Feather count on blue eared pheasant? - Spey Pages
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-31-2020, 10:02 PM Thread Starter
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Feather count on blue eared pheasant?

does anyone have any idea approximately many usable spey feathers are on a full blue eared pheasant skin? I'm trying to decide if I should buy a full skin at $100 or loose feathers at 40 cents apiece? The full skin in question is a grade 2 because of several missing tail feathers. Otherwise the body feathers are fine.
I'd appreciate any suggestions.
Tom
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-31-2020, 11:23 PM
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When I purchased a full skin it contained perhaps two dozen spey hackle large enough for 1.5 Alec Jackson or a #2 Blue Heron Spey hook. The rest of the feathers in the skin were too small & too short to palmer . Better suited as collars, or spider-style flies and Irish shrimp styles.

Hope that helps,
Vic.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-01-2020, 07:13 AM
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First of all, the grade of the skin is secondary. The primary concern is how old the bird was before it became a pelt

Two year birds are common and considered as industry standard. Any younger and I would leave it alone. There will be less developed feathers, small size, etc.
The older the bird, the more matured feathers are available and the overall size of feathers are larger. I have a 5 yr pelt, it is massive!! I've used over 100 large feathers for #1/0 and #2/0 Dee Irons and I still have at least that many more. Not to mention the hundreds of feathers left to tie flies from #10 to #2.
As far as tail feathers, that's too bad. It is usually the bonus when you get a BEP pelt. If that was not your main concern, I wouldn't worry about it. Most tyers want the pelt for the body feathers, for collars and such. The blood plumes closer to the skin along the rump make incredible hackles and are not available at fly shops, another bonus.


Mike
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-01-2020, 08:52 AM
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My experience is closer to Mike's than Vic's, which suggests that everything depends on the bird--and indirectly--the vendor. Unless I was sure of the bird's quality (age), or had the option of returning the pelt w/o the postage breaking you up, I might content myself with individual feathers. As Mike suggests, though, if you find a good one, you might not need another one for a good while.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-01-2020, 05:36 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for responding to my question. I'm not sure which way I'll end up going..... if at all! The seller didn't mention the age or sex of these birds and no mention at all was made of what sizes the loose feathers would be. I'm just a little leary of moving forward with this purchase unless I can get some rock solid guarantee on being able to return them if not satisfied.
Tom
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-01-2020, 07:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TLBROOKS53 View Post
Thank you for responding to my question. I'm not sure which way I'll end up going..... if at all! The seller didn't mention the age or sex of these birds and no mention at all was made of what sizes the loose feathers would be. I'm just a little leary of moving forward with this purchase unless I can get some rock solid guarantee on being able to return them if not satisfied.
Tom
I suggest to ask for detailed pictures.

It is sounds worth it with as many feathers as Mike and debarb's [bird] skins had. I should mention mine was of the white-variety Blue Eared pheasant. The color was more "off-white" - not slate grey. That was the selling point for me as the feathers were better for dyeing in both bright and dark color.

Cheers,
Vic.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-02-2020, 07:50 AM
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Ask for pictures with a comparison, so you can judge how big the pelt is. My 5yr bird is 34" from base of tail (end of rump) to base of neck and equally as wide, wider in places excluding the wings. I separated the tail that has plumes that are 38" long. You can say it is the size of a wild turkey Ten years ago, it cost me $200US, which was a steal at the time. Good pelts (2yr olds) now days from reputable suppliers run $250US and higher.
At $100US, I would expect this is a female pelt, or even a Coot pelt that someone is trying to pass off as BEP. Unless this is a "Going out of business sale", really hard up for cash, or the pelt is damaged in some way.


Mike

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