Extra information for the preparation and tanning of cow hides. Please also read the information on the PREPARATION page.
We process using an environmental tanning system using low water. The resulting product has an ivory coloured skin with clean hair and great lustre.
The skin removal and initial treatment is vital for us to be able to provide you with a quality finished product. Bacteria work to degrade the hide from the time of slaughter. The effects of a staled hide are varied from loose or missing hair to harder finished product. To prevent the bacteria from taking hold, the skin must be cooled immediately after slaughter. Hides must be cooled directly after slaughter as per the method below. If you can bring the hide to us the same day it must be cooled first. If you are bringing it in the following day it must be stored in a chiller or freezer after cooling. If you are bringing the hide in 2+ days following slaughter or sending it to us it must be frozen.
The best way which is normally accessible to cool hides is hosing off both sides or plunging into a barrel of ice cold water. The hide does not need to be completely dry before freezing. You do not need to clean the hide or worry about any remaining pieces of flesh or fat. We will clean and flesh the hide before tanning. In summer months we recommend soaking the skin in a barrel of iced water as hose water can be warmer. The aim is to get the hide as cold possible before freezing to prevent hot pockets.
Ideally the hide should be in the freezer within 30mins of being removed. Fold the hide flesh to flesh and roll up Butt to Neck with the hair out before putting into a rubbish bag for freezing.
Hides can be sent to us frozen as they take some time to thaw. Thawing time depends on the climate so more care is needed in warmer summer months.
Salting (only if freezing is not an option):
We advise using the freezing method as it is more reliable for a home kill. If freezing the hide is not possible salting can be used. To salt a cow hide first remove body the temperature using the methods above. Let the hide drip dry for no more than 20 minutes. Lay the hide out flat flesh side facing up. Add a minimum of 25Kg salt onto the middle of the hide and use a broom to distribute the salt over the hide. Once this is done fold the hide in half down the back bone flesh to flesh and roll up butt to neck. Then add another minimum 10kg of salt over the rolled up hide focusing on exposed flesh and hair. This is best done why a hide is in a container to help hold the salt around the hide. We recommend getting us the hide within 2weeks of salting. Salted hides should be stored in a cool dry area.
We photograph and tag each hide on arrival.
We will thaw the hides and inspect. If we find major fault on inspection: Heavy flays, holes, bacterial damage we will contact you prior to proceeding.
Our machinery is unable to process hides with very thick skin and we will not attempt as it becomes dangerous. We will let you know on inspection if the skin is too thick. This normally only applies to very large bulls.
We will take all care in processing your prized hide and will work to minimise the risk of any damage. If the unforeseen happens and a hide is damaged in the processing we will discount the hide proportionately.
Please see our home page for current tanning times. On completion of your hide you will be sent out an invoice.
"Hide recieved yesterday .... very quick delivery!! Just like to pass on my thanks... it looks AMAZING we are very happy with it. Will recommend you guys to everybody.