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tgoodwater2002 11-25-2007 07:26 PM

how do you treat wild feathers?
Is there anything special that you have to do to feathers that someone got for you? My friend hunts birds and I told him to get me some feathers from a pheasant and the ducks that he shoots. Need to know if there is something I should do about the mites that they might have on them.

larrysmith9865 12-28-2007 11:53 AM

Re: how do you treat wild feathers?
Dont know if its to late for response but, with my pheasant skins i got this year hunting a freind told me to nuke them in microwave for 2-3 mins
this i did and them turned out fine, In past i would douse with salt keep in bag for week then hang dry by my woodstove, The microwave seemed to work faster and same result.
here is a site about it
FAQ - Processing Fly Tying Materials at Home

Frank Whiton 12-28-2007 12:29 PM

Re: how do you treat wild feathers?
Hi to all,

Thanks Larry for that link. A lot of good information.

You need to be careful storing in plastic bags. Some bugs will eat right through them. I store anything I am concern about in large mouth Mason Jars. The Mason Jar will also prevent any future invasion.

When in Alaska I stored some dried Partridge wings in my wood shed. It got down to -55F and when I went to get them in the spring there was nothing but a few feathers scatter about. The squirrels had used them for nesting material. The also unraveled a wool skull cap and used it in their nest. This has nothing to do with the post, just a little side story.


Reactor 01-22-2008 08:16 AM

Re: how do you treat wild feathers?
I harvest many birds and animals for fly tying. Remove as much fat and flesh as possible. Salt heavily and dry them. Getting the item dry will prevent it from rotting. Many people suggest Borax as well after removing the salt. There are other chemicals you can put on the skin to preserve it, however, I like to keep it cheap. Once the item is dry you need to keep the bugs out. I have lost many items from being lazy and not storing things properly. All it took was to lose a complete rooster neck and I was convinced that I had to change. Now, I store things with mothballs. I place items in a plastic or paper bag or even in a box and throw in a handfull of mothballs. I have not lost a single item. I also use a household insecticide and spray my storage area and tying bech. This helps in the summertime.
I also started placing loose feathers in jars. If you think you may place anything in a sealed bag or jar it had better be real dry or it will rot.

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