Wednesday, June 11, 2014


About a week ago we butchered five rabbits. I like to save the hides. I have this vision of making myself a rabbit fur purse/bag for Winter. I cooled the hides in cold water as soon as they came of the critter. I might have left them in just cool water over night since it was late when we finally got the bunnies butchered and put in the fridge. The next day I mixed up my tanning solution in clean room temperature water. Rinsed off the hides and put them in my redneck washing machine. A bucket with a hole in the lid where I put a dollar store plunger in and agitate the hides :))))) The bucket was in the kitchen because it was soo hot outside and the solution needs to be around 70* and agitated twice a day. I usually leave them in 24 hours then flesh the fat off. I think it was a day or two later when I found time to flesh them. I had already smelled what was brewing in the bucket when I would agitate them, gag! So Friday night after cleaning maggots out of the barn, scraping pee out of rabbit hutches, and cleaning up a nest box where a broody had stepped on an egg and the unborn chick was squished and stinkin' up to high heaven. I opened the bucket..........Nasty! I somehow managed not to barf and got two hides fleshed. I went in showered and that night in bed questioned what in the world I was doing. Saturday was my anniversary, since I had done a thorough job of cleaning the day before I just did minimal chores and avoided all things gross. Sunday I decided to finish my job. The hubs was in his shop piddling around cleaning up this and that. I brought out some paper towels laid them on his desk and opened the bucket. GAG!!!!! I discussed just throwing them out, the smell was too much, but like a true weirdo I carried on. The hubs came by one time and said he was going to go take a crap on my table, put a dead rat on it, and smear it around because that's what it smelled like I did to his desk, lol! One time he walked back in the shop and said "Hey why don't you go outside for about three minutes, come back in and realize you want to slap your spouse". Yep the smell was that bad. He eventually got a fan going behind me and blew some of the stench out the door. It didn't take too long to get the last three done, they had been in the solution so long the fat was coming off almost in one piece. I rinsed the bucket out refilled the solution for the next round and then went to rinse the stinky pelts. The fur was slipping :/  My neighbor laughed and said "you might just end up with chamois". These guys are comedians. I have a couple more days of them sitting in the solution before I shampoo them and hang them to dry. Fingers crossed I didn't ruin them. Once I get this fabulous bunny bag made I will just throw the future bun skins in the freezer and pull them out when I know I have time to work them. Like in the Winter :)


  1. I worked on a steer hide once but I did it in winter and salted it and then scraped it clean so I didn't get into a nasty smelling mess. It is a learning process but you will figure it out to where it won't be too bad eventually.

  2. You're a stronger woman than I am, m'dear. I know I would have taken the whole mess out to the back forty, dug a hole and buried the redneck washing machine and all!

  3. wait until PETA sees you with your bunny purse and calls you...

    You are a stong woman. I am iincredibly impressed. Can't wait to see the finished product. : )

  4. I definitely can't wait to see the finished product too.

  5. Kelly,

    Please post pictures of your purse when your finished making it.
    I bet it will look amazing!