The time came this morning to take our cow Paint on a one-way trip to the butcher shop. He was always a very pretty cow, though being a boy, he was unfit for keeping around in the herd. Beef it was.
But still, it would be a shame to let such a pretty cowhide go to waste wouldn’t it? Add to that the fact that my wife has been wanting a new living-room rug and I saw the opportunity to kill two birds with one stone. Cowhide rugs are a legit thing right? I swear I’ve seen them in Ikea.
I made it back home with an empty livestock trailer and a very-fresh cowhide in the truck bed. After a lot of scraping and skinning and a little bit of trimming with one of our trusty Mora’s I got the hide all stretched out over 4 pallets to dry.
Keep in mind that a pallet is 4′ by 4′ and you’ll quickly come to realize that a cowhide is quite large. It’s very nearly 8′ by 8′ after I trimmed of the neck, head and a bit on each side.
The hide needs to be dried out and salted as quickly as possible (or so I’ve read) so I drug out a box-fan and went to pick up some salt.
A lot of salt.
At this point it’s pretty much a cowhide-shaped pile of salt.
Once it dries down the real fun begins. The tanning recipe calls for bran-flakes AND battery acid. What could possibly go wrong?