Hi, I'm a student in a sheep production class and as an assignment I need to make up a sample flock plan (a budget and general production plan). The prof is looking for something original, like a niche marketing, etc. So... I'm thinking about selling the meat through a local market, but having the hides tanned and selling the skins as rugs on my own ("sheepskin" is the correct term right? I'm thinking of a product that still has fleece on it). Problem is, I'm a dairy person and know nothing about wool and the whole tanning process! I've searched the web with little sucess, if someone could point me towards a site or a book I'd really appreciate it. For my budget, what would an average cost for producing (tanning? is that the right word?) the skin- paying someone else to do it, and doing it myself (and is that a feasible option, I know it's an art... how long does it generally take to become a decent artist?!?) Also, what should I figure on selling them for? Does anyone raise sheep for this purpose? What breed do you raise and would Columbia be a good option? So many questions! I'm sorry! But I appreciate your help so very much!
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I suggest doing some checking on campus.
I sent you an email but it came back w/ fatal error's
I also tried to email you but the message came back undeliverable
Sorry, I spelled my own name wrong! warNerle@msu.edu Which after reading my posts title shouldn't come as much of a surprise! (what's a sheeo?) Yes, I'm at state, and if you've ever been downstairs in the ag. section of the library you'd understand why I need some personal guidance! Searching for the word "sheep" brings up 1800+ books!
it would bring at least that many cowboys........
There aren't too many domestic tanners that do sheep skins. But there are a number of importers that bring in tanned skins from overseas(El Paso Saddle Blanket Co., for one)and sell them fairly cheaply. Make sure that you do a price comparison between the two, if you can find a somestic tanner that will do them. There used to be a tanner in PA that did sheep skins, but it's been a long time since I had to send one and I've lost the contact information. I'd start by checking the SUPPLIERS link at the top of this page and contact the tanners that are listed there. Someone may be able to point you in the right direction. I hope that helps, the rest of your questions are beyond my range of experience. I still refer to sheep as "range maggots"!
...I should had specified that when a skin is tanned with the hair or fur on it should be refered to as "dressed" not tanned. It's just a technical point, but I'm sure that your prof would prefer the terminology to be correct.
There is a tanner in North Carolina that does sheep hides. It is called Lonestar Wool & Fur. In fact, they are listed right here on this site!