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My Skinning and Mounting Methods

Discussion in 'Bird Taxidermy' started by wolfgang, Mar 3, 2013.

  1. wolfgang

    wolfgang New Member

    Just to let everyone know I have found the pictures and will be resizing them today. Once I get that done I will start posting my methods for skinning and mounting a duck.
  2. mimes

    mimes Member

    Looking forward to it. Hope it is standing.

  3. EHile

    EHile Member

    I look forward to it! C:
  4. Ranger8292

    Ranger8292 New Member

    I cant Waite
  5. best news for today ;)
  6. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

    Thank you for making the time and effort to do this. I look forward to learning something new.
  7. mulieslayer52

    mulieslayer52 New Member

    Thanks for doing that. I appreciate your time. Will you post in the tutorial or bird section?
  8. Adam Edwards

    Adam Edwards Member

    Agreed great news! Thanks ahead of time!
  9. Awesome!!! Thanks!!!
  10. wolfgang

    wolfgang New Member

    Wow photobucket changed everything on me and I hate having to learn new things.
    Anyway here we go.
    I have a limited number of pictures since I can't do the work and photograph at the same time. My business is based on mounting almost exclusively pen raised birds and with them comes a very thin skin and a ton of fat. After ripping up bird after bird on the fleshing wheel and then trying to sew up those very thin tears along the belly incision I decided to try skinning one down the back instead. I start by skinning out the head as you would do normally then push the skin toward the body.


    Next I separate the feathers on the back with water making sure not to cut any of them off as you have fewer to work with than you do with the breast incision. The incision should go up the neck about 1/2 inch and down the back 2-3 or so depending on how much back fat the bird has. Now I work around the shoulders and cut the neck off where you would mount it to your form.


    After cutting through the neck bone you have to cut the windpipe being careful not to cut through the skin on the back side. Continue working the skin off the shoulders until you have separated all the fat from the body. You can now pull the head and neck out of the skin. If you don't plan to mount right away put the head neck in a small ziplock bag and set aside. Don't disconnect the head from the neck.
    Now carefully cut through the wing to shoulder joint be careful again not to cut through the armpit skin. You can use your thumb if you have any nails to push that skin toward the belly. I lay the bird on a towel breast side down and work with my thumb between the skin and the breast as far as you can reach cutting with scalpel where necessary usually down the breast bone. Once you get to this point carefully roll the skin down towards the tail inverting it as you go. If you have troubles at this point it is better to make the incision longer on the back than tear the neck skin.


    You should be near the thigh bone at this point and can cut through the bone above the knee.
    Once cut through continue to skin all the way to the tail making sure to get the tail bone out completely. At this point I remove the oil glands, leg meat, and then invert the wings as usual and remove any meat as well.


    Now carefully put the wings inside the body cavity and you are ready to cut off the bone joints and start fleshing.


    Flesh in what ever manner you are used to. I have a powerful lower rpm flesher and start by fleshing the tail end working my way around the body toward the neck. I keep the neck inside the body at this point so it won't dry out to much or end up wrapped in the fleshing wheel.
    Things to watch for while fleshing are the legs and wing tips. you can burn through pretty fast if the leg bone is under where you are fleshing same thing with the wing tips. Add borax as you go getting the bulk of the fat off in the first pass, finish up with one more pass when done all the way out to the head.
    The next 2 pictures show how well the feathers are protected while fleshing keeping all that fat off which in turn makes it easier to clean.



    Now you can take to the sink and wash and degrease in your normal fashion. If you don't plan on mounting at this point wash clean rinse and put in ziplock bag while wet add the bag with the head and neck in and freeze. if you keep the bag inside the bag you will never need to figure out how long the neck was you will have it right there.
    I hope this explains the skinning method which don't get me wrong does take time to get use to but the advantages in the mounting process more than make up for the extra time spent here. Not to mention fewer holes and tears to sew up.
  11. Should be very educational no doubt
  12. Ranger8292

    Ranger8292 New Member

    Thank you for sharing
  13. srholmes30

    srholmes30 Living each and every day

    Thanks for posting,Real helpful
  14. dc taxidermy

    dc taxidermy Me and My Baby's senior picture

    Thats is very different, I will have to try it, I hve tried belly, under the wing, leg to leg, I have never thought of skinning through the back......Thank you for takeing the time to show us..and for shareing you knowledge......DC
  15. idbatman

    idbatman Active Member

    Nice job , thanks for posting.
  16. B Jones

    B Jones Memeber of - NTA,UTA,AIT.Proud Member of NZTA.

    Ive got to try this technique, talk about thinking outside the box thanks Wolfgang.
  17. wolfgang

    wolfgang New Member

    As soon as I can find someone to take the pictures I will post part 2,
    The 90 Minute Wood Duck!
    This is where the real interesting part of my techniques really comes to life.
  18. Looking forward to it! I'm going to try this on my next bird :)
  19. Can't wait to see it.
  20. wolfgang

    wolfgang New Member

    Is there anyone in Wisconsin that would like to come over and assist in taking the pictures and get plenty of free advice?