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Taxidermy Learning

Washing Bird & Mammal Skins Using A Utility Sink

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Utility Sink

A proper taxidermy washing system will consist of minimum two utility sinks side by side. Or you can splurge a little bit and get yourself a double basin utility sink. Any experienced taxidermist will tell you it is a must, especially for a bird taxidermist. You will use one utility sink for washing in soapy sudsy water and the other utility sink for rinsing in clean clear water. Once you start the rinse cycle you will then drain out the soapy sink, rinse it out and then fill with clean cool rinse water. The whole concept is for you rotate your skin back and forth between the utility sinks, until evidence of ALL soap suds are extracted from your specimen’s skin. Bird skins require 3 to 5 rinse cycles in order to remove all soap from the feathers. Fur and feathers that have remaining soap suds, those that are not properly rinsed free of soap will tend to have a dull flat look once dried.

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By CJ Herring

CJ Herring has been practicing taxidermy for 22 years and resides in the hills outside of Cooperstown, New York. A crippling and disabling brain tumor took control of his life in early 2018. In 2019 CJ took a major turn for the worse and was diagnosed with Acromegaly and underwent brain tumor removal in 2020. CJ also suffers from end stage Osteoarthritis from the hips down. CJ continues to write about taxidermy and still manages the day to day operations of the Taxidermy Lab Facebook group.

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