NFU Mutual Smallholding Insurance

Author Topic: How much salt for skins  (Read 9053 times)

lesbri

  • Joined Apr 2013
Re: How much salt for skins
« Reply #30 on: October 17, 2014, 01:57:17 pm »
I covered them with paper feed sacks and then laid some polythene loosely over the top. Didnt notice any problem with rats/mice.
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Bekka

  • Joined Jan 2014
Re: How much salt for skins
« Reply #31 on: October 17, 2014, 02:01:40 pm »
Ok, will try that, thank you!

Bionic

  • Joined Dec 2010
  • Talley, Carmarthenshire
Re: How much salt for skins
« Reply #32 on: October 17, 2014, 03:25:28 pm »
Bekka, i agree about not hanging them up. I have instructions from the tannery and they say specifically to lay them somewhere flat. Mine are in the stable and I haven't had any problems with rodents. I think all that salt might put them off.
Life is like a bowl of cherries, mostly yummy but some dodgy bits

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: How much salt for skins
« Reply #33 on: October 17, 2014, 04:48:27 pm »

Another vote for laying the skins flat, or nearly flat, initially at least.  I support a large sheet of plywood on hurdles set in a 'V' shape, one side up resting on the tops of the joiny bits, the other resting on the top bar.  This allows any liquid to drain off, but not the salt.  If you also use hurdles, I discovered the hard way that you need to cover them too, not just the board, as the salt corrodes the metal of the hurdles.  Under the edge I put straw to catch the run-off - straw can be burned afterwards.
You can stack your skins about three high, skin to fleece, if you have a lot.  I've done 4 high but the top ones slipped every now and then.  You do need to keep swapping which ones are on top.

As I mentioned, I usually cover with a sheet of polythene to ward off atmospheric moisture, but it keeps the mice off too.  In the depths of winter when it's below zero I don't cover them.  I did once see evidence that mice had held a party on the skins - loads of cute footprints in the salt  :roflanim:  The other thing which happened was with mole skins, which I layed out in the same way and salted, intending to tan them myself.  There were quite a few but the numbers dwindled.  Eventually we worked out that we had a rat and it was taking the moleskins back to its den to line the nest.  They must have been the comfiest baby rats ever  ::)
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Bekka

  • Joined Jan 2014
Re: How much salt for skins
« Reply #34 on: October 21, 2014, 10:37:11 am »
Thank you all - layed them flat as soon as I read that post and all looking good. I am now at the fleshing stage - anyone any tips for this? I have lots of whittling tools - draw knife and small sharp knives. I have 4 to do so it may take some time!!

Bionic

  • Joined Dec 2010
  • Talley, Carmarthenshire
Re: How much salt for skins
« Reply #35 on: October 21, 2014, 10:45:19 am »
Sorry Bekka I can't help with this one. I am pleased to say my skins were very clean when I got them back from the abattoir so, after salting, I will be sending them off just as they are.
Life is like a bowl of cherries, mostly yummy but some dodgy bits

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: How much salt for skins
« Reply #36 on: October 21, 2014, 11:32:59 am »

Mostly mine have come back fairly clean with just the odd patch of muscle or fat still attached.  I have found something more blunt than a sharp knife is better, as you are less likely to make a hole in the skin.  Best too to have the tool almost flat against the skin.  A flint hand scraper would possibly be good - if only I had one  ;D
www.scothebs.co.uk

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus - let sleeping dragons lie

lesbri

  • Joined Apr 2013
Re: How much salt for skins
« Reply #37 on: October 21, 2014, 12:47:38 pm »
My tip for the fleshing is to get someone else to help (or in my case actually do it while I watched :innocent:). Seriously I think it helps if you have someone to pull the skin away from you as you are scraping, so its as taut as possible if you see what I mean. Good luck  :thumbsup:  I would do more skins this year but I cant send my lambs off yet as I want to use my tup lamb on my ewes and want to lamb a bit later next year, so I think it will be too late to tan my skins this year  :(

shygirl

  • Joined May 2013
Re: How much salt for skins
« Reply #38 on: October 21, 2014, 02:33:33 pm »
does anyone have any experience of goat and cattle skins? im looking to do both in the very near future and not sure what to do.

Anke

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: How much salt for skins
« Reply #39 on: October 21, 2014, 05:07:08 pm »
does anyone have any experience of goat and cattle skins? im looking to do both in the very near future and not sure what to do.

Re goats - Having spoken to the lady who will cure my sheep skins about goats - it is a lot more difficult to get them right as goats' winter coats do come/brush out (the cashmere stuff), and mostly goat (and actually kid) skins are turned into leather, with all the hairs scraped off. My girls have their winter coats coming in by the end of August and I am struggling sometimes in June to get them out...

Don't know anything about cattle skins though - you can see them on American/cowboy films, so I guess tese are more suitable...

Bramblecot

  • Joined Jul 2008
Re: How much salt for skins
« Reply #40 on: October 21, 2014, 06:26:29 pm »
A friend has sent their Dexter skins for tanning.  They have to go to Italy ::) and were sent via Exeter Skins and Hides.  Very costly but lovely results.

shygirl

  • Joined May 2013
Re: How much salt for skins
« Reply #41 on: October 21, 2014, 08:17:48 pm »
thanks anke, my wether has a beautiful long clean coat so was wanting it as a hairy rug or something, same for the bullock.

 

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