After a few days of doing the glamour work on my fox, it is apparently time to get back to the visceral stuff of skinning and fleshing. We have now moved on to birds.
Last week, on the first day of class I was in mild shock after skinning my fox. This week, I kept uttering the mantra “it will be just like cooking a roasting chicken.” This was somewhat true, if you leave out the scalpels, the fleshing machine and the turpentine. . . but I digress.
During the bird course, we will be working on one waterfowl (a mallard duck) and one upland game bird (a pheasant). As luck would have it “we also have a turkey in class” as Rob brought a turkey and will be working on that. Dennis loves it when there is a turkey in class, by the way.
We began with the pheasant. As with last week, the first task was to remove the skin in one piece. Luckily, slippage is not a big problem with birds so this was not a concern. We worked our way through divesting the pheasants of their skin and feathers. After that, we washed them in dishwashing liquid (Dawn if you were wondering) and then soaked them in paint thinner. As a someone with a keen sense of smell and lots of chemical sensitivity, this was a bit problematic. As if the smell were not enough, once you soak the bird in paint thinner it is dried with a hair dryer on high. Am I the only person who thinks this sounds like a bad idea? Luckily, the entire place didn’t blow to kingdom come, but I felt like Laura Dern in “Citizen Ruth.” (I will give you a moment to google that if you haven’t seen the movie. . . .)
Once the blow drying was complete we packed our birds back into the freezer. Tomorrow we will do the same to our mallards. After that, the reanimation begins.
As usual, stay tuned.
All things considered, I think this pheasant may have the right idea. Too bad he can’t fly through that window.
Sorry for the somewhat graphic image. In order to fit the bird properly later, it is necessary to “trace the drumstick.” I am pretty sure I am throwing this pad out when class is over and I have transcribed my notes.
My pheasant bagged while I go to lunch.
And you thought that fox looked bad.
Rob was lucky enough to be in possession of a mask to watch the paint thinner blow dryer extravaganza.
Okay, this looks a bit better.
As I said, like chicken.
Oh yes, we removed the tails so we can dry them in a showy manner.