How to Preserve Bird Wings: Step By Step Method

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How To Preserve Bird Wings


Did you know that preserving bird wings is a practice that has lasted for a long time? People will always keep these bird wings for various reasons, including showing respect to the bird, having wings for decoration, and holding onto a memory. Regardless of the reason, preservation is an inescapable necessity for most bird enthusiasts.

Typically, the preservation of bird wings aims at ensuring that the wings last for a long time. However, unless you understand how to get rid of the moisture in them, your objective will remain a mirage. That is because water accelerates decay.

Noteworthy to say, this is a process that could be relatively demanding for the unskilled. For this reason, we take a look at some of the steps you should follow and the suitable methods of preservation. It is through this that you will comfortably make logical decisions in the long run.

How To Preserve Bird Wings

Preparing For The Preservation

Various aspects go into preparing your birds’ wings for preservation. Usually, you will have to decide between preparing the whole animal or piecemeal, depending on your preferences. Regardless, the first step would be to ensure that the dead bird has no maggots or bugs. Also, confirm if the bird has any strange smell, as this could show that it was diseased before dying.

Once you are sure that there are no diseases or exposure to maggots, take the time to observe the following steps.


While this procedure is time-consuming, it has proven to be among the most affordable options you could have at hand. It involves the separation of the skin from the bird, preferably using a sharp knife. If your bird comes with a fat layer under the skin, ensure that you scrap it off altogether. That is because the presence of this fat causes the meat and the wings to smell.

Clean and rinse the bird

There is no denying that birds can die out of anything. Whether it got killed by a person or a disease, cleaning it will be a must. In most cases, this process will last for about 24 hours, a period that assures you of enhanced effectiveness.

During this process, you will use a bath of warm water, where there are five parts of water, 1 part vinegar, and 1 piece of witch hazel. These elements will help in sanitizing the wings and killing any mites or maggots in them. After soaking the wings for 24 hours, you will remove them and spread them to dry.

Thawing and De-blooding

Nothing could be as significant in this process as thawing the wings. Most experts suggest that you do not use hot water during this time, which could result in the growth of bacteria. For this reason, fill your sink with cold tap water and immerse your wrapped bird in it. Remember to change the water every thirty minutes, as this will boost effectiveness.

It would be best for you not to bend or even agitate the wings during this time. Or would you want to get damaged barbs and quills? While at it, you might consider adding a little salt into the solution, ensuring that it takes much shorter.

Remove the largest wing joint

After de-blooding your wings, you will have to spread them out for about 20 minutes. This period allows them to not only dry but also make it easier for you to handle them. If only you could hang them in an airy room, you would be sure of excellent outcomes at the end of the day.

With a sharp blade, you will comfortably control this whole process. Take the time to cut the membrane loose from the meat carefully. Ensure that you do not cut any protrusions by the quills, as this could end up weakening and punching holes in the feathers.


Now would be the best time to ensure that the wings’ inner part looks clean and appealing. The best way to achieve this would be through degreasing and disinfecting them. The best approach at this time would be to use a non-ammonia based cleaner or disinfectant, as it will not compromise the integrity of the wings. The process in the cleaner could take about two hours.

Upon removing these wings from the cleaner, spread them in an adequately aerated place and salt them. Allow them to dry enough before you can proceed to the next step.


Salting will always be a sure way of enhancing self-preservation. Rubbing salt into the fleshly part of the wings will suffice at this point. Most often, you will need to let the wings stay overnight once you finish salting. This period is long enough o make sure that all the moisture is drained from these wings.


It is the last step you will need to observe. Usually, once the wings are dry enough, you will need to remove any salt on them. Spreading these dry wings will be relatively effortless for you. Feel free to mount them anywhere you feel, as long as it assures you of the appeal you envision.

how to preserve bird feathers

Most people will often prefer using methods similar to those used in preserving wings. However, the best option for you would be the use of salt.

Usually, you will need to put enough salt in lukewarm water and weight the feather down. Leave it for two weeks. This period is enough to ensure that there is hardly any moisture in the feather. Once you are confident of attaining its dry nature, you will be free to remove it and hang it out to dry. Later, you can store it anywhere you wish, including hanging it on the wall.

Methods of preserving bird wings

There is no denying that various forms of preservation will be at your disposal all the time. The choice will be dependent on the condition of the flesh, including whether it has maggots or not. In most cases, you will need to choose from either of the following preservation methods.

1. Use of Boric acid

The use of boric acid has proven to be not only popular but also practical. It comes in different forms, including powder, baking soda, kitty litter, or white vinegar. The powdered form will be the best option for you.

Usually, you will need to pour boric acid and sprinkle a little baking soda on the fat and the bird’s slices. Let the wings remain in the acid for a couple of weeks before you finally remove them. The next step would be to wash the bird with dish soap and white vinegar.

What follows is the placement of these wings in a paper bag, and sprinkling them with enough boric acid. Let the bird wings stay for about three days before you remove them. Take the time to remove the Boric acid using a soft brush.

However, it will be fair to mention that this method will barely be effective in handling mites. For that reason, you might need to embrace an alternative approach to address mites if the flesh has any.

2. Salt Water Method

This method relies on the use of salted water in preserving the bird wings. This method is suitable for those who have fresh meat. Take the time to soak your dead bird in this lukewarm water for at least two weeks. This salt solution will ensure that there is hardly any moisture in the bird’s wings.

After two weeks, remove the wings and nail them on a piece of board. Here, leave them for an additional two weeks. Only after the elapse of the second two weeks will you preen the feathers with soap. Soap comes in handy in conditioning your wings in the long run.

3. Cornmeal Method

This method relies on the sprinkling of a little cornmeal on the exposed flesh. With this technique, the waiting period is about one month. The cornmeal helps in draining all the moisture in the wings. What is more, this procedure seems relatively straightforward for most people.

How To Preserve Bird Wings: FAQs

Q: How do you preserve a bird wing?

Various methods come in handy whenever you want to preserve bird wings. That means that your choice will depend on which way suits you better. You could consider using salted water, the borax method, or the cornmeal method. Always aim at an approach that gives you satisfaction and provides the results you need within a short time.

While salty solutions rely on salt to drain moisture from the wings, the borax method utilizes boracic acid to make the process effective. On the other hand, sprinkling a little cornmeal on this wing’s flesh will ensure that there is hardly any water on it. This way, you will be confident of the longevity of your wing.

Q: What is the best climate to preserve?

There is hardly a one-dimensional answer to this, as there is no specific time for when a bird should die. For instance, if a bird dies during winter, you will not wait until summer to preserve it. That is because such procedures are instant and almost inevitable.

However, you can hardly ignore the fact that climates will significantly affect moisture retention in bird wings. During hot seasons, most birds will scarcely survive for long. That means that preserving them at this time will come in handy for you.

Remember, the goal is to ensure that the wings have no moisture content in them. There can never be a better way to attain this than when the chances of having enough moisture are at their lowest. With the sun scorching, the wings tend to dry much faster, making the whole process more convenient for you in the long run.

Q: How do you preserve feathers for crafts?

You can barely overlook the essence of keeping feathers for crafts. Thanks to adequately preserved feathers, some of the most impressive crafts are at your disposal today. But how do you preserve these feathers? This process will need debris-free feathers, boric acid, a large paper bag, and an airtight container.

Here are a few insights into how to do this.

  • Ensure that you place the feather in the paper bag and shake them for a few seconds
  • With the feathers lying flat, take the time to sprinkle them with a little boric acid
  • Fold this bag, followed by shaking it for around 30 seconds
  • Put this bag in a horizontal position, and shake it once again
  • Put the envelope on the counter and let it lie there for up to three days. The catch is to ensure that the envelope remains horizontal for this whole period
  • Once you get them out of the bag, take the time to remove all the boric acid on it
  • Preen these feathers accordingly, perhaps using a rolling brush or your fingers
  • Keep the feather in an airtight container

Q: How do you get rid of dead bird feathers?

It will always be a nightmare to have feathers from a dead bird in your house. From the smell to the chances of contracting a disease, you will barely want this to happen to you. Perhaps, it would be best to understand the procedure behind removing them from dead birds first.

In most cases, you will need to soak the bird in hot water. This way, the feathers soften, and removing them from the bird becomes a lot easier for you to pluck.

If you do not intend to preserve, discarding them will be the right move to consider. Usually, you will need to start by separating the feathers from other garbage. Consult your garbage collectors and understand how to package the feathers properly. Once you are sure of this, please do so and hand them to the relevant persons.

It will always be valuable for you to get rid of these feathers as soon as possible. That is because they could end up exposing you to health issues in the long run.

Final Verdict:

In conclusion, you can hardly overstate the significance that comes with preserving wings. Whether you want to decorate specific spaces or have the memory of a beautiful bird, this will be the right approach. What matters the most is to understand the procedure involved in preserving these wings. Fortunately, the insights provided above will be all that you could ever need.

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