Skinning at home
It is a sin to throw away the skin taken from the carcass of a dead animal, whether it is a trophy of a successful hunt, a domestic goat, a sheep or nutria. Get acquainted with a cheap and simple method of skinning, which, in my opinion, is available to everyone.
It is a sin to throw away the skin taken from the carcass of a dead animal, whether it is a trophy of a successful hunt, a domestic goat, a sheep or nutria. Get acquainted with a cheap and simple method of skinning, which, in my opinion, is available to everyone. I use it to dress the skins of sheep, deer, marmots, rabbits and goats. But the method is suitable for dressing the skins of all mammals, especially if you want to save fur. After such dressing, the skin becomes soft and comfortable to use, for example, for making things that require cutting and sewing.
Pour salt onto raw skins
Raw skin, just taken from the carcass, must be cooled, having previously removed the remains of meat and fat from its inner side. For cooling, the skin is spread in the shade on an absolutely flat surface, for example, on a concrete or stone floor, with the hair down.
When you feel that the skin has cooled to the touch, immediately pour non-iodized edible salt on its inner side (mezdra). To process sheep or deer skins, you will need from 1.5 to 2.5 kg of salt. If the skins are not salted immediately after the carcasses are refreshed, they will disappear. The decomposition process will begin, and during further processing the skins will lose their fur cover.
The skin should lie on a flat surface, its edges should not twist. When dragging the skin, do not stretch it. If part of the salt crumbles from the surface of the mezra, add it without stinting. Salt must absorb moisture so that the skin is completely dry and becomes crispy. The process can take from a few days to a couple of weeks. A completely dried skin retains its shape and quality well.
What will be needed for dressing skins
If you are ready to do skinning, prepare everything you need in advance:
* 26.5 liters of water,
* 1 kg (16 cups) cereal bran,
* 16 cups of regular non-iodized salt,
* 2 large plastic vats with a capacity of 114 l and 1 lid,
* 1 wooden stick 1.2 m long for stirring the solution and turning the skins,
* 3.5 cups acid for car batteries,
* 2 packs of baking soda,
* wooden lattice or flooring for skinning,
* hoofed oil,
* metal brush.
The indicated quantities are designed for the manufacture of four skins of large animals, or 10 rabbit skins, or 6 skins of medium-sized animals, for example, marmots. To make fewer skins, adjust the numbers indicated.
A few hours before you plan to start dressing, dry skins should be immersed in fresh clear water and soaked until they become elastic.
Boil 11.5 liters of water and pour it on the bran. After an hour, when the flakes are well steamed, throw them on a sieve to decant the brownish infusion. Bring the remaining 15 liters of water to a boil. Pour 16 cups of salt into a plastic tub, pour boiling water and mix thoroughly with a wooden stick until the salt is completely dissolved. Pour brownish infusion of bran into salt water and stir the resulting liquid.
When the liquid cools and becomes a little warm, add acid to it for car batteries. Observe the precautions indicated on the label of the acid vial. When handling acid, wear old gloves and a long-sleeved shirt. Pour acid gently, holding the vial above the surface of the solution and do not allow it to spray. Stir the resulting mixture well.
Now you can do the cleaning of dry mezra. When making fresh skins, this procedure can be omitted. Immerse the skins in the solution and stir. The skins must be completely covered with liquid in order to saturate it well. In the solution, the skins must be kept for about 40 minutes, periodically stirring them with a stick for uniform impregnation.
Fill the second plastic tub with clean, warm water and start washing the skins. Remove all the skins from the solution one by one, using a wooden stick, and place them in a container with clean water – you must wash off the excess salt from the skins. To better wash the skins, they need to be stirred and patted with a stick for 5 minutes, and when the water becomes dirty, change it to clean.
Some add baking soda to the rinse water to neutralize the remaining acid in the skin. This allows you to insure people with sensitive skin from possible irritation. But on the other hand, this neutralizes the acid that was used to preserve the skins. Therefore, before pouring soda into a vat to wash your skins, decide for what purpose you will use them. If it is assumed that the skin or fur will come into contact with human skin, then you need to rinse it in water with soda. And if the skin is thrown on the floor like a carpet, or hanged on the wall, then in my opinion, you can not add soda when rinsing.