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Wiring Duck Feet

Discussion in 'Bird Taxidermy' started by loomisjosh5, Nov 1, 2006.

  1. Can someone explain to me when your mounting a duck, how do you wire the feet to keep them open so you can see the webs. Do you have to pin them or what. Also do you inject them befiore you wire them or after. Also do you put lacquer thinner on the holes where you used your syringe or what else can you use. one other thing is can you use a 10 gauge support wire on mallards, is that strong enough to hold it to a piece of driftwood. If its better if I call you leave me your number. Josh
  2. BigSwede

    BigSwede Member

    This is how I do it:

    When skinning I cut of the feet, clean them, wire them, inject them, let them dry and then I paint them. I then put them back when mounting the duck, using super glue for glueing the featherad part of the skin back around the legs. As for keeping webs open, on flying/swimming mounts I use cardboard and paper clips. On bigger birds I use several syringes and needles when injecting, leaving the needles in until the mixture sets up. Any holes etc are fixed with apoxie-sculpt. I do not know your american system for wire dimensions, in Sweden we have the metric system and for a mallard I use 3,5 mm wire. Hope this helped you some. Removing the feet is by all means not neccesary(spelling?) you should do what works best for you. I learned about this method and used it for the first time after 25 years of taxidermy. This is what makes this forum so great - you learn all the time. B S

  3. For a standing bird, I wire the feet on the second joint of the mid toe to hide the wire. When I inject the feet with masters blend, I use an insulin syringe. The masters blend won't ooze out that much when I inject the feet with this. The masters blend always penetrate and plump the web when I inject it which keep the web wide open and there's no need to pin or card the web. If you didn't inject enough, then the web will shrink. You need to make sure that the web is not freeze dried, othewise the solution won't go through. If it's freeze dried, then you either inject the feet with soapy water using insulin syringe or wrap the web with wet paper towel and cover it with saran wrap.
    After injecting the feet, I wipe the feet with lacquer thinner to remove any solution that oozed out.
    I always put the wire on the feet before injecting it and then attached it to a drift wood and pose the bird. I use 11 gauge wire for both feet on a mallard but a 10 gauge is good too. Research Mannikin Catalog has a very informative wire chart that comes handy all the time for: legs, support, wings, neck wire for different types of birds.