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Cleaning Macaw Tail Feathers


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#1 davpot

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Posted 25 November 2007 - 08:32 PM

sad.gif Well, on the good side, I recently scored a stash of B/G Macaw tail feathers...on the other side however, after several cleanings in soapy hot water...soaking, etc...Most of the tail feathers still have a light film of a oily substance arount the stem of the feathers...never seen anything like it...Im washing them again with a toothbrush, but does anyone have any idea what this could be? Natural occurance, etc? Hmm.... blink.gif
Dave

#2 roycestearns

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Posted 25 November 2007 - 11:12 PM

Very interesting problem ... doesn't seem possible that it's a natural oil, unless the bird had a gland problem? Is it on all the feathers? Would the previous owner attempted to treat them with something.

Apparently the soap isn't breaking the oil down, so I would try some lacquer thinner just a small amount to see if it breaks down the oil (works on ducks and geese skins). Then after it dries and evaporates, wash them again with hot soapy water.



#3 davpot

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Posted 26 November 2007 - 12:34 AM

thanks Royce! this final washing (3rd) with the toothbrush seems to be doing the job, but I cant believe it took this long to get this film out of the feathers. It was on most of the feathers.
Dave

#4 arkle

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Posted 26 November 2007 - 08:51 AM

It seems that Royce has got there before me, with at least one of the possible suggestions I was going to make. However there are a few other options for you to consider, one or two of which might involve the possibility of ruining a few feathers. So obviously be a bit selective.

1. Veniard's do a product called "Venpol" designed for degreasing skins and the like. I don't know if it's available over there but it might be worth looking for.

2. Try a non soap based detergent product like a shaving gel used in conjunction with a bristle type artists brush.

3. There is a product that is used for cleaning paint brushes over here that is water based and non corrosive, it's called "Polyclens"

4. A degreasing type shampoo, without a conditioner in it.

5. The solvent method as above, but avoid tricoethylene as it's carcinogenic.

6. After treating, then use a hair conditioner. The improvements with some can be spectacular.

7. Another method that comes to mind is to use one of those domestic steam cleaners, not a car sized one!

*. As an afterthought, how about lemon or lime juice.