I am very new to taxidermy and have just completed a rat mount. I can already see most of the problems, but I am unsure of how to fix them. Any advice is appreciated. The rat was preserved with Borax. I took a class that a traveling taxidermist taught, and was told that the Borax itself was all that was needed. However, I've also read that just Borax won't work, and other chemicals or processes need to be added--is that necessary? Is a commercial DP better? Another problem was with the feet and nose. They all shriveled up as they dried, as expected, and I was wondering how to prevent this--is there something to inject in them or cover them with, any products or home recipes? As for stuffing, I was taught just to use cotton balls, which technically worked but don't do much to make an animal look realistic. Since I plan to work mostly on feeder animals to start out (rats, mice, small rabbits) I want to try making my own forms, and was wondering what type of clay to use on them. I do have an air-dry potters clay, but it has a chalky residue when dry (and a very long drying time) and I don't know if it can be used. And when you use clay, do you put the skin over the form before it is dry to dry along with the skin or should you wait for the clay to dry first? Sorry for the simple questions you probably get all the time, but I've had trouble finding clear answers...Thank you for any advice you have. I have already learned quite a bit from these forums, and hope to learn more.