Discolored mallard hen feathers

Submitted by E. Anderson on 11/30/05 at 10:04 PM. ( )

I am fairly new to duck taxidermy. I've done probably 12-15 ducks, and I'm having trouble with a mallard hen. The feathers on the underside of the wings are yellow, and I thought they should be white. I skinned, fleshed, and washed the duck as usual. I will admit that the dish soap that I used was yellow, but I used the exact same soap on a mallard drake a few days before and the feathers stayed nice and white. I haven't mounted the bird yet, and I'm wondering if you have any suggestions on how to whiten the feathers. Did I do something wrong?

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Brown feathers.

This response submitted by Rorie on 11/30/05 at 11:18 PM. ( )

Mallard hens have brown belly feathers. Males light gray.


This response submitted by Larry on 12/1/05 at 12:56 PM. ( )

Read his post before giving advice, The under side wing feathers on a hen mallard are also white just like the drake, however the under side of the primaries and secondaries on both the drake and hen are gray.

Sounds like you may have a hen that spent some time in a pond that was very iron rich and you have rust stains on the feathers, very common with snow geese and many divers.

Best solution is a product called Whinks, it's sold at Walmart in the drain cleaning section, it's a small brown bottle. Be very careful with it.

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