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darn duck

Discussion in 'Bird Taxidermy' started by Thetoad, Feb 6, 2014.

  1. Thetoad

    Thetoad Member

    I am sure those three words were first uttered by a taxidermist. I tried my first duck , a drake woodie I am a mammal guy. The skining went fine not one single hole cut until the head and neck juncture then whammy tore the head skin completely away from neck skin. Thought to myself I can fix that not a big deal. So I moved on to the wire wheel flesher I like to use it on small mammals so I'm comfortable with it, I don't think I touched the wheel with it and tore a new hole. Ok I can fix that , so I moved to my fleshing beam with a soft brass brush only put about ten holes in it with that. So I'm gonna put more stitches in that greasy little critter than Frankenstein this morning if I can with out tearing it. A hunting buddy gifted me a drake and a hen just to try out, how hard can a duck be I thought I've done many thin skined critters with fur no problems. This thigs just got feathers instead easy peazy. I got to hand it to you bird guys bird taxidermy is a true art. So if I manage to get this
    Dang bird on a form I will post some pics as long as it don't come back to life and fly off, I mean Frankenstein style.
     
  2. Re: [email protected]#K a duck

    Ducks take a very soft touch! Not something I have. I have mounted a total of 3 ducks in my 20 year career. They turned out good but I let my federal permit expire last fall. I'll stick to Turkeys and mammals
     

  3. BrookeSFD16

    BrookeSFD16 Well-Known Member

    Re: [email protected]#K a duck

    Wood ducks are the most delicate
    I've worked with ( just starting out too). I posted the question of which bird is the best to start with, and Pheasants took first and Chickens were second.

    One thing I have learned is if you mount mammals, then you go to birds, you have to get yourself in another mindset. You have to slow way down, and be VERY gentle. It's a whole different animal.:eek:
     
  4. Thetoad

    Thetoad Member

    Re: [email protected]#K a duck

    Soft touch is right, I had to give it a go. Maybe the hen will be easier now knowing what to expect. But I'm like you I'm a taxidermist not a seamstress. Turkeys and mammals for me also.
     
  5. spencer2

    spencer2 Member

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    Re: [email protected]#K a duck

    You picked the wrong species for your first duck. If you look at a wood duck the wrong way it will tear. A fine or super fine wire wheel is what it takes along with a gentle touch. Good luck on your next one.
     
  6. joeym

    joeym Jeannette & Joey @ Dunn's Falls

    Re: [email protected]#K a duck

    I'm not a good bird taxidermist, but I really enjoy doing them. They are so beautiful when completed. It's well worth your effort to keep trying til you have mastered the basics, and you will soon get better from there.
     
  7. Nancy C

    Nancy C Well-Known Member

    Re: [email protected]#K a duck

    Wow ... you picked just about the worst possible species to start with. The only possible exception might be a teal or a super-fat mallard.

    Erm ... look at it this way: if you manage to get that thing mounted, it should only get easier from now on. :p
     
  8. nina5150

    nina5150 Active Member

    Re: [email protected]#K a duck

    have you washed it yet???.i got threw the whole defating processing with only 2 holes in my bluebill till i washed it and thats when it TORE IT UP hahaha...im used to mammals as well..so ne gentel when you wash..:)
     
  9. wings II

    wings II New Member

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    Re: [email protected]#K a duck

    Good Morning Cindy...I'm glad to see you're still givin' the birds hell! :) Birds that are cleaned on the wheel, can become even more fragile during the bath process so here's a suggestion that might help.

    When the water is very heavy in the downy feathers it will rip a skin lickity split. One way to battle this problem is to have a "strainer" in your bird bath bucket so that you can let the water drain from the bird BEFORE you handle it with your bare hands. You'll still have to fold the wings and cradle the bird to get it out of the sink, but this should help you avoid tearing the skin because of water weight. :) - Matt
     
  10. nina5150

    nina5150 Active Member

    Re: [email protected]#K a duck

    DANG IT...haha....good thing i havent washed my goose or pintail yet...:)....sweeeet...tks matt you rock once again
     
  11. Thetoad

    Thetoad Member

    Re: [email protected]#K a duck

    Got him all stitched up looks good on the outside. Still feels a little oily so back in the bath he goes, came to far to give up now. I did wash him after fleshing dried with a shop vac then sewed him up. I do have a strainer in the bucket he is soaking in. Thanks for all the help guys. And I got the radius and ulna repaired from the shot. I think I'll get him done and looking good, the worst part is over right?
     
  12. wings II

    wings II New Member

    1,685
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    Re: [email protected]#K a duck

    Yes, yes it is ;)...

    We are rootin' for ya!
     
  13. DL

    DL Well-Known Member

    Re: [email protected]#K a duck

    I'd rather do a wood duck than a large mallard with a 1/4 inch of fat on it. Some of them are more fragile than a woody. The darn things have to be cradled like a baby because the weight of one end of it will cause the skin to rip if you're holding onto the other end.
     
  14. nina5150

    nina5150 Active Member

    Re: [email protected]#K a duck

    eazy pezy you are ahead of me..now your to the funist part..have fun with it.
     
  15. alan webfoot

    alan webfoot New Member

    2,821
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    Re: [email protected]#K a duck

    DL agreed there are many worse birds than a woodie,,teal,, especially greenwing,a park fed mallard ,even some canada geese seem more fragile. Truly it seems the more healthy and fat a waterfowl species is the easier they are to destroy. If this duck gives you fits DON'T I repeat DON'T accept a woodcock in your shop. Good for you you didn't give up.
     
  16. DL

    DL Well-Known Member

    Re: [email protected]#K a duck

    It's good that he didn't get a bird that had been recovering from being shot before. When I get in a woody with no fat and a little skinny I feel like I just got a free lottery scratcher prize. They are like a totally different bird.
    I just had a gadwall that was thin skinned. When I took it out of the tumbler I had two halves. Ripped from the neck to the tail. I had made the incision down the back because it was going to be standing. I thought that would eliminate any chance of tearing.
    It turned out to be an Ikea duck. (Some assembled required)
     
  17. Gurneyjockey

    Gurneyjockey Member

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    Re: [email protected]#K a duck

    Literally the first three birds I ever mounted..........I no longer do birds
     
  18. Thetoad

    Thetoad Member

    I have a bad habit of not giving up, he was hard
    to flesh no doubt, but got feet injected tonight form will be here Tuesday. A little wire a little stich and boom. One bird under my belt. Crazy part I was shaving a wt tonight and all I could think about was that dang bird. I refuse to let this critter get the best of me.
     
  19. DL

    DL Well-Known Member

    Alan years ago I tried a snipe. Greasy little turd. Haven't tried another one since. No one ever shoots them anymore for one. Screwy flying little things are tough as a bat to hit. Used to shoot those when I was a kid with a shotgun.
     
  20. Becky P

    Becky P One must believe the glass is half full.

    I've come to he conclusion that fat mallards are skinless, they are nothing but fat and feathers, LOL.

    Thanks for the strainer tip Matt ;)