Thawing frozen fox and cats

Submitted by Asher on 3/4/06 at 10:27 AM. ( )

Okay, first let me say that I have been through the archives and have seen varying opinions and methods for thawing, skinning, turning, and slippage on fox. So let me ask ....

I have a few fox and a few cats that I need to skin this weekend for full size mounts. I am planning on tanning these with krowtann and was originally planning on thawing, skinning, and then tanning with the krowtan. Then I realized I am out of Krowtan and had to order more, but it will not be here this weekend when I need to skin, so I was going to skin, salt and dry because this is the last couple days off in a row that I will have for awhile. I know that fox are extremely prone to slippage especially around the ears, eyes and feet and I know that these thin skinned areas wil thaw before the rest of the body.

I read that you can thaw in a pickle solution but I use either liquatan with the pretan #110 formula or I use krowtann, so I don't have a true acid pickle. Here are the chemicals that I do have:

Bascal S (A lot of it)
Stop Rot
Pretan #110

And I have a lot of salt! I would like to hear some recommendations of how you all would go about quickly thawing these animals out this weekend. Please keep in mind that I will still be wanting to use krowtan for the tan itself.

I had this posted in the mammal category and received a suggestion of using just the stop rot around the face, eyes, and ears but would really like to hear about thawing the animals in Bascal S, which in conjuction with salt and water, becomes a non-acidic pickle? I have read in the archives of people thawing animals in pickle solutions. I have also read in the archives of people wanting to thaw in a salt water solution which I agree alone would not absoutely kill the bacteria which lies dormant in even a frozen skin.

What would the chemical interaction between the Bascal S and the Krowtan be like?

Please feel free to either post back here or send an e-mail. I appreciate any help in this matter and thank you in advance.


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This response submitted by Matt on 3/4/06 at 11:29 AM. ( )

I am not a professional, from what I have learned about the use of these chems and what you are doing I would suggest that you; pull the animal from the freezer and spry it liberally with stop rot around face and anus. It is suggested when thawing or rehydrating to use bascal s, but I don't think your going to put whole animal in solution. So give the stop rot some time to penetrate and then use a towel to apply the bascal s solution to the area you are skinning to thaw. When done skinning use the salt method maybe spray some more with stop rot roll up, change salt tomorrow and re-salt by Sunday night you could put them in the pickle. I use safety acid and pre tan 110 with kemal 4 in my pickle, and then liqua tan). You can leave in pickle as long as needed, and don't need to salt dry, and this will only in sure no bacteria. Check with luthran tan to check pickle suggestions. Good luck! And I hope this helps you. Matt

Hey Matt

This response submitted by Asher on 3/4/06 at 1:26 PM. ( )

Thanks for your advice. I usually just do what you have recommended but was just curious as to the effectiveness of using the Bascal S to thaw out. I have read that just using a salt and water mix is a no-no, but was just curious about an alternate method.

Without know how the animals were handled prior to freezing it make me nervous about thawing the animal whole. I usually handle my skins start to finish or buy them already salted or tanned.

I just

This response submitted by samantha on 3/4/06 at 9:51 PM. ( )

Set fox out in the morning to thaw and keep an eye on it whilst doing other things.
When the ears soften a little i wet them with white vinegar & coat with salt. I havnt lost one to slip since doing this.

I also skin the head and turn the ears through the mouth as soon as i can.

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