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Washing Turkey Feathers for Mount

Discussion in 'Bird Taxidermy' started by Utility, May 18, 2013.

  1. Utility

    Utility New Member

    Working on my first turkey mount and I have a couple of questions. First, do I have to wash the feathers if they are already clean (no dirt/blood)? If so, what is the recommended procedure to clean?
    Thanks for any help.
  2. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

    Even though they look clean they aren't, the first wash will show you what I mean, they are dirty buggers. They don't bathe they dust themselves to rid themselves of bugs. Use Dawn dish soap and wash multiple times in clean water until water is clean after you remove the bird, I prefer warm to hot water. Rinse in cold water in between washes.

  3. You will find varied techniques. the way I do it is as follows:
    1. Scissor and wire wheel meat, tissue, fat and residual clotted blood off the bird, being cautious of thinner areas around the legs and wings.
    2. With the bird inside out, run a tub with as hot water as you can stand. Rub Dawn into the skin. Really coat it and work it in & leave sit 15 min. I will take a stiff nylon brush and scrub stubborn areas of fat to remove. Wash in the hot water, repeat with fresh water no less than 3 times.
    3. Turn bird carefully outside right, and repeat but be gentle with the feathers stroking feathers lightly. Again no less than 3 times.
    4. Rinse, rinse and rinse again. when water runs clear on the rinse, do one more rinse adding 1/2 cup of downy and leave sit for 10 min. Final rinse and proceed with your drying process.

    Hope this helps
  4. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    After you take Mac's advice be sure to go to Taxidermy Training Unlimited.com and order one or more of the turkey mounting dvds. They are outstanding.
  5. dmac1175

    dmac1175 Active Member

    I would highly recommend you buy Tim Jordan's turkey dvd. Very beginner friendly. Watch it a time or two first. Also you can watch it once you start your turkey, pausing it as needed.
  6. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    I own all of the TTU turkey dvds and have only mounted two breast/ fan mounts for my self and don't plan on doing full turkey mounts any time soon. I'll be purchasing the on from Tim soon. The point is you can't have to much info to draw from. I believe that TTU also has skinning and fleshing a turkey dvds.
  7. You will find that much of what I describe is from Tim's video. I have that and others.

    Very true regarding not having too much to pull from. Just like reference - you can't learn too many techniques in this business.
    Let us know how it turns out.
  8. Utility

    Utility New Member

    Thank you for all of the responses & excellent advice! I really appreciate the help!
  9. gamechanger

    gamechanger New Member

    Does anyone who responded to this post have any advice on washing the wing feathers....more precicely, the secondary feathers?? Blood, etc?

    Its a constant issue that I beat my head against a wall with. I don't like taking the time to cut and replace the feathers with other stock feathers.

    Thanks for any help

    The Game Changer
  10. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

    I wash the whole bird the same way. If there is dryed blood it will take more attention. I use a tooth brush to gently wash dryed blood out of feathers.