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Help with rabbit

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by ZooLady, Feb 22, 2007.

  1. ZooLady

    ZooLady New Member

    Well I've been interested in taxidermy for a long time now and have even skinned a couple snakes I've found already dead. I've been wanting to try something different for a while and now I have a chance. My dog killed a rabbit today and I'd like to have a go at just skinning and preserving the fur, no mounting. There it a small tear in the hind leg and back of the neck form my dog and a quarter sized patch where the fur was torn out. Where should I start? How hard is it to get the skin from the paws and head? I have it in the freezer right now, what chemicals or solutions do I need? I'd also like to do something with the skeleton, probably just the skull. I don't have any of those cool little flesh eating bugs, so what else can I do to the skull? Thanks for all you help and if you have any tips that I didn't ask please, fill me in.
  2. kdill

    kdill New Member

    In my opinion a rabbit would be a horrible introduction to taxidermy :(. Their skin is way too thin for a first timer.....Kinda like wet tissue paper. If you want to start with something small and relatively inexpensive I would suggest a squirrel. They are everywhere! There are some in the "for sale" section of this forum as well. Most taxidermy suppliers have a kit with everything you need to mount a squirrel. Be sure to get good measurements though. I just purchased another squirrel from WASCO to add to a coyote scene I am currently working on. Just my opinion but hope this helps.

  3. joeym

    joeym Jeannette & Joey @ Dunn's Falls

    Ditto, rabbits are truly delicate. But, you have nothing to lose by skinning it. Since you are not going to mount it, make a ventral (belly) incision and proceed very slowly. After skinning, freeze in a zip-lock bag til you decide what to do next. You can DP it and tack it to a drying board. To make it soft and pliable would be more of a challenge than you would want to tackle...you can buy finished rabbit pelts cheaper than you could soft tan it yourself. On the skull, remove the eyes, brain, and as much flesh as possible, then simmer on the stove for a short while, and the meat will come off easily....careful, the skull will be like handling an eggshell.
  4. aussiesam

    aussiesam I'm an Australian.

    Skin it when still 'just' frozen. The skin isnt as frail then.
    I make 1 cut from hind knee to hind knee, pull out the tail bone and then use an icypole stick to skin upto the ears.
    Scalpel for the head & feet work.
    Turn your ears 1/2 way whilst still attached. (if doing this)

    I also prefer to rot/clean the skulls in water.
  5. ZooLady

    ZooLady New Member

    Thanks you guys, I did notice how thin the skin looked on the patch where the fur was missing. Thanks for helping out, I'll let you guys know how it goes. ;D