Birds and small mammals - the taxidermist must rather skin these animals. The cut
will depend on the pose it will be mounted in.
Remove as much dirt and blood from the animal with a damp cloth as possible.
Place a piece of cotton wool in the mouth and wound to prevent any body fluids getting
on the hair/feathers.
Birds – Make sure that the feathers are all in place. Lay the bird on its back, place
the feet together and place the head on its chest. Fold the wings over the head and
chest. Place the bird on a piece of newspaper, fold the bird in the newspaper making
sure that no feathers get bent or damaged. Put in a plastic bag, seal it properly
and place in the freezer until it can be taken to the taxidermist.
Small mammals – Lay the animal on its back, put the tail between its legs in the
direction of the head. Put the front legs and the back legs neatly next to each other.
Fold it in newspaper in the same manner as a bird. Place it in a plastic bag, seal
it properly and place it in the freezer.
Large mammals – Make sure that the animal is skinned correctly for taxidermy purposes.
Skin the animal as quickly as possible after it has been shot.
Make sure that all the fat and meat are removed from the skin, pay attention to the
areas around the lips, nose, eyes and the basis of the ears.
The lips, nose and ears must be skinned out properly. (If this is not done, there
is a good chance for hair slippage to occur due to bad salt penetration.)
After skinning the blood from the hide can be washed in clean water.
Now place the skin in a saturated salt solution (20kg of salt per 100l of water)
add 50ml of Detol/Savlon per 100l of water. Leave the skin in this solution for at
least 3 hours but preferably overnight.
Hang the skin over a wooden beam to let the excess water drip from the skin.
The skin must now be salted with new salt.
Spread a layer of salt on the floor. Put the skin with the fur side under, on the
salt. Cover the flesh side with the salt making sure that the salt reaches all the
After 3 days the skin can be hung out to dry. (fold and store skins during night
time in a dry place) During the drying process the skin must be folded (as you will
fold a sheet) with the fur side to the inside. In a dry climate the skin must already
be folded the same day it is hung out. Fold the skin regularly on the same marks
so it will be possible to fold the skin after it has completely dried.
You will not be able to fold a skin if it hasn’t been during the drying process and
has completely dried and will thus make transportation and storage difficult. (Dry
skins that are folded for the first time will crack and break.)
The dry skin can be powdered by Karba dust to keep insects away.