There are so many reasons as to why you would want to taxidermy a duck. It may be a beloved family pet or even your first successful time hunting waterfowl. Whatever the reason, you may decide that you want to have your duck stuffed so that it can provide you with a constant memorial.
The duck taxidermy cost can vary based on a number of factors.
The Size of the Duck
Ducks vary in size based on the type of duck. A white-faced whistling duck may only weigh about one pound. Meanwhile, a full-grown mallard or canvasback may weigh closer to three or four pounds.
The weight will be important for not only shipping the animal to the taxidermist but for the actual preservation process as well.
Animals that are between one and two pounds will usually cost between $500 and $750. Anything over two pounds can be double that cost – and anything over six pounds may start to cost you for each additional pound. Since ducks are relatively lightweight, you shouldn’t pay more than $1500 for the full preservation.
The Condition of the Duck
Unfortunately, not all ducks arrive to a taxidermist in perfect condition. Various issues may cause the duck to look unsightly, including the cause of death.
There are some services that can be performed to ensure that the duck is returned to a healthy, pristine condition. Such things can include skull and skeleton articulation, which can add anywhere from $250 to $1,000 to the overall cost.
If there is blood, a bullet wound, or anything else that needs to be cleaned and addressed, this will require professionals to spend more time on the body. In some instances, this can require a multi-day process, which will result in a higher processing cost.
Once you have the duck, you can contact a taxidermist to ask questions. Provide information about the condition of the duck, how quickly it was preserved, and if there is any damage. This will make it easier to provide you with an accurate cost as to what duck taxidermy costs will be charged.
Types of Posing/Mounting
Posing can be extremely intricate depending on what you want the duck to look like when it is ready to be returned to you.
Sitting or standing can be extra due to the necessity of balancing the weight. Further, if you want a pose, such as a beak being open or wings spread wide, this can require additional work. Placing a duck so that it looks like it is in mid-flight will almost always be more – often at least $100 beyond the basic standing price of the duck.
You will want to talk about the posing with the taxidermist to ensure that they have the skillset and learn what the added costs will be.
You may also want to have the duck mounted on wood, allowing you to hang it on a wall or place it on a shelf. The mounting options can vary dramatically, so it’s a good idea to look at the options online so that you know what you’d want. You can have the entire body mounted or just the head. Additionally, various elements of the grasslands can be incorporated into the mounting to add a unique and natural aspect to the finished product.
Some taxidermists will include basic poses and/or habitats for the base price. This is why it’s important to ask questions and find out what you are going to get for your money. In some instances, a basic habitat will be included. Then, if you want a snowy habitat or something more comprehensive, you pay extra.
Placing a duck in a glass case is another option – and this can be several hundred dollars more. The added benefit of this cost, however, is that it will cut down on maintenance over time.
The more work that needs to go into the posing and mounting, the more it will cost – and it’s important to have a full understanding of these costs before you start the process.
The Professionalism of the Taxidermist
Taxidermists vary in quality just as anything else will. You don’t want to trust your duck to just anyone. Be sure that they have the skillset to handle a duck.
Choosing a professional taxidermist will ensure that the duck is in good hands throughout the entire process. You will be able to have your duck posed and mounted in the way that you desire. Additionally, the professionals should be able to answer your questions and guide you through what needs to happen.
Taxidermists often have specialties, too. Just because you have used a taxidermist in the past to mount a deer or moose head doesn’t mean that they can work effectively with waterfowl. Be sure that they have the experience needed to put your mind at ease.
It’s a good idea to see past work that they have done with ducks. Let them show you some photos of successful duck mounts that they have done. It will give you an idea as to the quality that you can expect. Further, it can give you ideas as to how you want your duck returned to you.
Don’t assume that the cost of taxidermizing a duck stops once it has arrived back to you. There are some basic maintenance costs that you should factor in. A feather duster or paintbrush can be used to remove basic dust and cobwebs. You may also want to consider investing in an air compressor to remove the dirt and dust from some of the hard-to-reach areas. Depending on the mount, you may also want to have it properly treated with oil from time to time so that your duck looks pristine at all times.
In the end, you loved your duck enough to memorialize it. Whether this is a way to remember your beloved pet duck, or you want to cherish your waterfowl trophy, knowing the costs will help you to determine what kind of investment you’re about to make.