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How do you tan the hide to preserve feathers in hide? (soft hide)

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

Well I am going to be harvesting some birds and I have invested some money in so Genetic hackle birds that I just got and am wanting to practice on the Roosters that I got for meat birds before I go and mutalate the Genetic hackle birds.  I am wanting to get the hides soft and plyable.  I dont want to just salt the hides because that makes them stiff and hard to store and work with.  If you have the recipe for the soft tan please let me know so I can start trying it.  Thanks all.

post #2 of 17
Thread Starter 

Anyone know how to flesh by hand?  I cant afford the machine that I would normally use but if someone could help or if someone knows it would be awesome if i could get some advise.

post #3 of 17

I didn't know that chickens had a hide. I mean one that could be tanned. Are you talking about leaving the feathers intact and somehow preserving the skin with the feathers attached? Wow, That I would like to see.

A Hen is only an Egg's way of making another Egg.
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A Hen is only an Egg's way of making another Egg.
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post #4 of 17

I haven't done this yet, but i have done a lot of reading about tanning rabbit hides, and here are some recipes i found for getting the skin really soft.  I hope this is helpful to you.

http://www.motherearthnews.com/Modern-Homesteading/1983-01-01/How-To-Tan-Rabbit-Hides.aspx?page=2

http://www.motherearthnews.com/modern-homesteading/how-to-tan-a-hide.aspx

http://www.ssrsi.org/Onsite/bunny.htm

I know people do this with chicken skins, but i have more trouble finding information on the how to.  They use the feathers in the hide for fishing lures, right?  I'm sure they have many other uses also.

post #5 of 17

I don't think that a mammal tan will work for birds. I have never seen a soft tanned bird skin. I would suggest going over to Taxidermy.net and asking there, lots of info over there. Good luck.

Anna
No fowl ATM. 3 dogs, 6 cats, 2 ferrets, 5 guinea pigs, 10+ rats, Bearded dragon, Mexican black kingsnake, ball python, 4 fish tanks and dubia roaches

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Anna
No fowl ATM. 3 dogs, 6 cats, 2 ferrets, 5 guinea pigs, 10+ rats, Bearded dragon, Mexican black kingsnake, ball python, 4 fish tanks and dubia roaches

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post #6 of 17

It does sound odd to think of tanning a chicken hide, but they
HAVE to do something like that in taxidermy. I would def do
what annageckos said and surf some taxidermy
sites.

Please post what you find out here, I'd love to hear about
the process.

Good luck!

(edited cuz I can't spell no good big_smile )


Edited by crperdue - 8/7/10 at 6:16pm

- Robbie

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- Robbie

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post #7 of 17

Found this after a couple of searches. Chicken Tanning Study. I might try this after our meat batch in the spring. If you try it post some pics. As far as tanning with the feathers on... I would assume that it would still be the same (like deer or rabbits, taking off the hair is after the tanning process and optional). I did however read on some taxidermy forum that when they mount avian skins they need to be de-greased. They recommended a couple washings in Dawn. Hope that helps.

~Tater

2 dogs, 1 cat, 3 guinea pigs, 2 rabbits, buff orps, blk jersey giants, 10 blue Swedish ducks, 4 brn Chinese geese, and a pigeon named poochie.
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2 dogs, 1 cat, 3 guinea pigs, 2 rabbits, buff orps, blk jersey giants, 10 blue Swedish ducks, 4 brn Chinese geese, and a pigeon named poochie.
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post #8 of 17

Mammal tanning does not work for birds. If you want an overload of information on taxidermy and tanning, go here... there will be more info than you can digest in a LIFETIME...lol

http://www.taxidermy.net/forum/index.php

The only fault of a dog, is the length of their life.

My eBay auctions: http://shop.ebay.com/wolfwoman77/m.html
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The only fault of a dog, is the length of their life.

My eBay auctions: http://shop.ebay.com/wolfwoman77/m.html
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post #9 of 17

I have been a full time taxidermist for over 15 years and bird skin is different then mammal skin,depending on the bird if there is a lot of fat you will need to flesh the fat off with a wire wheel or you could use a wire brush to get the fat off between the feather quills or along with maybe some pointed scissors.then you can wash in dawn and clean water rinse when that is done,blow dry the feathers then sprinkle borax on the skin,most skins stay fairly soft when they are dried but some will be a little stiffer,chicken skin wouldn't be to bad,turkey size birds are thicker skinned and would not stay as soft.Mike

4-H and Open Class Poultry Superintendent for the Sac County Fair.

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4-H and Open Class Poultry Superintendent for the Sac County Fair.

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post #10 of 17
Thread Starter 

Awesome information all. I for sure appericate it a ton.  I do have some genetic hackle chickens that i got from a guy on this site and i am just trying to figure out how to harvest teh feathers for fly tying.  So this is one of my new hobbies.  I am just trying to get it all figured out so when the time comes I will be able to harvest the birds and not waist a skin.  I will be trying it out on so roosters that I have growing out from my egg layers here in the next month or two.  So when that happens I will post some pictures.  Thanks again to everyone.

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