Eyes Wide Open

Lola’s kits all have their eyes open now. They will be two weeks old on Thursday. My how time flies. Every morning and every evening there is at least one kit out of the nesting box. Lola has been very good about letting us put her babies back in the nesting box. They don’t quite have the ability to get back in by themselves. They can flip up and over the side, but can’t reverse that action. This morning Lola let me pet her after I put the kit back in the nesting box. This is remarkable progress because she only likes to be touched on her terms and never in her cage. Maybe she is finally learning to trust us. I kept it to two strokes of her head though. I’m not pushing my luck.

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The Italian prunes are ripe or almost ripe. I’ve only picked three so far, but in a couple more days a lot more should be ripe. They taste really good this year. My neighbor has more trees and has offered to let us go pick the fruit if we will leave her a basket of them on her porch. She doesn’t have time to pick them herself. I might be able to freeze a few gallons this year instead of just quarts. That would be nice. Fruit and potatoes were about the only things I grew this year besides the herbs that came back from last year. And I noticed this morning that the dill I had planted last year that died, must have self-seeded, because I had dill growing in the herb bed. I am excited because now I don’t have to buy any for my last batch of pickles.

This afternoon after school I’m going to head over to Joe’s Garden and pick up 20 pounds or so of green beans. Well, I should call first, but last Tuesday they said they should have them in a week. I am anxious to get some more canned and fill up the shelf. I bought lids yesterday so all I need to do today is wash jars.

Has anyone reading this ever frozen rabbit fur until they had enough to tan? I have ten pelts in the freezer. The directions I’ve found say to thaw them out before putting them in the alum and salt solution. How long does it take for a rabbit pelt to thaw? I am thinking of taking them out at night and leaving them to thaw in the garage overnight and then putting them in the tanning solution in the morning, but I’m not sure if that is enough time for them to completely thaw. Anyone know?

Oh, that reminds me, I need to purchase some rubber gloves and find a paint stirring stick and fill an empty gallon container half full of rocks. It sets on top of the furs to make sure they stay submerged in the solution. Well, maybe I’ll wait until Thursday night then to take them out. Then I can put them in the solution Friday morning and on Sunday we can work the furs the first time. I am going to follow this method by Marsh Prepper:

It seems the easiest method for a beginner.

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3 thoughts on “Eyes Wide Open

  1. Val Bjerke says:

    I’ll take a look in my tanning book tonight and see what it says about rabbit pelts in particular and let you know 🙂

  2. valbjerke says:

    Okay – my tanning book suggests salting your hides (turning it into a ‘green’ hide before storing. This is what I’ve done with hides in the past. I’m assuming you simply froze yours right away – I would just thaw as you are doing – probably wouldn’t take more than an overnight. Once thawed, soak the skin 6 to 8 hours in salt water (1 cup salt per gallon warm water) this loosens the fat and any flesh left on the skin. Then carry on and start fleshing the fur.
    I watched part of your video – looks good. I will say though, you might want to start the project with only one fur. The fellow on the video makes it look effortless – but fleshing the hide can be a lot more difficult than you expect. The fleshing part is critical – anything left behind will not allow the tanning solution to penetrate the skin. Rabbit furs in particular (I recall as a kid preparing and stretching hides to sell at the fur trader) are very very thin and easy to tear. So…..I would just tan one fur and see how it turns out. The good thing about your situation is that you will continue to have a steady supply to practice on 🙂

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