Rabbit Pelts

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We are new to the world of rabbits, but we are finding our way and enjoying it. We are raising meat rabbits. We want to be sure the entire rabbit is used and not wasted. Is anyone in the market for rabbit pelts?
 

MuddyFarms

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Oh, wow! That is a little far for me... maybe there will be someone closer who would like them. Have you thought of learning to tan or dry them yourself? You can put them in the freezer until you are ready to work them.
 
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I don’t know what I would do with them once they were tanned or dried? Can you tell me if the process is easy to learn?
 

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That is what I have been thinking through, too. We are new to tanning and using rabbit hides. Since the pelts are usually from young meat rabbits, they are not of especially good quality. The hair tends to fall out of the hides more easily than an adults hide and they are thinner. Lots of people don't bother keeping them. However, they are good for learning on! They can be used for crafty things and accents on items, typically. And I know two rabbit-raisers who are hoping to make a blanket, a throw for the foot of their bed, and also a rug.

The process is fairly easy to learn. There are a number of ways people do it. We have used the egg-tanning method so far. Being gentle with the hides is good so you don't have as much hair fall out.

I know there are videos on Youtube that show how to do it. And others on this forum have more experience than I do.
 

Preitler

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Tanning itself isn't difficult, and few stuff is needed. There is a bit of a learning curve and finding your way though.

I don't know if there is a market for pelts, all I made by now was a winter hat, and if I ever have enough agouti pelts I fantasise about making a jacket, trapper style.
I gave some pelts to a friend who makes cat toys, once I have enough random pelts I'll make a blanket.

My problem is that I mostly butcher when it's molting season.


Oh, wow! That is a little far for me...
Hm? ;)
 

Alan

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I’ve tanned almost every north American game animal. I tanned 7 New Zealands recently and gave them away to various kids and folks who wanted one. Not worth the trouble even for someone experienced. I can’t find a market for them at all.
 

MuddyFarms

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I’ve tanned almost every north American game animal. I tanned 7 New Zealands recently and gave them away to various kids and folks who wanted one. Not worth the trouble even for someone experienced. I can’t find a market for them at all.
Were those young meat rabbits like 8-12 weeks old? What are the main problems you found with working them? Hoping to learn about this since you have experience with them.
 

Alan

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Were those young meat rabbits like 8-12 weeks old? What are the main problems you found with working them? Hoping to learn about this since you have experience with them.
Yes and The hide on young rabbits are very thin and easily torn. It takes too long to peel the fat and membrane off of the delicate pelts. It just takes too long for not enough return.
 

eco2pia

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I do not think there is a real market for young or normal hides. However you might be able to "create" one among the local reenactment comunity, or similar--"sustainably hand raised, humanely havested rabbit pelts". Me, I just want them for myself. I am raising American Chins, and so they are sort of too gorgeous to part with for me--yes, it is a pain, so is knitting. If have the patience for one you have the patience for the other I think. I think you have to like either the process or the product.

If I did not like either I would stretch and smoke the hides as rawhide animal toys and try that market before attempting the clothing market.
 

MuddyFarms

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I do not think there is a real market for young or normal hides. However you might be able to "create" one among the local reenactment comunity, or similar--"sustainably hand raised, humanely havested rabbit pelts". Me, I just want them for myself. I am raising American Chins, and so they are sort of too gorgeous to part with for me--yes, it is a pain, so is knitting. If have the patience for one you have the patience for the other I think. I think you have to like either the process or the product.

If I did not like either I would stretch and smoke the hides as rawhide animal toys and try that market before attempting the clothing market.

That's a good perspective. Do you have anything in particular you are using the hides for?
 

eco2pia

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I plan to make a throw, a coat collar (I have a big gray wool coat with a fake fur collar right now that attaches with buttons--thought I could have an alternate), one of my kids is into the re enactment thing, and wants to craft with some of the fur, and I kinda want slippers, but the practicality of that is still theoretical. It would not hold up well, but I still want fuzzy feet!
 

MuddyFarms

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I plan to make a throw, a coat collar (I have a big gray wool coat with a fake fur collar right now that attaches with buttons--thought I could have an alternate), one of my kids is into the re enactment thing, and wants to craft with some of the fur, and I kinda want slippers, but the practicality of that is still theoretical. It would not hold up well, but I still want fuzzy feet!

Nice! I have been thinking about trying to make slippers, too. Since I have Rex, the fur is not very long. I was contemplating using multiple layers of hides together, maybe one without fur, to give it more wearing-out-ability. I'm still thinking it through.
 

eco2pia

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Nice! I have been thinking about trying to make slippers, too. Since I have Rex, the fur is not very long. I was contemplating using multiple layers of hides together, maybe one without fur, to give it more wearing-out-ability. I'm still thinking it through.
I planned to do fur facing in, and backed with something else. In the past I have used deerhide or elk for the soles, and wool sweaters that got shrunk and felted for the uppers--from my own laundry errors or a thrift store.
 
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