ANTI-FREEZE FOR SNAKE SKINS

Submitted by James on 01/08/2003. ( countryboytx71@yahoo.com ) 67.203.224.16

I recently got in a couple of rattlesnake skins that were put in anti-freeze. Two of the skins are dried out and the belly scales are curling up. And some of the other scales seem to be coming off. One of the skins is still a little wet. The one that is still a little wet is to be put on felt only. The other two are to be put on a board. My question is when I rehydrate the skins will the scales lie back down or will they stay curled up? Second will I still need to tan the hides like alwayys or did the anti-freeze take care of that? Any help would be helpful

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antifreeze? NOt AGAIN!

This response submitted by wetnwild on 01/08/2003. ( voyer1@aol.com ) 205.188.208.138

Now lets see, whoever used antifreeze on these skins is living in the stone age. Anti freeze is not a good fixative for snake skins. It will not hold up over long term in my limited experience with it. As for rehydrating, it will be a 50/50 proposition. They will either relax, or they will desintigrate. I have never heard a success story about rhydrating snake skins after the antifreeze method. Sometimes they will soften with no ill effects if they are frsh, if they are older, many of them just fall apart. I have no idea where the antifreeze method came from, but it may be the small amount of alcohol in the old style antifreeze that fixed the skins. I am not sure though, and this is just an asumption. As for the curling, it will be like i said, they will either be fine?, or ruined. I would also contact Bruce Rittel, and see if the absorbtion of the antifreeze in the skins, will have an adverse reaction to the ingredients in the tanning solution. I would imagine it would. Good luck to you! Maybe someone with more knowledge of this stone -age method will have more experienced input.


I'm Curious

This response submitted by Ken Edwards on 01/08/2003. ( ken@taxidermy.net ) 63.184.200.80

Where are people getting this information on using Anti-Freeze for snake skin preservation? As many times as we've heard this, it must be in a book or on a web site somewhere. James, would you let us know where you found your instructions which called for using Anti-Freeze?


About AntiFreeze

This response submitted by James on 01/08/2003. ( countryboytx71@yahoo.com ) 67.203.221.33

Well to answer your question about using antifreeze on the skins. I didnt use the antifreeze. A customer brought them to me to board mount and he soaked them. Dont know who told him to do this or where he got the info from. I went to school to learn the taxidermy trade but the teacher never mentioned what to do in the antifreeze situation. Well thanks for yalls help.


Anti-Freeze source...

This response submitted by Sam on 06/17/2003. ( ) 216.119.145.138

Hi. I just found this site today. looks good so far. I've learned alot already. About the Anti-Freeze Method, i dont know who came up with it, but i leared it from a friend who knows a little about taxidermy. He likes to hunt alot. So he said put it in anti-freeze for a while, then take it out, stretch it across a board, and salt it. I've done this a couple times, but the skins came out very dry and stiff. I think i left them in the salt too long. The other day, i got bit by a snake, (non-poisonous) so i killed it and skinned it. It was about 6' long. I've already put it in anti-freeze, as this was the only method i know of. Its been in about 5 days now. Is it too late to take it out and try another method? Well Thats my .02 cents.


Curing Snakeskin

This response submitted by Henry on 08/15/2003. ( nash2_us@yahoo.com ) 68.117.184.187

Remove the head, if it is a poisonous snake be careful they are dangerous even after the snake is dead.

Cut down the middle of the belly plates with a pair of scissors or snips.
Remove the skin from the carcass. Try to maintain a steady presure, the skin should peel easkil from the neck to the vent.

Remove the skin from the vent, this requires some delicate knife work. You might use a box cutter for this, they are sharp.

Remove any remaining fat or meat from the hide, about the same as you would skin a fish, keeping the blade almost flat and work with a smooth sawing strokes to acoid cuts or tears in the hide.

When the sking is removed and scraped clean, rinse and carefully the inside for any bile or blood stains. Wash them away.

Now to the Curing part:

Fill a gallon jug two-thirds full of water. Dissolve as much plain salt (non-iodized) in the water as possible. Stir the water as you add the salt and when you see the crystals innking to the bottom instead of dessolving, that is enough salt. (It will take about 2 lbs of salt to a gallon of water)

Place the skin in loose fold (not rolled) in the salt water solution.
Seal the jug, and leave a room temperature (70 degrees) for four days. Rotate the jug gently once or twice a day.

Remove from he salt water on the fourth day. Rince for seveal minutes and lightly pat dry on towels.

Mix a solution of equal parts glycerin and water. Pure glycerin is avalable at most drugstores.
Two pints of glycerin mixed with water is sufficient to treat three medium-sized snakeskins.

Place the skin in the glycerin solution, cover and let stand at room temperature for another four days. Rotate but do not shake the jug daily.

After the skin has been in the glycerin solution four days, remove and pat dry with a towel.

Place the dry skin on an unfinished, dry, flat pine board. The boards must be long and wide enought to sandwich the whole skin. Do not stretch the skin to flatten it, just roll it out smoothly on the board. Use the flat of your hand to remove and wrinkles.

Place a second pine board on top of the skin. The skin must be firmly pressed, so weigh down the top board.

Let dry for four days. It may take a little longer in the dead of winter or in humid conditions.

When the skin is dry, it will be soft and pliable. Put a little talcum powder on the dry hide and roll it around on an old paper-towel roll ( one of those cardboard rollers) and it will keep until you are ready to turn it into a hatband or mount it on a display board.


Curing Snakeskin

This response submitted by Henry on 08/15/2003. ( nash2_us@yahoo.com ) 68.117.184.187

Remove the head, if it is a poisonous snake be careful they are dangerous even after the snake is dead.

Cut down the middle of the belly plates with a pair of scissors or snips.
Remove the skin from the carcass. Try to maintain a steady pressure, the skin should peel easily from the neck to the vent.

Remove the skin from the vent, this requires some delicate knife work. You might use a box cutter for this, they are sharp.

Remove any remaining fat or meat from the hide, about the same as you would skin a fish, keeping the blade almost flat and work with a smooth sawing strokes to avoid cuts or tears in the hide.

When the skin is removed and scraped clean, rinse and carefully the inside for any bile or blood stains. Wash them away.

Now to the Curing part:

Fill a gallon jug two-thirds full of water. Dissolve as much plain salt (non-iodized) in the water as possible. Stir the water as you add the salt and when you see the crystals falling to the bottom instead of dissolving, that is enough salt. (It will take about 2 lbs of salt to a gallon of water)

Place the skin in loose fold (not rolled) in the salt water solution.
Seal the jug, and leave a room temperature (70 degrees) for four days. Rotate the jug gently once or twice a day.

Remove from he salt water on the fourth day. Rinse for several minutes and lightly pat dry on towels.

Mix a solution of equal parts glycerin and water. Pure glycerin is available at most drugstores.
Two pints of glycerin mixed with water is sufficient to treat three medium-sized snakeskin.

Place the skin in the glycerin solution, cover and let stand at room temperature for another four days. Rotate but do not shake the jug daily.

After the skin has been in the glycerin solution four days, remove and pat dry with a towel.

Place the dry skin on an unfinished, dry, flat pine board. The boards must be long and wide enough to sandwich the whole skin. Do not stretch the skin to flatten it, just roll it out smoothly on the board. Use the flat of your hand to remove and wrinkles.

Place a second pine board on top of the skin. The skin must be firmly pressed, so weigh down the top board.

Let dry for four days. It may take a little longer in the dead of winter or in humid conditions.

When the skin is dry, it will be soft and pliable. Put a little talcum powder on the dry hide and roll it around on an old paper-towel roll ( one of those cardboard rollers) and it will keep until you are ready to turn it into a hatband or mount it on a display board.

I corrected some spelling errors in this post....sorry about that


PORK LOVERS!

This response submitted by THE PORK PRINCE! on 09/17/2003. ( ) 202.126.111.189

DONT EAT PORK! NOT EVEN WITH A FORK!


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