Jim Fry wrote:We skin them, the food value of the skin isn't that much.
Wes Hunter wrote: Ashes seemed to help.
Bryant RedHawk wrote:Ashes in the water turn the water into an alkali bath which does help the hairs slip loose.
Wes Hunter wrote:With the first, the water cooled off way too quickly to get a good scald; with the second, we were able to maintain 160 degrees without half trying, which made for much more effective scraping.
Bryant RedHawk wrote:Boiling water is far to hot to get good hair slipping on any animal. I have done rabbits which would be similar to the OP's guinea pigs and 160 f water with a cup of hardwood ashes does a great job of getting the fur and underfur to slip fairly easily.
Wes Hunter wrote:3. We just used knives for scraping the hair off, holding the blade edge perpendicular to the skin.
Wes Hunter wrote:4. But interestingly, I found scalding and scraping to be much easier and a fair bit quicker than skinning. (A lot of people say it's more work to scald and scrape.) Not having to deal with slippery fat made a big difference.
Wes Hunter wrote:5. Regarding "waste." Skinning an animal doesn't have to be wasteful or disrespectful, as the skins can be put to other uses (tanning is the obvious one; perhaps laying skins down as garden mulch?). Of course, nothing truly goes to waste anyway, but I know where you're coming from.
Bryant RedHawk wrote:Xisca, let me know how it works out for you. I have tasted Guinea pig only once and it was delicious.
Bryant RedHawk wrote:The only time I ever skin a chicken is if I am harvesting it for meat and fly tying feathers. Otherwise I pluck, which takes me about 10 minutes.
When I hunt squirrels and rabbits I cut around the feet and pull the skin off. Squirrel and rabbit skins are salted to preserve them for fly tying needs.
Martijn Macaopino wrote:Xisca you have convinced me to try removing the hair next time I eat a guinea pig, I imagine this will also make it much nicer to roast them over some hot coals.
Do you remove the hair before or after gutting them?
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