Preparation of the animal
- guide on what to do before and after
If you plan on taking an animal to us, there are a few things to keep in mind. Proper handling of an animal really has a lot to do with the end result of the work, because the fresher and cleaner the animal is when brought to the taxidermist, the better the end result will be. If you are hesitant about skinning or other pre-treatment issues, please contact us directly for advice. Legislation must also be taken into account and it is worth reading my article on permit issues.
Birds and other small animals
If possible, it would be better not to prepare small birds or mammals yourself at all. Try and get them cooled or frozen and delivered to us as soon as you can. Be careful and try to keep the animal as clean as possible. If delivery or cooling isn’t an option, contact us immediately. Be careful with birds not to get the lower abdonimal and tail feathers dirty, they are quite delicate. Bleeding areas should be blocked with paper towels and putting some paper in the mouth/beak is always a good idea. Do not hang your bird from it’s neck, wings or tail; always handle them by the feet. As mentioned before, getting your prey cooled or frozen as quickly as possible is crucial! Small birds can start decomposing within a few hours and any taxidermy will be severely hindered the further this process is allowed to proceed. When cooling an animal wrap them in a tightly packaged plastic bag. Birds should have their wings neatly tucked and all feathers arranged as well as possible, so that the freezing doesn’t imprint any angles or bends into them. If the freezing was performed quickly and with proper care, the animal will stay workable for a very long time.
Deer and wild boar
If you’re planning on a headmount or skull trophys, you should consider this when finalizing your kill. Shooting the head will cause damage to the skull that will be difficult or impossible to fix. Always try to keep the head clean from shota or other damage if possible.
For shouldermounts it is necessary to have enough material to work with. Cutting the pelt directly at the neck is not enough, instead perform the cut behind the shoulder blades. Remember to include the lower chest (between the legs) in your pelt. It is important not to makea any cuts in the chest area as this is one of the visual focal points of a mount. Cutting the spine should be done just before the skull and no further skinning of the head/face is necessary; leaving this part for us will improve the outcome greatly. After performing these steps get it freezed or cooled and delivered to our workshop as soon as you possibly can.
Shipping your animal to us via mail or freight
Contact us before shipping anything to us so that we know to expect a delivery and can retrieve them as fast as we can. Making shipments should be done at the beginning of the week, so that your product has a smaller chance of getting stuck in a logistics terminal over the weekend. Send it frozen and carefully wrapped in plastics bags so that any melting won’t cause problems during transit. Insulate your package with plenty of newspapers as this will significantly slow down the thawing and absorb moisture and possible leaks. Include a note inside the box with your contact information and your requests considering the commission.
Taking care of your finished product
A well performed taxidermy work will look good even after decades.
The best way to guard your piece is storing them in an glass display away from direct sunlight as it fades the colors of the hair or feathers fast. The humidity of the room, as well as temperature, must also be stable, as storing taxidermy work in too humid conditions will predispose it to mold or it will otherwise ruin the work easily.
The animals can be dusted carefully. It is advisable to avoid touching with your fingers, because with each touch, grease is released from the fingers into the work, which can ruin the work over time. If the piece has become badly dirtied, cleaning should be carried out by a professional taxidermist.
If you suspect the presence of pests in you work, put the animal in a plastic bag. Spray the bag with insecticide (but not directly on the animal) and close for 24 hours. After the treatment, you can knock the dead insects out of the animal. Also freezing the animal (at least -20°C) two times for a week (a day or two in between treatments) will have the same effect. Studio Naturalia treats the animals in such a way that the threat posed by pests is kept to a minimum.
We'll be happy to answer any questions