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Washing/Drying Turkey Tails?

Discussion in 'Bird Taxidermy' started by noodleneck, May 14, 2013.

  1. I did a search on this but did not find much info. What procedure do you folks use to wash and dry your turkey tails? Mine never want to come back together like they were. Thanks Warren
  2. jessiecanfield

    jessiecanfield Member


  3. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    Soak in Dawn for at least 10 min. Then wash in new Dawn and scrub good. Then rinse multiple times. Dry in corn cob grit in conjunction with a blow drier. I've done all five that way and had great results. I'm not a bird guy but that is my experience with tails.
  4. kevin scott

    kevin scott New Member

  5. Washed mine 3 times in dawn, would rinse and wash again. Greasy things.... Then soaked in gas for 10 minutes, squeezed out, corn cob grit, then the dryer. I know I know gas but damn they come out clean and shiny.
  6. RTF

    RTF Active Member

    Water mends feathers, so I dont know what the problem is. Could be a greasing problem. But if you follow the majority of the comments listed above, you should have no problem. I let mine soak in soapy water then rinse and rinse and then rinse again. To speed up drying and to be sure all grease is extracted I'll gas it OUTSIDE.
  7. Nancy C

    Nancy C Well-Known Member

    I wash mine in Dawn and hot water several times as needed, rinse VERY well, shake and blot dry (I don't tumble them) and then finish them off with a hairdryer on low.
    They come out clean and as smooth as possible. Spring turkeys are usually a little rough on the very tips and on the outer half of the center two feathers since those get most of the sun damage, but all of the feathers will "be all that they can be" if they are washed and dried gently. I will only scrub them if they have blood stains or other foreign material like tree sap. Scrubbed ones will need careful grooming but they end up fine.
  8. Glass eye

    Glass eye Active Member

    I do as Nancy said, but to dry it I hook it with a wire to the wire cage that covers a fan. I go do something else and come back to a neatly dried tail.
  9. Thanks for all the replies. I was washing them similar to this, but maybe not rinsing them good enough. Thanks again, Warren
  10. When you think you have them clean enough wash them one more time and when you think you have it rinsed enough rinse one more time - when the rinse water is as clean and clear as when you started -. Try adding a 1/4 cup of Downey to your final rinse. I carefully wring and "slick" the water out of the feathers (gently pinch and push the water out of the feathers by drawing the feathers through my fingers starting at the quills. I use coleman fuel to help disperse the remaining water by soaking for 5 min, wring the same way and blow dry. If you do not like fuel try using tide concentrated detergent as your final wash - after the dawn - it works well too.