Monday, September 21, 2009

Buffalo hides!

I got a call from one of the better farm slaughter guys I use, Al Stevens from Sylvana meats. I'd talked to Al a month or so ago, and mentioned that I was interested in a raw beef hide for dog chews and rawhide.

When Al goes to a farm to do a farm kill of a beef, the hide is usually kept by him as part of his compensation. He turns around and sells it to local tanneries and folks at the end of his day. For instance, in the last few days he's butchered 45 beef.

What he was calling me about was 3 buffalo hides that he had. He'd just butchered 3 buffalo bulls, and he wasn't happy with the price he was offered for them from the tannery, so he was calling to see if I was interested. In the picture above you can see the "hump" on the back of the hide. It's actually a bit like a lions mane. The hair is longer there as well as there being a fat pad that develops as the animal stores food.

I arranged to go pick up the hides, and on the way picked up a 50lb bag of salt. The tannery wants these hides well salted when they're fresh. I laid the hides out on my flatbed trailer one by one, fur-side down, and then put on a good thick layer of salt.

As I finished each hide I laid the next hid on top. Tomorrow I'll take a skinning knife and scrape off the odd bits of fat and meat on the hide, throw some more salt on it, and Wednesday I'll ship it off to the tannery.

I don't really have a plan for the hides; they're about 4'x6' each. One has no holes in it, the other two have one or two holes. The hair appears to be in pretty good shape. I'm a little curious to see how they'll turn out.

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