net), November 17, 2001.

Just throwing out an idea, as around here its the hair/fur that we want, but...

A definitely non-poisonous treatment for your bunnies would be to trim the hair as short as possible, as a previous post suggestsed, and then really go close with a electric hair trimmer, etc. Then cure it as you would, and then use the whole thing as a rawhide for your dog. A little bit of hair on one side isn't going to detract from its appeal to the dogs. I'm also not sure, however, how rabbit is going to stand up, esp. as opposed to, say, steerhide.

-- Audie (paxtours@alaska.net), November 17, 2001.

Teresa, absolutely. For rawhide, you could rinse afterwards (if necessary). For tanning, the tanning solution (say, boiled oak galls, or even leaves) would do the job. Rabbit-leather would make marvellous gloves (Doc Holliday), but would be a bit thin for anything else. Rabbit-hide, fur-on, would make a marvellous baby bunting rug (obviously, since that's what the nursery rhyme was about).

-- Don Armstrong (darmst@yahoo.com.au), November 17, 2001.

No, I'm not mad. I did think the entire delete was an accident. What upset me more was the bad replies (what few I got), and I'm NOT someone that gets riled easily.

The ashes idea sounds good, as well as soaking. But I had someone thats off forum ask if scalding/scraping the rabbit like a hog would work, or would the hair not permit it (ie. to thick, wrong texture, etc...)?

I'm trying to make chew treats (they can eat), not chew toys (ment only for play, & the need to chew). The thickness of the raw hide (end result) shouldn't matter.

Any other ideas?

animalfarms (the one & only)

-- animalfarms (jawjlewis@netzero.net), November 17, 2001.

Ok, this is how its done... You need a source of Tannic acid to remove the hair. Ok, take the "green" pelts. Get your self a NON GALVANIZED plastic will work bucket. Fill it up with water. Put some oak saw dust or even pieces of cut up limbs (other trees will do, also, but I dont specifically remember which right now... I will check and post another response) into the water. Put Greenhides in water, weight down with pebbles if need be. Let sit for a week or so until hair can easily be yanked out, stir once in a while. Hair will soon be able to be removed in clumps and by scraping gently (some people use a smooth log and the back of butcher knife for that process). Let dry thoroughly by either nailing to board and letting air dry, salting (not good for doggie treats!), or smoking- this finished product is called Rawhide. Also see the book TAN YOUR HIDE for more leather making info. I agree- rabbit hides are awfully thin for doggie treats, rabbit hides are more useful if left with fur on, in my opinion. I am attempting to make a quilt out of my rabbit hides.

-- Kevin in NC (Vantravlrs@aol.com), November 17, 2001.

Okay, I may be way out of my league here (I'm a veggie with no interest in fur or leather anything), but couldn't you just stretch out the hide, fur side up, and just sweep over it with a little propane torch (the little handheld ones like fancy chefs use to carmalize their creme brulee -- mmm, now I'm hungry). I have one that I use to "roast" uncooperative charcoal tablets that I burn loose herbal incenses on. They're real handy to have, make great anti- burgalr protection. Not that I'd actually burn someone with it, but you have to admit that with bed-head and a pissy attitude behind it, it would be a sight that would give you pause. You might have to soak the hide first, or wet it down, and let just the hair dry up.

-- Soni (thomkilroy@hotmail.com), November 17, 2001.

rawhide is just that raw. soak in salt water for a day or two then let dry in the shape you want. the fur won't set so it will slip (fall out) when it is handled.

-- Pops (pops762@hotmail.com), November 17, 2001.

Wendy, there was a bad spate of nonsense going on here. I'm sure you can get some serious replies going forward. As they say at Whidbey Island Naval Air Station, "Pardon our noise...it's the sound of freedom."

There's a lot of new folks here these days, too.

-- sheepish (WA) (the_original_sheepish@hotmail.com), November 19, 2001.

This is a truly excellent site for natural tanning methods. I think you'll find what you're looking for here.


Good book, too!

-- Laura Rae Jensen (lrjensen@nwlink.com), November 20, 2001.

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