For thousands of years, numerous civilizations, including those of Mesopotamia, Egypt, Phoenicia, and Greece have often believed in some form of lucky charm. These talismans are believed to bring good fortune, and they also serve as souvenirs and symbols of hope. One of such is the rabbit’s foot.
So whether you wear such amulets around your neck, grasp them in your palms, or simply place them at the entrance of your home, they are meant to provide good luck or ward off evil spirits. The rabbit foot is no different – it is often used as an amulet – and also a source of food, hence the need to understand how to preserve a rabbit’s foot.
From around 600 BC, rabbit’s feet have been considered lucky. Alongside the hare’s foot, the rabbit’s foot is made into various charms and amulets in various parts of Europe, Africa, and the Americas. Due to their being underground for a better part of their lifespan, people believed rabbits were in touch with the spirits of the underworld, and so resorted to preserving their feet long after the death of the animals.
Unsurprisingly, this practice remains till today. The folklore behind lucky rabbit foot transcends cultures and varies to a large extent. While some cultures prize the rear left foot of the rabbit killed in a cemetery, others prefer that the foot of the rabbit be only removed while the animal is still alive. Yet still, some other cultures prefer that the rabbit’s foot be harvested only during a full moon, and on and on it goes.
Whether you obtained your rabbit foot from a cemetery, harvested them during a full moon, or raised them at home as a pet – we want to examine how to preserve a rabbit’s foot in this guide. This will enable you to preserve your own rabbit foot for any purpose. It is fairly easy to do.
Basic materials for preserving a rabbit’s foot
- Nail clipper
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Washing detergent
- Isopropyl alcohol
- Jar with lid
- Shears or a pair of scissors
How to preserve a rabbit’s foot: Steps involved
There are several steps required for the effective preservation of a rabbit’s foot. Let’s consider the steps:
1. Remove the rabbit feet and soak in alcohol
The first step towards preserving a rabbit’s foot is to cut it off from a dead rabbit using scissors or shears. Try to remove the bones at the joint in the ankle. If your rabbit’s foot will serve as a keyhole, then do not trim too much of the skin because you will need to cover the hole after perforating.
Now that you have the rabbit’s feet cut off, wash them with soap and water and squeeze properly. It is important to wear gloves while handling the rabbit’s foot. About 1% of wild rabbits have tularemia, a bacterium that causes rabbit fever.
If you’re not going to be able to immediately preserve the rabbit’s feet, you can put them in a Ziploc bag and keep them in the freezer until you’re ready to move on with the next phase.
Take the alcohol and a lidded jar and pour all the alcohol into the container. Make sure that you have a jar that can fully contain the rabbit’s feet because you’re going to have to submerge them in isopropyl alcohol.
Insert the entire rabbit’s feet into the jar and pour alcohol into it to cover the feet. Leave feet soaked in the alcohol for two days. This process locks in the fur by denaturing the protein, dehydrating the cells, and killing bacteria and fungi. It also helps clean the feet and get them ready for the next step.
2. Soak the rabbit’s feet in a mixture of borax
After the two days are up, take the rabbit’s feet out of the jar. Get another jar, mix some water and borax into the jar. Mix the water and borax in a 15:1 ratio. Warm water will dissolve the borax crystals faster. Insert the feet into this new mixture for about a day and a half. What the borax does is that it penetrates into the meat, the fur, and the bone to dry them completely.
In essence, the borax mixture is some sort of drying agent. It ensures that organisms do not breed on the feet. The borax will cure the meat, inhibit bacteria growth, and ensure that the feet stay good for a long time. Meanwhile, borax can be found in the laundry supplies section of any retail store.
3. Sun-dry your rabbit’s foot
After two days, take your rabbit’s feet out of the borax mixture. They might feel a little gritty when you retrieve them; this is expected since the borax sticks to the furs. Simply wash them properly in water and dry. You could dry the feet using a blow dryer if you’re in a hurry or you could sun-dry them for a whole day. Air-dry your rabbit’s feet in areas that are out of reach of people and animals.
Make an ornament of your rabbit’s foot
Rabbit’s feet are either used as talismans or preserved for their ornamental value. Many people turn theirs into a keychain. To do this, you will need some other materials, which include jingle bells, ball chains, epoxy glue, and pliers.
How to make a keychain with your rabbit’s foot
Now that the feet are dry, it’s time to add the end caps. For our end caps, we would use jingle bells. These can be obtained from Amazon or your local retail shop. We’re also going to use ball chains to attach our rabbit’s feet to the keychain. Make sure that each of the bells fits on the foot since each foot can be a little different in size.
Now it’s time to add the epoxy. Your epoxy can also be ordered online or from a nearby local shop. Use a popsicle stick to mix your epoxy. Get a little of the epoxy on the popsicle stick and spread it at the bottom of the bell. Try not to get the epoxy on the outside of the bell or the fur, and then press the foot in. Pinch the sides of the bell using a plier so that they are tight on the fur and are closed completely after prying them open. Allow drying for 24 hours. Now your rabbit’s foot keychain is ready.
If you can make many of these, then you can sell them on Amazon or craft sites such as Etsy. This craft has its own market niche. So that is how to preserve a rabbit’s foot for various uses.