Preserving Pheasant Feathers for Decorative Uses

Submitted by Mimi on 7/27/05 at 11:55 AM. ( )

My husband shot a pheasant and brought the feathers home to me to use. The attendant at the hunt club suggested putting salt on any attached flesh and hanging them to dry, which I did. They have been hanging in my garage for several months. Before I use them, should I treat them in some way to kill any mites, bacteria or anything else that might be on them? I would appreciate any suggestions for treating and preserving them.

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I think your best bet...

This response submitted by jrosbor on 7/27/05 at 12:40 PM. ( )

would be to soak the flesh parts in salt water (one pound of salt per gallon of water). Untill the flesh is soft. Then use a wire brush or scissors to remove as much flesh as you can. Then coat the remaining feathers and flesh pieces with borax. This should keep the bugs away indefintly. Joe

Question on use of borax

This response submitted by Mimi on 7/28/05 at 4:29 PM. ( )

Thanks for the suggestions. Is the borax suggested the powdered laundry booster such as "Twenty Mule Team Borax?" Is this applied in dry form, or should it be dissolved in water?

Preserving Pheasant Feathers for Decorative uses

This response submitted by Judie on 7/29/05 at 10:07 AM. ( )

I use feathers in my gourd art masks, and was concerned about mites, etc. while stored.

I was told that either by microwaving them or placing them in the freezer for a short period of time would work. I have microwaved some in a plastic baggie, and feel it didn't do any harm to the feathers........of course, these are store purchased feathers which may have already been treated.
hope this helps.

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