body for a hen

Submitted by Kden on 7/6/01. ( )

wonderin what kind of body i could use for a hen chicken?
any help would be apreciated

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This response submitted by John Barber on 7/7/01. ( crittergedder@ )

try using a pheasant body .

what kind of chicken?

This response submitted by Nancy M. on 7/7/01. ( )

John is right, a pheasant body might work. The best thing to do is skin out the bird and measure the carcass. Find a pheasant body that fits.
I suggest Research Mannikins. Stefan has a wide selection of pheasant bodies as well as some specifically for chickens.
Nancy M.

Pheasant Bodies?

This response submitted by * on 7/7/01. ( )

come on guys, he said hen body. what kind of hen do you guys have that a pheasant body would fit unless its a banty rooster. get an xl goose body and cut the butt off and rasp the brest.

I got a simple question

This response submitted by CUR on 7/7/01. ( )

Whatever happened to making your own bodies?

van dykes master series

This response submitted by John barber on 7/7/01. ( )

these fit dem chikins well they got some great'o biguns

Aw come on, Cur

This response submitted by Nancy M. on 7/7/01. ( )

Well yes...DUH! [G] That would be the obvious solution to the problem, but I sometimes wonder if it's becoming a lost art. How many taxidermists make their own forms anymore? Some do, certainly, either by casting carcasses, re-building skeletons, carving foam or wrapping excelsior or other methods.
But now that I think about it I wonder what percentage of taxidermists have just copped out and gone to using nothing but ready-made forms. I can understand it with the beginners, but eventually I think that anybody who is serious should be able to create their own forms. Especially with birds. As much as I like to think otherwise, they are little more than a mis-shapen football underneath the feathers.
Good point, Bill.
Nancy M.

Hen /Chicken

This response submitted by Dave at VanDyke's on 7/7/01. ( )

I think that if you're wanting to use a foam body, I would lean twards a Prairie Chicken or Sage grouse body. The Breasts ar cuite a bit fuller than say a Pheasant. It will have more of a chicken shape to it. Take the measurements off the carcass and go from there. The Danny Owens "Master Series" mannikins all have measurements in our catalog.Match it up! Then once you have the charcoals nice and hot....give me a call. I'll bring the Hopps!

Have a great weekend and good luck to ya,


This response submitted by john barber on 7/8/01. ( )

Why should the bird taxidermist have to make there own bodies the deer guys dont and neither do the hog taxidermist(wrap one of them).its o.k. to use bought manikins.It is important to know how but I know how to garden but still go to the grocery store to buy groceries.
any way from a guy who hates the excelsor mess is that really a better way then foam mannikins or what do you use if not you wet the excelsor.what a mess!

Well John

This response submitted by Cur on 7/8/01. ( )

What are you going to do when someone walks in with a request that cannot be fulfilled with a store bought body? I raise a garden, and somehow the vegetables from my little patch of green taste a bit better than the ones from the market, if only in my mind. I paint and sculpt, but I don't grind down pigments with a pistle, or mine my own clay. Nor do I shave piles of excelsior for bodies. But I do pride myself in the ability to create what I might need from very basic materials produced by others.

I think that spinning a bird body is as basic to the art of taxidermy as the baseball stitch. No wonder everyone is backlogged, I suppose a lot of time is taken up waiting for the postman to arrive with

A bird body is a far cry from a shoulder mount form. And, matter of fact, I have "wrapped" (if ya want to call it that) a hog really ain't all that tough a task. I agree with Nancy.....And, Nancy, with all those long soft feathers to cover mishaps, you probably could stick a football up a chicken's rump and get away with it.........I recommend a "Nerf" ball, that should hold the wires........LOL.

Carve your own!

This response submitted by The Taxidermologist on 7/8/01. ( )

There is no neccesity to use excelsior. Bird bodies can be carved out of foam (polyethylene, urethane, even blue styrofoam) or balsa wood, cork, or a number of other products. It is beyond my comprehension that someone can recommend a body for a chicken without seeing the chicken. This week I went to the Butler County Fair and spent a full hour in the Poultry Building studying eyes, posture, etc. Chickens come in about 100 different sizes, some of which would be appropriate for a commercial bobwhite form, others a small swan.

It is not that difficult to carve a body - REALLY, and it will fit like it was made for the bird, probably because it was. I don't want to suggest that you quit using commercial bodies, cause Stefan, Newmeyer, Ferebee and others definitely need the money, but for out of the ordinary birds, you MUST carve or wrap your own body (Unless you are a practitioner of the Wire-Frame method originated in the 1700's and used to the 1880's and abandoned almost everywhere but France, where Mr. Rummans learned it. Archaic method but it works.

I found it a bit disconserting that in the latest Taxidermy Today the Vulture body was made by adding foam to a $20 Snow Goose body then carving it to fit the much larger bird which the snow goose body wasn't even close to. Why not just use $4 worth of foam and carve your own body. Van Dykes and others have sold high density foam blocks for decades.

Lately for larger birds I have been using recycled polyethethylene packing material for carving bodies. The foam that your new computers and lab equipment are packed in is archival quality polyethylene. Some of the 3 inch size pieces are composed of layers of 1/2 to 3/4 thick pieces which allow one to carve the body evenly on each side. I hot glue smaller pieces to build up a larger body.

Balsa wood it the ideal medium for any bird bobwhite and smaller. Great detail can be had in carving wrens, warblers, cuckoos, or any small unique bird one might have to do.

While I am spouting, I might also suggest that one carve the body to fit the entire bird under the skin. I recently saw a post where someone inquired what is used to replace the fat on the body after it is carved. Evidently the meat portion of the body was made (or purchased) and the preparator noticed large amounts of fat while skinning the bird and wondered what to replace it with. If you carve your own body, while skinning the bird you can record the thickness of the fat throughout the bird. If there is 3/4 inch on the belly, you make the artificial body 3/4 inch thicker than the meat on the belly, 1/4 on the back then 1/4 more on top of the meat on the back.

I have said it more than once in the archives, all birds come in different sizes, some very close, others not. I couldn't order a set of clothes for a human without measuring them, so how can you order the exact size manikan for a chicken without having measured it after skinning it.

It takes very little time to carve a body, especially after practice. Even if it takes one full hour, and 4$ worth of foam can suffice for a 20$ body, you have made 16$ even discounting the time to order the body, postage, etc.

If we carve our own body, do they not bleed, (I mean fit, lol)

PS: I have a chicadee to mount, what size commercial body should I buy?

Wow, what a topic!

This response submitted by Nancy M. on 7/8/01. ( )

First, to John Barber, I just said that a serious taxidermist SHOULD be ABLE to make their own forms. I didn't mean to imply that they should make all their own forms all the time. Time is money, after all.
To Cur...hmmm....a nerf ball. I'll keep that in mind. 'Should be perfect for a Cochin! [chicken equivalent of musk ox]By the way, I am going to get out the dictionary and look up the meaning of "after work" because I can't seem to remember it.
To Stephen...chickadees are one of those that I call [not when the client is around!] "floor scrap birds". Ie: find a little scrap of foam and carve a chickadee. I like balsa too, but don't usually have any around when I want it. The leftovers from my husband's RC sailplane projects are usually too thin.
My everyday forms began as carved foam and then I molded them. Just the normal things; mallards, pheasants and other commonly received game species. I can carve them down or modify them as needed. Every now and then I get inspired to make another one but it is a slow process. Carving and claying up the prototype is the easy part. 'Guess I just don't like fiberglass...
Anyway, K den, are you still around? What kind of chicken?! It makes a big difference.
Nancy M.

That is an easy one Stephen

This response submitted by CUR on 7/8/01. ( )

Stephen, for the chickadee (Parus atricapillus), I highly recommend carving down a teal form with a body grinder, removing everything that doesn't look like a chickadee, until you have the tiny body.

Balsa? Foam packing materials? Cork? What do you mean offering alternate materials? LOL.... You forgot to mention sculpey or all-game bodies for little chippies. They can be formed so easily, wires stuck in and when cured......Walla!

And as far as the interstitial fat deposits are concerned, couldn't it be replaced with Crisco contained in small ziplock pouches like those used by the gem industry? Or maybe if the abdominal incision is snugged up air tight, a shot of Co2 up the cloaca might fill the I saw that post......wouldn't touch it. Wasn't it Leon Pray who said to make the form a bit larger than the actual
bird's body to compensate for those fat deposits? Or was that Lloyd Kempf?

Further, Stephen, how dare you suggest saving money on input materials? Do you actually believe that some of us are dare to be cost efficient?

Just kidding, folks. Stephen, glad to see you take time to address this. That was a mouthful of good advice. I saw that article too, filed it under "bathroom humor".


This response submitted by Bill Gaither on 7/8/01. ( )

Years ago, when I painted the fifty state birds of America for ECHO publicatons, I was stumped by the Delaware bird; The blue hen fighting chicken. According to all sources, it was extinct. I visited a breeder in Ohio to look at some similar birds, and was absolutely overwhelmed by the varieties available. (The ones I liked best were the nearly bald bantams that looked like they were on steroids.) You are certainly correct when you mention that fowl come in all sizes and shapes. I never cease to be amazed by this forum. The most innocuous post can produce tomes of knowledge. Wow! (Now, where did I put that body grinder?)

body grinder?

This response submitted by Nancy M. on 7/8/01. ( )

Oh, if only it would work on cellulite....alas.
Nearly bald...looks like steroids were used...Hmmm. That sounds like a Cornish to me. [The breed, not the grocery store variety]
It must be weird to live in a state where one of your emblems is extinct. I would wonder if it was an omen.
I'm glad I'm not the only one who finds poultry to be interesting. Chickens and pigeons come in varieties that are so far removed from their ancestoral origins that they defy belief. I am also interested in genetics, so all the mutations involved are fascinating to me.
I think chickens range from under 1lb. [hen Old English Game] to probably 15 lbs. or more [Brahmas, etc.] I have better knowledge of pigeons.
Then there are the domestic waterfowl varieties. Personally, just because I'm weird, I would like to see another bird category in the competitions: domestic poultry. And I would like to see it judged first as taxidermy and then to the Standard of the breed. Talk about DIFFICULTY! YIKES! And no annoying laws to interfere with buying/selling either.
Somehow, though, I don't think it would catch on. Oh well.
Nancy M.

Chicken hats?

This response submitted by CUR on 7/8/01. ( )


Maybe someone could start a group of chicken heads like the parrot heads that follow the "Hamburger in Paradise" guy. We could all get rich doing chicken hats. Cock-a-doodle-doo. Why did the chicken cross the road? Cellulite? Call Knoblachs.

That streetwise chicken...

This response submitted by Nancy M. on 7/8/01. ( )

...crossed the road just to prove to the armadillos that it can be done!
Nancy...who already has a chicken hat. And a pigeon shirt.

Heavy Machinery

This response submitted by Lisa... on 7/9/01. ( Crazy...crazy for feelin so )

RESPECT! Chickadee dee dee! Check the archives and watch out for boysz they lie. LAST CALL! HONK HONK!

That is MY name....

This response submitted by Lisa on 7/9/01. ( )

Do you want heavy machinery.... I have an arsenal of it! Toot your on horn elsewere!


That is MY name....

This response submitted by Lisa on 7/9/01. ( )

Do you want heavy machinery.... I have an arsenal of it! Toot your on horn elsewere!


Nope ..I'm not done.....

This response submitted by Lisa on 7/9/01. ( )

Stick it up the business end of your........?

Nope ..I'm not done.....

This response submitted by Lisa on 7/9/01. ( )

Stick it up the business end of your........?

Come back......

This response submitted by Lisa on 7/9/01. ( )

Little chickadee dee dee....Get'in wooped by a girl? HE HE Some do not own respect....And when you don't own it, you will not get it HERE! No humor involved............Let's talk some more, shall we?


This response submitted by Just Me on 7/10/01. ( not with her )

There it is...she can dish it out but she can't take it. Lighten up sounded like "gentle joking" as I read it! Everyone on here is subject to ridicule. There, there, everything is gonna be OK!

Just Me.....

This response submitted by Lisa on 7/10/01. ( )



This response submitted by nanette on 9/22/01. ( )

I am looking for a stuffed armadillo (taxidermy stuffed, not toy stuffed)
for a gift for my husband (don't ask). Does anyone have one for
sale, or know of a taxidermist/collector that might be able to help
me? I need it THIS WEEK--before Sep. 30th.

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