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Mild Rat Shedding

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by father time, Oct 29, 2021.

  1. father time

    father time New Member

    I am relatively new to taxidermy and have done 5 projects so far, all variations of feeder rats from my local pet store. The first three i did were relatively successful, 2 hoppers and a mouse, but last week i attempted a small fully grown rat. From the start something seemed wrong as it smelled very strong and once it was complete was shedding horribly. In some patches the fur completely peeled off leaving only skin. I knew about slipping and while i was disappointed, understood.. Yesterday i got another small rat fromt eh same pet store and learned that they were freshly frozen (meaning that last week they were prob old) i taxidermied it using dry preservation and noticed minimal smell and no shedding. I come back this morning and when i gently pull, fur comes out. Not nearly as bad as the other one and it still doesnt smell but is this one slipping? If so did i preserve it wrong? Google is being very unhelpful and showing me etsy no matter how i phrase my questions
  2. 13 point

    13 point Well-Known Member

    Sounds like your not fleshing it good enough. I don’t understand why when people get into taxidermy they start with tiny things, where the fleshing details are ridiculous. Smaller dont mean easier . My first pcs was a deer 36 years ago .

  3. father time

    father time New Member

    I dont leave any flesh on, although i am sure my technique could improve and obviously people start with small things because they are cheaper and easier to access than DEER.
  4. 13 point

    13 point Well-Known Member

    Not busting, just saying you can sometimes tournament yourself working on something so small . A coon would be better even . If you getting it clean then it’s your taking to long , also on some things the heat from your hands , just holding can make it slip or be loose . It’s a fine edge your walking.
  5. father time

    father time New Member

    Honestly i doubt that the issue is that it is too warm because they are frozen when i start and i only partially thaw them before skinning. Its definitely something to think about though.[/QUOTE]
  6. Mandi

    Mandi Well-Known Member

    A lot of times feeder rats have quite a bit of urine or feces on them from being in unsanitary cages. This along with probably being dead for a few hours before freezing is leading to slippage.
  7. Mike Powell

    Mike Powell Well-Known Member

    If you notice a smell, that’s your first clue that deco ping has advanced and the chances for slippage are greatly increased. I use Stop Rot on anything that is at all questionable. You can purchase it from most of the suppliers. It will kill the bacteria that causes slippage.
  8. Richard C

    Richard C Well-Known Member

    All my first projects were “ road kill” ,there are good specimens out there. You need to look over a few to find the good ones. Leave the bad ones there and in a day or so they will be road pizza. My first good find was a twelve pound prime male raccoon.
  9. father time

    father time New Member

    While using roadkill does interest me i both cannot drive and do not have the resources to taxidermy anything bigger than a rat (because i use the cotton ball method) i also have little interest in doing anything bigger for space reasons. Should i just accept that every rat i get is a gamble or is there something i could be doing better with this specific type?