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Uses for rabbit skins?

(12 Posts)
ThisIsANiceCage Tue 14-Dec-10 21:55:29

A friend has finally acquired a little smallholding, and one of her projects is keeping rabbits for meat.

Before anyone starts yelling, this is in a country where human life expectancy is 37 and grasshoppers and caterpillars are an important source of protein. Bunnies are a good way of converting human-inedible plant stuffs like grass to more edible protein.

So the Q is, if she's selling only a few rabbits a month, is there any point keeping or buying back the skins? I'm sure there'll be tanners in town who could do that side, but then what could she do with the skins?

It would be practical rather than prestige products, as the fur is likely to be nothing to write home about.

And what can go wrong with rabbit skin products? Moths, mildew, mankiness?

All wisdom gratefully received!

Teela Tue 14-Dec-10 21:57:20

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ThisIsANiceCage Tue 14-Dec-10 22:31:30

Hmm, internet penetration isn't that high where she is. Think she'd do better selling finished products to the local squatter camp (if useful but not posh), or in the town centre (if posher).

I can't bear wasting a resource like the skins, but it's possible the sums just won't add up.

Mmm, must make rabbit pie grin

Dexterrocks Tue 14-Dec-10 22:37:31

I used to have a rabbit skin bag as a child. It was furry on the outside and the leathery bit was on the inside.
It came from Canada and was made by...not sure of the pc term...Canadian natives?
It would have been made from a rectangle folded up to make the bag and sewn with leather thong down each side and then with the top half of the rectangle folded down to make the flap. The strap was made of plaited leather thong.
Mine was white, obviously from an arctic rabbit.
I loved it dearly until I realised what it was made from but I am a bit funny that way (and a vegetarian!)
Would there be any sort of market for anything like that where she is?

Teela Tue 14-Dec-10 22:37:37

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ThisIsANiceCage Tue 14-Dec-10 22:59:42

She's in southern Africa, so in winter when the temperature drops below 10 degrees people really don't have the housing for it and do suffer.

A woven rabbit skin blanket would be great but apparently needs about 90 skins shock. A flat blanket might be worthwhile?

There used to be a huge trade in game skin goods - handbags, karosses, wall hangings, etc. So I don't see rabbit competing favourably!

Moccasins are the only thing apart from blankets I can think of that might meet the spec...

rockinhippy Thu 16-Dec-10 10:51:16

Ok, based on cooler winter temp, & using less skins than a blanket,

Hats, Moccasins (as you mention yourself) Gillet type things to keep the torso warm, mittens - also some sort of fur lined baby/toddler sling??

Other than that, things like purses, or little herb (or other things) pouches that hang around your neck or waiste, some sort of utility belt.....fastens around waist, or over the shoulder (think man bag) with pouches & maybe a machete sheath etc (think of what your target market carry/use & ad a pouch/sheath for each item .....will it hold water??, or is there a way of treating it to make it do so, as goat skin does?? ...if so add a water bottle too

& I'm vegetarian too, but think this is a great idea, we are lucky to have plenty to eat, so have a choice of what we do eat here, not everyone in the world has that luxury, but if you are going to eat the flesh, then it seems a crying shame to waste the hide

good luck, I hope you find a good use for them

ThisIsANiceCage Thu 16-Dec-10 11:42:30

Ooh, gilet-thingies! Yes, those might be good. Thanks rockinhippy, and Teela and Dexterrocks.

Will approach friend with ideas - she'll soon put me straight if I'm talking out of my arse about all this! But I try to research a bit before sending her running around at her end: her only web access is through expensive internet cafes in town.

rockinhippy Thu 16-Dec-10 12:49:16

http://www.emerald-bears.com/6.html

these might be an idea too??, the bottom ones look like coney fur

depending if close to a city or not, but real fur dog coats are apparently popular confused aimed at the lap dog type dogs, think Paris Hilton etc

maktaitai Thu 16-Dec-10 12:52:32

To wrap a baby bunting in? I like the baby sling idea, what's the usual babycarrier in those parts?

ThisIsANiceCage Thu 16-Dec-10 13:13:24

Babies carried on back, tied on with blanket! I've never worked out how it's done safely: lots of hitching and retucking goes on. But it does actually seem to keep the babes very happy and leaves mama "free" to do the world's work while papa sits drinking beer with his mates in the shade .

Was instructed to get goddaughter a doll one Xmas, cos she was copying mama and her "baby" was a shoe!

ThisIsANiceCage Thu 16-Dec-10 13:21:36

Hmm, teddy bears or the like. Yes, that might hit the market for low-prestige fur.

Where she is, if you had money and wanted to make a statement on clothing, handbags or whatever, you'd use zebra or leopard, or buck of some kind, not homely rabbit unless it was bred for lush warm fur. (Must find out what breed she has.)

Her husband once tried to give me an elephant skin bag shock. All legal from population-control culling, but still...

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