Rabbit Pelt

How do you cure a skin/pelt properly? ?

I skinned and salted a rabbit skin I got off a roadkill rabbit maybe 6 months ago. It dried well and was stiff, it has now become very delicate and seems to be slightly wet. No smell but I'm afraid it might be starting to go off. I've salted it again. It was my first skin.

How can I properly cure skins/pelts so that they last indefinitely?
Is there anything I add to the salt to preserve?
Do I soak them in something?

I got a really clean, well done sheepskin today (I've heard of ones harbouring maggots a few months after purchase). I'd like to know how to get that level of professional quality with my skins.

Thanks in advance.

Hides/pelts/skins rot because bacteria grows in the warm and wet epidermis. Salt does not tan a hide in any way. It is used ONLY to remove the moisture from a skin. However, because salt draws moisture from the air as well, leaving salt on a pelt can also attract more moisture from the air's natural humidity and rehydrate your rabbit skin. If you skin a small game animal the size of a rabbit or squirrel (or smaller) borax makes a good preservative. Use it instead of the salt. (Make sure you get "borax" and NOT "Boraxo") Better yet, call 1~800~555~1212 which is the 1-800 information operator and as for the toll-free numbers for RESEARCH MANNIKINS in Oregon and WILDLIFE ARTIST SUPPLY COMPANY in Georgia. Both of these fine companies have ALL the information and materials you will want and need to cure and/or tan animals, fish, and birds of all sizes. Good luck.

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