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Fox fur slipping after pickle and tanning

Discussion in 'Lifesize Mammals' started by Bill R., Dec 13, 2006.

  1. Bill R.

    Bill R. Member

    I've done a number of fox and over the years have experienced on some of my early jobs hair slippage on ears and legs that has been discussed pretty extensively in the archives. I've learned a lot from the archives but just encountered a problem with a grey fox I've just completed that was unexpected. I've begun to apply stop rot to the ears and legs while I'm thawing the fox when it's frozen whole, and then skinning as soon as it is thawed enough to work on. I've tried to minimize my working time while fleshing, and double salted the skin until dry, then pickled (1 ph), washed the skin in Dawn, and then use McKenzie tan. I had no signs of slippage throughout pickling, washing and applying the tanning cream, but had to freeze the skin until I could finish it. So I took the frozen, rolled-up skin out of the freezer, let it thaw, and then began to mount it. As I was working the skin over the form, I was horrified to get some hair slippage around the shoulder. The ears and legs were tight. I managed to get it all put together with minimal handling and the hair is long enough to cover the few bare spots that occurred. But I'm trying to figure out where I went wrong. I do have a problem getting all of the thin layer of fat off of a thin skin like a fox (I'm going to start using my wire wheel bird degreaser, based on what I've read in the archives). I'm thinking I may have left a thin fat layer on the area of slippage. But if that's the case, I would have expected to see the slippage when handling the skin for pickling and washing. Is my sequence of washing to degrease after pickling wrong and could that have contributed? I know the pickle bath was between 1 and 2 ph the entire time, so would think any bacteria were killed at that point. Any thoughts and ideas would be appreciated; I'm getting kind of paranoid about fox!
  2. fesekula

    fesekula Active Member

    It is very possible that you did nothing wrong. Sometimes you just receive a bad skin to begin with. Maybe it was a warm day when the fox was taken and it sit around for a time. There are so many variables. Yes, fox can be tricky sometimes.

  3. mobowhunter

    mobowhunter New Member

    Bill, one thing you might try when skinning out foxes is to salt as you go. Its very messy but the salt is killing bacteria once it hits that skin side. I do this on all my foxes even when you turn those very slippy ears. I have never had any problems whatsoever. Another thing I have found is once you rinse after tanning, tumble that thing and get as much moisture out if that hide as possible. I know this doesn't help right now, but maybe its some useful information. As far as fleshing, I use a handheld grinder with a wire wheel. Works great. It will get all of that meat off there. Have to be careful though, let the wheel do the work with very minimal pressure. I do this on all my small mammals. Good Luck
  4. Glen Conley

    Glen Conley KARMA GOOSE R.I.P. 2006-2006

    Active ingredient of Dawn=ammonium chloride.

    Ammonium chloride + acid = bad reaction.

    I've been harping on that one for a long time. As far as I'm concerned, it's a form of chemical Russian Roulette.

    By the way, STOP-ROT neutralizes ammonium chloride, and ammonium chloride neutralizes STOP-ROT.
  5. Bill.. i just finished a full size fox with krowtann and no problems there whatsoever...I lost three previusly, along with a couple of skunks to pickling and tanning before i sought out Krowtann...now i don't think i will EVER go back. Also try washing your hides in something other than dish soap...it is bad for it...With krowtann i run the skins in the washer on col/cold gentle cycle with 1/2 capful of Liquid Tide...works great every time for me.


    Yup!! Foxes and Bobcats, along with many other predators can be a "TAXIDERMIST NIGHTMARE" for slippage, but all you can do is the best you can...Try to skin out and flesh--salt---pickle A.S.A.P.....Also, some taxidermists seem to be lazy, or maybe just too busy when a fresh fox or predator comes in to get them split,turned,and salted right away, and automatically put them in the freezer...If at all possible SKIN THAT FOX AND GET IT SALTED NOW!!! When it is still fresh is the best case scenario to prevent any problems with slippage...Although like someone said, sometime (shoit just happens)!! ;)


    BY the way, the duck flesher does help out a lot with "final fleshing" of thin skinned critters....I also use mine for fleshing bobcat faces (around whisker bulbs especially so they stay where you put them)I have also used them on Mountain Lions and also to thin down flesh on inner foot pads...Works GREAT!!! :D
  8. oldterryr

    oldterryr Terry's in Heaven with no worries at all.

    try as i might i cant get a fox or coyote to slip - i use krowtann exclusively - it seems to me from what you said you are handling the fox way too long b4 processing -

    krowtann instructions

    1) skin fox

    2) turn everything

    3) put in krowtann

    i can start with a fox on the table (thawed) and have evertyhing done (including feet) in 1hr 52 minutes - it then goes straight into krowtann - no stop rot no salt - nothing

    i handle animal once b4 pickling and once after tanning
  9. trappersteph

    trappersteph now you can have it...

    I guess elkhunter is happy with the fox I sold him! Was a green skin with ears turned and stop rot applied on the ears before freezing for shipping.

    Now I have a beautiful red that sat in 60 degress shade for hours today due to my trapping buddy, bleh, time for more stop rot.
  10. Yep Steph...very very very very happy with the fox...he (i almost thought it was a she till i turned it inside out LOL) came out so beautifully...i pulled him out of the krowtan...neutralized it, washed it and spun it twice just to makesure all the excess water came out...amazingly enought the stop rot held up through all of that cause there was not one single hair slip anywhere...although i did find a couple of ticks on it...
  11. trappersteph

    trappersteph now you can have it...

    Yeah the red fox here get the ticks in warm weather, though lately it seems much better on the ticks even though it is STILL warm here. At least it is DRY here LOL

    BTW I can't find my new bottle of stop-rot, had to use rittels preservit on that fox, I think it works just as well, but I went and completely prepped and salted the fox to help- the faster you get it salted and dried hard, the better, if stop rot bottles go hiding on ones self LOL

    I normally have been skinning and freezing, then thawing later and prepping. The thawing will add more time for spoiling though and its ok on a fresh critter, but not a fox laying out for 4 hours in 60 degrees in the shade.
  12. bill@hogheaven

    [email protected] New Member

    Bill R...... throw out the dawn, use Knoblochs Kemel 4 for washing & relaxing & for whatever little degreasing a fox should need. Also if you used Liquatan you can apply it & freeze it, the tan continues to be absorbed even when frozen, but at a slower rate, then wash & relax with the kemel 4 before mounting. The Liqua tan wont wash out like the the McKenzie tan.
  13. ReneeFrances

    ReneeFrances New Member

    I am a housewife with a small “farmette” where I have horses, dairy goats and chickens. I have had some trouble with foxes and my chickens so I now trap them in a Hav A Heart trap, kill them and figured I may as well make good use of them so I have been using you tube videos to learn how to skin and tan the hides. The first one was going well until I rinsed it at one point and all of the hair came off. I kept the skin and will make something out of it. I did more research and my second fox came out great. It is a beautiful hide that is soft and wonderful - but I don’t really know what I did differently. I am sure there was something i did different, I just don’t know exactly what it was. I just finished my 3rd fox and again had a hair loss problem. There is another big beautiful male fox out there I am after now and when I get him, I want to make sure I don’t have the same problem. Any help would be appreciated. For the most part, I can catch them, kill them, skin them and tan them all in one sitting. I do not need to store or freeze them for later. So, here is what i did on the last one - what do I need to do differently?
    1) skin
    2) washed on gentle cycle with a small amount of Mrs. Meyers laundry soap (came out beautiful with all Hagar firmly attached)
    3) salted flesh - folded on itself and left 24 hours
    4) scraped salt, then repeated step 3
    5) made salt bath (1/2 lb per gal water) and soaked for only 6 minutes
    6) began to gently rinse and the hair began to float to the top
    7) I very gently finished rinsing then laid over a hanger, folding the skin onto itself, to allow the fur side to dry. Most of the hair is still on it, but I have not really tried pulling on it - parts of the tail lost chunks of hair and then it seemed to thin out around what was the hind quarters - nearest the ends. I am afraid to tug on it just yet -
    8) I used the Hide Tanning Formula (in the orange bottle) and now have it folded on itself for the next 12-16 hours. I have been following the directions on the bottle.

    From the comments above I am going to order Krowtann for the next fox, but don’t know what other steps I can skip if I am going right from skinning to tanning . . .unless you have to dry it first . . . There is just so much I don’t really understand.
    Thank you,
  14. January

    January Member

    Skin your fox flesh and submerge in tanning solution...i learned the hard way to skip these other steps with foxes
  15. ReneeFrances

    ReneeFrances New Member

    Ok, then - no salting, no soaking, just skin, wash in machine on gentle then apply tanning solution?! That is so much easier and so simple. Can I still use the HIde Tanning Formula or should I switch to the Krowtann? Thank you!
  16. wa

    wa Thanks John...this depicts me better

    I love these old post that come up sometimes
    just to see old name from the past
    cyclone likes this.
  17. cyclone

    cyclone Posts: 400001

    Don't forget people giving bad advice also...:rolleyes:

    That being said step # 2 is your biggest problem, forget it.
    Step # 5 almost as bad, learn how to make a proper pickle.
    Step #8, find a better tanning system.

    Look in the tanning forum.
  18. ReneeFrances

    ReneeFrances New Member

    Ok, off to the tanning forum...
  19. cyclone

    cyclone Posts: 400001

    Better yet, start here. I had forgotten about Amy's post. it is an excellent place to start.
    Start with step#1 (salting) and go from there then figure out what chemicals you want to use.
  20. ReneeFrances

    ReneeFrances New Member

    Oh, thank you so much! Her information is very helpful. Now off to go after the fox. He has been evading me all winter - but I have him close. . .