Weak and brittle hair on dall sheep

Submitted by Dan on 4/22/05 at 1:10 PM. ( barbdil@yahoo.com )

I have a customer with a dall sheep mounted 15 years ago. Skin is tanned. Recently he noticed hair shedding. I saw no evidence of bugs but I did notice the hair is very weak. It breaks at a touch. Stroking it gently produces hundreds of tiny ends that break off. If pinched and pulled, hair breaks easily. He said he had cleaned it a couple of times with a carpet cleaner spray on, let dry and brushed off. I'm wondering if this weakened the hair. Another thought I had was, if the skin wasn't properly neutralized after the pickle, could the acid be weakening the hair even after 15 years? Has anyone ever experienced this condition. I am 35 years a professional taxidermist and have not before seen anything like this. Also, can anything be done to strengthen the hair?....thanks, Dan

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Probably bleached too much

This response submitted by George on 4/22/05 at 2:06 PM. ( georoof@aol.com )

Bleaching will definitely exacerbate that condition. HOWEVER, if the mount was stored in an environment without climate control, the hair will often break like dried Christmas tree needles. Hunting cabins and lodges without year round climate control are perfect places for this to happen.

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