Help with legs?

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Help with legs?

Postby RedTx » Mon Dec 26, 2005 5:34 pm

I got a gw Teal hen. I let here thaw out and I noticed her legs are hard. They do not bend the way I want. Feel like there fixing to break at any moment. Is there any way I can rehydrate them? Is this what I need to do?

The hen has been in the freezer for just one year?
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Postby Pete-pec » Mon Dec 26, 2005 7:29 pm

You can do a couple of things here. Try to wrap the legs in a wet or damp paper towel, and put in the refridgerator where it is the coldest to prevent decay. They should rehydrate pretty easily. If you are going to inject the feet, you will definately need to soften the feet so you can use a syringe. Another method would be to remove the legs entirely, and soak them in water for half a day. Again, you don't want to start decay. The legs can be put into the form after they have been injected and have hardened to shape, The long leg feathers easily hide the cut you have to make to remove them. I've done this method, and some guys do it for all their birds. Do you see what I meant when I said not to store those birds the way your phot showed? What has happened is exactly what I told you would happen. They are definately dehydrated, can you imagine what will happen to those freezer exposed birds if they continue to be stored in that fashion? Hey! you live and you learn, and they aren't a complete loss.....Yet. :smile:

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Postby RedTx » Mon Dec 26, 2005 8:34 pm

Pete you are exactly right. Only reason I found out about the hens feet is I decided to thaw out all the birds and refreeze them the right way. The damage is already done but at least maybe it wont get any worse. I plan on injecting the legs this would be the first time I have ver done this. You got any tips on it?

Thanks again for the help.
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Postby Pete-pec » Mon Dec 26, 2005 10:18 pm

Use a needle with a gauge greater than 18 and less than 24, depending on the size of the bird legs you're going to inject. I'm in the process of experimenting with some methods that are very new and others that are "old school". I would however use what's easiest for you. I've heard of guys that are using Elmer's Glue and Caulk. Which I'm willing to try. Like I said before, I'm trying to make my birds look the best that they can be, so a slower setting time using caulk etc. is exactly the time I have. I'll give you the report as soon as I start to taxi up the pile of birds that I have ready to wire, now that the duck hunting season is closed. There's pros and cons to everything, but if you want to use what the pros use, try using Master's Blend and/or Fantastic Cast. Whenever you use one of the apoxy type injectable hardeners, you must be ready to position the feet exactly where you want them. I never used anything on my first ducks, and they look fine. You can never prevent some sort of shrinkage though, but I would suggest using something. I have used 37% Formaldehyde, but it is considered a carcinogen, and lachrymator which really burns your Nasal Pharnyx and eyes, so I wouldn't suggest using it. It kind of embalms things rather than drying them out completely. Before I'd tell a newbie to start worrying about the feet, I'd suggest the artificial head first and foremost. Some people may overlook the feet, but typically the viewer is looking at the head and body positioning. Get some good reference pictures from a good magazine such as DU, and use it as a reference during the mounting process, and I can promise you that your bird will look more anatomical than if you used memory alone. The best thing would be to start your mounting process early in the day with no distractions and deadlines, and pay close attention to ALL the details; feet, feather placement, evenness of the bird wings, evenness of the eyes, the fullness of the breast and neck area, a correct coloration of the feet and bill, etc. The whole project starts with a full plumed, super fleshed and degreased, nicely cleaned specimen, and all the pros will tell you that. Good luck, and let us know how it goes! If you have any more questions, feel free to ask, and I'm sure that James or myself would be glad to help.

-Pete
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Postby RedTx » Mon Jan 02, 2006 5:57 pm

Hey pete I got another question. Instead of using the originally legs I decided I would use some off a ducak I just killed.

My qustion is this. When injecting the legs with Maters blend. How much do you put in. I mean there fresh legs so I dont what Im looking for as far as plumpness, they are already in perfect shape before injection. I know it is going to be diffrent froma teal to a goose, but what are you looking for?
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Postby Pete-pec » Mon Jan 02, 2006 6:37 pm

They will shrink, so you must plump them up bigger than they were when freshly killed. You won't be able to inject them too full, or else it will leak out the injection hole. That's when you can tell they have enough injection in them. It won't pervent all shrinkage, but they will look better than none at all. Make sure you card your webbing on the feet. Cut pieces of thin cardboard to the exact shape of the triangular webbing. I use the cardboard like on an orange juice container. I like it because it is rather rigid, and is waxed to prevent any sticking. Put a piece on the top and bottom of the webbing, and use a paperclip to keep it in place until dry. If you're doing a sitting duck, you can use the base to keep the duck foot flat. If you are doing a flying bird, pay close attention to the way a bird actually flies with it's feet either hidden and closed near the rear end of the bird -VS- when they have their landing gear down as if they were either landing or just getting up.

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