brain tanning fur-on rabbit hides? - Homesteading Today
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  #1  
Old 06/11/09, 07:51 PM
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brain tanning fur-on rabbit hides?

Can it be done? Hair on or hair off, either way, but I was wondering if they were too thin?

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Old 06/11/09, 08:03 PM
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im not an expert abby but it should work just fine! you use wood ash to dehair it but I would think it would make better fur than leather.

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Old 06/11/09, 08:53 PM
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Thanks! All I know about rabbit hides is that they are super thin, so I didnt know if they were too fragile to brain tan.

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  #4  
Old 06/11/09, 09:45 PM
 
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Brain tanning is how the native Americans tanned rabbit skins.

Pat Lamar

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Old 06/12/09, 11:23 AM
 
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I'd be very interested to know how to do it using brains. Does anybody have a link to some detailed info about this? Or maybe someone can post about how to do it?

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  #6  
Old 06/12/09, 11:46 AM
 
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This site should have some information:

http://www.braintan.com/

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  #7  
Old 06/12/09, 07:12 PM
 
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The skin of young rabbits is thin and tears easily but the skin of older rabbits is much thicker and makes a nice, fine-grained leather whether it has the fur on it or not. I haven't attempted a brain tan yet but alum tanning works very well.

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  #8  
Old 06/12/09, 08:41 PM
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What is a good age for using the skin? I've been trying to find this out and the closest I found was that commercial buyers prefer the rabbit to be a year old, and to have a winter coat.

I don't plan on selling pelts, but would love to tan them for my own use. I was thinking if I could keep them for 6 months that would not be bad. I would save the ones with nice markings and let them get older and use them for pet food, and butcher the plain ones early for people food.

Right now I butcher at 3 months and don't have to worry about separating them. That would be another question - at what age should they be separated?

I found a very good article about tanning rabbit hide in the archives of Mother Earth News, did not address the brain tanning question though.

Cathy

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  #9  
Old 06/12/09, 09:55 PM
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Thanks all! I suppose it'll be harder to find hides from older rabbits rather than broilers or fryers, though. Darn.

I learned brain tanning from a guy who does traditional type stuff. He also taught me basket weaving and twisting plants into cord.

Anyway, for vikav, brain tanning is pretty easy but time consuming. You should read about it but also try to have somebody show you.

Deer hides are my favorite but they are so large! I like to cut them up to work on them, but then you only have small bits.

Nobody every seems to mention the importance of weather while brain tanning! The right conditions really make a difference in the hide....

I like to flesh and dehair in drizzely cool weather, cause it keeps the hide moist.

70-75 degrees with sun and a light breeze are the best conditions I've found for brain tanning. You can move into the shade if the hide is drying too fast.

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  #10  
Old 06/13/09, 07:13 AM
 
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The alum tanning method I used is from MON. I haven't tanned a rabbit skin under a year old so I don't know what the youngest age for a strong skin would be. I'm just speculating but I think maybe when they become sexually mature would be when they'd grow thicker skin due to the fights they can get into.

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  #11  
Old 06/14/09, 03:45 PM
 
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Fur comes off live rabbits so easily. Do they stay on tanned skin any better?

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  #12  
Old 06/14/09, 07:40 PM
 
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Thanks, Abby, this is very good to know.

Quote:
Originally Posted by xoxoGOATSxoxo View Post

Anyway, for vikav, brain tanning is pretty easy but time consuming. You should read about it but also try to have somebody show you.

Deer hides are my favorite but they are so large! I like to cut them up to work on them, but then you only have small bits.

Nobody every seems to mention the importance of weather while brain tanning! The right conditions really make a difference in the hide....

I like to flesh and dehair in drizzely cool weather, cause it keeps the hide moist.

70-75 degrees with sun and a light breeze are the best conditions I've found for brain tanning. You can move into the shade if the hide is drying too fast.
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  #13  
Old 06/15/09, 08:04 AM
 
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This is very interesting to me as I would like to know how as well. I've heard it said that God gives each animal enough brain to save it's hide. I wonder about the fur question as well. Will the fur stay on the tanned hide any better than the rabbit? Or should I just plan on all leather? and how do you store the furs until you plan to use them? Should they be rolled and kept in the freezer? or is there a better way?

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  #14  
Old 06/15/09, 01:14 PM
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I hear that buffalos need two brains, because their hides are so thick.

I dont know about the fur factor for rabbits. I'd love for it to stay on. I've done a coon and a large squirrel with the fur on, and they are fine. A little stiffer than I'd like, but the fur isnt falling out much at all. I think what fell out is just some normal shedding, because they were both killed in the summer and werent in prime fur condition.

I've contacted a lady who has mini rexes. She has a sable and possibly a castor and blue that she wants to cull before the end of the week. So I'll be tanning next week and let you all know how it goes.

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