Rats & Mice

   A rat was the first animal that I ever mounted. I consider them my specialty. They're easy to obtain, easy to mount, and quite a conversation piece.

   The rat in the photo above was the last rat that I mounted, who I call "Brownie". At the time I was very proud of him, since it was definately an improvement from my earlier rat mounts. But now I have greatly improved since then.
Brownie is a domestic rat that I bred in Summer 2000. I made him a body out of masking tape and newspaper. I used a pipe cleaner for a tail wire, and used clay to build up the legs and thighs. He looks so cute, holding a piece of corn!

   I entered him as a craft in my county fair. You can bet that he got a lot of attention! Needless to say, he got a blue ribbon!

Here are four rats that I mounted for a customer from Nike Co., just completed and drying in my shop:

After they were dried and finishing touches applied, I mailed them to the customer and he used them in a display. He said:
"We are using the rats for a window display. We have a guest speaker coming to our headquarters to discuss his work. He is a famous window designer from Barney's Department Store in New York. One of his very first windows featured tuxedos on mannequins with a rat. We wanted to place a few rats in the window we are designing to link back to his original design".

So here are some pictures he took of the rats and the display they were in. My rats are famous now! LOL

Here are some field mice that I mounted. These are one of the hardest things to mount due to their small size! I sold these little guys on Ebay.

I have also mounted a sleeping mouse that will be used in a Walgreens Pharmacy commercial, to be aired this Christmas season! If you have a Walgreens in your area, keep a look out when you're watching TV... you may see this little guy! :

   Below are some of my earlier rat mounts. I made a lot of mistakes with these, but it was a learning experience. These were all domestic rats that I bred. They're actually related, too! The large tan rat (named Nicky) was my breeder male, and the black and white rat (Patches) was the breeder female. The smaller white and tan rat is their actual baby! Brownie is their baby, as well. Unfortunately my dog got ahold of these rats one day and quickly made chew-toys out of them! ):

   And below is my open-mouth rat head mount! This is called a "pedestal mount".
   I used the actual skull to mount the head on. I rebuilt the inside on the mouth and the tongue with clay, and then painted it with clear nail polish to give it a wet look!
   I can't get a close-up picture of the mouth because the picture gets blurry, but if you could see inside, there are even teeny molars in the back!

   This just goes to show how you can make a really neat mount out of household items! To make the pedestal mount, all I used was:
  The rat skull, a little sculpey clay (pink, flesh, & black), powdered borax (to preserve the skin), cotton, thread, super glue, 6" of thin wire, and a rock.
   However, when regarding taxidermy, "Time is money" is definitely a true saying..