this has happened a few times with my ducks, i skin,flesh with wire wheel,wash,dry litely with towel, gas, and tumble... then mount but with mallards the feathers kindof "clump" up and look not very smooth at all, what do you pros think i am a beginner and trying hard and having alot of fun, All of your advice or tips really do help us begginers..THANK YOU! sorry just realized that im in the wrong area
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Skip the tumbling John. While I don't know if that's your problem for sure I do know that mallard skins stretch horribly and the tumbler might be making it worse. I've never tumbled a bird in my life and really see no reason for it whatsoever. Its just my opinion, however. Another possiblity is not enough rinsing. Check the downy underfeathers and see if they are as fluffy as those on a fresh bird. If not, it could be your rinsing and/or drying steps.
BTW-- you're not in the "wrong area". You're a 'beginner' asking a question in the "Beginners" section.
I had the same troubles years ago, I simply was not getting the grease out, go to a high powered soap, and wash two or three times, then pour the greasy water off the top. rinse in a five gallon bucket allowing it to over flow while you move the skin around, this will get all the soap out if you see even one little soap bubble rinse somemore.
Last what are you tumbling the birds in? Soft wood i.e. Pine Cedar etc is cut a leaves small curls that will cling like burrs to the down.
I have never towel dried any animal its wasted effort, why tumble if you are going to towel dry?
Get a air nozzle for your aif compressor and add a 8-10 inch piece of bednable copper tubing to it, this will allow you to dry the down first, you get the down dry and you will have a fluffy bird.
thank you for the great tips, i will try them! have a great day, and thanks again!
This is the way I was taught by a recognized "expert": Skin, wire wheel, wash in Dawn Detergent, rinse, wash in Dawn, rinse, third wash if rinse water is not clean, sqeeze gently, Coleman Fuel 10 min, tumble in corn cob grit 7-9 min., Blow with hair dryer until feathers are "powder puff dry", turn body skin side out and apply water based bacteriacide to the skin with sm. paint brush, mount.