Using Borax Soap to Preserve Turkey Skins, Wings and Tail Feathers We have used a borax soap such as "Mule Team Borax Soap", to preserve the skins of upland game birds including wild turkey, pheasant and quail. It is important to remove as much of the tissue and fat deposits from the skin as possible. Stake the skin, skin side up, to a board in the position you like. Use "push-pins" or small nails to hold the skin and tail or wing feathers in the position you want. Next, cover the skin completely with the borax soap and gently rub the soap into the skin. It is ok and preferred that the soap also contacts the feathers. Each week, for six to eight weeks, dump the borax soap off and replace with fresh soap. The borax soap acts as a drying agent and removes the moisture and oils from the skin. This is the only method we know besides using a professional taxidermist. This process tends to leave the skin stiff but will preserve the skin for many years. This process will also work for preserving the wings and tail feathers of turkey and other upland game birds.
A guy I knew in England would use rock salt to cure his hides, said it works great, he would chnage the salt every three days. I've used it on some pheasant tail feathers as well as my turkey feathers and fox tails.
"ITS NOT WHAT THE WISE MAN SAYS BUT WHAT THE WISE MAN DOES DURING HIS LIFE THAT MATTERS"
Post by prairie calls on Dec 11, 2004 23:50:53 GMT -5
Robb, Salt does just that it is used to cure the hide and does nothing to preserve it. When the humidity gets high the salt cured hide will absorb the moisture in the air and this will lead to a rotted hide on down the road. Salting a hide or skin breaks the skin down so it will accept a preservitive more readily. Tanning a hide or soaking in borax solution for game birds will preserve your skin to last a long time. Alum tan will work on hides but does not last as long as some of the newer tans available now. The process to preserve a hide is as follows; Scrape all meat and fat off the hide salt hide and keep it drained so no water settles on the hide this will cause hair slipage. I always rolled the hides up instead of folding them and lay on a angle so the water will drain. Then you need to pickle the hide with a good commercial pickle this will help soften the hide so the tan will penetrate the skin after the pickle bath then the tan is applied can be a paste tan or a liquid tan follow the directions for the tan you choose. Most all hides will need to be softened after they dry you can do this over a rounded end of a board and using a scraper or fleshingknife
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