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Question for the Turkey guys

Discussion in 'Bird Taxidermy' started by BrookeSFD16, Apr 26, 2015.

  1. BrookeSFD16

    BrookeSFD16 Well-Known Member

    I don't gas or tumble ducks. I've done 2 Turkey now and am having fits trying to dry them. I've been washing then rolling up in a towel with towels inside the skin. Then drying with a pet dryer/Shopvac/ hairdryer combo. First one I did the skin got extremely dried out despite me spritzing it thorough out the drying process. The second I tried not to get it as dry and now I'm spending every 10 minutes during the mounting process drying the down. What am I doing wrong/not doing?

    It takes me 20-30 mins to dry a duck this way....2 hours on Turkey.
  2. bucksnort10

    bucksnort10 Well-Known Member

    Try placing the skin onto a traffic cone that is supported onto some wood.
    Perhaps that will let you get to all the feather groups a little easier and hold the bird for you too while keeping the air away from the inside (skin).
    It should speed up the drying process and cause less potential feather damage. Another guy on here recommended that to me and it works great.
    Good luck. Turkeys sure are a lot of work. Aren't they?

  3. A- Fish

    A- Fish Stehling's Taxidermy

    You should try tumbling them in corn cob grit....saves a lot of drying time
  4. WildlifeLady

    WildlifeLady Member

    If you can't afford a tumbler, at least get the corn cob grit. You can buy a large plastic container to put the grit in and submerse the turkey. This will soak up excess moisture, allowing for shorter drying time.
  5. Shawn73

    Shawn73 Active Member

    Put the turkey skin in the washer on spin cycle. You will get alot of water our that way.
  6. BrookeSFD16

    BrookeSFD16 Well-Known Member

    Dan, thanks for the tip. It would seem to help. And YES THEY ARE! I'm wore out today for sure. Washing them big suckers is a beat down then to have to spend all that time drying too is a pain.. I'm definitely not charging enough!

    I will definitely get the corn cob grit. I hate the stuff as it gets everywhere, but it would save a lot of time.

    Maybe the spin cycle, Corn cob grit and a cone for the next one!
  7. dwimberly

    dwimberly Member

    if you need something now just go to walmart or local store and get some borax and use it like corn cob grit, put in a plastic tub and tumble by hand. you will be shocked what that will do for the drying process. Also you can throw the bird in your clothes dryer and dry for 10 minutes or so.. I used to watch my dad do that when i was a wee little thing...way before they came out with tumblers and corn cob. if you do that you may want to use low heat or "air only"
  8. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    I hang over night. Then roll in a towel for 20 min. Next, hand tumble in cob grit. Off to the blow dryer.
  9. Cole

    Cole Amateur Taxidermist

    Spinning out in the washer will help a bunch.
  10. dablaw

    dablaw Member

    After i get all the fleshing done i usually wash 2-3 times in the sink with dawn and cool water...rinse 2-3 times..run it on my fleshing beam to drip dry, go have a soda pop, come back and go OUTSIDE and lay it in a container of laquer thinner, which i do on all my birds...let soak for 5 minutes or maybe 10..remove it and hold it over container to drip dry for a few seconds..then go back in the shop and use my shop vac on blow and i can have it dry in 10-15 minutes....
  11. bucksnort10

    bucksnort10 Well-Known Member

    Hey Brooke,
    I also wash/rinse mine while it is on the traffic cone supported over a floor drain.
    Then you aren't manhandling it in a tub/sink. So much easier especially to get a good rinse.
    You will get it. I got tired of fighting it in a tub too.
  12. Birds Only

    Birds Only Member

    I don't recommend anything but wash, hang from feet and towel squeeze as much moisture out, lay on belly and blow dry with hair dryer in a shop vac reversed. This process takes me about 1 hr total. I don't know how your drying out your skin unless your drying the inside the bird as well. I don't do that. I've tried the tumble thing and hate the results I got. Tried the gas thing as well, terrible results with that as well. Hope this helps.
  13. turkeyshooter

    turkeyshooter Member

    I have had trouble getting rips in my skins using the tumbler or bent feathers using the dryer. I usually squeeze as much water out as possible, let hang a few minutes then towel dry and then gas , then into the corn cob grit , just cover it up in my tumbler, but don't tumble. Then take out after 30 minutes and get with the blow drying. I use shop vac on reverse in combo with the hair dryer. Duct taped the hair dryer onto the end of the shop vac hose so I can go off and on with the heat as I choose. Works pretty good. Just make sure you go back to blow drying after sewing up and getting your bird posed. ;)
  14. I fill the inside of the skin with crushed/wrinkled up news papers to help soak up inside skin and it gives shape so you can blow dry faster. Here is a important tip, I blow dry in feather groups, start with left breast , left wing, rt breast, rt wing, then do back side of bird in groups, As you are drying those groups it saves you from jumping all over and not really drying anything .It only takes me about 30 minutes. I have a hair drying attached to a pet groomer.

    Gregg Ielfield