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Author Topic: sheep fleese from abattoir  (Read 5834 times)

Andrea

  • Joined Oct 2012
  • keyworth nottinghamshire
sheep fleese from abattoir
« on: March 08, 2013, 07:15:35 pm »
Hi we just booked our lambs in do you get the fleese back I would like to make a waist coat for te other half  and a sheep skin rug thanks

Rosemary

  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: sheep fleese from abattoir
« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2013, 07:21:40 pm »
I'm assuming you mean skin rather than fleece (which is just the wool).

Not normally - you will have to specifically ask and they may charge (since the skin is part of their "fee")

You also need a licence because skin is classed as an animal by-product. Your local Animal Health office will be able to help with this.

Anke

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: sheep fleese from abattoir
« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2013, 08:15:01 pm »
I think it may be too late to get the skins done,they should ideally be slaughtered by November at the latest? There was a thread about this recently....
 
Most abattoirs really don't like to give the skins back to you.... :-\

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: sheep fleese from abattoir
« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2013, 12:50:04 am »
As Anke says, you need to send your sheep off before Nov to have a useable skin, any later and the wool will slip off and block the machinery (and leave you with some very motheaten looking skins).  Or, you can send them off after shearing and once they have regrown a bit of wool - this would be ideal for your waistcoat (shearling).
 
For future reference, tell the abattoir you want your skins back when you book them in, in the autumn.  You will need to collect them as soon as possible after killing as you need to get salt on them within two hours.  Have enough salt ready in advance.  DVP  (dry vacuum packed) salt is available from agric merchants in sacks of about 20kgs for a few s.  Have a sloping table ready in an outhouse where your livestock cannot go to lay out the skins while the salt takes the moisture from them.  Abattoirs differ in how rigorously they apply the rules, and many will allow you to take the skins as long as they are tied in non-leaking polythene bags (binbags)
Once salted, you can either tan them yourself or send them to one of a dwindling number of tanneries.
 
If you do mean you want the fleece back, then no, it would not be shorn off at the abattoir - fleece comes from shearing a live sheep each year.
« Last Edit: March 09, 2013, 12:51:53 am by Fleecewife »
"Let's not talk about what we can do, but do what we can"

There is NO planet B - what are YOU doing to save our home?

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

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xnbacon

  • Joined Mar 2009
Re: sheep fleese from abattoir
« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2013, 01:20:08 pm »
Surely March IS before November?!
Might be an idea to clarify the period of time in which we may send our fleeces off.  Just for us numpties out here!!

Bionic

  • Joined Dec 2010
  • Talley, Carmarthenshire
Re: sheep fleese from abattoir
« Reply #5 on: March 09, 2013, 03:17:28 pm »
I think we are talking lambs here. If you want sheep skin rugs from this years lambs they need to go off at least by November.  The tannery told me that for Ryelands (which I have) they would need to go off to them fairly quickly (before November) because the fleece gets too springy for a sheep skin rug.
Life is like a bowl of cherries, mostly yummy but some dodgy bits

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: sheep fleese from abattoir
« Reply #6 on: March 09, 2013, 04:44:22 pm »
Surely March IS before November?!
Might be an idea to clarify the period of time in which we may send our fleeces off.  Just for us numpties out here!!

It's to do with the 'rise' ie when the new wool starts growing.  This causes a thinner part in the fleece where growth slows for the winter, then starts again in spring - the line this makes is the rise, and the wool can break here during processing.  So by sending your sheep off before Nov/Dec (it varies a bit with how far north/south you are) you make sure growth hasn't started to slow.  The cut-off date of  Nov/Dec was given by June Tinnion at Fenland Sheepskins, now sadly closed down, and would have been based on massive experience.
The exclusion time will go on until shearing, as long as that is after wool growth restarts in spring.  When after that you decide to send off your sheep will depend partly on when they are the right size and partly on when there is enough regrowth of wool to make tanning worthwhile.
 
Although March does come before Sept chronologically, in the shepherd's year it doesn't  :innocent: ...well, unless you lamb before April, which lots of folk do.......... :thinking:
« Last Edit: March 09, 2013, 04:47:00 pm by Fleecewife »
"Let's not talk about what we can do, but do what we can"

There is NO planet B - what are YOU doing to save our home?

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

 Love your soil - it's the lifeblood of your land.

TheCaptain

  • Joined May 2010
Re: sheep fleese from abattoir
« Reply #7 on: March 10, 2013, 08:26:08 am »
just to stick a massive spanner in the works - we sent our boys off in May (@16 months old), we did the curing and tanning ourselves and now have three beautiful Portland Sheep skin rugs

suziequeue

  • Joined Feb 2010
  • Llanidloes; Powys
Re: sheep fleese from abattoir
« Reply #8 on: March 10, 2013, 09:16:20 am »
We asked for the skins back when we sent ours last month. The abattoir said they could give us the skins back but they would have to get the vet to approve them and we would need to pay extra for this.


In view of the fact that I only want the fleece as anti-slug mulch we thought we would wait for them to be sheared in the summer.
We do the best we can with the information we have

When we know better we do better

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: sheep fleese from abattoir
« Reply #9 on: March 10, 2013, 10:45:32 am »
just to stick a massive spanner in the works - we sent our boys off in May (@16 months old), we did the curing and tanning ourselves and now have three beautiful Portland Sheep skin rugs
Oh, please share how you did the tanning and curing?  It always sounds so complicated and time-consuming... is it?

I got my Castlemilk Moorit fleeces from the abattoir when I sent the boys away end Oct, and salted straight away.  I drained and salted, drained and salted... well it's so moist in these parts, they've never dried out, weigh a tonne, and I've never yet packed them up and sent them off.  They're hanging over a line in a shed, not losing any weight...  Ideas anyone?

Plus, even if I do send them off, the tannery won't process the legs which are still in the round (not split lengthways), and I really love the idea of making mobile phone holders or something out of them!
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: sheep fleese from abattoir
« Reply #10 on: March 10, 2013, 12:00:23 pm »
just to stick a massive spanner in the works - we sent our boys off in May (@16 months old), we did the curing and tanning ourselves and now have three beautiful Portland Sheep skin rugs
Oh, please share how you did the tanning and curing?  It always sounds so complicated and time-consuming... is it?

I got my Castlemilk Moorit fleeces from the abattoir when I sent the boys away end Oct, and salted straight away.  I drained and salted, drained and salted... well it's so moist in these parts, they've never dried out, weigh a tonne, and I've never yet packed them up and sent them off.  They're hanging over a line in a shed, not losing any weight...  Ideas anyone?

Plus, even if I do send them off, the tannery won't process the legs which are still in the round (not split lengthways), and I really love the idea of making mobile phone holders or something out of them!

<< I got my Castlemilk Moorit fleeces from the abattoir >>   
Skins?
 
It is best to be salting them during a cold dry spell, when they will give up their moisture in as little as a week.  If the weather is damper, then covering the lot loosely with a polythene sheet has worked for me (prevents too much atmospheric moisture wetting the salt).
For salting, they should be laid out on a flat board which is on a slight slope.  You really do need to open out the legs and tail (and purse) to get the salt well rubbed in.  I put a layer about1cm thick over the whole skin, unfurling the edges to make sure every last bit is salted.  When pink starts to show through the salt I add more.  If the whole salt covering shows pink I would shake it off and put on a new layer of fresh salt - once salt is wet it won't take any more moisture.
Once the ooze stops, I shake, reapply a thin layer of fresh salt, roll the skins, pack them up and send them off to the tanners.  I have no desire or strength to tan them myself - although I admire those of you who do.
Sally, I think you have hung yours up too soon - the salt can't stick to them if they are vertical  :sheep:   They don't go crispy dry with salting, just lose enough moisture to keep postage charges down, stop any deterioration until they get to the tanners, and prevent everyone else's parcels being soaked with yuk while in transit.
« Last Edit: March 10, 2013, 12:03:54 pm by Fleecewife »
"Let's not talk about what we can do, but do what we can"

There is NO planet B - what are YOU doing to save our home?

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

 Love your soil - it's the lifeblood of your land.

YorkshireLass

  • Joined Mar 2010
  • Just when I thought I'd settled down...!
Re: sheep fleese from abattoir
« Reply #11 on: March 10, 2013, 12:52:37 pm »
If you wanted to tan your own purses etc, I bet you could chop off the leg "tubes", turn them inside out, then salt and treat. You do need to get the salt on ALL the skin though, else patches will rot  :-\

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: sheep fleese from abattoir
« Reply #12 on: March 10, 2013, 01:41:35 pm »
<< I got my Castlemilk Moorit fleeces from the abattoir >>   
Skins?

Ach, you got me  :dunce:  We're quits  :D


I'll remember the polythene over the top trick for another time, thanks FW. 

I did exactly as you say, apart from the covering polythene, on pallets stacked at a low angle, for months. Replaced the salt several times during that period.  We just haven't had any dry spells at all, everywhere under cover (and not in a heated house) has been so humid since  :thinking:  last May I think it would be. ::)   I have now shaken off the salt but the things still weigh ever such a lot, they'll cost a fortune to post.  Hence they are hung over a line in as dry a shed as I can manage, hoping that some moisture will leave them.  I guess that isn't going to happen...   I don't have anywhere safe to hang them outside, or even in a barn with a good airflow, at the moment.

I did turn the leg tubes inside out and make sure all the inner surface (now outer) was completely covered in salt.

I am wondering whether the salt took on so much atmospheric water it didn't really extract any from the skins.

Help! :-\
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

TheCaptain

  • Joined May 2010
Re: sheep fleese from abattoir
« Reply #13 on: March 10, 2013, 03:50:24 pm »
as fleecewife says, get them flat and get them layered in salt, mine took about 5 days of layering and scraping. As for tanning, I bought a kit off a taxidermy website - comes with instructions and it really isn't difficult - 20 i think for the kit, compared to 45 per fleece.


We were told exactly the same about being too late, we thought we'd give it a go anyway as it was 10 week wait. The lady was actually quite condescending and rude; I should send her some pictures!


This year I'm going to shear my boys at the end of this month with a Llama comb as I have some buyers for the 1st shear fleece and I'm trying to eek every last bit out of them as it seems such a shame not to 'honour' them with wasting any of their product. That way I leave a bit of wool on before they go in May to make a decent skin at the end of it.

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: sheep fleese from abattoir
« Reply #14 on: March 10, 2013, 03:56:48 pm »
 
   <<Ach, you got me  :dunce:  We're quits  :D>>
 
 :eyelashes:   :roflanim:
 
Sally, try pulling hard on bits of the wool and see if it comes away - if so then you've really lost the skins except for leather (vellum?)   If not then I would try laying them flattish again with fresh salt and the polythene over.  I think you are right that the salt had taken up so much atmospheric moisture that it didn't take any from the skins.   I haven't done any skins for a couple of years because it's been so damp here too, but it's been quite dry recently so perhaps that will help.   You could practice your tanning technique on the legs etc then see if you want to try the whole skins - and let us know how you did it. 
(Cross posted withThe Captain.)
"Let's not talk about what we can do, but do what we can"

There is NO planet B - what are YOU doing to save our home?

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

 Love your soil - it's the lifeblood of your land.

 

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