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adjee    12

New project started today, after my introduction to rabbit keeping I have acquired two young Californian rabbits today hoping to breed them in the coming months, the aim being to raise the youngsters for food along side our chickens. I would also like to be able to learn how to tan (if that is the correct word?) their fur naturally so any pointers would be appreciated I have been looking on the internet but most sites use chemicals when I would prefer a "natural" way even if it takes longer and is harder (I hope that makes sense).  Two new things to attempt to learn that I am looking forward to.

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Wyzyrd    352

Another rather strange advantage to raising rabbits is that if you keep your hutch inside a greenhouse in cooler weather, you get a free source of CO2 to help out your plants.

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Gary_Gough    1,167

Interesting little creatures. I had a house rabbit years ago, raised with a cat, tried to be a cat sometimes ( not just that it used the litter box ). When it wanted something it would hop over and tug my jeans to get my attention. Not designed to roll over though, so it would jump, flip mid air, and land on it's back beside the hot air register, where a cat can be lazy about that.

 

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adjee    12
On 7/5/2017 at 3:05 AM, Wyzyrd said:

Another rather strange advantage to raising rabbits is that if you keep your hutch inside a greenhouse in cooler weather, you get a free source of CO2 to help out your plants.

Thanks I was not aware of that. It gets so cold here we are planning on housing them inside during the winter. We have rigged a membrane under the cages so their urine goes through but all their "dumps" roll down to a collection tray as this can be utilized immediately on the garden, so some good manure as another useful by product.

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Rick    34

adjee I see what you mean by chemicals, and was surprised to see battery acid on the menu for so many methods.  I've raised rabbits, but didn't save the furs.  At least there are some natural methods on the net you can try, so good luck with it when the time comes.

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adjee    12
7 hours ago, Rick said:

adjee I see what you mean by chemicals, and was surprised to see battery acid on the menu for so many methods.  I've raised rabbits, but didn't save the furs.  At least there are some natural methods on the net you can try, so good luck with it when the time comes.

Using battery acid made me wonder as well! I am looking for the more natural approach as I am sure people in "earlier times" did not use battery acid!! So far the egg or brain method seem to be the way to go.

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Rick    34

Just for kicks I'd try working some fabric softener into the skin side on one.  I saw a pamphlet about smoke tanning moose hides up north and in one step they were using Fleecy instead of lye and brains.

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kiwitransient    326

To Tan rabbit skin (or any other) Kerosene and baking soda work well.

Ensure Skin has membrane removed, This is the fat/lower dermis that generally is attached after skinning.

Remove with knife or ripping tool. (imagine small garden rake)

Stake out (stretch) skin on plywood etc with staples or drawing pins.

Apply damp mixture of kero/bs and rub in. leave layer on skin.

Store horizontally in shade. Remove layer when dry (approx. 2x weeks. Apply another layer.

Remove when dry.

"Break" over rounded stick or metal stake for nice soft Pelt.

Cheap and cheerful.

I have Pelts that were treated this way 30 years ago.

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Table or Canning Salt not only pulls the moisture out and dries the hide but cleans and kills germs, bugs and preserves the hide plus it will soften. The coarseness sand like salt will scrap deep into the hide to remove any possible rotten parts or bacteria or insect eggs. 

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adjee    12

Thanks for the replies, rabbits are @ 4 months old now so another couple of months and they will be , looking forward to my attempts at tanning after first learning to dispatch and skin rabbits. Never realized the number of different methods to scan a skin but enjoying finding out about the different approaches.

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