I have a canebreak rattlesnake skin I want to preserve. I tacked it to a board and salted it. Then I left it out in the hot sun to dry. How will I know when it is dry and ready to soak in glycerin? Do I have to buy a reptile tanning kit? What is the active ingredient in reptile tanning solutions? Acid? What does that active ingredient achieve and is there a cheaper way to achieve the same result?
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The least expensive way to tan any skin is by brain-tanning it.
Each animal comes with enough brains in it's skull to tan it's skin, except cattle and bison. All other ingredients are also free.
I've never heard of a brain-tanned snake, but it's not impossible. If you want to save money above all else, brain-tan it. Be prepared to WORK.
www.braintan.com for more info.
Otherwise, get the Snakeskin Tanning Kit from Rittel's and use it.
THE BRAINS HAVE ALREADY BEEN THROWN AWAY. THANX THOUGH. WHAT SHOULD I DO WITH THE HIDE UNTIL I CAN BUY THE TANNING SOLUTION?
It violates the forum rules. Check the wording at the bottom of this sheet where it asks that you do not respond in ALL CAPS.
Secondly, glycerin is an oil and oils do no tan. Tans tan. Salt will dry your skin, glycerin will moisturize it and eventually, it will just be a rotten sticky mess. Salt the hide and put it away until the tan arrives. Then follow the directions. The salted hide will quickly rehydrate during the process.
I see that now. What exactly do you mean by salt it and put it away? Submerse it in salt? roll it up? leave it in a dry environment or moist? And what about temperatures. There are a couple of spots where there is still flesh. How do I deflesh it?
Open the hide up, flesh side up/scales down, and sprinkle regular table salt all over the hide. Make sure every square inch is covered with a good salting. Set it aside in a cooler dry place and let the salt leech the moisture out. Once that's done, brush off any excess salt and simple keep it stored in a box or bag in the same cool dry place until your solution comes in.
Thanx George. Will do.
I cannot just use salt and sun to dry the skin and glycerin to rehydrate it. I have to tan it using a tanning solution, correct.
Two items you must avoid at all costs REGARDLESS of what someone "tells" you: (1)Glycerine and (2)Anti-Freeze.
I am mounting my first snake skin a northern watersnake and I bought Van Dykes reptile tan kit for $5. Then I went to the local walmart and bought a 4 pound canister of pickling salt
It has to be Non-iodized salt. Follow directions on the sheet with the tan kit.
I am only using my snake for a wall hanging with felt behind it.
I used the glycerin method preserving a rattlenake hide, it's been thumtacked to my wall for about ten years, rattles and all and looks and feels great, no problems as yet. I almost stepped on another one just today in my garden, I killed it with a shovel and skinned it, I have salted it down until I get into town to get somemore glycerine. I had a soaker hose running and I guess it came for the moisture.