I am new to taxidermy and finally got around to skinning some ducks I shot this year. So far I have skinned four shovelers. The first was an unmitigated distaster. The last three have gone much better with very little trouble as far as tearing the skin or even fleshing out the wings. The problem I am having with the wings is this, when I reinvert the wing the feathers are completly wrecked. The primaries are not to bad but the secondaries are complety frayed and the underwing coverts look very loose with lots of the down showing through. So far I have just thrown the skins back in the freezer until my wire wheel gets here some time next week, I will attempt to degrease and wash those when this arives as well as wash the skins. Will the feathers look better after washing and tumbling or am I doing something wrong?
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After washing and drying they will be OK, provided you get them good and clean. They just look like sad little rags up until then.
If you go by how they look after just being skinned you will throw them all away. They just look terrible at that point. Like Nancy said,when you have completed the degreasing, washing, tumbling and blow drying it will all fall back into place and look like it should. Don't give to soon.
Thanks for the info. I'm looking forward to getting my wire wheel next week. I imagine I will be back then if I manage to disintegrate one of the birds in the wheel. :O)