In the past we have brought our Scottish Highland cow hides to a taxidermist and he has prepared the hide and sent it on to a tannery, Yost in Sturgeon Bay, Wi. We felt they did a good job.
We have now moved to south central Ky. and can not find someone to prepare the hide. We just butchered the cow yesterday, temps are freezing at night upper 30's to low 40's during the day. If I understand right, I am to scrape the hide, salt it with about 25 lbs. of salt, fold it in half, skin side together and put at an incline to drain for 24 hours, sweep off the hide and repeat the process, then salt a 3rd time, let it dry and it is ready to send. Is this all correct? How long after I salt the 3rd time until I send it? Do I let it dry completely? Also, when I salt it the first two times I understand it is not to freeze, so is 24 hours sufficient to let it drain?
I tried a small spot tonight to see how easily it would be to scrape. There is some fat on the hide, but it isn't too bad. I think it will be a lot of work, but not impossible. I did notice that when I scraped an area free of fat that when I looked closely there was a fine, thin membrane. Does this need to be scraped off also?
Highlands have long hair and in the process of butchering the hair got pretty bloody and dirty. Should I try to spray this off before I scrape the hide or should I wait until it is dry and just brush it out and send as is?
I'd appreciate any help I can get. I've never done this before and I hate to go to the trouble and expense of sending an item that heavy to the tannery, just to find out I didn't process it correctly.
Do you know of a good tannery who will do hides this big that is closer to me? Thanks for any help, a Lady in distress
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If its just a flat hide not a cape...Romove most of the fat and meat lay on the floor flesh side up salt about a half inch thick..leave over night...shake and remove salt....Salt again......Leave over night....Check to see how dry it is....if still wet (wet salt blood) Salt again....Then shake salt hang over a latter or something..Till dry but to dry so you can not fold it....And there you go....i'm sure there will be people on here that will tell me thats wrong....I wouldn't salt and put flesh to flesh how can it dry?
Remove large chunks of meat and rub salt into hide. Next day, shake off salt and put on second coat. Leave for a day or two then hang the hide on a clothesline or ladder and let it semi-dry. Punch in your shop ID then fold into box and send it.
So, if I understand correctly, I do not have to put this hide at an incline to drain? I thought from what I was reading on your forum that the first time you salt you fold it in half, flesh to flesh, put at an incline and drain. The last time you salt, you hang to dry. I can't imagine picking this thing up to hang. I can barely handle it at all.
No I never put flesh side to flesh side...Defeats the whole purpose of drying...And you want it to dry as soon as possible other wise it will start to rott....And as for the incline for drain thats what the salt is for it will soak up the moisture...thats why you change it....More than one person is alot of help on hanging...
Thanks. I told my husband I would take care of this and I hate to screw it up. It is such a pretty hide and they do make beautiful rugs. I sure hate to send it to Yosts and have them not be able to work with it.