Skinning and Tanning Cattle

Submitted by Taxidermy Girl on 9/4/01. ( )

I was just wondering if anyone had any information about how hard it is to tan a cow hide. This may sound strange, but there is a lot of money in this. I have heard that it is hard, but I was wondering just how hard.


Return to Category Menu


This response submitted by Dan K on 9/4/01. ( )

If you like wrestling a hide that weighs 150 lb. more than you can lift, got an 6 x 6 ft table to get it on to rough flesh, (or spend hours bending over on the floor) take it to the car wash to clean it, and after you do get it salted and pickeled, expect to spend about 10 to 15 hours (yes, hours) on the fleshing machine, (which usually takes me about 3-4 days before my arms fall off) use about $20-25 worth of tan and oil to find out that you just can't get it soft enough to suit you. If this sounds like fun, not be discouraging or anything, try one. I have done 3 of them years ago and won't do another one. I have turned down 3 this year. I give these people the names and numbers of a couple of the big tanneries and let them send them out. I'm just getting too old to work THAT hard. I'm sure the people that tan cow hides really earn that money and have the machinery to do it with.

Me either dan.

This response submitted by Brandon on 9/5/01. ( )

I have one i started doing, sitting out side in a drum. I know it is no count after 6 mo. in the pickle without being stired and the ph maintained. I just didn't have the time to fool with it. If i ever get another one to the tannery it goes.


This response submitted by George on 9/6/01. ( )

Taxidermy Girl,
Your statement reminds me of the one, "Have you stopped beating your wife yet?" It assumes facts not in evidence and is therefore indefensible. If there were "a lot of money" in the cattle hide business, we'd all be doing it instead. The money comes from the TOP end of that business, not the guts and grit side. Soft tanning a cow hide is a virtual nightmare with a home/shop tan because of the size and of the intense labor involved in softening/breaking the beast. This is absolutely a job for commercial tanneries and few of the taxidermy tanneries are doing whole cow hides.

Return to Category Menu