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Research Manakins (mounting a flying Pherasant) Stefan Savides question.

Discussion in 'Bird Taxidermy' started by monarch, Mar 23, 2011.

  1. monarch

    monarch New Member

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    Hi, Guys - wonder if you can help with what may be a stupid question. I purchased the above dvd with the intention of mounting a flying Ringneck Pheasant and on watching this two disc set, at no point does Stevan cure, tan or preserve the skin or mention it. Is this right or a serious error? Really confused now as I thought the skins had to be tanned, cured or dry preserved with at least Borax? Thanks, Bill.
     
  2. 1lovedeer

    1lovedeer New Member

    As long as you get all of the fat off then there is nothing to preserve
     

  3. alexm

    alexm New Member

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    ??? ::)
     
  4. SteveP

    SteveP New Member

    I haven't watched mine in a few years, so I do not remember that part being missing from his instruction. You've got me curious. I have to watch it again to see. Although it should be in there, I think it goes without saying.

    I do know that some competition birds have been mounted by others that don't have any DP or borax in them. It's definitely a risk for a long term mount, but it helps in taxiing and grooming by giving more time before the skin dries. I haven't tried it, but would still not recommend it, as I think competition should be a tool to become a better taxidermist, not just a place to get ribbons.
     
  5. monarch

    monarch New Member

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    Thanks - that makes sense to me. Watched it a few times to check. Nothing in the dvd refering to preserving?
     
  6. monarch

    monarch New Member

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    Never mounted a bird before - so please forgive my ignorance. Your post not exactly friendly or helpful?
     
  7. monarch

    monarch New Member

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    So the skin itself will not rot, deteriate or rot over time?
     
  8. Nancy C

    Nancy C Well-Known Member

    I haven't seen the video in question but I have talked to Stefan and I *seem* to recall him mentioning something about mounting very well-fleshed birds without preservative. (I say "seem" because I'm not 100% sure if I am remembering it correctly.)

    My take on it is this: Yes, it is possible, BUT I don't think it is the best option. I might be disagreeing with Stefan on this, but I can't see any advantage to leaving a skin with no protection at all.
    I think his point might have been that it is the drying effect of borax which causes the bulk of its preservation ability, and most of us already know that a bird skin will dry almost instantly whether you put borax on it or not. In that sense, the borax might be considered to be somewhat redundant. Study skins are often prepared with no preservative and they can last for centuries, but they are assembled very quickly over a highly absorbent body that causes them to dry almost immediately. They are then stored very carefully to protect them from insect damage.

    There is more to it than that, though. Borax is strongly alkaline and it inhibits the growth of most types of bacteria because of that factor. (Bacteria have a Ph range which limits how much they can be active if the Ph is above or below their preferences.) Bacteria need moisture, a certain degree of warmth, a food source, and a favorable environment in order to reproduce. Borax makes the environment unfavorable for most of them, so it will greatly extend the amount of time that a skin will remain useable, even if it is unfrozen and moist enough to still be pliable.

    I like to use caulking with my mounts, and I prefer to deal with fresh and pliable skin, so I always use borax to help keep the bacteria down to a minimum while the mount dries. It may not be absolutely essential, but I look on it much as I would look on any other kind of insurance. It's a lot cheaper than replacing a specimen, right?
     
  9. monarch

    monarch New Member

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    Thanks Nancy - appreciate your posting. This helps me a lot. Will give it a go and see how I get on. All the best, Bill.