brain tanning fur-on rabbit hides?

Discussion in 'Rabbits' started by xoxoGOATSxoxo, Jun 11, 2009.

  1. xoxoGOATSxoxo

    xoxoGOATSxoxo when in doubt, mumble.

    Messages:
    2,025
    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2006
    Location:
    Saginaw Bay area, Michigan
    Can it be done? Hair on or hair off, either way, but I was wondering if they were too thin?
     
  2. ||Downhome||

    ||Downhome|| Born in the wrong Century

    Messages:
    5,431
    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2009
    Location:
    Michigan
    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.
     

  3. xoxoGOATSxoxo

    xoxoGOATSxoxo when in doubt, mumble.

    Messages:
    2,025
    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2006
    Location:
    Saginaw Bay area, Michigan
    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.
    :D
     
  4. Pat Lamar

    Pat Lamar Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    1,387
    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2002
    Location:
    Washington
    Brain tanning is how the native Americans tanned rabbit skins.

    Pat Lamar
     
  5. vikav

    vikav Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    504
    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2009
    Location:
    NY
    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? :)
     
  6. MaggieJ

    MaggieJ Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    11,274
    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2006
    Location:
    Prince Edward County, Ontario, Canada
  7. arachyd

    arachyd Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    659
    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2009
    Location:
    NJ
    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.
     
  8. Macybaby

    Macybaby I love South Dakota Supporter

    Messages:
    5,321
    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2006
    Location:
    South Dakota
    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
     
  9. xoxoGOATSxoxo

    xoxoGOATSxoxo when in doubt, mumble.

    Messages:
    2,025
    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2006
    Location:
    Saginaw Bay area, Michigan
    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.
     
  10. arachyd

    arachyd Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    659
    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2009
    Location:
    NJ
    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.
     
  11. a7736100

    a7736100 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    497
    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2009
    Location:
    MD
    Fur comes off live rabbits so easily. Do they stay on tanned skin any better?
     
  12. vikav

    vikav Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    504
    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2009
    Location:
    NY
    Thanks, Abby, this is very good to know. :)

     
  13. crickett

    crickett Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    78
    Joined:
    May 30, 2009
    Location:
    Alabama
    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?
     
  14. xoxoGOATSxoxo

    xoxoGOATSxoxo when in doubt, mumble.

    Messages:
    2,025
    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2006
    Location:
    Saginaw Bay area, Michigan
    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. :)