Trucos de montaje

Degreasing Rooster Necks & Saddles
By AK Best

After selecting your necks, make a 1-gallon solution of hot tap water and /4 cup of clear liquid Ivory dish washing soap. Combine the ingredients, mix thoroughly, and immerse all the necks at once. Stir gently with the bamboo tongs, making sure that each neck is completely saturated.

Degreasing necks

One or two necks will always float to the top of the mixture. Be sure that the neck at the very top is floating feather side up, as this will keep the oily skin in contact with the degreasing solution. Keep the necks in the solution for at least twenty-four hours, stirring every few hours since the solution that is in direct contact with the skin will tend to weaken and break down as it dissolves oils from the skin. Don't be afraid to allow the necks to remain in this solution for thirty-six to forty-eight hours. You need to remove as much oil as possible. I wouldn't leave the necks in the degreasing solution longer than two days, however, simply because I'm afraid the skin might begin to disintegrate, allowing a lot of feathers to loosen and fall out. But don't be alarmed if you see a few feathers fall out during this process or during actual dyeing. All necks have been scraped and stretched and handled many times before you get them, invariably producing a few loose feathers.

If your necks are very oily and you can see bits of chicken fat clinging to the skin, you can speed the degreasing process by mixing the above solution, then pouring it into your dyeing pan. Place the dyeing pan on your hot plate, set the temperature to no more than 120 degrees Fahrenheit and add the necks. Stir frequently. The heated solution will help to liquefy and dissolve the thicker oils and fats. If you use this method you do not have to soak the necks for twenty-four hours or more, since the necks will be ready for dyeing in two or three hours. When I'm really cramped for time, I'll use this hot degreasing method simply because I can have dyed and drying necks in only one day. The only drawback is that the dried skins tend to be a little more brittle and therefore require a little more care when pulling feathers from them.

Rinsing necks

After the necks have spent a day or two in the degreasing solution, thoroughly rinse them one at a time under lukewarm tap water. Gently squeeze and release as the tap water runs over the neck. Never wring excess water from the necks. The skins are now soft and very delicate and will tear easily. Merely squeeze the water from them and place them either on a pie tin or in the foil cake pan while you prepare the dye recipe. They are ready for dyeing, which should be done before they dry out. ~ A.K. Best

Credits: From Dyeing and Bleaching By A.K. Best, Published by the Lyons Press.

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