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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Less than 7 years? Many of my ducks mounts, 1-, 3-, 5-, and 7-years old, are shedding ALL of their feathers and coming apart. Some are irretrievable they have lost so much.

Necks have separated from bodies. Rear ends have separated from molds as well as the rest of the underlying skin. There appears to have been no deterioration arresting chemicals used.

One mount, a twin set of Florida Black Ducks in full departure flight, "blew apart" when it was taken from the house to the truck. Most of the upper mount's feathers flew away into the yard including neck, flight, back, tail, chest, down, and you name it feathers. That was quite unexpected.

Previously, a Blue Winged Teal was destroyed when a House Wren came indoors and tried to use one of its wings as a perch. the wing broke off when the Wren alighted on it.

How is all of this prevented? They were not cheap.
 

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I'll be 72 this month. The Anniston Museum of Natural History has a HUGE bird collection even to include some that have been extinct a long time. The collection is older than me and still on display tho I don't think they have room to display the full collection at one time now as they did at the original museum down town. It is called the Regar-Werner Ornithology Collection. This is from their website:


"Many of the birds are mounted in natural habitat groupings with painted background dioramas. More than 400 species are represented.

The collection dates from 1860 to the early 1900s making it one of the oldest diorama collections in the United States. Extinct and endangered species, including a passenger pigeon and ivory-billed woodpecker are a focal point of this exhibit."

I think if properly mounted and stored there is no practical limit to how long they should last.
 

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I have two duck mounts that are supposed to be from the Matlock TV show. They were in a book shelf on the show. That show ended 25 years ago. The mounts are in fine shape. I believe the Matlock origin as I live in NC near what passes for Mayberry. How could that be wrong.

Not to hijack the thread, but I bought a magnificent mounted whitetail deer head, 10 points, from a garage sale ($20!!!) while my wife was visiting her brother in California. I hung it in the computer room, right over the computer. She was home about a week, typing on the computer, looked up and said to me "Did we always have that moose head up there?". The laugh alone was worth the $20. I do believe that the deer mount was the last remains of somebody's ex-husband.
 

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Wow. Palm to forehead. You are right. Decades - of course. Centuries - perhaps.

Could components of the preservative have been expired or bad? Should I contact the taxidermist after this long? How should I approach that contact? I know that sugar draws more flies than vinegar.

Or am I just facing a rip-off?
 

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It is hard to say with out seeing the ducks?
Are the skins oily? Do you have a moth problem there ?
So much can happen to animal mounts if not preserved with the proper chemicals? Too many fellows take too many short cuts in their work to speed up their pay days !
 

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Moths...that's a thought. Some worm/bug infestation against the skin seems feasible. I will take some pictures and post them up for review and comment. May take another day or two. Standby...
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
All by the same person.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
More of the same...different mount.
 

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More...different mount...the third. The neck feathers are so loose, that a simple breath across the neck will send them flying. This mount is "hosed", as are the previous two.
 

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Wow, definitely time to trash those I'd say. I'm not a taxidermist and so am not real knowledgeable of how it's all done but I'd say the guy who mounted those didn't do it right. With the thin skin a bird has and the feathers I'd imagine it takes a different process than critters with thicker skin and fur or hair but again that's just a guess.

None of those mounts in the Museum look like that even tho they are older than me.
 

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With out being there and looking close it looks like bugs ate the feather roots off!
IMHO if a bird is not fleshed properly there is some meat left on the feather tracks and the quill ends. This,as you may know,is what bugs eat.
It is a touchy thing to flesh a bird with out putting holes in the hide. It is time consuming also and a lot of taxidermist are in a hurry to make a buck so there are short cuts taken ?
 

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I think you are all on to it there. Bugs! I am no taxidermist. Just the purchaser of services. Now that I know from these loss experiences, I won't be buying any more of their services. I cannot display these ducks. They're history. Sad really. I have enjoyed them.
 

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I've still got the very first mallard drake I ever harvested. it was Dec 1987. still looks pristine. the mount was done by and old gentleman (Mr Chritsenberry) long since gone who was stone cold deaf. about every 6 months or so, I have taken a very soft cloth w/ a lite spray of pledge and lightly wiped it down. I know of several folks that have other type mounts (deer, raccoon, bobcat) that were done by Mr christenberry a lot earlier than mine that still look great. don't be afraid to ask a taxidermist his history. find a local well established sporting goods, older the better, and ask for their input. look closely at their mounts.


A lot of taxidermists will "sub out" waterfowl because it takes a tremendous amount of care and patience. You may have fallen victim to this......................:tango_face_sad:
 

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carpet beetles

it is possible you have carpet beetles . had the same problem a few months ago . everyone has them in their houses , they can overpopulate and cause a problem. need to have an exterminator look .
 

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Last night, the one true mallard I have ever taken was struck by an object tossed to the 2nd floor that just did not quite make it, falling back down to strike the neck of the stuffed bird. The feather all came off like they were thistle on a dandelion in a stiff breeze. Another one bites the dust.
 

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Wow. Palm to forehead. You are right. Decades - of course. Centuries - perhaps.

Could components of the preservative have been expired or bad? Should I contact the taxidermist after this long? How should I approach that contact? I know that sugar draws more flies than vinegar.

Or am I just facing a rip-off?
Second hand marijuana smoke causes duck mounts to fall apart.:tango_face_surprise
 
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