Will a farmer give up the whole cow?

CLSranch

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It is a lot easier to start on something smaller. Learning on squirrels is a good start. Rabbit is easy to tear up so a good learner after the squirrel and not ruining a large hide.
I believe there is a tanning thread or two on here. I can't remember who started it but a she is a wealth of info and happy to help.
 

Ceciliasherd

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It is a lot easier to start on something smaller. Learning on squirrels is a good start. Rabbit is easy to tear up so a good learner after the squirrel and not ruining a large hide.
I believe there is a tanning thread or two on here. I can't remember who started it but a she is a wealth of info and happy to help.
Alright I'll go grab the pellet gun brb... lol.
 

misfitmorgan

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I certainly have not skinned a cow before nor did I know how much work it was... I thought it was easy! Lol, I would like to try though... I will keep you updated. Maybe I should start with a deer hide. Oh boy!
No easy at all...tanning a cow hide takes 8 weeks. Deer is less time 4-5weeks. They all take time and special tools. You also have to work the hide if you want it "soft" it's the difference between leather and say....rawhide lol.
 

HomesteaderWife

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(WARNING: Just to be safe, following discusses skinning and tanning.)

@Ceciliasflock -

edit: I wrote a book here, sorry! I forgot to add, most places have someone that comes and picks up hide/scraps but it's still worth the ask! Our local places have a hide/tallow factory that comes to pick up usually. However you may end up with a cow hide soaked in blood and slipping hair if it is done as normal, so perhaps when you're ready to try, talk to them about carefully skinning one for you and laying it where flesh touches flesh and not sitting in blood. Offer them a little bit of incentive to do so perhaps to encourage the carefulness. Never let the flesh side (side that was against the animal, has meat and fat on it) touch the hair side (the outside). Again, blood soaked into it will cause hair slippage.

I was tagged here so wanted to chime in- it is SO great you want to purpose the whole animal! But let me say cow hides are a MASSIVE undertaking and very time consuming, and if you've never tanned anything yourself you will be very overwhelmed and the weather is warming in most parts where flies and wasps will be an issue. If you are inexperienced, perhaps contact a taxidermist or tannery about sending it off to be professionally tanned, but seek instructions on hide care and shipping/costs before getting that hide. Cleaning the skull on that massive animal may be an undertaking, so do a bit of research and you may find someone near you who has dermestid beetles that clean. Again, all about if you want to spend money to have the whole thing repurposed or not. Remember that having parts of an animal around, especially if very smelly and left out, can attract predators to you. Don't risk the safety of your animals or yourself, and don't get overwhelmed.

I recommend if you want to learn more about tanning to pick up Monte Burch's book “The Ultimate Guide to Skinning and Tanning” and read through it. Start small - squirrel is easy practice. Wild rabbit is going to have a very thin hide, so it is delicate and can tear easily. Raccoon is very fatty, but a tail stripper helps with cleaning the bone and fat out of a tail to leave on (This combo kit has a few basic tools inside). Monte's book talking about various tanning methods.

Some people save bones for the pups to chew on and clean. The fat can be saved for tallow making. Hooves would make for some cool crafts. Hide takes alot of work and alot of shaving down, so again just research that first! Teeth could make an odd necklace or again some interesting crafts.

Hope this helps a bit!
 
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Ceciliasherd

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(WARNING: Just to be safe, following discusses skinning and tanning.)

@Ceciliasflock -

edit: I wrote a book here, sorry! I forgot to add, most places have someone that comes and picks up hide/scraps but it's still worth the ask! Our local places have a hide/tallow factory that comes to pick up usually. However you may end up with a cow hide soaked in blood and slipping hair if it is done as normal, so perhaps when you're ready to try, talk to them about carefully skinning one for you and laying it where flesh touches flesh and not sitting in blood. Offer them a little bit of incentive to do so perhaps to encourage the carefulness. Never let the flesh side (side that was against the animal, has meat and fat on it) touch the hair side (the outside). Again, blood soaked into it will cause hair slippage.

I was tagged here so wanted to chime in- it is SO great you want to purpose the whole animal! But let me say cow hides are a MASSIVE undertaking and very time consuming, and if you've never tanned anything yourself you will be very overwhelmed and the weather is warming in most parts where flies and wasps will be an issue. If you are inexperienced, perhaps contact a taxidermist or tannery about sending it off to be professionally tanned, but seek instructions on hide care and shipping/costs before getting that hide. Cleaning the skull on that massive animal may be an undertaking, so do a bit of research and you may find someone near you who has dermestid beetles that clean. Again, all about if you want to spend money to have the whole thing repurposed or not. Remember that having parts of an animal around, especially if very smelly and left out, can attract predators to you. Don't risk the safety of your animals or yourself, and don't get overwhelmed.

I recommend if you want to learn more about tanning to pick up Monte Burch's book “The Ultimate Guide to Skinning and Tanning” and read through it. Start small - squirrel is easy practice. Wild rabbit is going to have a very thin hide, so it is delicate and can tear easily. Raccoon is very fatty, but a tail stripper helps with cleaning the bone and fat out of a tail to leave on (This combo kit has a few basic tools inside). Monte's book talking about various tanning methods.

Some people save bones for the pups to chew on and clean. The fat can be saved for tallow making. Hooves would make for some cool crafts. Hide takes alot of work and alot of shaving down, so again just research that first! Teeth could make an odd necklace or again some interesting crafts.

Hope this helps a bit!
Oh thank you so much! Your comments bring me peace!! I will buy that book for sure! I didn't think about predators though thanks for that.
 

HomesteaderWife

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@Ceciliasflock - Glad to be of help in any way! If you get into tanning small game or tanning something like rabbit, let us know. Can't wait to hear how it goes for you!

@Baymule - You are totally right, it's pretty easy to buy one already finished. I've seen some cheaper at local flea markets or home staging/showcase stores. Heck, you may even find one online or in the local paper or could put out an ad looking for one. These hides are finished out, usually shaved down very well and generally when I see them around here for sale they've been chromed/chrome-tanned (the flesh side will appear a dark blue/gray in color).
 

Simpleterrier

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Good Idea for cow skulls is to place them in a black plastic bag and set them out the flies will get in and do their work. they work better in a black bag and faster the maggots don't fall off.

As to getting back what u ask for from a butcher all the ones around here do a pretty good job and getting/giving you what u want. Heart liver steak cuts
 
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