So you've got a dead snake- now what?

Learn a useful skill, and leverage roadkill for fun and profit.

A companion to How to Cook a Snake.
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Step 1: Acquire Snake

Picture of Acquire Snake
This is probably going to be the hard part.

Snakes do a fine job keeping the world free of unnecessary rodents; don't kill them unless absolutely necessary! That said, if you do kill a snake, or find one dead, don't let it go to waste.

The snake in this Instructable was run over by a car; Eric found it a couple minutes later, its heart still beating, in the process of expiring by the side of the road. Since we knew both time and cause1 of death, and refrigerated the carcass promptly, it was safe to eat. If you just want the skin, the time and mechanism of death isn't as relevant. Just be sensible, and make sure to clean yourself (and the snake parts) up properly.

A bit of internet research identified it as a probable Black Rat Snake, a non-poisonous Indiana resident.

1 Note that snakes can also die from eating poisoned rodents. You dont want to eat a snake dosed up with warfarin or other toxin2. Pay attention to context.

2 It's apparently fine to cook and eat poisonous snakes- cooking is sufficient to inactivate any venomous residue.

Step 2: Off with its head!

Picture of Off with its head!
Just like the queen of hearts says.

You can use a nice sharp knife, or a pair of kitchen/poultry shears. Just stay away from serrated knives, as they don't do very well with snakeskin.

This is also the time to make sure you've properly prepped your area- I put a large cutting board on top of several layers of newspapers in the driveway, and put a wad of paper towels and a plastic bag for trash nearby.
Make sure to leave space for your implements, and bring bags and/or a bowl to save the good bits. If your mother is willing to take pictures that's a bonus!

Step 3: Find the vent

Picture of Find the vent
Find the snake's anal vent.
This is an opening a couple of inches away from the tail, on the ventral (belly) side of the snake.
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m4iler2 months ago

How do you eat it? I suppose the spine and ribs are still inside the little bastard. I have a 27 years old boa constrictor (he was a bad hatchling, the keeper said it would live 10 years, tops). It's older than me and is 2.5 meters long. When he dies, I'll try to make the best of my life-long pet. Awesome tutorial!

smccormick73 months ago

my ball phyton died . i did all these steps not perfect lol but yea anybody wants to buy my snake skin . it was about 5ft tall i live on nyc .

knifeking3 months ago

if the snake is dead hrs than it will stink real have to deal with it :)

Morte_Moya6 months ago

That is one very nice instructable! I love eating snake. Rattlesnake is by far my favorite! Great job.

This is great! Thanks for showing us all! This instructable has received a lot of attention.
Jakejb310 months ago
Looks like u cut yourself try to cut the snake
studleylee1 year ago
Very cool! I think this will work on Politicians too. Just have to drain the extra grease.....
O_o This just makes me cringe...I have two pythons. Why I clicked on this, I don't know. Curiosity I suppose. However, very informative instructable that I think a lot of people could find useful :)

Just not me :P
I don't have any snakes as pets, but I agree that it is very informative. 5/5
Can you keep the skin from rotting just by tacking it to a board or something and letting it air out or do you need to add something to help preserve it?
canida (author)  DuctTapeExtremeDude1 year ago
It depends on where you live, and how well you've cleaned the skin.

If humidity is super-high, you'll likely want to rub the skin down with borax or salt to keep anything from growing on the skin while it dries, and tack it down to something like a screen for better breathability. If you live in a desert, far less to worry about - you can just tack it out almost anywhere and it will dry nicely.

Just be aware that the skin will be crispy, not pliable - you've got to do a bit of treatment to make it soft.
Thanks! I've heard that if you put a skin over something and pull it back and forth so that it bends it will make it pliable. Would that work on a snake skin?
ill soon post a detailed segment on snake tanning soon you can make cool junk like me
Looks cool! I'll look forward to seeing how to do it myself. Thanks!
mattiemack1 year ago did somebody say snake hide? haha also heres what i do with the bones
Shouldn't you be wearing gloves?
Profit? Gow
mcmonte1 year ago
It's the cloaca or cloacal opening.
lbrewer421 year ago
I once made a hatband from a copperhead that was stepped on by one of the bulls in the corral.
Schmidty162 years ago
you could cut off the head and take everything out and then put wash out the hide and put it inside out and use it to carry water
bpfh4 years ago
My SAS Survival Book says:
"Discard internal organs, which may carry salmonella.
Reptiles can be cooked in their skins. Large snakes can be chopped into steaks and provide useful skins. To prepare a snake, cut off head well down, behind poison sacs; open vent to neck keeping blade outwards, to avoid piercing innards, which will fall clear. Skewer to suspend and ease of skin towards tail."

The final phrase (yes, "of", not "off" - a typo probably) reminds me of skinning fish: Skewer through head or back, and peel the skin off... Otherwise, if the snake is roasted, the skin should peel off easier. Anyone for a BBQ?
HollyMann bpfh2 years ago
I love my SAS survival guide. I am hoping I don't ever need to do this - eat a snake that is - but if so, I will have some knowledge...thanks! You are brave Canida!
x3n0c1dal2 years ago
Anal vent is an incorrect term, as far as I am aware. I believe it's just anus.
memememefor2 years ago
always clean your dead snake
memememefor2 years ago
Ghattasdb2 years ago
Put it on a strip of leather and make a bracelet.
Awesome! Usefull knowledge!

I'm gonna have to try with my new tool.

macmundi3 years ago
There are lots of dead dogs on the streets here in Thailand. Maybe the people here got tired of their pets and run them over.
oriole macmundi3 years ago
Take them to Indonesia. They'll barbecue it for you
they DO NOT eat dog in Indonesia.

They are an Islamic country and moslems do not touch dogs. If a dog licks them they must undergo a purifacation at the local mosque.

Your racist ignorance is dispicable.
Oh, says who? Indonesia is not a Muslim country, it's a country with a Muslim-majority population. Those who aren't Muslim can touch dogs all they want. I'm Indonesian, and I'm not Muslim. I even own two dogs.

That being said, sure Indonesians do eat dogs. Not ALL of them do, as it's not a common delicacy, but there are some people who do. I've known some places where they go and cook dogs (sometimes even cats too).

I've known americans to eat dogs as well. All though usaully in roadkill scenario
Where do u live? I'll make sure not to visit.
True that...
I was replying in a generalist manner in which the comment made (to which I was replying) was made in a generalistic manner.

The original comments was suggesting that as a general rule ALL indonesians eat dogs.

Just so you know you may well be Orang Indonesian tetapi saya tingal di Indonesia juga.

I also have eaten dog, and other 'bizarre' foods.

Oriole was being not so subtle in his/her racism and I do not tolerate rascim .


oriole oriole2 years ago

I spent 4 months there around the time this first comment was written. I traveled from Jakarta to Manado. I saw dog barbques in all the places I went. I did not say all Indonesians eat dogs. I wouldn t say all all americans eat cows., but you can sure say that we have many places to barbecue a steak. So take your cows to america they will barbecue it. I am not racist I have been there. Have you spanner?
jomishx oriole2 years ago
I wish i had not looked at that picture now. Americans obviously do not see dogs as food, but we cannot blame others for eating what is available. Still gotta feel bad for them :(
man and dog.JPG
thailand dude, they do it there too
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